Fuel cycle roundup #6

25 March 2013

Dewey-Burdock gets SER

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a final Safety Evaluation Report (SER) for Dewey-Burdock, taking Powertech Uranium's South Dakota ISL project closer to becoming fully licensed.

The project has already received a draft licence from the NRC, and now only requires the finalisation of its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) before its licence becomes fully activated. A draft SEIS was published in November 2012 and Powertech says it anticipates the final SEIS to be completed "within the next few months."

Draft EIS for Roca Honda

The US Forest Service has published the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Roca Honda uranium project in New Mexico, triggering the start of a 60-day public comment period. Developer Strathmore Minerals expects the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed underground mine, and a decision on the mine's permit, later this year.

Roca Honda is situated in the Grants Uranium District of New Mexico and is funded by Strathmore and Sumitomo of Japan through a 60-40 joint venture. NI 43-101 figures for the project, updated in August 2012, show total measured and indicated resources of 16.8 million pounds U3O8 (6460 tU) and 11.9 million pounds U3O8 (4580 tU) of inferred resources. At grades of 0.404% U3O8 for the measured and indicated resources and 0.411% for the inferred resources, Strathmore claims Roca Honda as one of the highest grade uranium deposits in the USA.

Lance economics enhanced

Peninsula Energy has announced "significantly enhanced economics" for its Lance ISL project in Wyoming after the completion of a six-month optimisation study. The study involved a review of the engineering and operational aspects of the May 2012 feasibility study for the project, which it updated to include upgrades to JORC-compliant resources announced in January 2013.

The study returned an 11.5% reduction in initial capital costs to $69 million and a 5% reduction in steady state operating cost to $34.80 per pound U3O8. Peninsula anticipates first commercial production from the project, which is in the final stages of permitting, to begin in 2014.

Tax breaks for Saskatchewan uranium

The government of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has announced changes to its system of uranium royalties to encourage new mines and mine expansions. Minister for energy and resources Tim McMillan said that the province's existing system had become a barrier to new investment thanks to its outdated allowance-based structure where allowances were as much as 50% below industry’s actual expenditures, and more competitive taxation policies in other uranium producing countries. The new structure, announced as part of the province's budget, recognises the actual costs incurred by industry. With production increases and potential new investments, the province expects to receive over $5 billion in uranium royalties over the next 14 years.

Saskatoon-based uranium producer Cameco welcomed the changes. "The changes announced by the provincial government will give us added confidence to continue the large investment we are making to sustain and grow production from our Saskatchewan operations," Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said.

Economic assessment for Temrezli

Anatolia Energy has announced the start of a preliminary economic assessment at the Temrezli uranium project in Turkey. The study is being carried out by Wyoming, USA-based WWC Engineering. Early stage studies indicate that the project will be amenable to ISL production. The preliminary assessment is to be completed by mid-2013, paving the way for a more comprehensive feasibility study later in the year.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News