Peninsula Energy has announced its formal decision to mine uranium at the Lance Project in Wyoming following a 24.3% increase in total uranium resources.
|Drilling operations at Lance (Image: Peninsula Energy)
Since the last resource update in June 2011, a further 806 drill holes have been completed, mostly within the Kendrick area, focusing on converting inferred resources to the indicated category. The Kendrick area is located to the west of the Ross production unit.
Peninsula has now resolved to commence commercial operations at Lance, where it envisages three production units - Ross, Kendrick and Barber - feeding into a central processing plant with an expandable capacity of up to 3 million pounds U3O8 (1154 tU) per year. The modular central processing plant would comprise up to four units, each capable of producing up to 0.75 million pounds U3O8 (288 tU) per year each.
Latest JORC-compliant resource figures released by Peninsula reveal a total resource of 51.5 million pounds U3O8 (19,809 tU) at a grade of 485 ppm U3O8. This includes measured resources of 4 million pounds U3O8 (1539 tU), indicated resources of 10.7 million pounds U3O8 (4116 tU) and inferred resources of 36.8 million pounds U3O8 (14,155 tU). Overall figures are 24.3% up on the previous figure of 41.4 million pounds U3O8 (15924 tU).
The new resource figures will be combined with the findings of two earlier studies to produce a revised feasibility study, expected to be published within weeks. Construction work, which is expected to take six to nine months, is to begin in the second half of 2012, with first production in 2013.
Mining will be subject to final permitting and project financing. However, permitting activities are well advanced. Peninsula, operating through its wholly-owned subsidiary Strata Energy, has already received approval for the construction and testing of underground injection control wells and a deep disposal well licence from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ). Applications for a Source Material Licence and a Permit to Mine were lodged with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and WDEQ in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Peninsula executive chairman Gus Simpson said that the formal decision to proceed to a commercial mining operation at Lance represented the completion of the pre-development stage at the projects. "With financing advancing well and permitting progressing on schedule we are confident that Peninsula will be a uranium producer in the near term," he added.
Lance is located at the north-eastern flank of Wyoming's Powder River Basin and also includes vanadium resources.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News