First Lance uranium delivered for conversion

03 June 2016

Regular deliveries of drummed uranium from Peninsula Energy's Lance projects have commenced as the company continues to ramp up production at the Wyoming in-situ leach operation.

Dried and drummed uranium from Lance (Image: Peninsula Energy)

Peninsula announced yesterday that the first shipment of about 16,000 pounds U3O8 (6.2 tU) was delivered to a North American conversion facility on 31 May. The company expects to make deliveries at regular intervals, it said.

Operations commenced at Lance's Ross Permit Area in December 2015. Perth, Western Australia-based Peninsula made its first delivery of uranium under its wholly-owned subsidiary Strata Energy Inc's 2011 sale and purchase agreement with an unnamed US utility in January, but that delivery was made using borrowed material, to ensure compliance with the delivery schedule.

Production at Lance is now ramping up, with the fourth header house due to come online in early June. The fifth header house, of a total of seven, is expected to come online in the third quarter of 2016. All seven header houses are due to be constructed and commissioned by the end of the year although "meaningful amounts" of uranium are not likely to be extracted from the sixth and seventh header houses until early in 2017.

Production performance to date at the first two header houses indicate 2016 production of 200,000-300,000 pounds U3O8 (77-115 tU). Based on current ramp-up rates, the company said it expects to achieve the targeted production level of 600,000-700,000 pounds U3O8 (231-269 tU) per year for the first stage of the Lance project during the first half of 2017.

Peninsula is developing the Lance projects - comprising the Ross, Kendrick and Barber permits - under a three-stage strategy that it says reduces the initial funding requirements while allowing the company to defer most of its planned uranium sales contracts. Commissioning the processing facility and wellfield operations during the first stage of the project also significantly de-risks the subsequent stages, which should see total production rates increase to 1.2 million pounds U3O8 (462 tU) and then to 2.3 million pounds U3O8 (885 tU) per year.

Current plans see Kendrick scheduled to come online in 2019. In February, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) accepted for review an application by Strata Energy to extend the licence of the Lance project by including the Kendrick expansion area into the Ross Permit Area. According to the NRC's review schedule, a target date of September 2017 is currently set for the issue of a licence amendment.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News