Lance on track for commercial uranium production

10 January 2023

Preconditioning wellfield flows are already under way at Peninsula Energy's Lance uranium project in Wyoming, and it is on track to resume uranium production in the first quarter of this year.

(Image: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

The ASX-listed company made the decision in November to restart the in-situ leach (ISL) project, having transitioned to low-pH operations. The project last produced uranium in 2019, but the high-pH method in use at that time was delivering lower-than-expected recoveries of uranium. In the meantime, the company has carried out studies and field trials to support a transition to low-pH operations, which Lance is now fully permitted to use.

The company said it has now "substantially completed" engineering and design work for the process changes required to become a low-pH ISL facility. Limited circulation of low-pH solution and oxidant between Mine Unit 1 and the process plant was established in December, it said. The flow rate of the circulating stream will be ramped up throughout the first quarter of this year. "Commercial uranium production grades within the pre-circulated wellfield areas are projected to be achieved by late in the quarter and plant recovery operations will commence at that time," the company said in an update.

The company is also looking to expand the authorised Lance mining area to include the Kendrick production area, it said. To that end, Peninsula's US subsidiary, Strata Energy Inc, has submitted a "comprehensive" package of applications lodged with Wyoming regulatory authorities. The company is also planning to carry out drill programmes at the Kendrick and Barber areas this year as part of a programme to systematically expand and enhance resources at the Lance project, it said.

In December, Strata was awarded a contract by the US Department of Energy to provide 300,000 pounds U3O8 of domestically produced uranium concentrates to the USD75 million strategic uranium reserve. The delivery must be satisfied with US-origin material already held in Strata's accounts.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News