Peninsula completes first uranium delivery via Strata

07 January 2016

Peninsula Energy Ltd has announced first delivery of uranium under its wholly owned subsidiary Strata Energy Inc's 2011 sale and purchase agreement with an unnamed US utility. In-situ uranium recovery operations began from the Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects in Wyoming, USA on 2 December.

Gus Simpson, Peninsula's managing director and CEO, said on 5 January that production well flow-rates "continue to be very good, uranium is being recovered and the second header house is being commissioned". Phase one full production will see a total of seven header houses in operation.

"Peninsula has four significant uranium concentrate sale and purchase agreements in place for a major portion of production over the first five years of operations," Simpson said. "These committed sales contracts substantially increase revenue certainty whilst allowing a significant amount of planned production to be free for future contracting in what is expected to be in an environment of increasing prices."

Perth, Western Australia-based Peninsula said last month that it had received authorisation from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to begin in-situ uranium recovery operations from the Ross Permit Area. Based on the results of preoperational inspections of Strata's Ross project during November, the NRC determined that Ross is "physically ready for in-situ recovery operations up to the ion exchange columns". Strata plans to ship uranium-loaded resins to "a nearby mill" for further processing.

Peninsula announced in September that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had approved an aquifer exemption for the deep disposal well at the Ross Permit Area. Strata had completed the 8607 foot (2600 m) well earlier last year. Simpson at the time described the EPA exemption as a "significant statutory milestone" for the start of production at Lance.

In January last year the US Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) dismissed the three final environmental challenges against Peninsula's Lance uranium projects. The ASLB determined that the contentions raised by the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Powder River Basin Resource Council were unable to be substantiated by the evidence presented.

Peninsula said in late 2014 that it would become a uranium producer in 2015 after securing $69.4 million in institutional funding. The funding would allow it to complete the construction and ramp-up of the first stage of its Lance projects, the company said, as well as take it into positive cash flow and enable it to pay back a due debt to one of its shareholders.

The first stage of Lance is expected to produce 500,000-700,000 pounds U3O8 (192-269 tU) per year.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News