Energy Fuels Inc. is pleased to provide the following report on continuing well-field expansion activities at the Company's wholly-owned Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, the newest uranium production facility in the United States.
The Nichols Ranch facility, which was acquired by the Company through the June 18, 2015 acquisition of Uranerz Energy Corporation ("Uranerz"), is located in Wyoming's prolific Powder River Basin, where over half of all U.S.-origin uranium was produced in 2014.
Since Energy Fuels' acquisition of Uranerz, uranium production at a fifth header house has commenced at Nichols Ranch, and the Company is observing positive results. Production flow rates at Nichols Ranch have increased by 33% and total uranium production has increased by 25%, compared to levels seen prior to bringing this new header house online. In addition, since this new header house is currently in the early stages of production, the Company expects to observe higher rates of production in the future as flow rates and head-grade continue to increase.
The Company also expects to commence construction on a sixth header house at Nichols Ranch in August 2015, along with approximately 60 associated production and injection wells. Production from this next header house is expected to begin in Q4-2015. Wellfield delineation drilling on the resources expected to be produced by this header house was completed earlier this year.
Nichols Ranch commenced ISR mining operations in April 2014 and finished FY-2014 with four header houses in operation, along with the associated injection and recovery wells. Production at these facilities totaled approximately 200,000 pounds of U3O8 for April to December 2014, and 55,000 pounds of U3O8 during Q1-2015. While production at these four header houses has peaked and is now in decline, production at the new header house is expected to continue to ramp-up during 2015.
Stephen P. Antony, President and CEO of Energy Fuels stated, "We are very pleased with the operational results currently being observed at the Nichols Ranch Project. At this time, our fifth header house and the associated wellfield, is on-budget, on-schedule, and well on its way to becoming a successful uranium producer for Energy Fuels. We are similarly optimistic about the future performance of the sixth header house we have planned for later this year.
"Through our recent acquisition of Uranerz, we believe we have enhanced the near-term uranium production potential and future scalability of Energy Fuels. We continue to see longer-term fundamental supply-demand imbalances in uranium markets and expect higher uranium prices ahead. Even now, uranium consumption exceeds primary mine supply, with the difference being covered through inventories - which are finite. As we continue to ramp-up production at Nichols Ranch, we believe Energy Fuels will be well-positioned to capture expected uranium price increases."