Tuesday, January 22, 2013

99% Uranium Recoveries From Ablation Testwork At Hansen - Colorado - Black Range Minerals

Published on Tuesday January 22 2013 (AEST)  

Black Range Minerals’ (ASX: BLR) modified Ablation processing circuit has returned uranium recoveries in excess of 99% from samples of mineralisation from its Hansen Deposit in Colorado. 

This follows the incorporation of a secondary upgrade circuit to the design after completing extensive testwork on numerous samples of sandstone-hosted uranium mineralisation from several deposits across the U.S. 

The outstanding recoveries provides further confidence for Black Range that the purely physical Ablation process will be able to produce a high value concentrate from the 90.9 million pound Hansen/Taylor Ranch Uranium Project.

5Ton P/Hr Ablation System now under Construction
Construction of this 5tph unit is expected to be completed in April 2013

Black Range expects the process to eliminate the need to construct a conventional processing facility at or near the project, which will in turn have a positive effect on its capital cost as well as minimising the timeline required to obtain permits to start production. Higher recoveries are also expected to benefit the project’s operating cost. Ablation process Black Range had in July 2012 formed a joint venture with Ablation Technologies’ to market the latter’s ore concentration technology, which offers a low cost method of concentrating uranium by applying a physical, grain-size separation process, to ore slurries without the addition of chemicals. 

Extensive testwork has shown that, from amenable sandstone-hosted uranium ore types, typically more than 90% of the uranium mineralisation can be recovered into about 10% of the initial sample mass. Taken together, Ablation offers an extremely effective yet environmentally sensitive uranium concentration method with lower capital and operating costs that can be applied to sandstone-hosted uranium deposits, globally. As a case in point, a positive Scoping Study at Hansen has forecast that the use of underground borehole mining and the Ablation process would result in operating costs of about US$30 per pound of U3O8 and capital costs of less than US$80 million. 

The joint venture, which has since been incorporated and an operating agreement finalised and executed, holds rights to apply Ablation to all mineral deposits – not just uranium as originally agreed. Applications of Ablation other than for uranium are yet to be assessed, but it is anticipated that additional opportunities could arise. Black Range and Ablation are currently constructing a semi-commercial 5 ton per hour capacity processing unit – using off the shelf parts – that can be fit on the back of a single semi-trailer. This initial unit will be readily mobile, hence easily relocatable from project to project to facilitate advanced on-site testing prior to full-scale operations. 

Construction of this unit is expected to be completed in April 2013. It is anticipated that, on completion, this unit will be tested at Ablation’s manufacturing facility for several weeks before it is deployed for initial field trials. 

Hansen Uranium Resource

The Hansen project area contains JORC Indicated and Inferred resources of 90.9 million pounds of U3O8, at a grade of 600 ppm, found within 5 separate deposits that are located along a 10 kilometre strike line, the largest uranium deposit in Colorado and the third largest deposit in the U.S. The Life of Mine Operating Costs were estimated at a total of $30.01 per pound of produced uranium, that includes wages of $3.07, UBHM operating costs $13.38, ablation operating costs $3.13, material handling $0.19, water treatment $0.12, milling operating costs $8.14, and site wide costs of $1.99 that were prepared to an accuracy of +/- 20% and exclude royalties, taxes and contingency. Capital Costs were estimated at a total of $141.52 million and include UBHM slurry handling $3.09 million, ablation $34.11 million, material handling $1.91 million, water treatment $12.07 million, site wide costs $7.34 million, engineering and installation $15.00 million, and mill for $68.00 million. 

Capital costs could be significantly reduced to around $40 million by the separate provision of off-site milling and a BOO agreement for ablation. Analysis The strong recoveries achieved using the Ablation process and the likelihood of faster approvals along with lower capital and operating costs compared to conventional methods all serve to add to the attractiveness of Black Range’s Hansen/Taylor Ranch Uranium Project.

 Already one of the largest uranium resources in the U.S., the project could be producing uranium as early as the second half of 2013 at a time when production is in short supply. Further upside is present from the global supply-demand outlook for uranium, which anticipates near-medium term appreciation in the uranium price. Black Range’s current market cap. is demonstrably low on a peer comparison basis at less than $0.14 per pound compared to the peer average of about $1.14 per pound.

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia

Friday, January 18, 2013

Paladin Energy Achieves Record Uranium Sales Revenues In December 2012 Quarter

Published on Friday January 18 2013 (AEST)

 Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN.TO) the company has achieved record sales revenue of US$133.9 million for the quarter, selling 2.78 Mlb U 3 O 8 at average price of US$48.10/lb. It has also achieved record quarterly and annual production at both the Langer Heinrich and Kayelekera mines. 

Combined production for the December quarter was 2.191 Mlb (994t) U3O8, an increase of 13.6% on the September quarter and is the equivalent of 103.1% of nameplate production of 2.125 Mlb U3O8 for the quarter. 


 During the quarter, the plant delivered further improved performance to new record production levels – not only the overall production but also the overall recovery levels. Overall plant throughput also further improved to 914,847t crushed – a 2% increase from the previous quarter.

Production totalled 1,418,583lb U3O8, which was 9.9% higher than the previous quarter. The operation is
performing consistently with continuous improvements taking place. During the quarter, the Bankers’
Completion Tests for Stage 3 were successfully completed.

 KAYELEKERA MINE, Malawi (85%)

 Production during the December quarter was a record, exceeding the previous quarter by 20.9%.
 Production of 261,929lb U3O8 was achieved in October and 262,299lb U3O8 in November, equating to 94.5% of
nameplate, and 248,052lb U3O8 in December, equating to 90.2% of nameplate


The strong combined production over the past two quarters on LHM and KM of 4.12Mlb U3O8, with signs for continued improvement, place the Group in a good position to achieve its stated production target guidance of 8.0 to 8.5Mlb U3O8 given for FY2013, with the opportunity to deliver in the upper end of this range.

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Uranium One Being Taken Private For $1.3B By Russian Firm - " Is Bid Too Low " ??

Published on Wednesday January 16 2013 (AEST)  

Uranium One's board recommended yesterday that the company be taken private by the Russian firm JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) for C$1.3 billion, a price that analysts believe is too low. 

The offer implies an equity value of C$2.8 billion for Uranium One, says the company in a news release. If the deal goes ahead, shareholders will get $2.86 per share. "The cash consideration represents a 32% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price of the Common Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange for the period ending January 11, 2013," says the company in a statement. 

The Russian firm already own 51.4% of Uranium One common shares. Uranium One's chief executive admitted to the Financial Post that the company is not selling at an opportune time, which is near the bottom of the market for uranium. “The fact that [the offer] was based on a much higher uranium price than where we are today was a driving force in recommending it for shareholders,” Sattler told the Financial Post. 
He said the sale price for the company was built in at US$66 a pound, rather than the current US$42 a pound. 

David Sadowski, an analyst for Raymond James, criticized the deal in a note (Northern Miner, sub required) and says shareholders should vote against the deal since the outlook for uranium is bullish. "Demand for nuclear power has remained resilient with ramping electricity requirements around the world, volatility in fossil fuel prices, energy supply security concerns and a global preference for carbon-neutral sources," wrote Sadwoski in an August interview with the Gold Report. 


 "We forecast prices to average above $60/lb in 2013 and north of $70/lb in 2014 and 2015 before settling to $70/lb in the long-term." RBC Dominion Securities analysts Adam Schatzker also chimed in. "The spot price is currently very close to seven-year lows and we think there is significant upside potential for Uranium One’s shares in the next 18 to 24 months," wrote Schatzker in a report.

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia


Monday, January 7, 2013

Uranium Demand Is Set For Asian Resurgence

 Published on Monday January 07 2013 (AEST) 

Uranium demand is set for resurgence as a number of Asian nations recommit to nuclear power, setting the stage for a transformation from an over-supply to a supply shortfall, which bodes well for uranium producers and soon-to-be producers. Japan is the most recent Asian country to consider reactivating its nuclear power plants following the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster.

The newly elected Liberal Democratic Party government plans to steadily restore nuclear power capacity between 2013 and 2015. Since Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the nation’s 54 reactors were shut down and those under construction placed on hold. Japan was relying on extra coal, oil and gas to meet its energy requirements, which set the nation back an additional US80-$100 million a day. Japan is the "swing" factor in the uranium price recovering sooner.

Should the Government push the pedal, then the supply is likely to be quickly taken up, leading buyers scrambling for quantity. China previously announced its intention to resume approval and construction of new nuclear power plants in the country and has already begun construction of the Shidaowan nuclear power plant. The Shidaowan nuclear power base is the largest in China in terms of investment and power-generating capacity.

The nation has committed to increasing its nuclear power capacity at least fivefold to an installed capacity of between 70 and 80 GWe by 2020. Other countries accounting for new plants coming on stream include India, South Korea and Russia. Germany is also tipped to eventually re-join the nuclear power fold. Around 62 nuclear reactors will be under construction globally in 2013, with another 484 either planned or proposed. China has the largest share with 26 under construction.

Uranium stocks

While the market has not been kind to uranium stocks in the past few years, there have been exceptions including Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) and Peninsula Energy (ASX:PEN) of late. It may also lift other uranium counters.

With a robust long term outlook for uranium demand likely, major producers and those coming into production in the next two to four years could see a strong turnaround as supply dwindles and they become well placed to fill a supply gap.

The rebound in demand will also see a revival in the uranium price, with most estimates predicting the spot price will reach at least US$60 per pound and could go as high as $90 per pound, well above the current price of around $45 per pound by 2014-15.

Producer Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) is already seeing some improvement in its share price with a 44% gain to its last traded share price of $1.065, compared to the low of $0.74 it was trading at in mid-November.

The company is producing from two mines in southern Africa – the Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia and the Kayelekera Mine in Malawi.

Paladin has completed a stage three expansion at Langer Heinrich with production at 5.2 million pounds per annum, and studies underway to further expand this to 10 million pounds per annum.

Kayelekera is producing near nameplate capacity at 3.3 million pounds per annum.

Meanwhile, junior Toro Energy is working to become Australia’s next uranium producer with its Wiluna Uranium Project in Western Australia.

The project has already received State Government approval and is nearing a Federal Government approval decision.

The potential timing of the Wiluna Uranium Project to come into production is ideally suited to the global shortfall in uranium supply emerging during 2015-2016.

The project would process 1.3 million tonnes per annum of ore to produce about 820 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate.

Toro’s share price has risen 77% since mid-2012, with its last traded share price $0.11 compared to the $0.062 low in mid-May 2012.

Peninsula Energy is another near-term producer well placed to cash in on the expected shortfall in uranium.

The company is targeting production from its Lance Projects in Wyoming in the second half of 2013 at an initial rate of 750,000 pounds of uranium per annum, ramping up over three years to 2.2 million pounds per annum.

Peninsula has also gained some traction in its share price having added 79% to reach its last traded price of $0.043, up from a low $0.024 in early October 2012.

Black Range Minerals (ASX: BLR) is another company set to bring its uranium project into production at a time of short supply.

The company is developing one of the largest uranium resources in the U.S., the Hansen/Taylor Ranch Uranium Project.

The project has an Indicated and Inferred JORC resource of 69 million tonnes at 600 parts per million (0.06%) for 90.9 million pounds of uranium.

Black Range is targeting the receipt of all mining permits by 2015 and the commencement of production in 2016.

Meanwhile, Deep Yellow (ASX: DYL) is another contender in the uranium market.

The company’s flagship Omahola Project in Namibia hosts a JORC Resource of 39.6 million tonnes at 437 parts per million for 38 million pounds of U3O8 from three hard rock deposits.

Omahola is at the Pre-Feasibility Stage, with concurrent resource drilling and ongoing exploration along the highly prospective Ongolo-MS7 trend.

Deep Yellow’s share price has also gained ground on the ASX with its share price last trading at $0.066, a 74% increase on the low of $0.038 in early September 2012. Which is illustrative of the gains that have been made in uranium stocks - and a portent of more to come.
Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia