Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alexander Molyneux Speaks On Record Uranium Demand Expected for 2016

Published on Thursday May 15 2014 (AEST)  

 Alexander Molyneux, chairman at Azarga Resources Ltd., talks about the company's agreement to merge with Powertech Uranium Corp. and the outlook for the uranium mining industry.

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Design/Build for Lance In-Situ Uranium Extraction Project

Published on Tuesday May 13 2014 (AEST)  

The last year construction began on a nuclear power plant in the United States was 1977, but that is about to change. 

The Department of Energy announced in February that it is backing the construction of two new nuclear power plants, and TREC, a Woodard & Curran company, is working on a major uranium mining project to provide the fuel that these and other plants will need. After four years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently gave initial permitting approval and released the final environmental impact statement for the first phase of the project where TREC will play a leading role.

Strata’s Lance In-Situ Uranium Recovery Projects in northeastern Wyoming encompass at least 190 combined miles of uranium mineralization and more than 53 million pounds of triuranium octoxide compound. TREC is leading the pre-construction activities for the uranium processing plant under a design/build contract and providing conceptual designs, detailed engineering design support, procurement, and construction services.

“Designing the system is an exciting challenge for our team,” said Brian Pile, a Regional Operations Manager at TREC. “This project is made even more significant because it will be such an important source of fuel for clean, low-carbon energy production in the future. We are committed to the efficient design of a low-impact system that protects the local ecology and creates long-term benefits for both Strata Energy and the local economy.”

The TREC team completed each component of the facility design, including mass balance, piping and instrumentation diagrams, and process layouts, as well as structural and instrumentation and control engineering. TREC also managed the laboratory, plumbing, HVAC and architectural design work for the facilities and generated specifications for the building, construction, equipment, pumps, tanks, and process, mechanical, structural, and electrical controls. Woodard & Curran is assisting TREC with the electrical and instrumentation and controls aspects of the project.
Prior to construction, TREC developed performance specifications that were provided to vendors for pricing and associated structural, safety, and ventilation designs, which were then incorporated into the facility design. This approach significantly reduced design costs and will expedite the building process.

Production at the Lance Projects

The Ross Production Site, the first phase of the Lance Project, is the area where Strata is currently focusing development and will use in-situ recovery (ISR) to extract the uranium, rather than an open pit or underground mine. ISR at the Ross project involves a number of injection wells that pump a solution of groundwater mixed with oxygen and sodium bicarbonate (lixiviant) into the sandstone that holds the uranium. The lixiviant oxidizes and dissolves the uranium, which is then drawn up by recovery wells. The solution is pumped to a central processing plant, where the uranium is extracted through an ion-exchange circuit, elution, precipitation processes, and drying for an initial annual production rate of 1.2 million pounds of “yellowcake” by 2017. The water used to bring the dissolved uranium to the processing plant is then re-fortified and returned to the aquifer in the closed loop process.

The entire wellfield is surrounded by a series of perimeter monitoring wells to guard against the migration of mining solution outside of the recovery area. ISR requires minimal surface disturbance, and the affected area—including the groundwater—is restored when the mining operation is concluded.

The Ross site will contribute a significant portion of the total United States production of uranium. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2013 domestic uranium production totaled roughly 4.8 million pounds. Strata is targeting 1.2 million pounds of triuranium octoxide produced at the Ross site per year through the years 2014 – 2017 and later plans to increase production to 2.3 million pounds per year.

Construction Underway
The uranium will be extracted through an ion-exchange circuit, elution, precipitation processes, and drying for an initial annual production rate of 1.2 Mlbs of “yellowcake” by 2017.

Construction Underway

Ground breaking commenced in October of 2013. Phase I construction has been completed to the point feasible during the winter months. TREC and Strata have begun procuring equipment and the pre-engineered steel buildings to allow for the rapid continuation of construction in the spring. Strata anticipates that the NRC will issue the Source Material License in early April 2014, which will allow the construction of the processing plant and initial wellfields.

“The design/build approach streamlines the process for Strata Energy,” Pile added. “The project benefits by having one contract and entity for design, construction, cost, and schedule management. It really is a true turn-key delivery for the owner, which provides them with the ability to focus on their core business.”

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fortescues Andrew Forrest pumps $12m into Uranium Junior

Published on Wednesday May 7 2014 (AEST)  

Andrew Forrest’s investments continue to range far and wide, with the mining billionaire today investing millions into a uranium junior just days after he bought a beef exporting company.

Mr Forrest has today pumped $12 million into Energy and Minerals Australia as part of a broader $36 million funds injection for the company.

The investment is a reunion of sorts, with EMA run by two men with prior links to Mr Forrest via his main company Fortescue Metals Group; Julian Tapp and Mike Young.

Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., speaks during the company's annual general meeting in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Fortescue, the most indebted junk-rated mining company, is accelerating repayment of $2.04 billion in bonds to help cut debt and lower interest payments. Photographer: Aaron Bunch/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Andrew Forrest 
Mr Tapp was government relations advisor for Fortescue until 2012, while Mr Young led iron ore exporter BC Iron into a highly successful joint venture with Fortescue in 2009.

EMA is exploring acreage in the goldfields of WA which are prospective for uranium and base metals.

“My investment is a strong vote of confidence in the executive management team of Mike Young and Julian Tapp with whom I have had a long and successful working relationship,’’ said Mr Forrest in a statement.
Mr Forrest’s investment through his holding company ‘’Forrest Family Investments’’ will give him a stake of just over 27 per cent in EMA, and comes on the same day that Macquarie, Acorn Capital and Element Resources Fund agreed to covert their $24.5 million worth of debt into shares.

Mr Young said the investment would help unlock EMA’s future growth and potential.

It’s the second raising that EMA has completed so far in 2014, despite the deathly environment for uranium.
Mr Forrest’s investment comes just days after he bought WA food exporter Harvey Beef for an estimated $30 million.

But his stake in nickel junior Poseidon is shrinking, after the billionaire declined to participate in another equity raising by the nickel minnow.

Poseidon has today completed its second equity raising in the space of four months, and while the total raised this year – $7.5 million - may be small, it’s a big improvement on last year when the company couldn't raise money on several attempts.

Poseidon boss David Singleton said improved nickel prices were bringing investors back to nickel, and the company could have raised much more over the weekend had it not been prevented by an internal raising cap.
‘‘We were very heavily over-subscribed and we probably would have done more but we have bumped up against our annual raising capacity that we have permission for from shareholders,’’ he said.
‘‘It is unfortunate because having had a few bad years where it was quite hard to raise money, to get to the point where we were so heavily over-subscribed that we could have raised a lot more but to not have the capacity to do it is a little bit frustrating.’’

Nickel prices have improved by more than 25 per cent since January on the back of an export ban imposed by the world’s biggest nickel producer, Indonesia.

Mr Singleton confirmed that Mr Forrest had not participated in the equity raising.
Mr Forrest started 2014 with 33 per cent of Poseidon shares, but according to Bloomberg he now holds just over 27 per cent.

‘‘He will be slightly diluted as a result of today,’’ said Mr Singleton.
Poseidon must pay about $9 million in debts to Mr Forrest by October 1, and Mr Singleton said the company was considering asking shareholders for permission to raise more money, or possibly taking on new debt, to pay back Mr Forrest.

Poseidon is also reviewing quicker and cheaper ways to get its Windarra nickel prospect into production.
The company halted work last year as low nickel prices bit hard, but the improved climate could see preparatory work on site recommence soon.

‘‘The key next step for us is to recommence operations on the ground at Mt Windarra which we bought to a halt in June last year as the nickel market was going strongly against us. We are able to restart now and that will start to open up some other options,’’ said Mr Singleton.

Click Image To Access Uranium Stocks Australia