QualityStocks would like to highlight Uranerz Energy Corporation (NYSE: URZ), a U.S. mining company focused on near term commercial in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium production. The company is currently constructing its first ISR mine in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. The Uranerz management team has specialized expertise in the ISR uranium mining method, and has a successful track record of licensing, constructing, and operating ISR uranium projects.
In the company’s news yesterday,
Uranerz Energy reported issuance of the Class I Underground Injection Control permit for the deep disposal well at Nichols from Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality.
This key document represents the final hurdle to be leapt over by URZ in the run up to commercial operations at the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, and the company has cleared it with that same agility that has served them so well thus far. Uranerz Energy has assembled an impressive land position in the region, with NI 43-101 reportage covering seven of their 30 plus uranium projects in the Powder River Basin area. A simple calculation of the total regional measured and indicated resources under URZ’s thumb is 15.7M lbs eU3O8 at an average grade of 0.103% (3.34M inferred, grading 0.111% on average), with Nichols being above average grade-wise at 0.114%, on a measured and indicated resource of some 2.95M lbs.
President and CEO of URZ, Glenn Catchpole, couldn’t help but show his zeal for the company’s position in the race to become the next big name in domestic ISR uranium next year as the first new uranium mine in Wyoming in 18 years is set to begin operating. Catchpole asserted that installation of the two deep disposal wells this winter would be the next major task for the company, with ancillary completion of remaining construction work also on the docket.
Huge news for URZ shareholders, who have tremendous value to realize as the project is licensed for annual output of up to 2M pounds. Initial post ramp up output projections are 600k to 800k lbs and the project itself will essentially become the epicenter of URZ’s wider regional uranium operations. The uranium opportunity in the Powder River Basin is massive and with multiple global factors set to steadily drive the price of uranium, like Japan’s restarted energy infrastructure, tightening global supply amid expanding footprints in Asia, and our own continued use of nuclear, which account for upwards of 19.2% of total domestic energy supply (number one emission-free source), URZ is well positioned to do serious long-term growth.
The near-term profit taking potential of ISR is the hot ticket though and the tightened uranium supply issue has been crying out for precisely such an efflorescence of domestic entrepreneurship as is realizable via such ISR uranium production. The improved economic and logistical vectors created by a network of regional projects constitutes a mounting return window for CAPEX, and Uranerz is doing shareholders another favor by teaming up with the biggest public uranium company around, Cameco, to ensure processing envelopes are sealed. The company has even developed long-term sales contracts to uptake planned production with two of the biggest domestic utilities.
VP of Environment, Health, and Safety for URZ, Mike Thomas, commended the team for successfully concluding the lengthy regulatory process which has cleared the way for construction/operation of the uranium mine. To look at the way URZ has handled things, you wouldn’t even know this is the company’s first ISR mine.
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