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Peninsula Energy Starts Drawdown Of US$22M BlackRock Facility

Peninsula Energy (ASX: PEN) is accelerating construction at its Lance uranium projects in Wyoming after meeting the final condition for the US$22 million facility from BlackRock Financial Management.

This follows the modification of wholly owned subsidiary Strata Energy's existing US$80 million sale agreement with a US domiciled utility to terms satisfactory to BlackRock.

"We are very pleased to have reached agreement with BlackRock and our US customer on the uranium sale agreement amendments," executive chairman Gus Simpson said.

"The continued support of both groups is greatly appreciated. Release of the BlackRock funds allows construction activities to be accelerated at the Lance Projects."

Proceeds from the facility will be used to accelerate pre-Source Material Licence construction. Grant of the SML remains on schedule for March 2014.

Peninsula expects to make a further capital raising announcement no later than market pre-open on Thursday 17 October 2013.

Sale Agreement

The sale agreement is the second of two conditions that Peninsula was required to meet before funds from the BlackRock facility could be drawn down.

This had to have a net present value equal to or greater than the principal amount of the notes and to include clauses allowing it to be used as security in the event that Strata defaulted on the repayment of the notes.

Amendments mate to the existing agreement included making BlackRock a party to the agreement with the right to replace Strata as the counterparty should a default occur.

Construction Activities

The company has been progressing construction of the Lance projects using equity funds.

Works started include:

- Offsite fabrication of long lead equipment items such as the ion exchange vessels, concentrate precipitation plant, yellow cake drying plant and reverse osmosis plant;
- Initial site civil works, including development of access roads;
- Construction of new site offices and laboratory; and
- Ongoing drilling and installation of monitoring wells at Production Unit One within the Ross Project Area.

Lance Projects

The company had recently finalised the Wellfield Optimisation Study (WOS) at its Lance uranium operations that highlighted a 6% increase in NPV to US$323 million, a 12.5% reduction in capital expenditure to steady state production to US$114 million and a 12% drop in steady state operating cost to US$30.65 per lb U3O8.

This ranks Lance amongst the lowest cost producers.

The first production unit will be at Ross with a capacity of up to 1.25 million pounds per annum followed by Kendrick, ramping up over several years to a steadystate 2.3 million pounds per annum.


The meeting of conditions for the US$22 million BlackRock Facility is another towards production for the company as it allows it to accelerate construction activities at the Lance Uranium Projects.

It also represents a vote of support in the company.

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