Peninsula Energy (ASX: PEN) continues to progress pre-production operations at its Lance Uranium Projects in Wyoming with the recent execution of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract with TREC DB.
Additionally, delineation drilling carried out to optimise the well field patterns and design within the first production unit at Ross has intersected strong uranium mineralisation, some of which is outside the existing resource boundaries.
Its U.S. subsidiary Strata Energy has also advised that the public comment period for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) has now closed with pleasingly no extension requested by any of the relevant stakeholders.
This augurs well for the timely issue of the final SEIS in November 2013 and the Source Material License in December 2013.
"All indications are that we remain on schedule for full permitting of the Ross Project later this year," executive chairman Gus Simpson said.
"In the interim we are continuing with the pre-production drilling and monitoring well installation program which is providing the final detailed information required for development. "
Wyoming based ISL engineering group TREC DB, which won the EPC contract, has been working with Peninsula through the Feasibility and Optimisation study stages.
TREC had previously been engaged to perform the engineering and design work for the CPP and well fields and the new agreement encompasses the remaining design work as well as performance of procurement and construction going forward.
Peninsula has also been carrying out pre-production drilling consisting of monitoring well installation, delineation drilling within and around the planned first production unit at Ross during the period from October 2012 to April 2013.
A total of 59 monitoring wells and 179 delineation holes for a total of 128,550 feet were completed at the Lance Projects during this period.
The results from the delineation well drilling generally reconcile well against the previous exploration drilling results though some drill holes intersected strong uranium mineralisation outside of the existing resource boundaries with highlights including 8 feet at 1,030ppm U3O8 and 8 feet at 760ppm U3O8.
Additional monitor wells have been completed at Ross to provide supplementary, site-specific geological and hydrological information while a total of 12 monitoring well clusters have been completed within the Kendrick area and are being used for base line studies of the regional water quality.
The company is also conducting an additional core drilling program within the planned Mine Unit 1 to provide further information on recoveries and refine the most efficient leach chemistry for the Ross ore body.
Review of the core information is currently in progress and will facilitate porosity/permeability samples as well as "Leach Test" samples being selected and prepared for laboratory analysis.
The core drilling has also intersected uranium mineralisation outside the existing resource boundaries.
In conjunction with the above program, Strata are fulfilling existing regulatory commitments to re-plug old, historic exploration holes in the vicinity of the first mine units and are also systematically re-probing the historic Nubeth holes.
To date, the new PFN data correlate within 1% of the original hand-calculated gamma data.
The Lance Projects are ready to be progressed to the construction stage subject to current permitting and project funding status.
Total construction time is estimated at 12 months with first commercial U3O8 production estimated to begin in 2014 subject to final permitting.
Peninsula has assembled a highly experienced team with specific production experience in ISL operations.
Detailed design and engineering is completed and the company expects to finalise the award of an EPC contract in the coming weeks.
Monitoring well installation has begun and site preparation and civil works are planned to commence after this appointment.
Lance has a JORC Resource of 53.7 million pounds U3O8 at the Ross, Kendrick and Barber Production Units.
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