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Peninsula Energy to begin deep disposal well testing at Lance uranium projects ahead of schedule

Peninsula Energy’s (ASX: PEN) wholly owned subsidiary Strata Energy can now move forward with deep disposal well testing of subsurface conditions at the Lance uranium projects in Wyoming ahead of its original schedule. 

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NYSE:NRC) advised the company it considers the testing to be exploration and drilling can begin without further approval.

Importantly, testing could see flow rates at the upper limits of expectation that would lead to significant capital expenditure reductions at the Lance Projects.

Executive chairman Gus Simpson said, “Proactive decision making like this demonstrates the NRC’s objective approach to the assessment of proposed ISR developments and its understanding of the value to companies of obtaining project development information early.”

The deep disposal wells will be used to inject non-hazardous wastes at depths in excess of 8,000 feet below the surface in order to meet the water management requirements of the proposed operations at the projects.

Construction and operation of up to five underground injection control Class 1 wells at the Lance Central Processing Plant site was approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in April 2011.

At the time the permit was issued, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations classified the drilling of any deep disposal well as part of the operation of an ISR project and subsequently a NRC Source Material Licence or an Exception was required to develop and test a deep disposal well.

Late in 2011 amendments to the NRC regulations relating to construction, including necessary borings to determine foundation conditions or other preconstruction monitoring to establish background information related to the suitability of the site, the environmental impacts of construction or operation, or the protection of environmental value, were excluded from the definition of construction and therefore do not require an Exception from the NRC.

The NRC has confirmed that Strata can, upon the issue of the Source Material Licence, apply to have the test deep disposal well converted for operations.

Earlier this month, Peninsula intercepted high grade uranium in a drilling program targeted at upgrading the resource at the Lance Project.

Of the 148 holes drilled in this program, 18 encountered significant mineralisation, with 16 recording multiple stacked intersections of uranium. The majority of holes were drilled in the western parts of the Ross project area.

The recent drilling produced thick, higher grade intercepts, including 6.4 metres at 830 parts per million uranium from 217 metres, including 3.5 metres at 1,150 parts per million.