Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE MKT:UUUU) (NYSE:EFR) now has the ability to develop ISR uranium mining facilities and related infrastructure at its 100% owned Hank Unit in Wyoming, having secured the Final Environmental Assessment ("EA") from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management ("BLM"), approving the Plan of Operations.
The Hank Unit is an in situ recovery ("ISR") uranium project located in Wyoming's Powder River Basin and the approval of the EA and the Plan of Operations was the final major regulatory step required for the project, which the Company plans to develop in the future as market conditions warrant. Previously, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality ("DEQ") had already approved the project in July 2011 and December 2010, respectively.
"Final approval of the Hank ISR Uranium Project is a major achievement for Energy Fuels, as we continue to build more short-term scalability and optionality into our portfolio which can be brought into production as uranium market conditions improve. Indeed, this is the second major regulatory approval received by Energy Fuels in less than a week, as on July 16, 2015 we announced the receipt of the mine permit for our Sheep Mountain Project. I am extremely proud of our environmental permitting team and the track record of success they are building. I believe they are second-to-none in the U.S. uranium industry today," said Energy Fuels, president and CEO, Stephen P. Antony.
Energy Fuels is currently producing uranium from its 100% owned Nichols Ranch ISR Project, also located in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The Hank Unit is licensed to be developed in the future as a satellite operation to the Nichols Ranch Processing Plant. The Company also continues to evaluate other production options, such as connecting the Hank Unit to the Nichols Ranch ISR Project via a pipeline, depending on market, permitting, and operational considerations.
Energy Fuels inherited the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, the newest uranium production facility in the United States located in Wyoming's prolific Powder River Basin, in its June 2015 acquisition of Uranerz Energy Corp. The Powder River Basin produced over half of all U.S. uranium in 2014.
The first four header houses at Nichols Ranch have yielded some 200,000 pounds of U3O8 in the period from April to December 2014, and 55,000 pounds of U3O8 during Q1-2015.
Following the Company's acquisition of Uranerz earlier this year, Energy Fuels is now the only company with both ISR and conventional uranium production in the U.S., and one of only three publicly-traded companies in the World with current ISR and conventional uranium production, the others being Cameco and Areva.