Uranium Energy is one step closer to production at its Burke Hollow project after receiving a radioactive material license.
US-based energy explorer Uranium Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:UEC) is one step closer to production at its Burke Hollow ISR project after receiving a radioactive material license from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
This latest license is the fourth and final permit needed by the energy company to extract uranium from the South Texas site.
“This accomplishment is extraordinarily rewarding for the UEC team, despite very challenging conditions in the uranium sector over the past six years,” Craig Wall, VP of environmental, health and safety, said in the announcement. “We’re excited to advance Burke Hollow toward becoming a modern, low-cost and environmentally friendly ISR operation.”
UEC plans to use its unique hub-and-spoke strategy, specifically designed for low-cost in-situ recovery (ISR) to develop the Burke Hollow project. Final processing will occur at the company’s nearby and fully permitted Hobson Plant, which is central to UEC’s various stage activities at Palanga and Goliad, in addition to Burke Hollow.
The newly acquired radioactive material license covers 5,385 acres of land, including multiple productions areas, as well as the construction of a satellite facility.
“The drilling and permitting advancements at Burke Hollow have positioned UEC to create the newest, near-term, production-ready ISR project in the United States,” UEC President and CEO Amir Adnani said. “We are in an optimal position to provide the US a reliable and low-cost source of domestic uranium.”
The recent announcement comes at a time when the US is looking to reduce its dependency on foreign uranium imports, by bolstering domestic production through a more robust US uranium sector.
The US is the global leader in uranium consumption utilizing some 45 million pounds annually to fuel the 98 nuclear reactors that supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity.
The South Texas plains, where UEC’s Burke Hollow project is situated, is estimated to contain 40 million pounds of uranium oxide, according to the 2017 United States Geological Survey domestic uranium assessment.
The area could play a key role in helping the US secure a sufficient domestic uranium supply.
“The company’s 2019 drilling campaign is scheduled to begin in early March and will consist of approximately 20 delineation holes and the installation of approximately 120 monitor wells to prepare for development of the project’s first production area,” Adnani added.
The US government will release its final decision regarding the investigation into uranium imports sometime this summer, with some speculating the fed may institute a 25-percent domestic uranium quota.
UEC shares were down 13.33 percent Wednesday (February 20), trading at US$1.43.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.