enCore Energy Corp. (“enCore” or the “Company”) (NYSE American:EU, TSXV:EU) announced today that it has made a formal production decision for the resumption of uranium production from the Alta Mesa Processing Plant (“Alta Mesa” or “Plant) in early 2024. Alta Mesa will be enCore’s second producing location following resumption of uranium production at the South Texas Rosita Uranium Processing Plant (“Rosita”) scheduled for 2023.
Work underway at the Alta Mesa Processing Plant includes the construction of equipment staging areas and drill pads in the fully permitted Production Authorization Area (PAA), planned for initial production due to its proximal location adjacent to the Plant. Development drilling, production and injection well installation will start this month.
Concurrently, enCore’s technical staff are identifying equipment maintenance and limited repair needs at the Alta Mesa Processing Plant involving the ion exchange system, uranium precipitation, drying and packaging circuits in order to restart production after having been on standby since 2013.
Alta Mesa Processing Plant and Project highlights include:
- The Alta Mesa Processing Plant is enCore’s third fully licensed production facility, along with Rosita and Kingsville Dome, all located in the business-friendly state of Texas. There are only 11 licensed and constructed uranium production facilities in all of the United States (US);
- The Alta Mesa Processing Plant can reach commercial production levels with limited required capital, from funds on hand, within an estimated 10 months of today’s announced production decision;
- Advancing the Alta Mesa Processing Plant, in conjunction with planned production in 2023 at the Rosita Uranium Processing Plant, will cement enCore Energy’s position as the early leader in In-Situ Recovery (ISR) uranium production in the US;
- Alta Mesa’s operations are located on private land, with 100% of minerals privately owned, and in a supportive jurisdiction with primary regulatory authority residing with the State of Texas;
- The Alta Mesa Processing Plant utilizes well-known ISR technology to extract uranium in a non-invasive process through the use of natural groundwater and oxygen, coupled with a proven ion exchange process, to recover the uranium.
Paul Goranson, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer said, “My previous experience includes building and successfully operating Alta Mesa. I am confident that we have everything necessary within our control for a production restart, and enCore can quickly advance the project.
Alta Mesa Processing Plant and Project
The Alta Mesa project is a fully licensed and constructed ISR uranium project and central processing facility currently on standby, located on over 203,000 acres of private land in the state of Texas. Total operating capacity is 1.5 million lbs U3O8 (uranium) per year. Alta Mesa historically produced nearly 5 million lbs of U3O8 between 2005 and 2013, when full production was curtailed as a result of low uranium prices at the time.
1 Represents that portion of the in-place mineral resource that are estimated to be recoverable within existing wellfields. Wellfield recovery factors have not been applied to indicated and inferred mineral resources.
2 As reported in the NI-43-101 Technical Report Summary for the Alta Mesa Uranium Project, Brooks and Jim Hogg Counties, Texas, USA completed by Doug Beahm, PE, PG, of BRS Engineering. (Effective January 19, 2023).
Additionally, further to the Company’s news release dated February 15, 2023 announcing the conversion of 23,277,000 subscription receipts issued on December 6, 2022 at a price of C$3.00 per subscription receipt (the “Subscription Receipt Offering”), the Company advises that it paid an aggregate of C$4,050,000 in cash commissions to Canaccord Genuity Corp. (C$2,025,000), Haywood Securities Inc. (C$810,000), Cantor Fitzgerald Canada Corporation (C$364,500), PI Financial Corp. (C$364,500), Clarus Securities Inc. (C$324,000), and Red Cloud Securities Inc. (C$162,000). 50% of the cash commission was paid on closing of the Subscription Receipt Offering, and the balance of the cash commission (with interest earned thereon) has been released from escrow to the underwriters.
The Company also paid an aggregate of C$24,600 in cash commissions to Haywood Securities Inc. (C$12,000) and Canaccord Genuity Corp. (C$12,600) in connection with the non-brokered portion of the Subscription Receipt Offering. For additional information regarding the Subscription Receipt Offering, please see the Company’s news releases dated December 6, 2022 and February 15, 2023.
The Company advises that it is not basing its production decisions at Alta Mesa or Rosita on a feasibility study of mineral reserves demonstrating economic and technical viability.
The production decision is based on known past In-Situ Recovery (ISR) and processing operations at these two production facilities and surrounding lands.
However, the Company understands that there is increased uncertainty, and consequently a higher risk of failure, when production is undertaken in advance of a feasibility study. In addition, the mineral resource at Alta Mesa includes inferred resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves.
The Company has determined to proceed with a production decision based on past operations at Alta Mesa and Rosita, including past ISR operations on the known mineral resource areas.
John M. Seeley, Ph.D., P.G., C.P.G., enCore’s Manager of Geology and Exploration, and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure in this news release on behalf of enCore.
About enCore Energy Corp.
enCore Energy Corp. is committed to providing clean, reliable, and affordable domestic nuclear energy by becoming the next United States uranium producer in 2023. enCore solely utilizes In-Situ Recovery (ISR) for uranium extraction, a well-known and proven technology co-developed by the leaders at enCore Energy. In-Situ Recovery extracts uranium in a non-invasive process through the use of natural groundwater and oxygen, coupled with a proven ion exchange process, to recover the uranium.
Uranium production is planned at enCore’s licensed and past-producing South Texas Rosita Processing Plant in 2023, and at its licensed and past-producing South Texas Alta Mesa Processing Plant in 2024.
Future projects in enCore’s production pipeline include the Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota and the Gas Hills project in Wyoming, along with significant uranium resource endowments in New Mexico providing long-term opportunities. The enCore team is led by industry experts with extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of ISR uranium operations and the nuclear fuel cycle.
enCore diligently works to realize value from other owned assets, including our proprietary uranium database that includes technical information from many past producing companies, from our various non-core assets, and by leveraging our ISR expertise in researching opportunities that support the use of this technology as applied to other metals. enCore is also committed to working with local communities and indigenous governments to create positive impact from corporate developments.
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