Uranium miner Peninsula Energy has completed a feasibility study for its Lance projects, in Wyoming, US, which confirmed the economic viability of transitioning to a low-pH in-situ recovery (ISR) operation.
The study had the aim of demonstrating the robustness of the planned transition from alkaline-based recovery method to low-pH ISR operation.
Peninsula said on Monday that the study highlighted that the transition would position Lance as a globally competitive uranium producer, with the direct operating expenditure over the life-of-mine (LOM) estimated at $15.59/lb uranium, an all-in sustaining cost at $31.77/lb and the breakeven price at $34/lb.
The net present value of the low-pH operation is $156-million and the internal rate of return (IRR) 30%, based on a long-term uranium sales price of $49/lb.
The ASX-listed firm noted that the NPV increased to $254-million when the uranium price increased to $57/lb.
A transition would require $5.3-million in capital expenditure (capex) and would increase the LOM production to 33.4-million pounds over 17 years. Stage 2 and 3 expansion capex is estimated at $113.4-million.
Peninsula said that amendments to existing operating permits and licences were being targeted for grant in mid-2019.