Strata Energy Submits Low-pH Amendment Request

Strata Energy, Inc. today announced the submission of a request to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) to amend its Permit to Mine (PTM) to allow for the use of low-pH recovery solution in the Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects near Oshoto.

The WDEQ PTM for the Lance Projects currently authorizes the use of alkaline and oxidant solutions in the in-situ recovery (ISR) process. These solutions are generated by mixing native groundwater with carbon dioxide and/or sodium bicarbonate and gaseous oxygen. Since uranium recovery efforts commenced in December 2015, the ore deposit at the project has proven only moderately amenable to these alkaline solutions. Despite improved production rates over the last year, the overall uranium recovery rates of the active ISR operational areas in the Ross Permit Area continue to be below targeted levels.

Strata conducted a series of bench-scale tests in late 2017, which showed a significantly increased recovery rate using low concentrations of sulfuric acid (1.5% or less). In November 2017, a White Paper was issued for public review summarizing those test results. The White Paper also examined the effectiveness of in-situ recovery of uranium using low-pH systems and summarized the history and use of low-pH ISR systems globally. The White Paper further evaluated low-pH uranium ISR within Wyoming’s regulatory program and provided recommendations for its future use at the Lance Projects. This information, together with additional data from laboratory testing and geochemical modeling conducted in 2018, was incorporated into the amendment request submitted to the WDEQ.

A successful transition to low-pH operations could align the operating performance and cost profile of the Lance Projects with current industry leading global uranium production projects. Of the 77 million pounds of uranium produced by ISR methods worldwide in 2015, ninety-six percent (96%) or 74 million pounds came from facilities using low-pH lixiviants. The proposed change to low-pH operations at the Lance Projects is also projected to require no oxidant and improve groundwater restoration. Laboratory test results and modelling indicate that groundwater can be fully restored to currently approved values after using low-pH solutions. No changes have been requested to the target restoration values previously approved for each mine unit.

Wayne Heili, Peninsula’s Managing Director and CEO commented; “The submission of the PTM amendment request is the culmination of many months of research, extensive test work and analysis aimed at greatly enhancing the uranium recovery process at Lance and marks an important milestone in the pathway to low-pH ISR operations”.

WDEQ will now undertake a comprehensive review of the amendment request, analyzing the test results and inviting public review and comment on the proposed change.

US Circuit Court Dismisses Appeal

Strata Energy, Inc. is pleased to announce that a US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the previous decision by the Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) to dismiss the remaining contentions against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) issuance of a Source and Byproduct Materials License for Strata’s Ross Project near Oshoto, Wyoming.

The US Circuit Court of Appeals opinion issued January 18, 2018 reaffirmed the ASLB’s 2015 decision stating that the Powder River Basin Resource Council (PRBRC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (together, the Joint Intervenors) failed to identify “any substantive flaws in the Commission’s decisions.”

In January 2015, the ASLB determined that the contentions raised by the Joint Intervenors the were not supported by the evidence presented. The ASLB found that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission adequately considered the project’s environmental impacts, and further rejected arguments raised by the Joint Intervenors that the NRC engaged in a flawed review process.

The Ross Project has been fully licensed since the issuance of its Source and Byproduct Materials License by the NRC in April 2014. The Project commenced licensed production activities in December 2015.
Ralph Knode, Strata CEO, commented:

“Of course we are pleased that the Court of Appeals has reaffirmed the ASLB’s previous decision dismissing all contentions against the licensing actions related to Strata’s Ross ISR uranium project. While we were confident that the matter would be resolved in Strata’s favor, we respect the process that gives the public, represented in this case by the PRBRC and NRDC, a voice in shaping and enforcing environmental protections.
This dismissal is a credit to the diligent efforts of our technical team in planning and permitting this project to the highest standards in the industry. We’re happy to have this matter behind us and we look ahead to continuing to go about the business of safely producing uranium, diversifying America’s energy supply, and putting people to work in Crook County, Wyoming.”

Strata Considers Change to Low-pH Lixiviant at Ross

Strata Energy is conducting tests and research into the potential use of low-pH lixiviant to recover uranium at the Ross ISR Uranium Mine near Oshoto. Testing results were announced in an October 26 media release by Strata’s parent company, Peninsula Energy Limited. Strata subsequently prepared a detailed White Paper on the proposed lixiviant change in order to:

  • Condense abundant publicly available information into a single document,
  • Provide specific technical evaluations of the environmental and human health aspects of low pH ISR
  • Provide a catalyst for engagement, input, and discussions with the regulatory community; and
  • Inform and engage stakeholders.

View the complete White Paper via the link below.

Low pH Uranium ISR: Historical Projects, Current Practices and Pathway to Future Use in Wyoming

Strata Energy Completes Regulatory Milestone for Expansion

Strata Energy, Inc. (Strata) is pleased to announce that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has accepted Strata’s application to amend the Ross Project Source Materials License SUA-1601 to include the Kendrick Expansion Area (Kendrick).

In March of 2015, Strata submitted a request to the NRC to amend its existing license to include Kendrick within the Ross License Area (Ross). The NRC staff initiated their acceptance review of the expansion request in September 2015, and in January of this year notified Strata that the application is complete and accepted for detailed technical and environmental review.
Following acceptance of the application for review, on February 29, 2016 the NRC published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) announcing the opportunity to request a hearing and inviting the public to participate in the environmental scoping process. As part of this opportunity, the agency is accepting public comments regarding the project through April 22, 2016. Comments may be submitted by mail, email or online per the instructions in the FRN.

Kendrick is adjacent to Ross, and consists of approximately 7,874 acres – adding an estimated 29.6 million lbs U¬¬3O8 to the resources already licensed at Ross. Under the current life of mine plan, Kendrick is scheduled to come online during the 2019 calendar year.

As the application is an amendment to the existing license, Strata expects that the review timing will be shorter than for the original license given the exhaustive technical and environmental review process already conducted by the NRC at Ross. The NRC currently estimates the license amendment to be completed by September 2017.

Strata Chief Executive Officer Ralph Knode said he is pleased with the NRC’s acceptance. “The NRC’s acceptance of the Kendrick application reaffirms Strata’s level of diligence in submitting a high quality, comprehensive application. Kendrick is a significant part of future development plans for the Ross Project, and we are pleased that the agency is advancing detailed review of the application.”

For more information on the Ross Project and Strata Energy, please visit www.stratawyo.com or contact Strata’s public outreach coordinator, Melissa Butcher, at (307) 461-5688.

Strata Energy, Crook County Partner to Improve Road Safety, Quality

Strata Energy is pleased to announce a recent partnership with Crook County to upgrade 5.5 miles of county roads from shale to crushed red rock. These upgrades improve safety of the roads for local residents, Strata employees and contractors, as well as decrease dust produced by traffic. Completion of this work is in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two parties in August 2013.

Through this partnership, Strata and Crook County upgraded approximately 4 miles of New Haven Road from Cabin Creek to D Road, and approximately 1.5 miles of the Oshoto Road from New Haven to D Road. Strata provided up-front engineering services, assisted with construction oversight, and contributed $100,000 in crushed rock. Strata also donated 2 acre feet of water to aid in compaction of the new material. In conducting the upgrades, Crook County hired a contractor to pull the shoulders of the road to a consistent width, then placed and compacted the crushed rock.

In addition to the upgrades, Strata continues to work with Crook County through the 2013 MOU to provide dust control on roads regularly utilized by Strata employees and contractors.
Strata recently commenced operations at the Ross Uranium Mine near Oshoto.