Anfield to buy Marquez-Juan Tafoya uranium project

07 June 2023

Anfield Energy has agreed to acquire the Marquez-Juan Tafoya uranium project in New Mexico through the acquisition of enCore Energy Corp's wholly-owned Neutron Energy Inc subsidiary for 185 million common shares of Anfield and CAD5 million (USD3.7 million) in cash.

A map showing the Marquez-Juan Tafoya uranium project (Image: enCore)

The project - located within the Grants Uranium Mineral District of northwest New Mexico, approximately 50 miles west-northwest of Albuquerque - hosts a historical indicated uranium resource of about 18.1 million pounds U3O8 (6962 tU). It consists of two adjacent properties: Marquez and Juan Tafoya, that were previously developed by separate mining companies, Kerr-McGee Corporation and Bokum Resources, respectively.

With enCore's acquisition of the Juan Tafoya property through its purchase of Westwater's assets in December 2020, the company merged the property with its wholly-owned Marquez property to consolidate the largest uranium deposit in the eastern Grants Uranium District.

"enCore has acquired a series of quality US projects through several mergers and acquisitions at a time when there were few competitors due to the industry downturn of recent years," said enCore Executive Chairman William Sheriff. "We are now capitalising on those assets that do not meet our criteria for development such as early-stage projects and, in this case, an advanced project that is conventional in nature rather than in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable."

This is the third transaction in enCore's ongoing programme of divesting uranium assets that are not in its production pipeline.

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 transaction is expected to close on or before 21 July, subject to conditions and approvals. Pursuant to the agreement, on closing of the transaction, enCore will have the right to one seat on the board of directors of Anfield, which will be ongoing for so long as enCore holds at least 10% of the issued shares of Anfield.

"By gaining a significant equity interest in Anfield, a company dedicated to conventional uranium development, we gain an immediate cash payment and participation as a significant shareholder in their broad portfolio of advanced projects in the southwestern United States," Sheriff noted. "Anfield holds one of the very few licensed conventional uranium mills in the US making them a logical and desirable developer of the Marquez-Juan Tafoya asset."

"We are very pleased to acquire the Marquez-Juan Tafoya uranium project for a number of reasons," said Anfield CEO Corey Dias. "First, the advanced nature of the project's uranium resource, which is in line with our acquisition strategy of pursuing assets with either historical production or a historical or current resource; second, the size of the deposit, which would both represent Anfield's largest single uranium project and increase the company's uranium resource base by more than 60%; and third, the company's expansion into another historically-prolific uranium region which could, in the longer term, serve as both a regional anchor project and Shootaring mill feed. Finally, we are pleased with the addition of enCore as a core shareholder, a company on the cusp of ISR-based uranium production in the US.

"As previously mentioned, we will continue to seek out prospective assets which align with our two-fold strategy of acquiring both near-term and longer-term uranium and vanadium assets which will fit into our overall production plan."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News