UEC receives approval to progress Paraguayan project

01 June 2015

Uranium Energy Corporation (UEC) has been granted regulatory approval to advance its Yuty in-situ leach uranium project in south-east Paraguay from the exploration phase to the exploitation phase.

The company announced on 29 May that it had received a signed resolution from Paraguay's Ministry of Public Works and Communication - the national agency that regulates mining - to move the project into the exploitation stage.

A project enters the exploration phase for a maximum of six years after the ministry grants a mineral concession to an operator. During this period, the company must advance and demonstrate a viable project. The project can then enter the exploitation phase for a maximum of 20 years plus one ten-year extension, during which period the environmental licensing process may begin. The exploitation phase is followed by the production phase which lasts an indefinite period.

According to Texas-based UEC, the Yuty project is only the third mining project to achieve the exploitation phase since the current Paraguayan mining law was brought into force in 2007.

The Yuty project has NI 43-101 compliant measured and indicated resources of 3430 tonnes of uranium at an average grade of 0.052% with an inferred resource of 856 tonnes at an average grade of 0.047%. The deposit - some 200 kilometres southeast of Asuncion - is located within the Parana Basin, which is host to a number of known uranium resources, including Figueira and Amorinopolis in Brazil.

Preliminary studies indicate the deposit is amenable to extraction by in-situ recovery (ISR) - more widely known as in situ leaching (ISL) - methods.

UEC's vice president of exploration Clyde Yancey said, "We are pleased to reach this milestone in the development of the Yuty ISR project. UEC's commitment to our two Paraguayan projects, Yuty and Oviedo, continues to strengthen. The company's technical staff in Asuncion is initiating the development of a comprehensive preliminary economic assessment report on Yuty in coordination with our Corpus Christi-based operating team and independent ISR engineers."

He added, "Given the geologic similarities of our Paraguayan ISR projects and our South Texas ISR projects, we anticipate a strong investment case for Yuty highlighted by a low capital and operating expenditure profile."

UEC president and CEO Amir Adnani noted, "The development of Paraguayan uranium resources in close proximity to both Argentina and Brazil is a significant step in the advancement of nuclear energy in South America. These two countries combined have five operating reactors, two under construction and seven more in the proposal stage."

UEC's fully-licensed Hobson processing facility is central to all of its projects in South Texas, including the Palangana ISL mine, the permitted Goliad ISR project and the development-stage Burke Hollow ISL project. As well as the Yuty project, it also owns the Oviedi project in Paraguay, as well as other projects in Arizona and Colorado.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News