US uranium acquisition completed

05 January 2022

Uranium development company enCore Energy has completed its acquisition of Azarga Uranium, consolidating the two companies' US exploration and development stage in-situ leach (ISL) uranium projects and estimated resources totalling 99 million pounds U3O8 (38,080 tU). Azarga is now a 100%-owned subsidiary of enCore.

Kingsville Dome (Image: enCore)

The companies' consolidated assets include two licensed ISL production facilities - Rosita and Kingsville Dome, both in South Texas, acquired by enCore at the end of 2020. They also include the advanced stage Dewey Burdock development project in South Dakota, which has key federal permits in place, and the Gas Hills project in Wyoming. Their combined NI 43-101 compliant estimated resources include some 90 million pounds U3O8 in the measured and indicated categories and 9 million pounds U3O8 in the inferred category.

The acquisition represents a continuation of enCore’s strategy to create the leading US ISL uranium producer, the company said.

"This strategic acquisition adds strong mid-term ISR [ISL] opportunities in Wyoming and South Dakota to enCore's pipeline of near-term production in Texas and longer-term opportunities in New Mexico," William Sheriff, the company's executive chairman, said. This second major acquisition for enCore within the last 12 months is in keeping with its announced decision to implement an aggressive M&A strategy, he added.

"Dewey Burdock is an excellent advanced ISR uranium project along with the Gas Hills property in Wyoming," enCore CEO Paul Goranson said. The company plans to create additional value through development progress and production "while continuing to advance our Texas assets to production to deliver into two sales contracts beginning in 2023," he added.

enCore said its operational "gameplan" is now under way. Modernisation of the Rosita plant is on schedule and on budget for completion in the second quarter of this year, and the company is working to expand its Texas resource base for Rosita production. Wellfield drilling is under way at Rosita, and NI 43-101 resource estimates and reclassification of historic resources are nearing completion, the company said.

The company plans to intensify and accelerate permitting related to the advancement of Dewey Burdock; begin permitting to advance the Gas Hills project; and work to advance the future development of the Aladdin and Dewey Terrace properties in Wyoming.

enCore has previously said it intends to seek the listing of its shares on the NYSE-AMEX or NASDAQ exchange. The common shares of Azarga are expected to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange within the next two to three trading days.

Azarga's existing management and directors are to remain in place pending the conclusion of a review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission connected to the change of control over the source and by-product materials licence for Dewey Burdock. This is currently scheduled for completion by 1 February.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News