EPA Approves Aquifer Exemption For Energy Fuels

Energy Fuels Inc., said Friday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued the company an aquifer exemption for the Jane Dough wellfield in the Nichols Ranch ISR Project , a necessary regulatory step for the company to sustain long term production at the in situ recovery facility in northeast central Wyoming.

Nichols RanchIn a letter to the company, the EP "concurred with the reclassification of the Jane Dough aquifer by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ)  to allow for future in situ uranium recovery," Energy Fuels said in a statement.

The Jane Dough wellfield is adjacent to Energy Fuels' currently producing Nichols Ranch wellfield. The company is currently producing uranium from the Nichols Ranch wellfield and expects nine header-houses to be in operation during 2017. The Company expects to construct four additional header-houses in the Nichols Ranch wellfield once sustained improvements in uranium prices are observed. 

Once all thirteen header-houses in the Nichols Ranch wellfield have been constructed, the Company expects to advance production into the Jane Dough wellfield, which will be connected to the Nichols Ranch Plant, the company said.

According to a February 2015 technical report prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 –Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects,, the Jane Dough wellfield is estimated to hold approximately 3.6 million pounds of uranium, contained in 1.5 million tons of Indicated Mineral Resources with an average grade of 0.11 percent eU3O8. This is almost 1 million more pounds of uranium than what the report estimated to be contained in the currently producing Nichols Ranch wellfields

EPA and WDEQ approval are important regulatory milestones for the company, as they are required to place the Jane Dough wellfields into production. The next regulatory steps are to add the Jane Dough wellfield to the main Nichols Ranch Permit to Mine and Source Material License.  Approval for these actions from WDEQ and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC"), respectively, are expected to be received by the company within the next few months. 

Those are the last major approvals required for production from the Jane Dough wellfield to begin.

"Nichols Ranch has proven to be a reliable uranium supplier since it went into production in 2014, and we expect existing wellfields to produce about 350,000 pounds of uranium in 2017," said Stephen Antony, Energy Fuels president and chief executive officer.

"I personally congratulate Energy Fuels' internal permitting team for successfully obtaining these EPA and State approvals," he added. "It is not easy to permit new uranium projects in the United States, and based on Energy Fuels' track-record in this regard, I believe our permitting team is second-to-none in the U.S. uranium sector.  We look forward to receiving the final NRC and WDEQ approvals in the upcoming months."

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