|The Nichols Ranch uranium well field, shown here, is part of the package of assets involved in a proposed merger of U3O8 producers Energy Fuels and Uranerz, which owns the Wyoming-based in-situ operation. The inset photo shows details of an individual wellhead. (Photos courtesy of Uranerz)|
Energy Fuels and Uranerz Energy announced on January 5 an agreement to combine the two companies, with Energy Fuels acquiring Uranerz in an all-stock transaction valued at about C$150 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Uranerz shareholders will own approximately 55% of the common shares of combined company, and Energy Fuels shareholders will hold the remaining 45%.
The transaction is subject to the approval of at least a majority of the shareholders of both Energy Fuels and Uranerz.
Energy Fuels owns and operates the White Mesa uranium mill at Blanding, Utah. The mill has licensed capacity to process 2,000 short tons per day (st/d) of ore and can produce up to 8 million lb/y of U3O8. Energy Fuels also has an extensive development pipeline of hard rock uranium projects that include the Canyon mine in Arizona, the Sheep Mountain project in Wyoming, the Henry Mountains project in Utah, and the Roca Honda project in New Mexico.
Uranerz started up its Nichols Ranch in-situ recovery uranium project in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin during the second and third quarters of 2014 and shipped its first U3O8 product in September 2014 (E&MJ, October 2015, p. 8). The Nichols Ranch processing facility is licensed to produce a maximum of 2 million lb/y of U3O8. The company’s Wyoming in-situ uranium development assets include its Jane Dough, Hank, West North Butte and Reno Creek projects.
Uranerz Executive Chairman Dennis Higgs said, “This transaction creates a unique uranium producer with a leading portfolio of development projects that I believe will be attractive to both the investment community and utility customers. Together, we believe we can create a stronger company from the perspective of resources, diversification of production sources, production scalability, growth, working capital and market capitalization.”