United States

Reno Creek Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeIn-Situ
StagePermitting
Commodities
  • Uranium
Mining Method
  • Solution mining
Mine Life12 years (as of Jan 1, 2014)
ShapshotThe largest permitted, pre-construction ISR uranium project in the U.S.

The Reno Creek Project (Project) consists of five Resource Areas: North Reno Creek, Southwest, Moore, Pine Tree, and Bing. Portions of the Reno Creek project areas are permitted for ISR operations. Uranium Energy utilize in-situ recovery or ISR uranium mining for Reno Creek Project in Wyoming.

The condition of the property is good while meeting all standards and requirements of Federal, State and local regulations. Development is in the planning stage with no immediate plans for exploration or delineation drilling.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Uranium Energy Corp. 100 % Indirect
AUC LLC (operator) 100 % Direct
AUC LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Uranium Energy Corp. (through Reno Creek Holdings Inc.) and the operator of the project.

As of August 9, 2017, Reno Creek Holdings Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Uranium Energy Corp.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Sediment-hosted

Summary:

Deposit Type
The mineralization within the Project exists as roll-front uranium deposits. Roll-front deposits are hosted within sandstones that are intermittently interbedded with lenses of siltstone and claystone/mudstone. Uranium mineralization occurs as interstitial fillings between and coatings on the sand grains along “roll front” trends formed at geochemical reduction–oxidation (redox) boundaries within the host sandstone aquifers. The redox boundary typically has a “C”-shape with the point of the “C” (or nose) pointing down the hydrogeological gradient.

Uranium minerals in roll front deposits in the unoxidized zone are most commonly uraninite (UO2 ) and coffinite (U(SiO4 )1-x (OH)4x ).

Deposit Dimensions
In each of the Resource Areas, uranium is concentrated in typical roll front-type deposits and the concept of a single deposit with x-y-z dimensions is not applicable. Roll front deposits occur at the interface between oxidized and reduced sandstone (redox front) that forms as a result of oxidized groundwater flows down the hydrogeological gradient and oxidizes the host sandstone progressively downward. Redox fronts are typically very long and sinuous (Figure 6 5) and up to tens of miles in length. Recoverable deposits of uranium are sporadically concentrated along that front. Individual redox fronts are many miles long with discrete uranium deposits a few tens of feet thick and tens to a few hundreds of feet wide and a few hundreds of feet long scattered along the front. Thickness and width vary rapidly along strike contributing to the discontinuous nature of the deposits. In the Reno Creek Project, there are at least five levels in the stratigraphy that are favorable for formation of this type of deposit.

Mineralization in the Project area occurs in fluvial sandstones of the lower parts of the Eocene Wasatch Formation. Most of the upper Wasatch Formation has been eroded away. The sandstones are arkosic, fine- to coarse-grained with local calcareous lenses. The sandstones contain minor amounts of organic carbon that occurs as dispersed bits or as stringers. Unaltered sandstones are generally gray while altered sandstones are tan or pink, due to hematite or show yellowish coloring due to limonite (Utah International, 1971).

Pyrite occurs in several forms within the host sandstones. In unaltered sandstones, pyrite occurs as small to large single euhedral crystals associated with magnetite, ilmenite, and other dark detrital minerals. In altered sandstone, pyrite is typically absent, but locally occurs as tarnished, very fine-grained euhedral crystals. In areas of intense or heavy mineralization, pyrite locally occurs as massive, tarnished crystal aggregates (Utah International, 1971).

The Felix Coal seams are laterally continuous in the North and Southwest Reno Creek Resource Areas and extend northward into the Moore and Bing Resource Areas. The Felix Coal seams and the underlying Badger Coal seam provide important correlation points across the entire project area and are readily identified on uranium exploration logs and coal bed methane logs in this portion of the PRB.

RCH drilling, coupled with historical electric log datasets and coal bed methane gamma ray logs, enabled correlation of major uranium host sandstones and identification of continuous hydrostratigraphic units across the Project. UEC acquired lithologic logs for several hundred coal bed methane pilot holes. In total, UEC has data from approximately 10,151 uranium exploration holes and nearly 1,500 coal bed methane logs in the Project area.

Dips in the area are 1-2.5 degrees to the west. Faults have not been observed or reported in literature in any of the Resource Areas.

he overlying aquifer at North and Southwest Reno Creek, Moore, and Bing Resource Areas overlies the production zone and the Felix Coal marker across the entire area. This overlying aquifer/sandstone is regarded as a host for mineralization at the Pine Tree Resource Area, which does not have an overlying aquifer.

The overlying aquitard is a continuous confining mudstone unit providing isolation between the production zone aquifer and overlying aquifer in the North and Southwest Reno Creek, Moore, and Bing Resource Areas that includes the Felix Coal seams.

The production zone aquifer is the host for uranium deposits at the North Reno Creek, Southwest Reno Creek, Moore, Pine Tree, and Bing Resource Areas. At Pine Tree, the production zone aquifer includes the overlying aquifer and the overlying aquitard, and Felix coal seams are not present.

The underlying aquitard, the lower-most unit of the Wasatch Formation, is a continuous confining mudstone unit providing isolation between the production zone aquifer and underlying discontinuous sandstone units occurring above the Badger Coal seam. The aquitard is approximately 200-250 ft thick and consists of a laterally continuous sequence of undifferentiated mudstones and clays, with discontinuous and often lenticular sandstones. This confining unit is present under the entire Project area.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Summary:

AUC plans to recover uranium from the lixiviant using the ion exchange (IX) process. This same method is typically and successfully used with the ISR method elsewhere in the United States and especially in Wyoming. The proposed CPP will have four major process circuits: the uranium recovery/extraction circuit (IX); the elution circuit to remove the uranium from the IX resin; a yellowcake precipitation circuit; and the dewatering, drying and packaging circuit. The systems within the CPP have been designed to recycle and reuse most of the solutions inside each circuit. A low-volume bleed (approximately one percent of flow) is permanently removed from the groundwater-based leaching solution to ensure a constant inward flow gradient to the PUs and ensure that the leaching solution in the target mineralized zone is contained by the inward movement of groundwater within the designated recovery area. This bleed solution will be routed to RO treatment, and the permeate will be used as process make up water. Brine will be disposed of via DDWs. Pregnant lixiviant from the wellfields will be pumped to the CPP for processing as described below: IX Circuit - Uranium dissolved from the underground deposits in the wellfields will be extracted from the solution in the IX circuit. This evaluation assumes an average uranium head grade of 45 ppm based on the production model and leach tests. Subsequently, the barren lixiviant will be reconstituted to the proper bicarbonate strength, and oxidant will be added, as needed, prior to being pumped back to the wellfield for reinjection. A low-volume bleed, approximately one percent during production and four percent of the circulating lixiviant flow during restoration, will be permanently removed from the lixiviant flow. The bleed will be treated by RO. A portion of the permeate will be returned to the wellfield, and a portion will be used as plant makeup water. Brine will be disposed of into a DDW. Elution Circuit - When it is fully loaded with uranium, the IX resin will be subject to elution. The elution process will reverse the loading reactions for the IX resin and strip the uranium from the resin. The resulting rich eluate will be an aqueous solution containing salt and sodium carbonate and/or sodium bicarbonate. Yellowcake Precipitation Circuit - Yellowcake will be precipitated from the rich eluate. The eluate from the elution circuit will be de carbonated in slurry tanks by lowering the pH below two standard units with strong mineral acid. The yellowcake product will be precipitated with hydrogen peroxide using sodium hydroxide for pH control. Yellowcake Dewatering, Drying and Packaging Circuit - The precipitated yellowcake slurry will be transferred to a filter press where excess liquid will be removed. Following a fresh water wash step that will flush any remaining dissolved chlorides, the resulting product cake will be transferred to the yellowcake dryer which will further reduce the moisture content, yielding the final dried free-flowing product. Dried yellowcake will be packaged in 55-gallon steel drums.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsLOM
Uranium k lbs 14,942
All production numbers are expressed as U3O8.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsEstimated
Cash costs Uranium (U3O8) USD 000
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Uranium (U3O8) USD 000
Assumed price Uranium (U3O8) USD 00
* According to 2014 study / presentation.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Total CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Well Field OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M USD 81.9
G&A costs $M USD 24.6
Total OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Net revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Source Source
Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 14, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Dec 14, 2023

Aerial view:

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