The Rosita Central Processing Facility (“CPP”) is located in Duval County, Texas about 14 miles southeast of the town of Freer and 60 miles west-northwest of the city of Corpus Christi on a 200-acre tract of land owned by the Company.
Access to the Rosita project and process facility is good, including an improved company-owned private drive that connects to a maintained county road. Electrical power for the Rosita project is readily available with an industrial-scale power line extending to the Rosita CPP.
In addition to the 200-acre tract of land owned by the Company for the Rosita CPP, additional property holdings consist of mineral leases from private landowners covering approximately 3,377 acres of mineral rights. The nearby Rosita South property consists of mineral leases from private landowners covering approximately 1,479 acres of mineral rights.
In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) regulates uranium mining and issues the necessary licenses and permits. A Radioactive Material License issued by TCEQ covers the Rosita, Kingsville Dome and Vasquez projects and it is in timely renewal. Each site also has class I non-hazardous injection permits for operation of waste disposal wells on site, which are regulated by the TCEQ as well. All permits for the disposal wells are active. A renewal of a Class III Underground Injection Control Permit was issued on October 20, 2014. The Rosita project includes four TCEQ production area authorizations (“PAA”) that could allow for low cost and accelerated timeline to production.
Initial production of uranium utilizing the ISR process commenced in 1990 and continued until July 1999. During that time approximately 2.64 million pounds of U3O8 were produced. Resin was processed at the Rosita plant, and the recovered uranium was precipitated into a slurry, which was then transported to Kingsville Dome for final purification, drying and packaging. Production was halted due to depressed uranium market prices.
In the 2007-2008 period upgrades were made to the processing equipment and additions to the facility were installed, including revisions to the elution and precipitation circuits, and the addition of a full drying system. Additional facility refurbishment and upgrade work is underway projected for completion by Q2 2022.
One satellite well field and an ion exchange system are in place at the Rosita project, but only operated for a short period of time in 2008. A total of 10,200 pounds of uranium were produced between June and October 2008.
It is anticipated that future production from the centrally located Rosita CPP would be primarily sourced from multiple satellite operations. There are an estimated 47 deposits with approximately 60 million pounds U3O8 of unmined in-situ amenable mineralization within the South Texas Uranium Belt. The USGS also estimates that there is the potential to discover an additional 220 million pounds U3O8.1
Geology and Mineralization
Uranium mineralization at the Rosita project occurs as roll-front deposits hosted in porous and permeable sandstones of the Goliad Formation, at depths ranging from 125 to 350 feet below surface.
In 2014, URI reported an estimated In-Place Proven Reserve for the Rosita Project.
|Table 1 – Historical In-Place Proven Reserve* Estimate for the Rosita Project|
|Category||Tonnes||Grade eU3O8%||U3O8 (lbs)|
* URI estimates an ISR factor for production, and the In-Place Reserve estimate is based on a market price of $50.00 per pound of U3O8. This estimate was produced by URI’s professional engineering and geologic staff. The term “In-Place Reserves” is consistent with similar reserve classification terminology as defined under National Instrument 43-101.
Source: Uranium Resources Inc., Form 10K, US Security and Exchange Commission, March 27, 2014.
Under “Rules and Policies” of NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure this mineral reserve estimate must be reported as a Historical Reserve Estimate. A qualified person has not done sufficient work for enCore to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral reserve estimate. The Company does not treat this historical estimate as a current mineral reserve estimate, and the estimate should not be relied upon.
An accompanying technical report along with parameters and methods used to calculate the historic estimate are not available. In order to verify the historic estimate as current mineral reserves a Qualified Person would need to complete a NI 43-101 report that includes verification of historic drilling and the reserve estimate.
Douglas H. Underhill, PhD, CPG, enCore’s Chief Geologist, is the Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and verified the information presented throughout this enCore Energy website.
1 “Assessment of Undiscovered Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Resources in the Texas Coastal Plain, 2015”, November 2015, Susan M. Hall and Mark J. Mihalasky, USGS, Domestic Uranium Assessment.