News2012March 05, 2012Uranerz Energy Corporation Letter to ShareholdersDevelopment! Uranerz Energy Corporation is now building its first in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium mine, called the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming, U.S.A. This is an exciting transition for the Company, on our way to becoming one of North America's next uranium producers. Our current focus is on the construction of the central processing plant and installation of the environmental monitor and production wells for ISR mining. Six drilling rigs have been engaged for well-field installation. The Nichols Ranch project will serve as a platform for development of the Company's other Powder River Basin projects.
ISR is a mining process that uses water wells to inject a "leaching solution" to dissolve uranium from sandstone uranium deposits; it is the generally accepted extraction technology used in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming (ISR comprised 41% of world uranium production in 2010). Cameco and Uranium One, two of the largest ISR uranium mining companies in the world, are continuing to develop projects adjacent to Uranerz properties in the Powder River Basin.
Several key milestones were achieved by Uranerz during 2011, including:
- the receipt of the Permit to Mine from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality;
- the closing of a financing (in late 2010) and the exercise of warrants to bolster the Company's treasury;
- the receipt of the Source Materials License from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
- the commencement of construction of the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project; and
- the signing of a processing agreement with Cameco, which has allowed us to reduce capital costs at the Nichols Ranch central processing plant.
- completion of project access roads;
- completion of the electricity substation;
- establishment of the water supply;
- installation of a bulk cement silo and acquisition of ancillary service equipment;
- erection of the central processing plant, the site office, laboratory, and the maintenance buildings;
- erection of the ion exchange columns and sand filters in the central processing plant;
- hiring of new employees for well-field development at Nichols Ranch;
- purchasing of well-field construction equipment; and
- installation of 69 monitor wells and 77 production wells.
The United States is the largest market in the world for uranium; it has the largest nuclear fleet of any country with 104 reactors. U.S. uranium mines produced four million pounds of U3O8 in 2011, but annual uranium consumption far exceeded that, at over 50 million pounds. Those market dynamics have allowed Uranerz to enter into two long-term uranium sales contracts; one with Exelon and the second with another of the largest nuclear utilities in the country for a portion of our planned production. These contracts include a mix of market-related and fixed-price contracts designed to let us benefit when prices rise and protect us when prices decline. They were negotiated in late 2008 and into 2009, when the long term price of uranium was between $65 and $70 per pound. These contracts will provide a solid base for future product sales growth as the Uranerz Powder River Basin projects are developed.
The Company controls a large strategic land position in the Pumpkin Buttes Uranium Mining District of the central Powder River Basin of Wyoming, where we are continuing exploration for resource growth while preparing permit applications for a third mining unit called Jane Dough.
Uranerz Energy Corporation is looking forward to producing uranium and generating revenues. We welcome you as shareholders to participate in the potential rewards of building a successful uranium company as we progress through this exciting transition for our Company. For more information, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-689-1659, send an email directly to us at email@example.com or visit our web site at www.uranerz.com. In closing, we would like to thank all our shareholders for their continued support and contribution towards building a successful uranium company.
Dennis L. Higgs, B.Com.
Glenn Catchpole, M.S., P.Eng.
President, Chief Executive Officer
The central processing plant site with office and maintenance buildings under construction (picture taken mid-January, 2012).
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