enCore starts uranium production at second plant in US

EnCore Energy’s Alta Mesa facility in southern Texas. Credit: enCore Energy

enCore Energy (NASDAQ: EU; TSXV: EU) has started uranium production at a second facility in the United States, its Alta Mesa central processing plant in South Texas.

The moves make enCore the only uranium producer in the US with multiple production facilities in operation.

enCore’s other facility is the Rosita in-situ uranium central processing plant, located about 60 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas, where the company is headquartered. It has a capacity of 800,000 lb. of uranium oxide (U3O8) per year and the ability to expand capacity within the existing licence.

enCore expects to make its first shipment of yellowcake from Alta Mesa in 60 to 90 days.

“Our strategy at Alta Mesa is to initiate a phased ramp-up from the wellfield located in Production Authorization Area 7, increasing production progressively and consistently as additional injection and recovery wells are systematically tied into the production lines,” Paul Goranson, enCore’s CEO, said in a release.

“As we continue to increase production from PAA-7, work has commenced on the second new wellfield at Production Authorization Area 8 with a goal of achieving full operational capacity by 2026.”

Only 5% of the Alta Mesa project area has been explored, with 52 linear miles of stacked uranium roll fronts identified; 5 miles of which have been explored to date.

The project operates under a 70/30 joint venture with Australia’s Boss Energy (ASX: BOE) that is managed by enCore.

Total operating capacity at the Alta Mesa plant is 1.5 million lb. of U3O8 per year with an additional drying capacity of 500,000 lb.

The Alta Mesa plant historically produced nearly 5 million lb. of uranium between 2005 and 2013, when production was curtailed as a result of low prices.

Alta Mesa utilizes ISR (in-situ recovery) technology to extract uranium in a non-invasive process using natural groundwater and oxygen.

Shares of enCore rose 3.2% in New York on Thursday morning. The uranium company has a market capitalization of $1.1 billion.