Uranium Energy to reboot Christensen Ranch ISR operation in Wyoming

Christensen Ranch satellite plant exterior. Credit: UEC

Uranium Energy (NYSE American: UEC), the largest diversified uranium company in North America, is set to reboot its fully permitted, past-producing Christensen Ranch in-situ recovery (ISR) operations in Wyoming on the back of roaring prices for the nuclear energy fuel.

The recovered uranium will be processed at the fully operational Irigaray central processing plant (CPP), which has a current licensed capacity of 2.5 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) per year. The Irigaray plant is the hub central to four fully permitted ISR projects in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, including Christensen Ranch.

First production is expected during August of this year and will be funded with existing cash on the company’s balance sheet, UEC said in a news release Tuesday, adding that it will provide additional information on the expected volumes for the first year in the coming months.

Shares of UEC were up by 5.5% as of 11:50 a.m. ET on the Christensen Ranch restart announcement, giving the company a market capitalization of $3.2 billion.

“This is the moment we have been working towards for over a decade, having acquired and further developed leading US and Canadian assets with an exceptional, deeply experienced operations team,” UEC chief executive Amir Adnani said in the statement.

“Uranium market fundamentals are the best the industry has witnessed, and various supply shocks have accelerated the bull market with recent prices eclipsing the $100 per pound level. With this exciting backdrop, we are pleased to announce our production restart in Wyoming.”

As UEC’s strategy has been to remain 100% unhedged, uranium produced from Christensen Ranch will be sold at prevailing spot market price, which was $106/lb. U3O8 as of January 15, 2024, the company said.

The Christensen Ranch project was part of the Wyoming ISR asset portfolio anchored by the Irigaray plant that UEC acquired from Russia’s Rosatom in late 2021, as part of efforts to repatriate these assets to US ownership.

It now forms part of UEC’s Wyoming hub and spoke ISR platform that consists of 12 projects with a combined measured and indicated resource of 66.2 million lb. contained within 58.5 million tonnes grading 0.069% U3O8 and an inferred resource of 15.1 million lb. within 10.9 million tonnes grading 0.064% U3O8.

The Wyoming resource, which was reported in 2022 following UEC’s acquisition of the Uranium One Americas and Anfield Energy assets, represents the largest S-K 1300 uranium resources reported in the US.

Adding in the company’s South Texas hub and spoke ISR platform would expand this S-K 1300-compliant resource base even further, with over 75 million lb. of measured and indicated resources and 25 million lb. of inferred resources.