Anfield Resources is pleased to report the results of its Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) with regard to the Velvet-Wood Uranium Project (“Velvet-Wood”).
The independent PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 standards of disclosure for mineral properties.
Velvet-Wood, as discussed herein, consists of two mine areas, located in Lisbon Valley, Utah and the Shootaring Canyon Uranium Mill ("Shootaring Mill"), located in Ticaboo, Utah.
In the PEA, initial mineral processing will be via conventional vat or heap leaching methods conducted at Anfield’s existing mineral processing facility, the Shootaring Mill, which lies approximately 180 miles from the Velvet-Wood mine area. Under this scenario, only those portions of the Shootaring Mill necessary for the final processing of pregnant leach solutions, from either a vat or heap leach facility, will be refurbished.
The project area covers approximately 2,425 acres, including unpatented mining claims and a State of Utah mineral lease related to the Velvet and Wood mine areas, and the Shootaring Mill.
Using a vat leaching recovery option, the PEA shows a pre-tax project Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 41% and a Net Present Value ("NPV") of US$63.0 million, based on a discount rate of 8% and a uranium price of US$65 per pound.
Using a heap leaching recovery option, the PEA shows a pre-tax project Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 37% and a Net Present Value ("NPV") of US$53.5 million, based on a discount rate of 8% and a uranium price of US$65 per pound.
Under both scenarios, average production would be approximately 663,000 pounds per annum, for total production of 4.6 million pounds over a seven-year mine life.
Under both scenarios, total project capex is estimated at approximately US$46 million.
Direct operating costs of $10.75 per pound of uranium via vat leach and $11.39 via heap leach have been estimated.
The PEA completed for Velvet-Wood has been authored by Douglas L. Beahm, P.E., P.G. Principal Engineer, of BRS Inc., Terence P. (Terry) McNulty, P.E., D. Sc., of T.P. McNulty and Associates Inc. The purpose of the PEA is to provide an independent analysis of the potential economic viability of the mineral resources of the project.
Anfield CEO, Corey Dias, stated, "Anfield continues to add shareholder value to its undervalued story. In the past eighteen months, we completed an NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate for the Velvet-Wood mine.
The Velvet-Wood Mine, located in Lisbon Valley, Utah, includes one of the most advanced conventional uranium deposits in the U.S. The past-producing, licensed and permitted Velvet deposit and the Wood deposit both boast rich uranium resources and have significant exploration upside.
Today, we are extremely satisfied with the outcome of this preliminary economic assessment as it provides Anfield with evidence of the true potential of Velvet-Wood. Since our acquisition of Uranium One’s conventional uranium assets, we have been keen to highlight the economic value of this mine and mill combination.
This PEA not only represents a significant milestone for Anfield but also outlines a path towards commercial development of Velvet-Wood. Anfield is clearly well-positioned to benefit from an improving uranium market".
Between 1979 and 1984, Atlas Minerals mined approximately 400,000 tons of ore from the Velvet Deposit at grades of 0.46% U3O8 and 0.64% VO5, recovering approximately 4 million pounds of U3O8 and 5 million pounds of V2O5.
The current mineral resources of the combined Velvet and Wood mines have been estimated to comprise 4.6 million pounds of U3O8 at a grade of 0.29% U3O8 (measured and indicated resource) and 552,000 pounds of U3O8 at a grade of 0.32% U3O8 (inferred resource). (Source: Velvet-Wood Mine Uranium Project, San Juan County, Utah USA 43-101 Mineral Reserve and Resource Report, Author: BRS Inc.; Date: 11/14/2014).
The Shootaring Mill was licensed and constructed by Plateau Resources and operated in 1982 until the uranium price collapsed. U.S. Energy and Uranium One are also previous owners of the Shootaring Mill. The mill has not been decommissioned and has been under care and maintenance since cessation of operations.
In addition to the estimated mineral resource at Velvet-Wood, Anfield controls mineralized stockpiles from past mining at two locations: 1) one stockpile at the Patty Ann mine area near the Velvet mine; and 2) several stockpiles near the Shootaring mill.
The volumes and uranium content of the stockpiles were estimated from volumetric surveys and sampling conducted by BRS in March, 2015. In total the stockpiles are estimated to contain approximately 126,090 tons of material at an average grade of 0.147% U3O8 and contain approximately 370,000 pounds of uranium.
The surface stockpiles have been included as part of the feed available under both the heap and vat leach scenarios.
Project Economics – Vat Leach
The PEA provides for a two-year pre-production period. The first year’s forecasted capital expenditures of $1.5 million include initial mill and mine permitting, along with vat facility design.
The second year’s capital expenditures, forecasted at $40.7 million (including a US$4.9 million contingency), include additional mine and mill permitting and licensing, mine engineering and design, mine facilities and equipment, plant and vat leach plant construction and engineering. Total capital for Life of Mine is estimated at $46.4 million.
Direct mine costs via vat leach for Velvet-Wood are estimated at $10.75 per pound, while total direct costs per pound of recovered uranium (including mine costs, haulage and handling, processing and other) are estimated at $29.01 per pound.
The PEA shows a return on investment with a pre-tax IRR ranging from 29% to 52% with uranium prices ranging from US$55 per pound to US$75 per pound.
The NPV of the Project at an 8% discount rate ranges from US$37.3 million to US$88.9 million. After-tax IRR ranges between 24% and 43%, while after-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate ranges between US$25.3 million and US$64.5 million.
Project Economics – Heap Leach
The PEA provides for a two-year pre-production period. The first year’s forecasted capital expenditures of $1.5 million include both initial mill and mine permitting, along with heap pad design.
The second year’s capital expenditures, forecasted at $40.9 million (including a US$4.9 million contingency), include additional mine and mill permitting and licensing, mine engineering and design, mine facilities and equipment, plant and heap leach construction and engineering. Total capital for Life of Mine is estimated at $46.6 million.
Direct mine costs via heap leach for Velvet-Wood are estimated at $11.39 per pound, while total direct costs (including mine costs, haulage and handling, processing and other) are estimated at $30.44 per pound.
The PEA shows a return on investment with a pre-tax IRR ranging from 25% to 48% with uranium prices ranging from US$55 per pound to US$75 per pound. The NPV of the Project at an 8% discount rate ranges from US$29.1 million to US$77.8 million.
After-tax IRR ranges between 20% and 39%, while after-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate ranges between US$19.1 million and US$56.1 million.