Sheep Mountain encompasses a proposed open-pit mine, the Congo Pit, and a Sheep underground mine reopening. The PFS included changes to the project mine plan.
As far as Probable mineral reserves, they remain unchanged from the previous PFS of 2012. Congo Pit contains an estimated 3,955,000 tons of uranium equivalent with an average grade of 0.115%, containing 9,117,000 pounds of uranium. Sheep contains about 3,498,000 tons of uranium equivalent with an average grade of 0.132% containing 9,248,000 pounds of uranium.
For Sheep Mountain, the PFS outlined an annual average recovery of about 1.4 million pounds U3O8 over a 12-year mine life. Assuming a $60 per pound selling price, operating costs were projected to be $36.80 per pound of recovered uranium. Capital expenditures for the life of the project were forecast to be about $152.6 million.
Energy Fuels reported two differences between the 2012 study and the update. In the new PFS, the pre-tax internal rate of rate of return is 28%, down from 35%. Similarly, the net present value (at a 7% discount rate) is lower at $114.5 million, down from $173.5 million.
"The lowered economics are mainly due to a decrease in the assumed uranium sales price from $65 per pound to $60 per pound, an increase in direct costs from $32.31 per pound to $36.80 per pound and an increase in total capital expenditures from $122.4 million to $152.6 million," the release explained.
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