Is The Needle On Peninsula Energy Limited (ASX: PEN) On A Bearish Side?


Low pH Chemistry effectiveness confirmation through additional tests: Peninsula Energy Limited is a uranium mining company and has been working on its key projects, Lance Projects in Wyoming, USA. The company is trying to set a seamless project transformation to move from an alkaline ISR operation to a low pH ISR operation, to have better operating performance and cost profile in the industry.

Peninsula Energy has announced that their wholly owned subsidiary, Strata Energy, Inc (Strata) has confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed low pH chemistry through additional laboratory testing of samples obtained from the lance Projects in Wyoming, USA. 

Strata conducted the first two column leach tests in early 2018. Due to positive results in initial tests, two additional column leach tests have now been completed on core from Kendrick Permit Area, a planned future ISR operating area (Test 3) and from core taken from the operating mine Unit 1 (Test 4). Tests on core samples are obtained from several diverse areas of the Lance Projects.

High Points of Test 3 and Test 4: In 10 test pore volumes in Test 3 and Test 4, Uranium above 90% has been recovered and it confirms the efficiency and effectiveness of the low pH chemistry. During testing, peak uranium concentrations were 474 mg/L U3O8(Test 3) and 253 mg/L U3O8 (Test4) and average uranium concentrations were 105 mg/l U3O8 (Test3) and 80 mg/L U3O8 (Test4). Acid consumption rates were substantially below levels which are used in the low pH feasibility study, but they are consistent with the company’s overall acid requirements model.

The Feasibility Study used an assumption of 90% recovery in 14 pore volumes and an average solution grade of 70 mg/L U3O8 for new mine units. Both tests are consistent with or exceeded Feasibility Study assumptions. The acid consumption model which is used in the Feasibility Study was also confirmed. The assumptions included an average host rock carbonate content of 1.64% and acid consumption of 58 pounds of acid per recovered pound of U3O8, the sample tests had a lower carbonate concentration (0.95% average) and a proportionately lower acid requirement of 34 pounds per pound U3O8.

The Company is planning to continue with both laboratory and field scale research and development efforts at the Lance Projects. A Fifth column test has also been initiated in the laboratory with the intention of testing of the quantity and the timing of chemical addition assumptions during mining. In early December, Strata is preparing to initiate the field scale demonstration testing of the proposed low pH chemistry. The completion of these additional laboratory tests will add credence to the conviction that planned transition to low pH operations will give significantly enhanced productivity and cost performance of the Lance Projects.

In last six months, the share price of the company plunged by 24 percent as on 26 November 2018 and after that stock price has been moving in that range only; and on 7 December 2018, PEN shares were down 10 percent. PEN shares last traded at $0.180 with a market capitalization of $48.34 million as on 7 December 2018. It seems investors are expecting much more from this uranium company.


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