CASPER, WYOMING--(Marketwire -12/19/11)- Uranerz Energy Corporation (TSX: URZ.TO - News)(AMEX: URZ.TO - News)(Frankfurt: U9E.F - News) ("Uranerz" or the "Company") is pleased to provide this uranium mine construction update. In August 2011, Uranerz commenced construction of its first in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium mine, called the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming, U.S.A. Construction is well underway and is currently on schedule. The Company's focus is on the construction of the processing plant, the office and laboratory, the maintenance facility, and the installation of monitor and production wells required for ISR uranium mining. Six drill rigs are engaged in production well installation.
Several key milestones have been achieved by Uranerz for the development of its commercial mining facilities at the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, including:
-- the completion of project access roads;
-- the completion of concrete pads for the Nichols Ranch production
facility, the office and the maintenance shop;
-- the delivery and setting of all process tanks, ion exchange columns, and
-- the construction of a bulk cement silo and acquisition of ancillary
-- the completion of the power substation;
-- the completion of the water supply;
-- the hiring of four new employees for well-field development at Nichols
-- the purchase of well-field construction equipment;
-- the installation of 72 monitor wells for mining unit 1 at the Nichols
Ranch property; and
-- the commencement of production wells installation at the Nichols Ranch
The walls and roofing are substantially complete on the office and maintenance buildings. The ion exchange columns, sand filters, and all process tanks are set on their pads at the central plant and the walls are now being installed. It is expected that construction will continue through the winter, with completion sometime in the second half of 2012.
The Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project is licensed for a production level of up to two million pounds of uranium (as U3O8) per year with initial production targeted for 600,000 to 800,000 pounds per year after ramp-up. The Nichols Ranch project will also serve as a platform to develop the Company's other Powder River Basin properties, which enhances the economics of potential additional satellite projects.
Uranerz currently has over $36 million in its treasury.
Uranerz is a U.S. mining company focused on near-term commercial in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium production. ISR is a mining process that uses a "leaching solution" to extract uranium from sandstone uranium deposits; it is the generally accepted extraction technology used in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming (ISR comprised 41% of world uranium production in 2010). The Company controls a large strategic land position in the Pumpkin Buttes Uranium Mining District of the central Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Uranerz' management team has specialized expertise in the ISR uranium mining method, and a record of licensing, constructing, and operating ISR uranium projects. The Company has entered into long-term uranium sales contracts for a portion of its planned production with Exelon and one other of the largest nuclear utilities in the country.
Uranerz Energy Corporation is listed on the NYSE Amex and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "URZ", and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol "U9E".
To view the photo "The Nichols Ranch Processing Facility Under Construction; December 13, 2011" click on: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/urz.pdf
Please refer to the Company's website at www.uranerz.com, review the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov, or visit the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable United States and Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future construction activities and operations at the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project, including those setting out targetted production levels, and all statements which set out projections or estimates or which are in the future tense, which can be identified by words such as "estimated", "targeted", "plans" or "will". Such forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, the risks and uncertainties outlined in our most recent financial statements and reports and registration statement filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") (available at www.sec.gov) and with Canadian securities administrators (available at www.sedar.com). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. We do not undertake to update forward-looking statements, except as required by law.