Strata Energy’s uranium mining operations near Oshoto, Wyo.
(Gillette, Wyo.) Strata Energy, Inc. has submitted its request to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to amend its Permit to Mine (PTM) to allow for the use of a low-pH recovery solution in the Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects near Oshoto.
“The submission of the PTM amendment request is the culmination of many months of research, extensive test work, and analysis aimed at greatly enhancing the uranium recovery process at Lance and marks an important milestone in the pathway to low-pH ISR operations,” said Peninsula’s Managing Director and CEO Wayne Heili.
Strata outlined their plan to the Crook County Commissioners in January. The process outlined under the current PTM that has been in place since 2015 allows the use of alkaline and oxidant solutions in the in-situ recovery process (ISR). Strata is requesting the amendment to a low-pH solution because the overall uranium recovery rates are below the targeted levels due to the geographic makeup of the Ross Permit Area.
Strata issued a White Paper in November that summarized the test results of using low concentrations of sulfuric acid in the ISR process. If approved, this would be the first time in the United States that a low-pH solution has been used on a commercial scale. However, low-pH ISR is the most common method of uranium mining used globally.
According to Strata’s White Paper, not only does the use of low-pH solution show better results for uranium extraction, it does not have any adverse effects on the restoration of groundwater. As written, the amendment does not request any changes to the target restoration values that have already been set for each mine unit.
The amendment process is expected to take 18 to 24 months before the changes can be implemented.