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Uranium Equities: PhosEnergy demonstration plant commissioning set to begin

Uranium Equities: PhosEnergy demonstration plant commissioning set to begin

Uranium Equities (ASX: UEQ) and Cameco Corporation (TSX: CCO) have completed the construction of a demonstration plant designed to extract uranium as a by-product from phosphate in the production of phosphate based fertilisers.

The transportable plant, which is in the U.S., is scheduled to be operational next month.

The effectiveness of the PhosEnergy process has been confirmed at pilot plant scale at a U.S.-based phosphoric acid facility.

Operating cost estimates indicate the PhosEnergy process is capable of producing uranium at operating costs of about US$20-$25 (A$19-$24) per pound, with a uranium recovery of over 90%.

Over the next four to six months Uranium Equities and Cameco will collect data, including chemical consumption rates, equipment design criteria and energy inputs, from the demonstration plant for the completion of a preliminary Feasibility Study.

Global opportunity

The global annual production potential of uranium from the phosphate industry is around 20 million pounds of uranium.

This quantity of uranium is mined in phosphate ores but not recovered annually on a worldwide basis.

The major phosphate based fertiliser producers are located in Northern Africa, North America and Asia.

The two companies are targeting the U.S. where there is an opportunity to recover an estimated 6 million pounds of uranium per annum.

Also, operation in the U.S. has several potential synergies with Cameco’s existing operations in the region. 

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