In April 2014, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued its final environmental impact statement for the Ross ISR Project in Crook County, Wyoming.
In April 2018, Strata formally submitted a request to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) to amend its existing Permit to Mine (PTM) to allow for the use of a low-pH recovery solution in the Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects.
In November 2018, WDEQ completed their review of the PTM amendment applications and advised Strata to commence the 60-day public comment period.
In March 2019, the Company received final WDEQ approval of the PTM amendment following an extensive technical review of the amendment application, completion of the public comment period, and a review of the public comments received. The approved PTM amendment allows the implementation of low pH operations within the Ross Permit Area at the Lance Projects.
In October 2018, Strata formally submitted a request to the WDEQ Uranium Recovery Program (URP) to amend its existing Source Materials License (SML) for the use of low pH solutions.
In April 2019, the URP completed its review of the amendment application and deemed the amendment to be technically complete under relevant legislation. The WDEQ prepared for public review a pre-decisional State Decision Document pertaining to the low pH amendment request of Strata’s SML and requested Strata to commence the public review and comment process in accordance with Wyoming regulations.
In July 2019, the Company received final approval of the SML amendment following completion of a 60-day public review and comment period. The WDEQ issued a State Decision Document containing an amendment to enable low pH operations and concluded that the low pH amendment complies with the regulatory standards and requirements under the purview of the WDEQ URP. The State Decision Document also presents the detailed safety and environmental analysis conducted by the URP team in completing their review of the amendment request.
In September 2019, Strata finalised its Interim Operations Report (IOR) and submitted it to the WDEQ. The submittal and approval of an IOR was a condition of the amended PTM and SML to gain authorisation for low pH ISR operations in the previously mined areas of the Lance Projects.
In October 2019, the WDEQ approved the IOR and thus provided full regulatory authorisation for low pH ISR operations in the previously mined areas.
In December 2019, Strata submitted an Interim Restoration Report (IRR) to the WDEQ. The submittal and acceptance of an IRR was a condition of the amended PTM and SML to gain approval to develop new mining units using the low pH in-situ recovery method across the entire Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects.
In April 2020, the WDEQ approves the IRR which provides full regulatory authorisation for low pH ISR operations in the entire Ross Permit Area.
During the September 2020 quarter a license amendment application was prepared and submitted for the use of oxidants with the low pH ISR process. The regulatory agencies are processing the amendment request with review expected to be completed by mid-year 2021. Depending on outcomes of the current MU1A low pH field demonstration, a second amendment may be sought related to the use of ponds to manage solids produced in the low pH ISR process.
Current licenses and permits for the Lance Project allow use of oxidants and the ponds during the limited scale field testing without amendments.
The Company can also commence low-pH operations without these process enhancements, which were not described in the original low-pH amendment approvals. Starting in previously mined areas where oxidant is not necessary, would allow time for the completion of the desired license amendments prior to commencing production activities in new mining units.