WESTERN SAN JUANS –Energy Fuels, Inc., the Canadian mining company planning to build the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in the West End of Montrose County, announced Tuesday that its deal to acquire Strathmore Minerals Corp. has been completed.
Strathmore is a Canadian resource company that specializes in the acquisition, exploration and development of mining properties in the U.S.
“Energy Fuels’ acquisition of Strathmore Minerals is an important step toward achieving our goal of becoming the dominant uranium producer within the U.S., which is the world`s largest nuclear power market and heavily dependent on imported uranium for over 90 percent of its supply requirements,” Energy Fuels President and CEO Stephen Antony said in the company’s announcement to shareholders. “Energy Fuels possesses a large, unique portfolio of U.S. uranium assets, which should grow in strategic importance, as we believe the U.S. will increasingly focus on secure, domestic energy supplies.”
Energy Fuels’ shareholders and the Supreme Court of British Columbia approved the acquisition. Under the agreement, Strathmore shareholders received 1.47 common shares of Energy Fuels for each common share of Strathmore and now own approximately 19.5 percent of Energy Fuels common shares.
Korea Electric Power Corp., the largest electric utility in South Korea and the largest shareholder of Energy Fuels, also approved the acquisition. Korea Electric Power is responsible for providing 93 percent of all South Korea’s electricity generation while it operates and develops nuclear power projects in South Korea and in other places around the world. The South Korean government owns a 51 percent equity interest in Korea Electric Power.
Effective at the acquisition’s closing, Energy Fuels increased the size of its board of directors to 11. Eun Ho Cheong, the vice president of overseas resources project development for Korea Electric Power, and Steven Khan, the former president and director of Strathmore, were appointed as two new board directors of Energy Fuels.
With this acquisition, Energy Fuels expects to elevate project synergies, throughcombining Strathmore’s Gas Hills Project with Energy Fuels’ Sheep Mountain Project in Wyoming.
Energy Fuels has, for a second time, received a radioactive materials license from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to build the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill. If built, it will be the first uranium mill to be opened in the U.S. in over 30 years. While the price of uranium remains relatively low Energy Fuels plans to open the mill in early 2017. As Antony stated in the acquisition announcement, the need for a domestic source of uranium in the U.S. is coming soon.
“In my opinion, the need for a secure, domestic supplier of uranium for the U.S. market will be underscored following the expiration later this year of the U.S.-Russia HEU agreement, which currently provides approximately half of the uranium supply imported into the U.S.,” Antony said. “In the past 15 months, we have grown to become the second largest uranium producer in the U.S., with expected production of approximately 1.15 million lbs. of U3O8 during FY-2013. Furthermore, I believe Energy Fuels now has the potential over time to increase our production, as market conditions warrant, to four to five times current FY-2013 levels, which I believe would represent industry leading production growth potential on a global scale.”