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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Alternative Energy

enCore Energy acquires prompt fission neutron tech from Energy Fuels Resources for $3.1M

The company is currently utilizing PFN technology to define ore bodies in preparation for the installation of production wellfields

enCore Energy acquires prompt fission neutral tech from Energy Fuels Resources for $3.1M
Energy Fuels’ Canyon mine in Arizona. PFN technology.

enCore Energy Corp.’s (NYSE: EU) (TSXV: EU) latest technology acquisition provides close to real time assays for uranium that other companies can’t duplicate using conventional coring and assay methods.

enCore acquired prompt fission neutron (PFN) technology and equipment, including all the related intellectual property and global licensing rights, from Energy Fuels Resources (NYSE: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) for USD$3.1 million on Monday.

The purchase includes proprietary intellectual property such as circuit board diagrams, firmware code, software, manuals, instructions, and the exclusive global license for PFN technology utilization.

The acquisition also includes six PFN downhole wireline probes and nine gamma downhole wireline probes with single point resistivity, spontaneous potential, and deviation. The deal also includes two heavy-duty logging trucks with logging and associated equipment, power supplies, computers, communication equipment, and other technologies.

Additionally, enCore has obtained two low-mileage, heavy-duty logging trucks equipped with logging and associated equipment, power supplies, computers, communication equipment, and other technologies.

“PFN technology is far superior to traditional downhole gamma measurements where an array of different elements emits a collective gamma signature which may or may not correlate well with the actual uranium content,” said Paul Goranson, enCore’s chief executive officer.

“We have already seen the benefits of the technology in the past with reliable uranium resource estimates derived from PFN that were confirmed by historical production results.”

enCore has emphasized the significance of PFN technology in successful in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium project development. Unlike traditional total gamma and spectral gamma methods that measure radioactivity emitted from various elements associated with uranium, PFN technology directly measures downhole U3O8 ore grade.

This technology is particularly essential for enCore’s South Texas properties as in-situ geochemical conditions lead to some radiometric components, including uranium, being out of equilibrium with their gamma signatures. Wyoming also experiences similar conditions in some of its deposits.

Read more: Skyharbour Resources to acquire Athabasca Basin uranium project from Denison Mines

Read more: Uranium Energy Corp secures $18M supply agreement with U.S. government

PFN tech plays role in advancement of uranium projects in South Texas

The company is currently utilizing PFN technology to define ore bodies in preparation for the installation of production wellfields at its South Texas Rosita and Alta Mesa ISR Uranium Projects.

Energy Fuels, on the other hand, has retained the right to purchase, lease, and/or license at least one fully functional PFN tool, along with all related and/or required equipment, technology, and licenses for their use, subject to availability. This right is valid for a period of up to 20 years.

PFN technology has played a crucial role in advancing and developing uranium projects in South Australia and the United States. enCore’s Alta Mesa ISR Uranium Project in South Texas is a prime example, having produced 4.9 million pounds of U3O8 between 2005 and 2013. The wellfields and mineral resources at this project were identified and measured using PFN technology, underscoring its significance in ISR uranium project development.

Many ISR uranium deposits in South Texas and other parts of the United States have a degree of disequilibrium, making it challenging to measure ore grade using traditional total gamma and spectral gamma methods.

The decay of uranium daughter products like potassium, thorium, lead, and bismuth relative to radium (Ra226), a significant gamma emitter, means that the radioactivity measured in drill holes is not a reliable indicator of ore grade.

Mud rotary coring techniques and laboratory gamma and alpha spectrometry are used to calculate disequilibrium traditionally, which is expensive and time-consuming. However, PFN technology solves this issue by utilizing neutron activation to detect uranium in drill holes.

The PFN tool emits very fast neutrons and fires 108 neutrons per second. The uranium atoms in the drill hole are excited at an atomic level by the neutrons emitted by the PFN tool, creating fast (epithermal) neutrons and slow (thermal) neutrons.

The ratio of epithermal to thermal neutrons is proportional to uranium, allowing the accurate calculation of U3O8 ore grade. This provides a relatively inexpensive and instantaneous means for accurate assaying of in-situ ore grades over large areas, allowing for accurate ore body mapping, resource estimation, and wellfield planning.

Shares of enCore Energy are flat on Monday at $3.03 and on the TSX Venture Exchange.


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