"Strathmore believes that Roca Honda is one of the best and highest grade undeveloped uranium deposits in the United States."
David Miller, CEO, Strathmore Minerals Corp
"The Roca Honda permit application submission is the culmination of three years of dedicated effort on behalf of Strathmore's permitting team and consultants, with the guidance and support of our partner, Sumitomo Corporation and the local Grants community."
John DeJoia, Sr. Vice-President, New Mexico Operations
"Roca Honda may be the most comprehensive mine permit document to be prepared in New Mexico since the New Mexico Mining Act of 1993 was enacted.
Juan Velasquez, Vice-President, Government, Regulatory & Environmental Affairs
On October 27, 2009, Strathmore announced that the RHR LLC Joint Venture submitted a mine permit application for the proposed development of its flagship Roca Honda underground uranium project in the Grants Uranium District, New Mexico. This property, which is situated on public lands managed by the US Forest Service and the State of New Mexico, is held by Strathmore and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, in their jointly owned subsidiary Roca Honda Resources LLC (RHR). Roca Honda represents one of the largest proposed uranium mines in the United States in over thirty years. Development is subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and a positive production decision.
The five volumes of supporting documents that comprise this application include:
- Application --Documentation;
- Sampling and Analysis Plan;
- Baseline Data Report;
- Mine Operations Plan; and
- Reclamation Plan
In October 2012, Strathmore announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) and updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc.
Summary of Roca Honda Pre-Tax PEA Results
|Forecasted Uranium Price
|Pre-tax Cash Flow With Contingency
||US $713 million
|Net Present Value (Discount Rate of 8%)
||US $220 million
||Approximately 4 years
|Life of Mine (estimated)
||Nine (9) years
|Mine Production - Processing
||Underground Conventional (Mechanized)
|Total Life of Mine Capital Cost with Contingency
||US $ 445 million
|Mill Processing Type
||Acid Leach/Solvent Extraction/Precipitation
|Estimated Processing Recovery
|Mill Processing Rate
||Variable: averaging 1,085 tons per day
|Estimated Operating Cost
|Total Capital, Operating, & Royalty Costs Per Lb with Contingency:
|Without Toll Milling Option
|With Toll Milling Option
|Approximate Annual Uranium (U3O8) Production:
||Est. 2.6 million lb/yr
Strathmore cautions that the PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred resources that are considered to be too speculative geologically for economic consideration that would enable them to be classified as mineral reserves. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.
The economic evaluation of the Roca Honda uranium resource was prepared under the supervision of Stuart E. Collins of Roscoe Postle (USA) Ltd., Lakewood, Colorado. Mr. Collins is a Registered Professional Mining Engineer in the state of Colorado, and is a registered member of the Society for Mining and Metallurgy, and Exploration, and an independent and Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101.
Summary of Roca Honda Mineral Resources as at August 9, 2011:
Measured and Indicated Resources:
||Grade % U3O8
||Grade % U3O8
- CIM definitions were followed for Mineral Resources.
- The Qualified Person for this Mineral Resource estimate is Patti Nakai-Lajoie, P.Geo.
- Mineral Resources are estimated using a cut-off grade of 0.13% U3O8.
- A minimum mining thickness of six feet was used.
- Numbers may not add due to rounding.
The modeling and estimation of the uranium resources were prepared under the supervision of Patti Nakai-Lajoie, P.Geo. and Principal Geologist, RPA. Ms. Nakai-Lajoie is a Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Ontario and an independent and Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Ms. Nakai-Lajoie visited the Roca Honda Property on May 10-12, 2011 and is of the opinion that the data verification procedures support the geologic interpretations and confirm the quality of the database. It should be noted that mineral resources, which are not mineral reserves, do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The following summarizes the extensive work completed to advance the Roca Honda project through the mine permit process.
- March 2004: Roca Honda Property acquired along with the Kerr McGee uranium data base.
- August, 2005: Strathmore opens New Mexico Operations, Environmental, Permitting, and Regulatory Affairs office in Santa Fe.
- October, 2005: Strathmore acquires 640 acre New Mexico State Lease contiguous to Roca Honda.
- April, 2006: NI 43-101 technical report and resource estimate completed.
- June, 2006: Strathmore initiates studies for an underground mine and a mill in New Mexico.
- September, 2006: Strathmore begins permitting process at Roca Honda.
- November, 2006: Strathmore purchases land for a potential mill site in Ambrosia Lake District near the Roca Honda project.
- July, 2007: Strathmore completes joint venture agreement with Sumitomo Corporation for the development of the Roca Honda project. RHR and a Joint Management Committee to oversee the project are created.
- April, 2008: Completed a 30% mill design report that presents the preliminary layout and equipment configuration for a 3,500 ton per day throughput capacity expandable to 7,000 tons per day.
- May 2008: NI-43-101 report updated.
- September, 2008: Positive core assays received from monitor well drilling.
- November, 2008: Sampling and Analysis Plan submitted for regulatory review.
- January, 2009: Water Discharge Plan submitted for regulatory review.
- April, 2009: Roca Honda Water Discharge Permit deemed "administratively complete."
- April, 2009: Sampling and Analysis Plan, which was deemed "administratively complete."
- October, 2009. Mine Permit application submitted to state regulatory authorities and the US Forest Service.
- December 2009: Mine permit application deemed "administratively complete."
- March 2010: Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. commissioned to prepare Roca Honda feasibility study.
- December Jan2010: Public information meetings held.
- January 2011: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) preparation underway under the direction of the US Forest Service
- August 2011: Detailed Reclamation Plan and submitted it to the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division.
- September 2011: Mine dewatering permit application submitted to the Office of the New Mexico State Engineer.
- October 2011: Agreement signed between RHR, the United States Forest Service and Mangi Environmental Group for a definitive schedule that commits to completing the EIS by December 2012
- October 2012: Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) and updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate completed by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc.
- December 2012: Draft Environmental Impact Statement Completed and submitted to the US Government Printing Office
- December 2012: Pre-submittal audit performed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for reviewing the draft uranium mill license application
- March 2013: Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in the Federal Register. The publication of the DEIS starts the 60 day public comment period. Two "open-house" public meetings were held mid-April.