CENTENNIAL, Colo., January 16, 2018 – Westwater Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWR) (“WWR” or “Westwater”) is pleased to provide an update on its recent business activities.
- Westwater is pleased to confirm receipt of $1.5 million from Laramide Resources, Ltd., which is the first of three payments to retire the loan obligation that was part of the sale of the Churchrock and Crownpoint uranium properties in New Mexico last year. Westwater received $750,000 in cash and an equivalent amount in Laramide Resources, Ltd. common stock.
- Westwater has successfully negotiated a reduction in the annual lease payments to La Merced del Pueblo Cebolleta from over $550,000 per year to $350,000 per year for the next three years, improved the royalty structure, and reduced the cost of certain other provisions for the duration of the uranium lease.
Presidential Executive Order
Westwater expects that the Presidential Executive Order on a Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, issued on December 20, 2017, will accelerate important energy related mineral development in the United States. In conjunction with Professional Paper 1802, published by the US Geological Service (“USGS”), where 23 minerals are identified as critical to the Country’s security and economy, WWR believes these actions are important steps in support of domestic minerals development. One of the important steps outlined in the Executive Order requires a list of critical minerals to be provided by the US Secretary of the Interior (by February 18, 2018) and a report to be delivered to the President (by August 17, 2018) that includes recommendations to streamline permitting and leasing processes, and to support domestic refining of those critical materials. The full text of the Presidential Executive Order can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-federal-strategy-ensure-secure-reliable-supplies-critical-minerals/
Westwater is strategically interested in two of the identified 23 critical minerals by the USGS: lithium and graphite. These minerals, in particular, are critical to the development of batteries and other electrical storage systems essential to the electric vehicle, solar and wind power industries.
“The Executive Order affirms the increasingly positive business climate in the US while providing Presidential support for the development of green energy minerals like lithium and graphite” said Chris Jones, President and CEO of Westwater.“ Our lithium projects are correctly positioned to benefit from any tailwinds generated for the lithium market by this government support action, and we intend to develop them as soon as we can.”
Turkish Nuclear Industry Update
UxC reports that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the four-unit Sinop nuclear power facility was submitted to the Turkish Government for evaluation. This milestone in the application process for the 4-unit, 4,480 MW facility, once approved, paves the way for further work to start on this power plant. Westwater has the only uranium project in any stage of development in Turkey, and regards this as a positive market force.
WWR or the “Company” (formerly Uranium Resources, Inc.) is focused on developing energy-related minerals. The Company has developed a dominant land position in three prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah in preparation for exploration and potential development of any lithium resources that may be discovered there. In addition, WWR remains focused on advancing the Temrezli in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium project in Central Turkey when uranium prices permit economic development of this project. WWR controls extensive exploration properties in Turkey under eight exploration and operating licenses covering approximately 39,000 acres (over 16,000 ha) with numerous exploration targets, including the potential satellite Sefaatli Project, which is 30 miles (48 km) southwest of the Temrezli Project. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (4,400 ha) of prospective ISR uranium projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 186,000 acres (75,300 ha) in the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world. Incorporated in 1977, WWR also owns an extensive information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates, maps and technical reports for uranium properties located in the Western United States.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” and other similar words. All statements addressing events or developments that WWR expects or anticipates will occur in the future, including but not limited to statements relating to developments at the Company’s projects, are forward-looking statements. Because they are forward-looking, they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors and uncertainties. These risk factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (a) the Company’s ability to raise additional capital in the future; (b) spot price and long-term contract price of uranium and lithium; (c) risks associated with our foreign and domestic operations; (d) operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (e) government and tribal regulation of the uranium industry, the lithium industry, and the power industry; (f) world-wide uranium and lithium supply and demand, including the supply and demand for lithium-based batteries; (g) maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently collateralized surety instruments; (h) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates, including in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Republic of Turkey; (i) the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close acquisitions or other material transactions, (j) the results of the Company’s lithium brine exploration activities at the Columbus Basin, Railroad Valley, and Sal Rica projects, and the possibility that future exploration results may be materially less promising than initial exploration result; (k) any lithium or uranium discoveries not being in high enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; and (l) other factors which are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those currently anticipated. In addition, undue reliance should not be placed on the Company’s forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or publicly announce any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release.
Westwater Resources Contact:
Christopher M. Jones, President and CEO Jeffrey L. Vigil, VP Finance and CFO