Levels Playing Field for American Developers and Producers
Promotes Environmentally Sustainable Domestic Mining
CENTENNIAL, Colo., July 17, 2018 – Westwater Resources, Inc. (“Westwater,” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: WWR), an energy materials development company, released the following statement from Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westwater:
“United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has included graphite, lithium and uranium on the list of materials imported from China, now under consideration for additional tariffs of 10%. Further, the US Government has asked for comments in advance of hearings scheduled in August of this year, which we intend on providing.
Westwater supports the US Government’s intention to levy tariffs on these products imported from China. This action can result in a more level playing field for developers and producers of graphite, lithium and uranium in the United States like Westwater. The USA enjoys a robust suite of regulations designed to protect our environment from harm, something that Westwater respects and treats as a core value. Production of these materials in China is not always subject to these regulations and the costs associated with that protection. We believe that tariffs of the type that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is contemplating begin to fully integrate the full value of environmental protection into the cost structure of graphite, lithium and uranium, making sustainable US domestically produced materials properly cost competitive in the United States.”
Westwater Resources has previously announced that all three of its portfolio products—graphite, lithium, and uranium—are on the Critical Minerals List, which was submitted to the US Department of Commerce for action in May 2018. These minerals were included due to their importance to the security and economic prosperity of the United States.
Westwater Resources is working to develop a domestic battery graphite business as its first priority, as well as explore for lithium in the western United States. Westwater also holds a portfolio of uranium production and exploration properties in Texas and New Mexico.
About Westwater Resources
WWR is focused on developing energy-related materials. The Company’s battery materials projects include lithium mineral properties in three prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah and the Coosa Graphite Project, located across 41,900 acres (17,000 ha) in east-central Alabama. WWR’s uranium projects are located in Texas, New Mexico and the Republic of Turkey. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (4,400 ha) of prospective in-situ recovery uranium projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 188,700 acres (76,394 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 as Uranium Resources, Inc., WWR also owns an extensive uranium information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates, maps and technical reports for the Western United States. For more information, visit www.westwaterresources.net.
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 the Company’s growth, developments at the Company’s projects, including environmental matters, the impact of the proposed tariffs on the demand for and price of graphite, lithium and uranium, 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 successfully integrate AGC’s business into its own, and the risk that additional analysis of the Coosa Graphite Project may result in revisions to the findings of WWR’s initial optimization study; (b) the Company’s ability to raise additional capital in the future; (c) spot price and long-term contract price of graphite, uranium and lithium; (d) risks associated with our foreign and domestic operations; (e) operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (f) government and tribal regulation of the graphite industry, uranium industry, the lithium industry, and the power industry; (g) world-wide graphite, uranium and lithium supply and demand, including the supply and demand for lithium-based batteries; (h) maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently collateralized surety instruments; (i) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates or intends to operate, including in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Republic of Turkey; (j) the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close acquisitions or other material transactions, (k) 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; (I) any graphite, lithium or uranium discoveries not being in high-enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; and (m) 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. The results of the initial optimization study are preliminary in nature and subject to revision following WWR’s further analysis of the Coosa project.