1500 Acre-feet of water per year granted for Lithium Development
CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 12, 2019 –Westwater Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWR), an energy metals exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that its application for the use of 1500 acre-feet of groundwater per year has been approved by the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Utah. This water is intended for the development of lithium mining operations at the Company’s Sal Rica Project.
Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Water rights are critical to the development of lithium brine properties. Utah’s grant of water rights enables us to extract the lithium bearing brines from underground. We believe that owning the right to use the ground water materially differentiates our exploration projects from others in the area going forward.”
The right to use water is very important in the arid American West, and this right is essential to the development of lithium brine resources at the Sal Rica project. Utah has a robust legal regime for allocating the right to use water, and Westwater carefully followed the regulatory process to secure the groundwater required to develop lithium resources discovered in the basin.
About Sal Rica
Westwater’s Sal Rica lithium brine exploration project is located in the Pilot Valley area, approximately 100 miles west of Salt Lake City, and 25 miles north of the town of Wendover. Historical exploration by Quintana Petroleum and more recent exploration by Mesa Exploration partially outlined a broad area of the Pilot Valley (up to 20 square miles) in which very shallow brines (less than 20 feet from the surface) are mineralized with lithium up to 81 parts per million. Sample spacing for the Quintana and Mesa sampling was on the order of 1 to 2 miles. Subsequent in-fill and confirmation sampling by Westwater returned lithium values ranging from 40 to 100 ppm Li in thirteen of the fourteen samples, as analyzed by ALS Minerals, a well-regarded independent commercial analytical laboratory.
About Westwater Resources
WWR is focused on developing energy-related materials. The Company’s battery-materials projects include the Coosa Graphite Project — the most advanced natural flake graphite project in the contiguous United States — and the associated Coosa Graphite Mine located across 41,900 acres (~17,000 hectares) in east-central Alabama. In addition, the Company maintains lithium mineral properties in three prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah. Westwater’s uranium projects are located in Texas and New Mexico. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (~4,400 hectares) of prospective in-situ recovery uranium projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 188,700 acres (~76,000 hectares) 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., Westwater 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 future development of lithium mining operations at the Company’s Sal Rica Project 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 Alabama Graphite Corporation’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, lithium, vanadium and uranium; (d) risks associated with our domestic operations; (e) operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (f) government and tribal regulation of the graphite industry, the lithium industry, the vanadium industry, the uranium industry, and the power industry; (g) world-wide graphite, lithium, vanadium and uranium 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, and Nevada; (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, vanadium or uranium discoveries not being in high-enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; (m) currently pending or new litigation or arbitration; and (n) 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 Graphite Project.
Westwater Resources Contact:
Investor Relations Contact:
Christopher M. Jones, President & CEO
Jeff Vigil, VP Finance & CFO
Michael Porter, Porter, LeVay and Rose