Proven Process

Positive results from real-world trials.

A transportable Demonstration Plant, pictured below, was commissioned in May 2012 and operated in the United States between June and August 2012 on phosphate streams from two different fertiliser facilities. The Demonstration Plant delivered exceptional results including:

  • Validation of low operating cost assumptions
  • Consistently high uranium recovery (greater than 90 per cent) from the phosphate stream during steady-state operation;
  • No deleterious build-up of impurities in the extraction media across multiple cycles;
  • Chemical and reagent consumptions within the expected range;
  • Purification and concentration of uranium is achievable without significant uranium losses;
  • Chemistry of the phosphate stream is unaffected except for the removal of uranium;
  • Confirming no hazardous waste production through the process

A concentrated product was shipped to a uranium production facility which confirmed that a saleable product can be produced.

The PhosEnergy Demonstration Plant

The PhosEnergy Demonstration Plant

The design criteria derived from the Demonstration Plant fed into the Pre-Feasibility (PFS) Level Engineering Study, which ran between October 2012 and March 2013.

Based on results achieved to date, the PhosEnergy Process will be capable of exceeding the stringent environmental standards currently applied to both the broader uranium extraction industries and the phosphoric acid industry.

In August 2013, PhosEnergy together with Cameco Corporation, entered into an Agreement with a US based fertilizer producer to assess the commercial viability of applying the PhosEnergy Process (the Process) to the producer’s existing operations.   The Agreement covers on-site operation of the PhosEnergy demonstration plant with the results providing inputs to a pre-feasibility study. The pre-feasibility study will allow the parties to assess the economic viability of the Process and make a commercial decision on progressing further toward a full scale operation.

In early 2015 a modular Demonstration Plant (‘DP’) was relocated to the site of a US based fertilizer producer and connected directly to their Filter Grade Acid (FGA) stream. The operation was jointly staffed between Cameco and PhosEnergy.

An independently conducted Pre-Feasibility Study (‘PFS’) on the Process was completed in December 2015, confirming the robust operating cost of the Process.

The PFS estimates that a 0.44Mtpa P2O5 phosphate facility capable of producing approximately 400,000 pounds of uranium per annum will operate at an estimated cash operating cost of US$21 per pound. The capital intensity of such a small facility is high compared to conventional mine-mill operations but the life of mine exceeds 25 years in most phosphate facilities operating in the USA.