NexGen Energy (TSX: NXE; NYSE: NXE) said that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has accepted its draft environmental impact statement (EIS), which it submitted last month, for its Rook I uranium project in Saskatchewan.
The CNSC's acceptance has advanced the project into the next phase which will include assessments from provincial and federal authorities, the company said. Alongside the CNSC-led federal review, the draft EIS is also being reviewed by Saskatchewan's ministry of environment, which will end in Q3 2022.
The company's CEO Leigh Curyer described the update as a "significant step"
Located about 40 km east of the Alberta-Saskatchewan border in the province's northwest, the project includes seven mineralized locations, of which the Arrow deposit has undergone the most investigation.
Based on a feasibility study completed in 2021, the project is expected to produce an average of 21.7 million lbs. of uranium annually for 10.7 years. The total initial capital cost has been pegged at $1.3 billion.
At an 8% discount rate, the project would generate a post-tax net present value (NPV) of $3.5 billion and a post-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 52.4%.
The project's mineral reserves total 4.5 million tonnes grading 2.37% uranium oxide for 239.6 million lb. Its measured and indicated resources total 3.7 million tonnes grading 3.1% uranium oxide for 256.7 million lb..
The company began working on the draft EIS in 2019. It includes letters of support for the project from Clearwater River Dene Nation (CRDN), Birch Narrows Dene Nation (BNDN), and Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN). The First Nations in the region have endorsed the project, the company said.
The document, which is required by provincial and federal regulatory authorities, assesses the potential positive and adverse effects as well as the mitigation measures and monitoring programs the company plans to implement.
At press time in Toronto, shares of NexGen Energy were trading at $4.78 within a 52-week trading range of $4.43 and $8.30.