Uranerz Energy Corporation

Uranerz Energy Corporation

May 08, 2013 08:30 ET

Uranerz Provides Corporate Update to Shareholders

CASPER, WYOMING--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Uranerz Energy Corporation ("Uranerz" or the "Company") (TSX:URZ)(NYSE MKT:URZ)(FRANKFURT:U9E) is pleased to provide an update on Company activities.

The Company's primary focus over the past year has been on construction of our processing facility and installation of the monitor, injection and recovery wells for in-situ recovery operations at Nichols Ranch. The initial wellfield is now substantially completed. The processing facility is over 80% completed with tanks, pumps, ion exchange columns, sand filters and ancillary equipment fully installed. Installation of the process piping, electrical controls and the control room is ongoing. Talented field and operations personnel have been employed and are developing the standard operating procedures and carrying out start-up training.

In late October 2012 the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division, issued the deep disposal well permit for Uranerz' Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project. Receipt of the deep disposal well permit concluded a long, but ultimately successful, effort to obtain all of the regulatory permits and licenses needed to construct and operate an ISR uranium facility in Wyoming.

The Company expects the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project to recover uranium later in 2013. Regulatory milestones are being pursued in order to meet start-up requirements following completion of the processing facility and wellfield construction activities. The drilling pads for the required two deep disposal wells have been completed and drilling is ready to begin. The Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project is licensed for a recovery level of up to two million pounds of uranium per year with initial annual recovery targeted for 600,000 to 800,000 pounds after ramp-up. Nichols Ranch will serve as a platform for the potential future development of the Company's other Powder River Basin properties with possible enhanced economics for adjacent and satellite projects.

As previously announced, the Company's application to the Wyoming Business Council for a $20,000,000 loan under the Wyoming Industrial Development Revenue Bond Program has recently received the support of the State of Wyoming's Governor, Attorney General and State Treasurer, subject to customary closing conditions. The loan is expected to carry an annual interest rate of 5.75% and be repayable over seven years. Uranerz is now working with the State administrators to complete the documentation for the closing of this financing.

The United States continues to be the largest market in the world for uranium with the largest nuclear fleet of any country with 104 reactors. U.S. uranium mines produce approximately four million pounds of U3O8 per year, but annual uranium consumption far exceeds that, at over 50 million pounds. Management of the Company considers those market dynamics to be favorable to Uranerz. Earlier this year the Company signed a second long-term uranium sales contract with Exelon, the operator of the largest nuclear fleet in the U.S., for the sale of uranium over a five year period commencing in 2016, at defined prices adjustable for inflation. As previously announced, the Company had already entered into one sales contract with Exelon and has another in place with another utility, for a portion of its planned production.

Uranerz recently restated its 2012 Financial Statements to expense all the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project costs previously capitalized. The Company will continue to expense remaining expenditures to comply with U.S. GAAP as it applies to exploration stage companies.

Further, the amended Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, filed with the Securities Exchange Commission on April 29, 2013, contained a going concern qualification from its independent registered public accounting firm. This announcement is made in accordance with NYSE MKT Company Guide which requires disclosure of receipt of an audit opinion containing a going concern qualification.

In 2010 the Company implemented a Shareholder Rights Plan to safeguard our shareholders' interests by discouraging undervalued or unfair takeovers of the Company. In accordance with its terms, the Plan is required to be reconfirmed by shareholders at our 2013 Annual General Meeting. The Board and Management are recommending that shareholders reconfirm the Plan, which would extend it for a further three years, for the same reasons as adoption of the Plan was originally recommended. The Shareholder Rights Plan is designed to ensure that, in the context of a bid for control of the Company, all shareholders have an equal opportunity to participate in the bid, and the Board has sufficient time to explore and develop alternatives to maximize shareholder value.

The Company will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 9:30 am at the Casper Petroleum Club, 1301 Wilkins Circle, Casper, WY 82601. The Company's proxy statement will be available on its web site at: www.uranerz.com.

Mr. Kurtis Brown, the Company's Senior Vice President, Geology, Development & Safety, is a "qualified person" as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. He has reviewed the technical disclosure related to the Company's results that are provided in this news release.

About Uranerz

The Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project is Uranerz' first ISR mine and is currently under construction. ISR, or in-situ recovery, is a mining process that uses a leaching solution to extract uranium from sandstone-hosted uranium deposits; it is the generally accepted extraction technology used in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming. Uranerz controls a large strategic land position in the central Powder River Basin. The Company's management team has specialized expertise in the ISR uranium mining method and a record of licensing, constructing, and operating ISR uranium projects. The Company has entered into long-term uranium sales contracts for a portion of its planned production with Exelon and one other of the largest nuclear utilities in the country.

Further Information

For further information, please refer to the Company's website at www.uranerz.com, review the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov, or visit the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release may contain or refer to "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable United States and Canadian securities laws, which may include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: the Company's expectation as to when its Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project will commence production of uranium, the Company's expectation that it will secure a loan through the Wyoming Industrial Development Revenue Bond Program, the Company's expectations regarding the terms of such loan, the Company's target for initial production levels at Nichols Ranch, the Company's predictions as to the market for its product, and all other statements which describe future activities or express intentions, plans, targets or expectations and all statements in the future tense. Such forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, the risks and uncertainties outlined in our most recent financial statements and reports and registration statement filed with the SEC (available at www.sec.gov) and with Canadian securities administrators (available at www.sedar.com). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. We do not undertake to update forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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