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NexGen Energy Ltd.  is pleased to announce the positive results of an independent Feasibility Study Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource update of the basement-hosted Arrow Deposit, located on the Company’s 100% owned Rook I project in the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan Canada.  The FS was completed jointly by leading consultants including: Stantec Consulting Limited Wood Canada Limited. and Roscoe Postle …

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nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

NexGen Energy Ltd. (“NexGen” or the “Company”) (TSX: NXE) (NYSE: NXE) is pleased to announce the positive results of an independent Feasibility Study (“FS” or the “Study”), Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource update of the basement-hosted Arrow Deposit, located on the Company’s 100% owned Rook I project (“Arrow” or the “Project”) in the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan Canada.  The FS was completed jointly by leading consultants including: Stantec Consulting Limited (“Stantec”), Wood Canada Limited. (“Wood”), and Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (“RPA”, now part of SLR Consulting ( Canada ) Ltd), with other technical inputs completed by sub-consultants

“The environmental and economic results from the Rook I Feasibility Study place the Project as one of the leading global resource projects with an elite ESG profile. Today’s delivery of the Feasibility Study is a significant milestone which transitions NexGen into the next key stage of advancement. The results will be included in the Environmental Assessment and Licensing processes which incorporates engagement, consultation, monitoring and data collection since 2013.

The NexGen team’s commitment to elite standards is evident throughout all aspects of the feasibility study, and the organization as a whole.  With a minimal physical and carbon footprint, NexGen is uniquely positioned to become a world leader in the production of clean energy fuel.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The global energy matrix is undertaking an enormous shift that will rely heavily on nuclear energy to deliver the decarbonization commitment for today’s and future generations.  It is proven to be a safe, clean and most reliably efficient form of power generation known to humankind.  With all major countries signalling significant infrastructure spending, and re-prioritizing green energy policy as their major focus over this coming decade and beyond, Rook I will be a material component in the delivery of those global objectives.

I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the entire NexGen team, and thank the local communities where we operate, as well as the Government of Saskatchewan and the Federal Government Canada for their outstanding commitment and support for execution of the Rook I Project’s development to date.”

The economic analysis was based on the timing of a final investment decision (“FID”) and does not include the Pre-Commitment Early Works Capital, which are costs NexGen intends on expending prior to the FID.  Pre-Commitment Early Works scope includes site preparation and the supporting infrastructure (concrete batch plant, Phase I camp accommodations and bulk fuel storage) required to support full Project Execution Capital.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The updated Mineral Resource Estimate has an effective date of June 19, 2019 and builds upon the Mineral Resource Estimate used in the PFS by incorporating holes drilled in 2018 and 2019. The updated Mineral Resource Estimate is principally comprised of Measured Mineral Resources – the highest level of confidence determination within Mineral Resources – with Measured Mineral Resources of 209.6 M lbs of U 3 O 8 contained in 2,183 kt grading 4.35% U 3 O 8 , Indicated Mineral Resources of 47.1 M lbs of U 3 O 8 contained in 1,572 kt grading 1.36% U 3 O 8 , and Inferred Mineral Resources of 80.7 M lbs of U 3 O 8 contained in 4,399 kt grading 0.83% U 3 O 8 , summarized below in Table 2. The drill hole spacing defining the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources is supported by two leading and independent geostatistical drill hole spacing studies.

RPA is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing, political, or other relevant factors that could materially affect the  Mineral Resource Estimate.

The FS defines Probable Mineral Reserves of 239.6 M lbs of U 3 O 8 contained in 4,575 kt grading 2.37% U 3 O 8 from the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, summarized in Table 3. The Probable Mineral Reserves include diluting materials and allowances for losses which may occur when material is mined.  A majority of the Mineral Reserves are based on Measured Mineral Resources, and 100% of the Mineral Reserves allocated to the Probable category based on the Project’s current development stage.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

Special waste in material between 0.03% and 0.26% U 3 O 8 that must be extracted to access mining areas. 0.03% U 3 O 8 is the limit for what is considered benign waste and material that must be treated and stockpiled in an engineered facility.

Mineral Reserves are estimated using a long-term metal price of US$50 per pound U 3 O 8 , and a 0.75 US$/C$ exchange rate (C$1.00 = US$0.75).  The cost to ship the yellow cake product to a refinery is considered to be included in the metal price.

Stantec is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing, political, or other relevant factors that could materially affect the  Mineral Reserve Estimate.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

A detailed mine plan based on conventional long-hole stope mining was engineered using Mineral Reserves only.  Geotechnical studies during the FS re-emphasized the conventional long-hole stoping mining method, including the use of longitudinal and transverse stopes, 30 m level spacing, and the nominal stope strike length of 12 metres to 24 metres. This represents an excellent stope stability range for underground mining in the highly competent conditions. The FS production profile is underpinned by long-hole stopes in the transverse orientation through A2 High Grade mineralization. The ability to mine transverse long-hole stopes through the A2 High Grade will support significant scheduling flexibility, enabling NexGen to uniquely correlate supply quickly and inexpensively to market conditions.

Furthermore, given the competency and conditions of the underground environment, all waste streams from the process plant are planned to be stored underground in the Underground Tailings Management Facility (“UGTMF”) while process water streams will be treated on surface in the optimized effluent treatment plant.

The FS mine plan, using a 0.30% U 3 O 8 cut-off grade, includes Probable Mineral Reserves consisting of 239.6 M lbs of U 3 O 8 contained in 4,575 kt grading 2.37% U 3 O 8 that will be extracted by underground mining in an initial 10.7 year mine life.  The mine production schedule envisions an average life of mine rate of 1,207 tonnes per day during steady state production.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The underground workings will be accessed by two (2) shafts, with the production shaft supporting personnel movements, materials, ore, waste and fresh air. The production shaft was increased to 8.0 m in diameter (from 6.5 m in diameter in PFS) to optimize radiation and ventilation management, ensuring the mine is elite from a safety perspective.  Additionally, the production shaft will have divided compartments, ensuring that fresh air and personnel entering the mine, remain isolated from ore being skipped to surface.  The exhaust shaft was optimized and ultimately decreased to 5.5 m in diameter (from 6.5 m in diameter in the PFS) and will be used for exhaust air and emergency secondary egress. Mining extraction has been optimized and estimated to be 95.5% of mineralized tonnes for both ore development and stopes. Planned dilution was included in the generation of the stope shapes, and additional backfill dilution (at zero grade) was included where appropriate. Overall rock dilution is estimated to be 33.8%, which includes backfill dilution applied on secondary stopes only. Figure 1 below presents a cross section displaying the underground mining infrastructure and the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources.  Figure 2 below presents the annual mining schedule based on set assumptions.

Shaft pilot holes (GAR-18-013, and GAR-18-015) were drilled vertically within the diameter of the respective planned shafts to assess the geotechnical and hydrogeological characteristics for prospective exhaust and production shaft locations. Supported by the information from GAR-18-015 the location was selected for the production shaft and likewise for GAR-18-013 for the exhaust shaft. Both holes proved to be favourable for all aspects of shaft development.  Below the planned temporary freeze depth the shaft holes intersected competent rock with no uranium mineralization, no significant alteration, no major structures, and low hydraulic conductivity. These components validate the competent ground conditions of the proposed shaft locations. Figures 3 and 4 below are core photos from the production and exhaust shaft pilot holes.

Extensive testwork and engineering has determined that proven technology in a conventional uranium processing flowsheet is most effective for the production of U 3 O 8 from the Arrow Deposit. A key environmental differentiator for the Project regarding processing is the environmental standard of the disposal of all tailings in a purpose-built Underground Tailings Management facility (“UGTMF”).

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The FS also confirmed that all processed waste streams can be stored in the UGTMF and no surface tailings facility is required.  The UGTMF is a reflection of NexGen’s industry-leading environmental design approach, contributing to the significant reduction of the Project’s surface footprint, and representing an opportunity to implement best practice of progressive closure of tailings facilities during the operational phase of the mine.  The FS drill program validated the geotechnical conditions and favourable conditions for the UGTMF.  The Study also optimized the geotechnical design, size and sequencing of the UGTMF included in the FS mine plan. The UGTMF is an example of NexGen’s commitment to advancing the Project with innovative approaches to deliver optimal environmental, social and economic performance.

FS testwork demonstrated paste fill strength meets or exceeds all requirements set in the FS design for a potential Paste-Backfill to be used for underground stope stability. The testing refined the design parameters for the Paste Tailings Plant. The Paste-Backfill testing was done at the Saskatchewan Research Council’s Saskatoon facilities in 2019.

A capital cost estimate (Class 3 – AACE International classification guidelines) was produced for the FS. The total pre-production CAPEX for the contemplated underground mine, process plant and supporting infrastructure at Arrow are estimated at CAD $1.30 Billion . Wood and Stantec estimated the capital costs based on a three-dimensional model, a mechanical equipment list, material takeoffs, vendor budget quotations on major and secondary equipment, and inputs from leading expert service providers who have significant experience in construction projects and cost estimation both in the Athabasca Basin and globally.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The Pre-Commitment Early Works stage is scheduled to be completed in six (6) months with the objective of de-risking early earthworks, drilling the temporary freeze holes for shaft sinking and establishing supporting infrastructure required to maximize efficiencies for the Project Execution stage.  Supporting infrastructure includes the construction of a concrete batch plant, Phase I camp accommodations and bulk fuel storage.  The Project Execution stage is scheduled to be completed in three and a half (3.5) years and will include the balance of the Project scope incorporating ramp-up and commissioning.

The construction phases will be supported by a labour force consisting of skilled labour, trades people, professionals and administration. The Study determined the total personnel hours required for pre-production construction is 3,824,000 hours. The CAPEX is summarized below in Table 4.

The Sustaining Capital through the life-of-mine, including Decommissioning Costs, is estimated to be $432 M .  As with all underground mines the main expenditures are for underground mine development and  additional and replacement mobile equipment.  The Sustaining Capital costs are summarized in Table 5.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

The OPEX estimate is based on a shaft-accessed underground mine with a conventional longitudinal and transverse long-hole stope mining method, a conventional processing facility, and a UGTMF. While in operation the FS defines a peak required workforce of approximately 470 persons – 290 would be on-site at any one time; the expertise required ranges from skilled labour, equipment operators, mining professionals, technical professional, management and administrative. NexGen’s community-first approach ensures all opportunities are prioritized within the local region. The OPEX is summarized below in Tables 6.

The economic analysis was based on the timing of a final investment decision (“FID”) and does not include the Pre-Commitment Early Works Capital, which are costs NexGen intends on expending prior to the FID.  The economic analysis is based on a Project Execution Capital Cost estimate of $1,142 M and a construction schedule of 3.5 years, excluding the Pre-Commitment Early Works scope (capital costs of $158 M and 6-month construction schedule).

The Feasibility Study returned an after-tax NPV 8 % of $3.47 billion and an IRR of 52.4%.  NPV and IRR are summarized in the following table using Base Case and other flat uranium price estimates.  The economic model was subjected to a sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of changing metals prices, grade, metal recovery, exchange rate, OPEX, CAPEX, labour and reagent costs. The NPV is most sensitive to metals prices, grade, metal recovery, and exchange rate.

nexgen announces elite environmental and economic results

NexGen is a British Columbia corporation with a focus on developing the Rook I Project located in the south western Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada into production. NexGen has a highly experienced team of uranium industry professionals with a successful track record in the discovery of uranium deposits and in developing projects through discovery to production.  NexGen also owns a portfolio of highly prospective uranium properties in the south western Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada .

The technical information in this news release with respect to the FS has been reviewed and approved by Mark Hatton , P.Eng. of Stantec, Paul O’Hara , P.Eng. of Wood, and Mark B. Mathisen , C.P.G. of RPA, each of whom is an independent “qualified person” under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (” NI-43-101 “).

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