Boss Energy's preparations for the restart of the Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia are well underway.
The busy developer is working towards a final investment decision for the project this year, though the exact timing will be linked to increases in the uranium price.
Front-end engineering work is more than 50% complete, a high-voltage power connection agreement has been signed and 100% of the piping and instrumentation diagrams have been finalised.
The project execution plan has been approved. The plan outlines the objectives, processes and strategies to be employed by the owner's team and contractors, as well as establishing a framework to ensure key project milestones are met.
Analysts from Sprott Equity Research said Boss' latest update showed the company continued to "prioritise substance over flash".
In June 2021, the company released the results of an enhanced feasibility study, which saw a 35% rise in the project's pre-tax net present value to US$309 million.
Capital costs to restart the mine fell 14% to $60.19 million, though the capex for additional IX columns to expand production by 22.5% to 2.45 million pounds of uranium is $19.82 million, taking total capex, including contingency, to $80 million.
The pre-tax internal rate of return is 47%, while the payback period has dropped six months to 3.5 years.
All-in costs have fallen by 11% to $31.86 per pound, all-in sustaining costs are down 16% to $25.62/lb and cash costs are 21% lower at $18.46/lb.
The EBITDA margin is forecast at 62%.
The study was based on a uranium price of $60/lb. While the spot price was about $30/lb at the time of the announcement, it has since risen to $45/lb and is expected to rise further.
Boss believes $60/lb is the incentive price to spur new global production. But restart projects such as Honeymoon could move sooner thanks to the lower costs they enjoy due to existing infrastructure.
It makes the company's early 2021 acquisition of 1.25Mlb of uranium an even better investment.
The uranium was acquired for $37.7 million, or $30.15/lb, in March 2021, and is now worth $57 million.
The stockpile gives Boss flexibility around project funding and offtake discussions.
Boss is also drilling to grow Honeymoon's resources.
It has had success to date, lifting resources by 433% to 71.67Mlb since acquiring the project in late 2015.
The enhanced feasibility study was based on just 36Mlb of the total Honeymoon resource of 71.6Mlb, so there are opportunities
Bass has a strong balance sheet, with cash and equivalents of A$18.3 million at December 31, and recently completed a one-for-eight consolidation of its share capital to encourage institutional ownership.
The uranium price has already made a strong start to the year, buoyed by potential disruptions in Kazakhstan, a major producer.
Sprott has a buy rating for Boss and a $3.20 price target.
"Given the increased interest in nuclear power in the West, the buildout in China, and the need for utilities to contract in the near-term, we think the uranium cycle has both near-term upside and long-term legs, which fits Boss' combination of near-term production but long-term operational focus."