Boss Resources (ASX:BOE) has engaged an external engineering firm, as it continues the long march towards production approval at its Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia.

Having first purchased the asset back in 2015, the company commissioned a scoping study in September 2016 and the pre-feasibility study in May 2017 by GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG).

Now, GR has been retained to be the lead consultant in the next stage of pre-production; the definitive feasibility study (DFS).

The timeframe for completion of the DFS is November this year. Shares in Boss were up by around 2 per cent in morning trade to 5.3c.

Path to production

Managing Director Duncan Craib said the appointment “represented another important milestone for positioning Boss as Australia’s next uranium producer”.

The DFS will be a two-stage process, starting with a re-commissioning of the existing facility to assess what modifications will be required to improve performance.

The next step will be to build out the processing and packaging capabilities of the plant, including modifications to ground water treatment, with an eventual production goal of 2 million pounds per annum U3O8 equivalent.

Boss’s patient approach towards production comes amid some interesting geo-political developments in the uranium industry, centred around a pending decision from US authorities about how much uranium US utilities will have to source domestically.

Craib recently told Stockhead that it had put the global industry in something of a holding pattern, which in turn had created a lot of “pent up demand” as US companies drew down on their existing inventory.

Nuclear energy provides around 11 per cent of the world’s electricity, which increases to 20 per cent for North America. But the sector still has a long way to go in Australia, where the federal government has shown no intention to lift the current ban on nuclear power.

In other ASX uranium news today:

Shares in Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) fell this morning, after the company announced that CEO and managing director Paul Atherley would step down from the role to “concentrate on his other investments in the resource sector”. Atherley had been in the role since June 2015.

Berkeley said it would continue to progress the approvals it needed to commence production at its Salamanca mine in Spain. The company plans to set up an office in Madrid and “ultimately seek to recruit a suitably qualified Spanish national” for the CEO role. Shares in BKY were down 8.8 per cent at 31c.