Energy policy — nuclear: Energy Fuels plans to spend $1 million over the next 18 months in preparation to process uranium at the proposed Piñon Ridge Mill

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Matthew Beaudin):

The company currently holds the leases on two idle mines: The Whirlwind, about four miles south of Gateway, and the Energy Queen, just outside of La Sal, Utah. It is trying to acquire another mining property in the region, but no more details of that purchase were made available. If Energy Fuels can get both mines online and humming at top production, it’s estimated that they could produce about 450 tons of uranium-bearing rock per day. Both mines are already permitted. “We’re just looking at adding resource is all we’re doing,” said Gary Steele, a vice president at Energy Fuels. “We’re looking at picking up more mining opportunities.”[…]

“Historically, Colorado and Utah were home to the most important uranium producing districts in the World,” Stephen P. Antony, President and CEO of Energy Fuels, said in press release. “These areas still contain significant quantities of uranium and vanadium that can be produced competitively and economically. The Colorado Plateau can again be a major uranium-producing area of worldwide significance.”[…]

The Whirlwind Mine was developed by Pioneer Uravan between 1976 and 1981, and later passed through Umetco and Cotter Corporation’s holdings. Energy Fuels bought the claims and infrastructure in 2006, and production ceased because of falling spot prices. Energy Fuels completed permitting on the mine in 2009, and it’s ready for production, according to the company’s website.

The Energy Queen, formerly called the Hecla Shaft, was initially a Union Carbide/Hecla Mining joint venture. Energy Fuels bought it in 2006. The Energy Queen is just north of an active uranium and copper district known as Lisbon Valley. It’s three miles outside of La Sal, Utah.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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