Firm gears up to process ore at Pinon Ridge

The company planning to build a uranium mill near Naturita is embarking on plans to consolidate and expand the mill’s resource base.

Energy Fuels Resources Inc. will spend about $1 million during the next 18 months on mines, drilling and other activities aimed at getting ready for feeding ore to the mill, the company said.

“Energy Fuels is quietly assembling an impressive array of properties on the Colorado Plateau,” Energy Fuels President and Chief Executive Officer Steven P. Antony said.

While pursuing construction of the $150 million mill, Energy Fuels is taking steps to ascertain the value of its current holdings and seek new sources of uranium and vanadium, possibly in other mines that Energy Fuels might consider acquiring.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring these proven and formerly producing mines back into production and process the material at the Pinon Ridge Mill,” Antony said.

Plans include drilling, resource verification and the preparation of technical reports to reflect the size and grade of resources in compliance with Canadian reporting standards, company spokesman Gary Steele said.

“Historically, Colorado and Utah were home to the most important uranium-producing districts in the world,” Antony said. “The Colorado Plateau can again be a major uranium-producing area of worldwide significance.”

The mill is scheduled to be operating by 2013.

Energy Fuels is completing construction plans for the mill in anticipation of beginning construction in 2012.

Meanwhile, it is seeking U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of a state air-quality permit and construction of the tailings impoundment.

The Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance is challenging in court the state’s issuance of a hazardous-materials-handling permit to Energy Fuels.

A Denver district judge last month ordered a trial in the lawsuit, which names the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, to which Energy Fuels is an indispensable party.

Energy Fuels is seeking financing for the mill and received $11.5 million of equity financing in March.

At that time, the company noted, the world was watching closely the Japanese nuclear crisis in the wake of a deadly tsunami.


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