Mill would have ample uranium nearby, report says

An independent report shows the company that plans to build a uranium mill in Montrose County has enough nearby resources to supply the mill at anticipated levels.

Energy Fuels Resources plans to operate the mill at first on 500 tons per day with the possibility of seeking additional permitting to expand to 1,000 tons per day.

The report by Economic & Planning Systems Inc., which was commissioned by Montrose County, said the uranium resource available for the mill is as much as 2,667 tons per day at a uranium price of $50 per pound and as much as 4,333 tons per day at a price of $100 per pound, according to a statement by Energy Fuels.

Economic & Planning Systems Inc. is an economics consulting firm with offices in Denver, Sacramento and Berkeley, Calif.

Other findings by the consulting firm are that the White Mesa Mill in Blanding, Utah, represents only minor competition for the mill in Colorado, which would be the first uranium mill built in the United States in three decades.

The mill would be strategically placed in the Uravan Mineral Belt, which is estimated to contain from 31 percent to 36 percent of the nation’s uranium. The report stressed the market value of the high-grade uranium and large quantities of vanadium in the Montrose County area will increase as world demand for uranium increases and reactors are built.

The report underscores the value of the uranium “that can potentially be mined economically in this region — by us and by others,” Energy Fuels President and CEO Steve Antony said in a statement.

Energy Fuels has two permitted mines that are expected to feed the mill, one in Mesa County near Gateway and one near La Sal, Utah.

The mill is seeking final permitting after obtaining a permit to handle radioactive materials. The latter permit is being challenged in court by the Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance.


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