Pinon Ridge uranium mill awaits state permit

Uranium mining in western Colorado could start up late this year if Colorado approves a permit for the proposed Pinon Ridge uranium mill in western Montrose County, according to the founder of the company that is planning the mill.

The mill project is “pretty much on schedule,” Energy Fuels Inc. founder George Glasier said at the spring meeting of Club 20 at Two Rivers Convention Center.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is considering the company’s application for the mill. Energy Fuels invested $10 million in acquiring the mill site and preparing its application, Glasier said.

Energy Fuels has mines in Colorado, and “we expect those mines to start operations as soon as this mill permit is issued,” probably in early 2011, Glasier said.

Right now, no mines are operating in Colorado, but two mines are operating in Utah, Glasier said.

The Pinon Ridge mill would be the first new mill in the United States in 35 years.

The uranium mining industry in western Colorado will revive before it does elsewhere because of the presence of vanadium, which is used in hardening steel, along with uranium. The presence of vanadium enhances the value of the material mined and milled by Energy Fuels in western Colorado, Glasier said.


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