Fuel cycle roundup #7

30 April 2013

Pinon Ridge licence re-issued

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has re-issued the final radioactive materials licence for Energy Fuels' proposed Pinon Ridge uranium mill. Pinon Ridge would be the first new conventional uranium mill to be built in the USA in over three decades. The licence imposes a number of conditions on Energy Fuels, including an enhanced groundwater monitoring plan, subject to annual review.

Energy Fuels submitted a licence application in November 2009 for its planned 500 tonnes per day uranium/vanadium mill at Pinion Ridge. The CDPHE approved the radioactive materials licence for the mill in January 2011, and issued the licence two months later, but its ruling was challenged by an environmental campaign group and two local towns. A Denver District Court Judge upheld the previously issued licence decision, but the licence was set aside pending the completion of an administrative hearing.

Approval for Lost Creek dryers

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved an amendment to the licence of Ur-Energy's Lost Creek in-situ leach (ISL) uranium project in Wyoming, allowing the company to install and operate two yellowcake dryers there. The original licence, issued in 2011, allowed for the shipment of yellowcake slurry from Lost Creek to a third party for drying. However, Ur-Energy subsequently decided that on-site drying would improve the project's long-term economics.

The licence amendment also allows the company to package up to 2 million pounds of yellowcake per year at Lost Creek. Production is set to begin at the mine in mid-2013.

Gas Hills resource estimate

Strathmore Minerals has updated its NI 43-101 compliant resource estimates for its Gas Hills uranium project in Wyoming. The total indicated resource estimate is 5.4 million pounds U3O8 (2077 tU) at an average ore grade of 0.13%, with inferred resources of 5.5 million pounds U3O8 (2115 tU) at an average ore grade of 0.07%.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) took a 14% share in Strathmore through a strategic agreement concluded last year. The first phase of that agreement set a budget of $8 million for the exploration, development, permitting and upgrading of historical mineralised estimates at Gas Hills to NI 43-101 compliant resources. Kepco has an option to later increase its stake in the project to 40%.

Denison completes on Fission

Denison Mines has completed its acquisition of Canada-based uranium exploration company Fission Energy. Included in the transaction is Fission's 60% share in the Waterbury Lake uranium development, as well as its exploration interests in other properties in the Athabasca Basin, its interests in two joint ventures in Namibia and its assets in Quebec and Nunavut.

Some of Fission's assets, including a 50% interest in the Patterson Lake South property in the western Athabasca basin, have now been spun out into a new company, Fission Uranium Corp. Fission Energy's common shares ceased trading on the Toronto stock exchange on 29 April and will shortly be delisted.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News