Shootaring Canyon mill sold

18 August 2014

Anfield Resources is to acquire the Shootaring Canyon uranium mill in Utah plus a portfolio of uranium assets from Uranium One in a deal worth $5 million. A previous agreement to sell the mill to Black Range Minerals for $10 million lapsed earlier this year.

Shootaring Canyon mill 460 (Black Range)
The Shootaring Canyon mill (Image: Black Range)

As well as the mothballed uranium mill, the purchase includes historical uranium resources in the states of Utah, Arizona and South Dakota. Estimated at 6.8 million pounds U3O8 (2616 tU), the properties include the flagship Velvet-Wood deposit with historic measured and indicated resources of 4.63 million pounds (1781 tU). Anfield notes that it has not done "sufficient work" to allow it to treat the historical figures as current resource or reserve estimates.

Shootaring Canyon is one of three licensed uranium mills in the USA, but has been under care and maintenance since operations ceased in 1982. Vancouver-based copper and uranium exploration company Anfield's existing portfolio of uranium holdings, including past producing mines, lie within a 125-mile radius of the mill, which is licensed to process up to 750 tonnes of ore per day. Anfield CEO Corey Dias said the purchase of the facility, had "significantly accelerated" the timeline for it to become a uranium producer.

Shootaring Canyon has been owned by Uranium One since 2007, but the Canadian-based and Russian-owned company's mining operations are very much focused on in-situ leach production methods. It had agreed to sell its conventional US mining assets to Australian company Black Range Minerals in November 2013 in a deal worth $10 million including the replacement of government reclamation bonds held as surety over the mill's eventual decommissioning. The agreement lapsed in March 2014 after the two companies failed to secure the necessary regulatory approvals in time for their desired completion date.

Definitive agreements between Anfield and Uranium One will see Anfield acquire the assets for $1 million in shares and a total of $4 million in cash over a period of up to 4 years. In addition, Anfield has agreed to replace at least $5 million of US government reclamation bonds. Like the earlier Black Range deal, the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News