Canadian Mining Journal

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URANIUM PROCESSING – First uranium mill to be built in USA in last 25 years

COLORADO - Toronto-based ENERGY FUELS has acquired approximately 1,000 acres of property west of Naturita, Colo., i...



COLORADO – Toronto-based ENERGY FUELS has acquired approximately 1,000 acres of property west of Naturita, Colo., in the Paradox Valley of western Montrose County. There it intends to construct its Pinon Ridge uranium mill, which will be designed as a state-of-the-art conventional uranium/vanadium mill. The team responsible for developing the mill includes many of the key members of the team that financed and built, for Energy Fuels Nuclear, the last fully operational uranium mill commissioned in the U.S.A., the White Mesa mill in Blanding, Utah. This move is consistent with the companys plan to become a fully integrated uranium producer.

Initial engineering studies indicate the Pinon Ridge mill will be designed with a capacity of 1,000 tons/d throughput, to produce 1.6 million to 2.0 million lb of U3O8 per year.

The mines in the local region (the Uravan mining district) produce vanadium (V2O5) associated with uranium, effectively lowering the cost of uranium extraction. At historical vanadium grades for this region, the mill will also produce 5 million to 8 million lb of V2O5 per year. The current spot price for V2O5 is $7.50 to $8.00/lb.

Mill construction consultants have been retained and their work has begun. LYNTEK of Denver, Colo., has undertaken the preliminary process design, and the KLEINFELDER consulting group has begun planning to conduct baseline environmental studies and to prepare the mill licence application.

Mill licence review and approval are expected to require about 16 months from the time of application submittal. The company plans to submit the mill licence application in approximately 12 months. Mill operations are expected to commence in 2010. Follow the story at www.energyfuels.com.


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