Monday, July 02, 2012

Development of northern Arizona uranium mine planned by year-end

 Energy Fuels, Inc. plans to have the Pinenut uranium mine in northern Arizona in production by the end of 2012, and start sinking a shaft for the Canyon mine in the fourth quarter on Forest Service lands, pending regulatory approval.  The Canyon mine location is south of Tusayan. The company's shareholders last week approved acquisition of Denison’s US Mining Division which include those properties. [Right, location map of active and proposed uranium mines in northern Arizona, from the Denison Mines 2007 NI-43-101 report]

Energy Fuels reports that the grade of the ore at the Canyon mine site is 0.98% U3O8, which is the highest of any of their uranium properties across Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming, and is substantially higher than the average grade for breccia pipe deposits of about 0.65%.    The inferred resource at the Canyon mine is 83,000 tons, with expected production of 1,629,000 lbs of U3O8.   Reporter Cyndy Cole describes the history of the proposed mine in a story yesterday in the Arizona [Flagstaff] Daily Sun.

The Canyon project was grandfathered in before the Interior Secretary imposed a 20-year ban on exploration and mining on federal lands in the region.  Permitting began in the 1980s.  The Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality air and aquifer protection applications and permits are posted at   Cyndy says environmental groups are planning lawsuits to halt development.

Denison's "Arizona 1" mine in the region has been producing since the end of 2010.  The ore is trucked to Utah for processing as would ore from the new mines.

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