Sunday, May 09, 2010

More details on EPA's fight with Denison's #1 Arizona uranium mine

The website for World Nuclear News is offering some more details on the EPA's charge that Denison's #1 Arizona uranium mine is operating illegally, without all the needed permits. [right, Denison uranium properties on the Arizona Strip. Credit, Denison Mines]

Energy Fuels Nuclear Inc obtained authorization from the EPA to construct and operate the Arizona 1 mine. However, this approval - granted in August 1988 - would only remain in effect as long as "the Arizona 1 mine is operated as an active underground uranium mine" by Energy Fuels. The permit stated that this approval "is not transferable to another owner or operator." Although Energy Fuels had partially developed Arizona 1 for underground mining, the mine was inactive from the early 1990s until late in 2009.

The EPA says that the permit is no longer valid because of the "long period of inactivity at the mine and because of the transfer of ownership."

The article says EPA is also challenging ADEQ's authority to issue an air permit to the mine. That, along with Denison's claim that they thought they were operating legally, raises the question of whether this is a battle between EPA and ADEQ with Denison caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, Denison reported 1st quarter financial results this week. The company reported sales from U.S. production were 210,000 pounds U3O8 at an average price of $56.30 per pound. I think all of this is from the #1 Arizona mine.

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