Friday, April 20, 2012

Uranium company merger includes Arizona mine, properties

Energy Fuels Inc, is merging with Denison Mine Corp.'s US assets which include the Arizona #1 uranium mine in northern Arizona, and the White Mesa mill in Utah, which is the only operating uranium mill in the country according to news reports.  Denison has other mines in Arizona that are going through the permitting process which would be part of the merger.  The Globe and Mail reports that "Denison will receive roughly $106-million worth of Energy Fuels's stock in return for the assets. As a result, Denison will own about two-thirds of Energy Fuels following the transaction."

My sources tell me the idea of the merger only started five weeks ago.   [Right, Denison's mine, proposed mine, and other uranium prospects in norther Arizona]


  1. Hey Lee, how is Uranium mined? Is it a mountaintop removal kind of thing, or do they dig deep? Or does it depend on the location?

  2. The current exploration for uranium in Arizona is focused on breccia pipes and involves underground mining of very narrow ore bodies - typically only a few hundred feet in diameter. Dr. Karen Wenrich described the process in testimony to Congress -

    There is a short brochure on uranium mining in the area by the USGS but does not go into much detail about the mining process itself.

    Quaterra Resources has posted a set of slides with details of the mining and reclamation process (see figures 6 and 7 especially), as well as an extensive review of the exploration process -

  3. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Denison lost $65 million last quarter. Their only profitable operations are in Canada; the U.S. operations, which are located almost exclusively on the Colorado Plateau (mostly in Utah and Colorado, not Arizona), are a liability. Placing their U.S. assets under Energy Fuels' umbrella un-tethers Denison's stock valuation from from those liabilities, and for their purposes turns those liabilities into a gamble on Energy Fuels. A gamble, after all, is less bad than an outright liability. Is this move a hopeful sign for the long-term economic viability of uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau? Quite the opposite.

  4. There are other interpretations including one on the website Australian Uranium News -

    "The merger with Denison Mines Corp. also gives Energy Fuels an operating uranium mill in Utah and raises the prospect that it might not build the Montrose County mill.

    Denver-based Energy Fuels wants to build the Piñon Ridge uranium mill in the Paradox Valley, outside the town of Naturita. It would be the first new uranium mill in the United States in 30 years.

    Denison runs the country’s only operating uranium mill, the White Mesa mill near Blanding, Utah. The merger gives Energy Fuels access to a mill right away, instead of waiting for the regulatory and legal process to be settled with Piñon Ridge, Moore said.

    Denison milled only ore from its own mines at the White Mesa mill, so Energy Fuels did not have a place to process uranium from the mines it owns before the merger."