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Licensing Status of New and Expanding In-Situ Recovery Uranium Projects in the United States

Abstract

The authors investigated the licensing status of new in-situ recovery (“ISR”) uranium projects, as well as the expansion of existing projects, within the United States (“US”). Specific emphasis and analysis is placed on those projects within the states of Texas and Wyoming. Of note, information used to prepare this paper was obtained from public sources that included company web sites, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), the US Energy Information Agency (“EIA”), and the relevant state regulatory agencies. The renewed interest in the production of natural uranium has been motivated, in part, by the increased sale price of yellowcake beginning around 2003 resulting in numerous new and existing natural resources companies acquiring mineral rights in the United States. Because of the economic favorability in terms of both operating and capital costs of ISR mines versus conventional mines in the US (with its relatively low grade of uranium ore), the model for most companies was to acquire mineral properties that had the potential for being mined using the ISR method. There were, however, exceptions to this model. The Uravan mineral district in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah, where relatively high-grade, shallow uranium deposits have the  More>>
Authors:
Catchpole, G.; Thomas, M., E-mail: gccatchpole@uranerz.com [1] 
  1. Uranerz Energy Corporation (URZ), Casper, WY (United States)
Publication Date:
May 15, 2014
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
IAEA-TECDOC-1739
Resource Relation:
Conference: URAM-2009: 3. International Symposium on Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Exploration, Mining, Production, Supply and Demand, Economics and Environmental Issues, Vienna (Austria), 22-26 Jun 2009; Other Information: 4 tabs.; Related Information: In: Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Exploration, Mining, Production, Supply and Demand, Economics and Environmental Issues (URAM-2009). Proceedings of an International Symposium| 322 p.
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CAPITALIZED COST; EXCEPTIONS; LICENSING; MATERIALS RECOVERY; MINERAL RIGHTS; NATURAL URANIUM; NEBRASKA; OPERATING LICENSES; SALES; TEXAS; URANIUM DEPOSITS; URANIUM MINES; URANIUM ORES; US NRC; WYOMING
OSTI ID:
22320770
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section, Vienna (Austria); OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Issy-les-Moulineaux (France); Nuclear Energy Institute, Washington, DC (United States); World Nuclear Association, London (United Kingdom)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISBN 978-92-0-105014-4; ISSN 1011-4289; TRN: XA15M0015026972
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form. Also available on-line: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/TE-1739_web.pdf; Enquiries should be addressed to IAEA, Marketing and Sales Unit, Publishing Section, E-mail: sales.publications@iaea.org; Web site: http://www.iaea.org/books
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 129-134
Announcement Date:
Apr 01, 2015

Citation Formats

Catchpole, G., and Thomas, M., E-mail: gccatchpole@uranerz.com. Licensing Status of New and Expanding In-Situ Recovery Uranium Projects in the United States. IAEA: N. p., 2014. Web.
Catchpole, G., & Thomas, M., E-mail: gccatchpole@uranerz.com. Licensing Status of New and Expanding In-Situ Recovery Uranium Projects in the United States. IAEA.
Catchpole, G., and Thomas, M., E-mail: gccatchpole@uranerz.com. 2014. "Licensing Status of New and Expanding In-Situ Recovery Uranium Projects in the United States." IAEA.
@misc{etde_22320770,
title = {Licensing Status of New and Expanding In-Situ Recovery Uranium Projects in the United States}
author = {Catchpole, G., and Thomas, M., E-mail: gccatchpole@uranerz.com}
abstractNote = {The authors investigated the licensing status of new in-situ recovery (“ISR”) uranium projects, as well as the expansion of existing projects, within the United States (“US”). Specific emphasis and analysis is placed on those projects within the states of Texas and Wyoming. Of note, information used to prepare this paper was obtained from public sources that included company web sites, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), the US Energy Information Agency (“EIA”), and the relevant state regulatory agencies. The renewed interest in the production of natural uranium has been motivated, in part, by the increased sale price of yellowcake beginning around 2003 resulting in numerous new and existing natural resources companies acquiring mineral rights in the United States. Because of the economic favorability in terms of both operating and capital costs of ISR mines versus conventional mines in the US (with its relatively low grade of uranium ore), the model for most companies was to acquire mineral properties that had the potential for being mined using the ISR method. There were, however, exceptions to this model. The Uravan mineral district in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah, where relatively high-grade, shallow uranium deposits have the potential to be mined using underground methods, is one such exception. However, the focus of this paper will be on ISR projects. In Wyoming, which has been the top producer of natural uranium among the 50 states for the past seven years, there is one producing ISR mine (Bill Smith — Highland), one ISR mine on standby (Christensen Ranch), and two ISR uranium projects licensed but not yet built (Gas Hills and North Butte). Cameco Resources is planning to develop two ISR projects in Wyoming that have been licensed but not yet constructed. Additionally, three new uranium companies (Ur-Energy, Uranerz and Uranium One) have filed applications with the federal and state agencies to construct and operate commercial uranium ISR mines on their respective properties in Wyoming. The only other states that have had, and currently have, commercial ISR uranium production are Nebraska and Texas. According to the EIA, in 2008 there was production from one ISR mine in Nebraska and from four ISR mines in Texas. Applications are pending for expansion of the Crow Butte mine in Nebraska, and applications are also pending for both a new ISR mine and expansion of at least one existing mine in Texas. Nebraska, like Wyoming, is a non-agreement state requiring both state and federal operating licenses for an ISR uranium mine while Texas is an agreement state requiring only a state license for operating an ISR mine. In addition to the aforementioned states, ISR development plans and licensing status of projects in Colorado, New Mexico and South Dakota will also be covered in this paper. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {2014}
month = {May}
}