(Associated Press, November 4) – Uranium producers in Wyoming are hoping more demand from China, Russia and India will help the beleaguered industry bounce back in a sector has been under pressure since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.
Analysts say the market has shown signs of life with spot prices around $35 a pound since the middle of this year.
Of all the projects anticipated in Wyoming, Curtis Moore, director of marketing and corporate development for Lakewood, Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc., said their property at Sheep Mountain, 50 miles north of Rawlins, shows great promise.
“This is really a large deposit. It is one of the largest uranium development projects in the U.S.,” Moore said. “Three to five years down the road this could be our flagship project.”
As one of the largest producers of uranium in the United States, Energy Fuels expects to leverage its potential production capacity against the world’s growing demand for uranium.
Moore said he anticipates the handful of sites in Wyoming to play a major role in the company’s business model, the Rawlins Daily Times reported.
Sheep Mountain was formerly operated by Western Nuclear from the 1950s to the 1980s, after which production ceased. Energy Fuels acquired the Sheep Mountain Project through its acquisition of Titan Uranium Inc. in February 2012.
Energy Fuels plans to redevelop that project using conventional underground and open pit-mining techniques.
The company currently has long-term contracts with two U.S. and one South Korean utility company.