Green River Star -

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By David Martin

Uranium mine has more than 10 years of life


Ur Energy sees more than 10 years of life in its Lost Creek uranium facility north of Bairoil.

The facility started production in 2013 and has earned more than $25 million in gross revenue from the sale of about 64,000 lbs. of U-308 yellowcake uranium.

Wayne Heili, president and CEO of Ur Energy, said the facility sits on an estimated 13 million pounds of uranium. The mine doesn’t involve traditional mining technology, but utilizes an in situ method of extracting uranium, using native groundwater water to extract diluted uranium.

The facility took several years to complete, partly due to the facility being in what Heili referred to as regulatory purgatory with the multitude of regulating agencies involved in uranium production.

Heili said the facility is one of the lowest cost uranium producing facilities in the world. He said it’s also immune to the cycles within the market place.

“We don’t feel we’ll be subjected to the cyclical nature of the commodities market,” he said.

While speaking to the Sweetwater County Commissioners Tuesday, Heili said the market has stabilized despite reduced demand from Japan and the end of a U.S. program that converted nuclear warheads into reactor fuel. Heili also praised the county for being cooperative with the company while it established its Lost Creek site, saying improvements like the County Road 23 work and other aid the county has given them has helped the 60-man operation immensely.

The county helped fund road improvements to the site through a Wyoming Business Center grant and funding to help cover cost overages.

“Mother nature blessed us. We have everything in this county,” Johnson said. “We’re so fortunate to have what we have in Sweetwater County.”


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