Mining Technology Australia
Wyoming Governor To Uranium Miners: Bring Us Your Projects!
“We’re Ready: This State is in Play!” The New Face of Wyoming’s Uranium Mining Part One of a Five-Part Series Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal really likes the current uranium bull market, “I hope the price of yellowcake stays up, and things get moving.” Yes, the Wyoming democratic governor strongly endorses uranium mining in his state. That would make sense because Wyoming is the largest U. uranium producer. More than 40 percent of the uranium reserves in the United States are located in Wyoming, according to the reserves and resource estimate published by the U.
Energy Information Administration (EIA). Since hitting a bottom in late December 2000, the spot price of uranium has soared by more than 500 percent, reaching a high of $38.50/pound at the end of February. The last time uranium traded this high, President Ronald Reagan was into the second month of his first term.
Unlike some states, where uranium mining is frowned upon, or banned, Wyoming welcomes the industry with open arms. “We’ve always sort of been comfortable with the uranium industry,” Freudenthal told StockInterview.com. “The uranium industry is part of our history. It’s not something that is frightening or alarming to us.” Freudenthal clearly sees nuclear energy as a potential solution for the energy crisis, “I don’t think anybody has any reservations that we need to have greater domestic capability in energy. I think, in the circles that worry about those equations, there is clearly a role for nuclear power.” Freudenthal urged the capital markets to act on the energy crisis by turning to Wyoming and mining the abundant supply of uranium, “There’s got to be some clear signals to the capital markets that investment in this area will ultimately be rewarded. We certainly have the resource.” Since June 2004, publicly traded junior uranium companies and speculators have created a staking frenzy in the state.
Wyoming’s Office of State Lands and Investments reported developers are snapping up tens of thousands of acres of state leases. The reading room, where prospectors and developers study potential federal lands for leasing purposes in the Cheyenne office of the U. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was filled to capacity during a recent visit by the StockInterview.com editorial team. StockInterview.com asked if the unusually high level of staking activity in Wyoming by publicly traded companies, such as Strathmore Minerals (TSX: STM; Other OTC: STHJF), Energy Metals Corporation (TSX: EMC), Kilgore Minerals (TSX: KAU), UR-Energy (TSE: URE) and Uranerz Energy (OTC BB: URNZ), was merely speculative, Freudenthal responded, “I think we’re past the sort of speculation of people running through and picking everything up. We’re down to serious players trying to make serious decisions.” Good news for the above-mentioned uranium development companies: The Governor of Wyoming believes you mean business, and he’s doing everything he can to encourage you! Freudenthal was optimistic more companies would bring their projects to Wyoming, “These are not light investments. But you also don’t go out and re-activate uranium production, if at the end of the day, you don’t have a buyer.
” Governor Freudenthal is a good listener and acts quickly and decisively when facing facts. For example, when StockInterview.com informed him that decommissioned Russian nuclear warheads now powered about one in every twenty electric light bulbs in the United States, and that the swords-for-plowshares arrangement might end in 2013 (end of HEU), Freudenthal responded, “If that timing is correct, then they should already be making decisions to invest in Wyoming. I hope they do.” A large number of Canadian and European financiers believe there is a nuclear renaissance. Where does the Governor stand? “We’re ready,” Freudenthal shot back. “They just need to start bringing the projects and the money (into Wyoming). I think we have a very good regulatory climate. I think if they move into the ‘in situ’ (ISL) mining, we’ve got some experience with that.” And if the public companies bring their projects to Wyoming, how does Governor Freudenthal feel? “This state is IN PLAY!” he exuberantly announced.
Asked to compare Wyoming with New Mexico, once a top uranium-producing state, he responded, “This state, historically, is just much more comfortable with commodity development.” On the other hand, he somewhat deferred to New Mexico’s own nuclear renaissance, where rumors are flying of a new nuclear power plant and the expansion of uranium mining and nuclear in that state, explaining, “New Mexico is closer to some larger energy consuming markets. They have fewer miles of transmission lines to build if they are going to get to California or Nevada. It wouldn’t seem illogical if I were a private investor to look there first.” What does the Governor have to say to the new flock of uranium development companies, joining Cameco’s Power Resources in mining Wyoming’s uranium? There are several companies, which have staked land, and are now beginning to move their projects forward. Freudenthal advised, “They need to start allocating greater capital at a rate that the project sponsors are comfortable. We’re past the speculators. People know it (uranium) is here. Nobody wants to hit the market too early.
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