Vanadium Production Resumes at White Mesa Mill First vanadium production since 2013
In a January 7th press release, Energy Fuels Inc. confirmed that vanadium production restarted at its White Mesa Mill .
White Mesa Mill is located just north of the community of the tribal lands of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and residential community of White Mesa, south of Blanding, Utah.
In 1979, the White Mesa Mill was built to extract uranium and vanadium and is curretnly the only operating conventional uranium and vanadium production facility in the United States.
This is Energy Fuels' first time the Company has recovered vanadium from tailings pond solutions at the White Mesa Mill.
In December 2018, the Company commenced a campaign to recover vanadium pentoxide (“V2O5”) from existing tailings pond solutions at the Company’s White Mesa Mill, which result from past mineral processing operations. In early January 2019, Energy Fuels produced its first batches of vanadium concentrate, also known as “black flake”. Mark S. Chalmers, President and CEO of Energy Fuels, stated: “We are extremely pleased with the quality and purity of our initial batches of finished vanadium product."
Uranium and vanadium are two (2) of the thirty-five (35) “mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States”, according to the Final List of Critical Minerals published by the U.S. Government in May 2018.
Energy Fuels estimates there are up to four (4) million pounds of recoverable vanadium dissolved in these Mill pond solutions. White Mesa Mill has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of U3O8 per year. Energy Fuels corporate offices are in Denver, Colorado, and all of its assets and employees are in the western United States. Energy Fuels holds three of America’s key uranium production centers, the White Mesa Mill in Utah, the Nichols Ranch Processing Facility in Wyoming, and the Alta Mesa Project in Texas.
www.energyfuels.com.Though this confirmation of a successful production is welcome news for those who view the increase in job opportunities in mining and production a sign of better future economies in nearby areas, such as in Dolores County, the news doesn't come without its concerns.
The White Mesa Mill has been the topic of controversy for several years over drinking water contamination, pollution, and radon output. It has also been stated by some residents of the White Mesa Community that, despite promises of work, most of the job positions are not filled by those who live nearby.
One example of this concern comes in the form of a rally and march that has been occurring annually over the past three years by protesters. Activele in these potests have been members of the Ute Mountain Utes, Utah Diné Bikéyah, environmental groups, such as Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and others.
The Dove Creek Press will be following the news from this facility and are seeking reader comments for a local perspective, as well.
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