Colorado Uranium Firm Restarting Mining Activities

In a news release, Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (WUC:CSE; WSTRF:OTCQX) reported the recent developments in the company and in the global and domestic uranium markets.

The company is preparing its workers to start mining activities in compliance with Colorado’s COVID-19 requirements. The state recently loosened its restrictions to a safer-at-home order from a stay-at-home mandate. All of Western Uranium’s team members remain healthy due to the company’s past and ongoing efforts to minimize their infection risk.

Coming up on June 24, 2020, is the hearing on the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety permits for Western’s Sunday mine. The proceeding could, however, be postponed depending on the COVID-19-related social distancing rules in effect then.

The company finished its surface projects at its Sunday mine complex in Colorado. It completed the final stage, construction of the ore storage pads, in February 2020. Subsequently, the state mining and safety department reviewed and accepted its completion reports.

Regarding uranium, recent supply disruptions, which are continuing, reduced the global inventory by about 50% and, thus, caused the uranium spot price to soar to $34, a four-year peak.

In terms of progress on the Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s recommendations, multiple steps are being taken. A domestic “uranium reserve program is taking shape, funded by annual $150 million budgetary requests,” the release noted. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is to purchase uranium from domestic mines and contract for conversion services for which a competitive procurement process will be initiated next year.

The NE launched the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, the purpose of which is to help get two U.S. advanced nuclear reactors running in five to seven years. The program has $230 million in funding.

A group of senators is working to extend the Russian Suspension Agreement, which expires at the end of 2020, but also decrease the allowed import quantity below the existing 20% maximum.

The DOE is currently preparing a report for Congress on the key challenges in reconstituting uranium mining and conversion capabilities in the U.S.

“Western continues to be one of the few uranium companies holding previously producing, permitted and developed mines in the United States, well positioned to benefit from these market developments as they evolve,” the release noted.