Durango Telegraph - The road to White Mesa: Mill begins ore-buying program
The road to White Mesa: Mill begins ore-buying program

High prices and a willing government agency are not the only incentives to get into uranium mining. On July 5, the Denison Mines Corp., formerly the International Uranium Co., announced the start of a uranium ore-buying program to supplement feed for its White Mesa Mill in Blanding, Utah.

The mill can enrich up to 2,000 tons of ore per day and is currently the only conventional uranium mill operating in the United States. Ore from Denison’s mining operations is currently being stockpiled at White

Mesa with processing scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2008. In addition, Denison plans on purchasing approximately 40,000 tons of uranium ore per year.

“With current all-time high prices, the uranium industry has been rejuvenated in the Four Corners area with several mines being re-opened,” said Ron Hochstein, president of Denison. “Denison’s mill is the only one operating in a 500-mile radius in the heart of the historic uranium producing district in the U.S., and we very much look forward to working with the inde

pendent miners in the region.”

The White Mesa Uranium Mill has been in business since 1978 but came under fire earlier this year from conservationists. The Sierra Club has charged that the mill is poorly equipped, contaminated and leaking radioactive waste. High loads of contaminants have been found in the groundwater surrounding the mill. Denison has countered that the contamination is the result of “natural causes.”

– Will Sands