Utah BLM News Release
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BLM approves Whirlwind Mine plan of operations

Contact:  UTAH – Megan Crandall (801) 539-4061
           COLORADO – David Boyd (970) 947-2832

Grand Junction, Colo.—September 12, 2008—The Bureau of Land Management has approved the proposed Whirlwind uranium mine operation on public lands five miles southwest of Gateway, Colo. 

Under the plan, Energy Fuels Resources of Lakewood, Colo., will reopen two reclaimed underground mines—the Urantah Decline and the Packrat Mine—located on claims in both Grand County, Utah, and Mesa County, Colo.  These mines will then be combined into one operation called the Whirlwind Mine.

BLM began an environmental assessment of the proposal in Sept. 2007, which included several opportunities for public involvement. Today’s decision incorporates public comment and identifies numerous conditions of approval requiring protective measures and strict monitoring and reporting requirements.

Beginning later this year, the proponent expects to mine 100-200 tons of uranium ore per day from the underground mine over the next decade.  The ore will be transported to Blanding, Utah, for processing, via John Brown Road, Colorado State Highway 141, Colorado State Highway 90/Utah State Highway 46 and Highway 191 to Blanding. 

The BLM’s role in the approval process, as the administrator of public lands, is only part of a complex planning process. The proponent was also required to submit a Mesa County Conditional Use Application, which is similar in content to the Plan of Operations submitted to the BLM. This application was evaluated and approved earlier this year by the county. The 112(d) Permit Application, also similar in content to the Plan of Operations and required of the company, was submitted to the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety and approved by the state in February 2008.

A map of the Whirlwind Mine and additional information may be viewed online at www.blm.gov/co (select Grand Junction on the interactive map).  For more information, please contact Megan Crandall at (801)539-4061 in Utah and David Boyd at (970) 947-2832 in Colo.

Last updated: 03-04-2011