May 17, 2020

Energy Fuels gets governmental green light for La Sal Complex expansion

Uranium
Vanadium
Uranium
Dale Benton
2 min
A leading integrated US-based uranium mining company has announced that plans to expand one of its largest uranium and vanadium mining complexes has bee...

A leading integrated US-based uranium mining company has announced that plans to expand one of its largest uranium and vanadium mining complexes has bee given the all important governmental approval.

Energy Fuels, holder of America’s three key uranium production centres, announced in a statement this week that it had received approval from the US Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service for the expansion of ita 100% owned La Sal Complex of uranium/vanadium mines.

The La Sal Complex is a series of several past producing uranium and vanadium mines, currently on standby status in the San Juan County, Utah.

Through a number of expansion development, Energy Fuels plans to expand its development rock storage, dill up to 400 exploration holes to expand deposits, construct ventilation shafts as well as the reclamation of historic disturbances by previous mine operators.

During the 2007 to 2013-time period, 446,000 tons of mineralized material were mined from the La Sal Complex and processed at the White Mesa Mill.

According to a technical report completed in 2014, the La Sal Complex holds 1.1 million tons of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources containing 4.1 million pounds of uranium and 21.5 million pounds of vanadium.

 

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Mark S. Chalmers, President and CEO of Energy Fuels, stated: “We are pleased that the BLM and USFS issued approvals for expansion of this project following a comprehensive multi-year analysis. This is particularly important, as the mines and properties comprising the La Sal Complex contain large quantities of uranium resources, along with significant high-grade vanadium resources. We have recently seen vanadium prices increase significantly, and our nearby White Mesa Mill has a long history of producing uranium and vanadium from these mines.

This project is fully-permitted and constructed, and is currently on standby status, ready to resume mining operations within approximately six months of a production decision, with minimal capital required.

We believe these approvals once again demonstrate that Energy Fuels is a responsible operator and an asset to the region. We also acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and professionalism of the BLM and USFS staff involved in the preparation of this EA. We are the largest private employer in San Juan County, Utah, including a major employer of Native Americans, and these approvals set the stage for our Company to grow in the region in the future.”

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

BritishLithium
mining
Lithium
Sustainability
3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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