GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK — Energy Fuels Incorporated, the owner and operator of the Pinenut Mine in Mohave County, Ariz., expects to commence production at the mine in late May or early June and continue for two to three years under its approved mining plan of operations.
The Pinenut Mine is located on federal land near Grand Canyon National Park that was withdrawn in January 2012 from location and entry of new mining claims for 20 years, subject to valid existing rights. The withdrawal did not affect mining operations that were approved at the time of the withdrawal decision or new operations that will occur on valid existing mining claims. The withdrawal also did not affect other natural resource development in the area, including mineral leasing, geothermal leasing and mineral material sales.
The Pinenut Mine is one of three mines on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management that predate the withdrawal, all of which are operated by Energy Fuels. The Arizona 1 Mine in Mohave County has been in production since December 2009, and Energy Fuels expects to begin reclamation toward the end of 2013.
The secretary of the Interior made the January 2012 withdrawal decision after engaging numerous cooperating agencies, tribes, counties, and stakeholders, and considering more than 350,000 public comments on the draft environmental impact statement, including input from more than 90 countries. The environmental analysis projected that 11 uranium mines would be developed during the 20-year withdrawal period.