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Lost Creek uranium facility exceeding expectations

US Department of Energy

Production at Lost Creek uranium facility is exceeding expectations.

Ur-Energy’s Lost Creek mine started producing uranium in early August. Less than two months into production, Vice President of Operations Steven Hatten, says the facility is functioning well above projected levels.

“Field conditions have presented themselves in a more positive light than laboratory conditions may have predicted,” Hatten says. 

He says it’s especially significant since it’s the first in-situ mine to open in the Great Divide Basin. At its current production rate, the facility can produce 800,000 pounds of yellowcake annually.

Uranium spot prices are below $40 per pound, which companies say is too low for many projects to actually come online and make a profit. However, Ur-Energy has long-term sales contracts with nuclear power plants throughout the US, which offsets dropping prices.

“Our management has done a great job, and our sales team has done a great job, of working with the utilities to makes sure that this is a profitable venture,” added Hatten.

The company will start delivering uranium to its buyers soon.    

The Lost Creek facility currently employs about 60 people. Ur-Energy does hold leases for more land around the current facility, so it is expected to grow in the future.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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