More uranium mines starting production, but prices remain low

Aug 6, 2013

Ur-Energy's Culver-Douglas Processing Plant at Lost Creek.
Credit Ur-Energy Inc. / CNW Group

The Lost Creek uranium mine started production last week in south central Wyoming. It comes on the heels of the North Butte mine, which started production in May.

Wyoming Representative David Miller says the mines are coming online now because regulatory agencies are catching up to the influx of requested permits. The companies started the permitting process years ago in anticipation of higher uranium prices, but most Wyoming companies did not get their operations up and running in time to take advantage of those prices.

“Uranium went all the way up to $138 a pound back in 2007. And frankly the companies should have been on production by then other than the fact that the regulatory agencies slowed them down and made the process very difficult for them,” Miller says.

Now, prices are back down to below $40 per pound.

Miller says he expects more sites to receive their permits, but says it might not be feasible to actually start mining until prices go back up.