After obtaining a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission permit to mine for uranium at Nichols Ranch Site in the Powder River Basin, Uranerz is already planning to expand their mining area in the near future.
In April, company officials announced the Nichols site, located in Johnson County, was officially in production after receiving the go ahead from the regulatory commission.
Recently, company officials have applied for a mining license amendment through the regulatory commission once again to include uranium rich land south of the site referred to as the Jane Dough Permit Area.
Manager of Investor Relations Derek Iwanaka said the amendment will add the Jane Dough land to their existing license for the Nichols Ranch, which includes the ranch area and the Hank area located northeast of the ranch.
He said the regulatory commission makes sure that numerous tests on the property are made to ensure that the land will be returned to the way it was before mining—especially the water supply.
For the amendment to be official, he said, they must also receive approval from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
Because the permit areas are so close together, he said, the company expects to install only well fields at the Jane Dough prospective site and use the plant on the Nichols site for processing purposes. He said this should make the project more cost effective.
Currently the company employs 50 people in Wyoming with 30 working at the Nichols site, he said, and the company will expand if they receive approval to mine at the Jane Dough site.
Though, he said, they do not have an exact time line.
The expansion to the Jane Dough site should create more jobs in the county, he said, and eventually increase taxation revenue. He said the company expects to have an update on initial production at the Nichols site by the end of the month.
Here is a link to how the in-situ recovery mining process the company uses works: