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Mon, April 06

Canyon Mine completes drilling of 1,475-foot mine shaft
Energy Fuels to analyze drilling results, prepare plan for ore extraction

The dormant Canyon Mine in the Kaibab National Forest south of the Grand Canyon. Photo/Tara Alatorre

The dormant Canyon Mine in the Kaibab National Forest south of the Grand Canyon. Photo/Tara Alatorre

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Canyon Mine has completed drilling of its 1,475-foot mine shaft and has finished delineating the uranium deposits, according to Energy Fuels spokesman Curtis Moore.

Moore said operations at the mine will slow in the coming months while the company analyzes the results of the drilling and formulates a mining plan. Energy Fuels will also track the uranium market and work on regulatory and environmental compliance at the site.

“We’re at a point in the project where we really cannot do much more work underground until we complete underground mine planning and engineering based on the drilling results,” he said. “Careful mine planning is critical to ensure we mine safely and efficiently.”

Mine planning involves the underground workings of the mine, including how to get air into the tunnels, how to support the roof to avoid collapse and how to move workers and materials as safely as possible. Once the evaluation is completed, Energy Fuels will resume construction at the site. The earliest date for ore extraction from Canyon Mine is June 2017.

Energy Fuels will also track the uranium market to determine a production schedule for ore extracted from the mine — how much ore will be extracted at the greatest cost-efficiency.

The evaluation and planning process will take a few months, Moore said, and because site operations are at a standstill, most of the workers have been temporarily laid off.

“They (the workers) demonstrated an exceptional amount of professionalism and skill in completing a difficult job,” Moore said. “We hope to hire most of them back soon to mine the deposits.”

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