The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday that it had issued an operating license to AUC LLC that allows for in-situ leach uranium mining at the Reno Creek property in Campbell County, Wyoming.
The AUC submitted the application for the in-situ recovery process at the property in October 2012. The process involves injection of a solution into underground deposit areas, which is then pumped back to the surface with the unprocessed ore. The retrieved solution is then processed to extract the uranium.
The regulator said it had also published a Safety Evaluation Report that concludes the proposed facility can, in a safe manner, “operate, manage radiological and chemical hazards, protect groundwater and eventual clean up and decommission.”
AUC LLC is a holding company for the Reno Creek project, which sits in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Studies show the Reno Creek catchment includes 10.96 million pounds of U208, average grade 0.066 percent, and 4.73 million pounds with an average grade of 0.063 percent, as well as 8.41 million pounds of U308 “in historical resources grading about 0.83 percent U308,” the World Nuclear News reported.
The site is expected to include five wellfields and a processing facility that relies on an ion exchange system to remove the uranium from the saturated solution.
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