Cameco opens new satellite uranium facility
May 18, 2013 — Gillette, Wyoming (Source: Casper Star-Tribune) — Wyoming’s largest uranium producer opened a new mine southwest of Gillette Monday, creating jobs for about 54 workers and increasing yearly output by up to 700,000 pounds.
Cameco Resources began operations at its North Butte uranium facility this week. The mine is expected to produce about 300,000 pounds of uranium concentrate this year, topping out closer to 700,000 by 2015.
North Butte will employ about 29 workers and roughly two dozen contractors. The facility will utilize in-situ recovery, a strategy wherein a solution is pumped into the ground, dissolves the uranium and is removed. The solution is then processed, isolating the resource for harvest.
Cameco officials called the opening a big step for the company, which for years has run the Smith Ranch-Highland facility north of Glenrock.
The new facility, located in Campbell County about 60 miles southwest of Gillette, will send all the material recovered there to Smith Ranch-Highland, the largest uranium facility in Wyoming.
Smith Ranch-Highland last year accounted for about 1.1 million pounds of yellowcake, a uranium oxide, and over the past decade has produced nearly 16 million pounds.
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Cameco also owns one other uranium facility in the U.S. — the Crow Butte facility, near Crawford, Neb. That mine produced 800,000 pounds of uranium concentrate in 2012.
North Butte joins a group of new uranium mines around the state that are either newly open or expected to open this year. Also in that group are Ur-Energy’s Lost Creek facility north of Rawlins and Uranerz’s Nichols Ranch near Edgerton.
North Butte is the company’s newest mine, but Cameco isn’t standing still. The company is also exploring a site in the Gas Hills about 60 miles west of Casper, and has other exploratory properties in Nebraska.
The company held a reception Monday in Gillette to thank various state and local officials who support the project. ”A lot of work went into this,”Cameco Resources President Paul Goranson said. “Our big goal is to not only do business in Wyoming, but to be part of the community.”
Cameco is a division of Canada-based Cameco Corporation.
Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>