US-based uranium firm Energy Fuels Inc (TSE:EFR, NYSEMKT:UUUU) has moved a step closer to mining its Sheep Mountain project in the Crooks Gap district of central Wyoming after receiving relevant approvals.
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision (ROD).
The group already holds a mine permit and these last two steps were the final major government approvals required.
Energy continues to mull how it will process the resource and is considering toll processing at other facilities or building its own onsite facility.
Stephen P. Antony, president and chief executive of Energy Fuels, told investors: "While the project is not planned to go into production in the near-term, our costs to hold the property and permits for the Sheep Mountain Project are relatively low.
"Therefore, it represents an important, low-cost aspect of Energy Fuels' optionality and leverage to rising uranium prices.
"Because it typically requires many years to acquire the major government approvals for uranium projects, permitted projects like Sheep Mountain will be among the first to produce uranium that can be placed into sales contracts with nuclear utilities as prices improve."
Sheep Mountain is a large-scale, formerly-producing, uranium mine with the potential to become a long-term uranium production center in a higher price environment.
According to an April 2012 preliminary feasibility study, the site is estimated to hold around 12.9 million tons of indicative resources with an average grade of 0.117% eU3O8 containing around 30.3 million pounds of uranium.
Included in that, the project is estimated to hold around 7.5 million tons of probable reserves with an average grade of 0.123% eU3O8 containing approximately 18.4 million pounds of uranium.
The PFS also estimates that the Sheep Mountain Project can produce up to 1.5 million pounds of uranium per year over a 15-year mine life.