Anfield Energy Inc has submitted its production reactivation plan for the Shootaring Canyon uranium mill to the State of Utah's Department of Environmental Quality. The Vancouver-based company said it is targeting the mill restart for 2026 - it has been on standby since 1982.

Shootaring Canyon (Image: Anfield Resources)

The plan outlines an increase in mill throughput capacity to 1000 tonnes of ore per day from 750 tonnes per day and an increase in annual uranium production capacity to 3 million pounds (1154 tU) from 1 million pounds (385 tU). The Shootaring mill is one of only three licensed, permitted and constructed conventional uranium mills in the USA.

"The plan addresses the updating the mill's radioactive materials licence from its current standby status to operational status and the increasing of both throughput capacity and the tripling of licensed production capacity," the company said. "Following approval of the reactivation plan and mill refurbishment, Anfield will be able to both recommence uranium production and start vanadium production in 2026 - joining a select group of North American and US uranium producers meeting the resurgence in uranium demand."

Anfield acquired the Shootaring Canyon mill in 2015. The conventional acid-leach facility had been owned by  Uranium One since 2007, but the Canadian-based and Russian-owned company's mining operations are focused on in-situ leach production methods. The mill - built in 1980 - commenced operations in 1982 and operated for about six months, before operations ceased due to the depressed price of uranium. During its period of operation, it produced and sold 27,825 pounds of U3O8. Surface stockpiles at the facility include an estimate of 370,000 pounds of U3O8 at an average grade of 0.147%. Anfield agreed in August 2014 to acquire the mill plus a portfolio of uranium assets from Uranium One in a deal worth USD5 million.

Anfield said early-stage refurbishment of Shootaring will take place during the review of the restart application, preparing the company to complete refurbishment as soon as the restart application is approved.

"We at Anfield are very proud of achieving the important milestone of submitting the production restart application for Shootaring," said Anfield CEO Corey Dias. "This is an achievement which has taken close to 18 months of engineering and design input to complete and caps a decade of methodical and strategic progression in asset development.

"Since acquiring the Shootaring Canyon mill in 2015, we have maintained the facility, waiting for the right market conditions to return the mill to production status. With uranium reaching highs of greater than USD100 per pound earlier this year, and a global environment in which demand is expected to continue outstripping supply, we believe this is the ideal time to advance our uranium assets to production."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 11 April 2024
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Anfield-applies-to-restart-Shootaring-Canyon-mill