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(last updated 20 Jan 2023)
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In Argentina, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Calypso Uranium Corp. , Cameco Corp., Energía Mineral S.A. , Pacific Bay Minerals Ltd. , U3O8 Corp. , International Mineral Resources Ltd., Patagonia Resources Ltd., United Energy Metals S.A., Laramide Resources Ltd., Wealth Minerals Ltd. , Madero Minerals S.A., Globe Metals & Mining Ltd , Yamiri Gold and Energy Inc. , Portal Resources Ltd. , Cascadero Copper Corporation , Strategic Resources Ltd. , Argentina Uranium Corp. , Blue Sky Uranium Corp. , Areva, Minera Cielo Azul S.A. , Areva, Uranio AG , Uranio del Sur S.A. , Mercator Gold plc , Cauldron Energy Ltd , UrAmerica PLC , Concordia Resource Corp. , Caudillo Resources S.A., Mercest SA, Empresa de Energía y Minerales Sociedad del Estado, Lion One Metals Ltd , Latin Uranium S.R.L.
International Consolidated Uranium Inc. to acquire Laguna Salada Uranium and Vanadium project: On Dec. 14, 2020, International Consolidated Uranium Inc. (CUR) announced that it has entered into an option agreement with U3O8 Corp. providing CUR with the option to acquire a 100%, undivided interest, in the Laguna Salada Project.
Mining of Laguna Salada near-surface uranium deposit possible with "healthy operating margin even at current uranium prices":
On Aug. 5, 2014, U3O8 Corp. reported a favourable Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on its Laguna Salada deposit: "the project would have a healthy operating margin even at current uranium prices".
The PEA is based on a $60 per pound uranium (U3O8) price and $5.50/lb for vanadium (V2O5).
> Calculate Mine Feasibility
Continuous surface mining scenario to be contemplated for Laguna Salada deposit:
The Laguna Salada Project is a near-surface, free-digging deposit. Mineralization lies within three metres of surface in soft, pebbly gravel that requires no blasting before mining and no crushing prior to beneficiation. The soft gravel could be excavated with a continuous surface miner, which is the preferred option being contemplated in the Preliminary Economic Assessment expected for release in Q4 2013.
"One could picture the continuous surface mining concept as a long shallow trench that migrates sideways across a gravel plain with gravel being removed from the leading edge of the trench, washed, and replaced on the trailing edge. This mining option would be expected to see 95% of the original gravel returned to the excavated area, reshaped to its original topography and revegetated with shrubs transplanted from the advancing side of the trench. After mining, there would be little evidence that mining had occurred." (U3O8 Corp. Sep. 26, 2013)
Demonstrations against zoning for gold and uranium mining in Chubut:
As happens on the 4th of each month, the Assembly of Neighbors Self-convened by No a la Mina , organized the traditional concentration and march through the streets of Esquel against the mega-mining enterprises that intend to settle in the region and in the province.
"They come for the Christmas silver, the uranium from Cerro Solo and the gold from Esquel." (EQS Notas Oct. 4, 2021)
CNEA's strategy for restart of Cerro Solo mine still unclear: CNEA seeks to clarify Cerro Solo strategy early 2005: Argentina's atomic energy commission, the CNEA, will clarify early in 2005 its strategy for restarting work at its Cerro Solo uranium deposit in the southern province of Chubut, according to CNEA geology chief Luis López. The strategy will involve forming a partnership with a private company, launching a new auction for the project or seeking a third, as yet unclear alternative, López said. (BNamericas Dec 8, 2004)
Further delay ahead for Cerro Solo sell-off: Argentina's atomic energy commission (CNEA) will not be able to proceed with the sell-off of the Cerro Solo uranium deposit in Chubut province until the beginning of 2004 due to a change of provincial government after elections on November 2, 2003. The CNEA will have to wait for the new parliament in the southern province to define the area around Cerro Solo as an exclusion zone with respect to a law prohibiting open-pit mining there. (BNamericas Sep 10, 2003)
New developer sought for Cerro Solo uranium mining project: Additional interested parties will be sought in a new auction, to be held in 45-60 days, for the Cerro Solo uranium deposit, according to a source from the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA). The CNEA earlier rejected a bid from the consortium of mining company Mining World and Canadian consultant John Thomson because "it did not comply with the tender's requirements". The Cerro Solo deposit, in Chubut province, has 4600 tonnes U3O8 (3900 tU) in reserves, including 2600 tonnes U3O8 (2205 tU) proven and 2000 tonnes U3O8 (1696 tU) probable. The proven ore grade is estimated at about 0.35% U3O8. (UI News Briefing 01.14, April 4, 2001; CNN March 27, 2001)
Judicial hearing on open pit mining in the Quebrada de Humahuaca suspended: The Administrative Court of Jujuy, chaired by Judge Sebastián Damiano, decided to suspend the hearing scheduled for Tuesday February 28, on the appeal filed by Los Vecinos Autoconvocados de Tilcara y Juella to stop the opening of a surface mine. The suspension was at the request of the company Uranio del Sur S.A., who intends to carry out the exploitation of uranium in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. (Jujuy al Día, Feb. 29, 2012)
On Dec. 6, 2011, Uranio AG, the Swiss parent company of Uranio del Sur S.A., went bankrupt. (Swiss Commercial Register Jan. 4, 2012)
High court halts uranium mining project in UNESCO World Heritage area Quebrada de Humahuaca:
An Argentine high court halted the project of a foreign company to mine uranium in an open-pit mine in Quebrada de Humahuaca in the northern part of the country, declared a World Heritage of Humanity site in 2003, the local press said Saturday (Apr. 24).
The decision of the Supreme Court of Jujuy province , handed down in February but made known to the interested parties just this week, favored the suit for protection filed by inhabitants and environmentalists of the town of Tilcara, which is near Quebrada de Humahuaca.
It denied a ruling by a court of appeals favorable to the interests of the mining company Uranio del Sur, and also obliges the company to show that its project would not contaminate the environment.
The Supreme Court of Jujuy halted the mining project "until it is shown that there is no possibility or certain danger that the work carried out in the area will cause contamination or environmental damage," according to the court ruling published in the Buenos Aires newspaper Pagina/12. The court said that "it is the duty of judges" to immediately "make effective the judicial protection of the reserve and of the collective interests" of the villages near the Quebrada de Humahuaca. In that sense, the ruling said that what must be protected is "the fundamental human right to a healthy, uncontaminated environment, doing whatever is necessary" to secure it.
"It is an absurd contradiction to allow further exploitation, such as open-pit mining, in a reserve declared a World Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity site" by UNESCO, it said. The court also warned that the title of World Heritage of Humanity "can be revoked" and if that happened "it would surely damage the tourism infrastructure now in place" in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a deep, narrow ravine between peaks of the Andes. Uranio del Sur is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Uranio AG, the majority shareholder of Canadian mining company Rome Resources Ltd., according to the suit brought by environmentalists and local inhabitants. (Latin American Herald Tribune Apr. 25, 2010)
On May 7, 2009, 2000 persons held a protest march from Juella to Tilcara against uranium exploration in the Quebrada de Humahuaca area. (Vecinos Autoconvocados May 7, 2009)
The opponents of uranium exploration are planning to hold a protest march from Juella to Tilcara on May 7, 2009. This same day, the NGO Los Vecinos Autoconvocados de Tilcara will file its appeal with the Superior Court of Justice in San Salvador de Jujuy. (Jujuy al día May 5, 2009)
After losing their case against the mining exploration permits in the Quebrada de Humahuaca area before the administrative court, the NGO Los Vecinos Autoconvocados de Tilcara now plans to file an appeal with the Superior Court of Justice. (Jujuy al día April 28, 2009)
By judicial order, the Provincial Government of Jujuy suspended on Aug. 7, 2008, the proceedings of mining exploration in the zone of Tilcara. It also decided to restrain the orders of prospection in the region of the Yungas. (Clarín Aug. 8, 2008)
On August 1, 2008, the NGO Los Vecinos Autoconvocados de Tilcara sued the Province of Jujuy in administrative court over the mining exploration permits issued in the Quebrada de Humahuaca area. (Vecinos Autoconvocados Aug. 3, 2008)
On July 10, 2008, two thousand residents of several localities of Quebrada de Humahuaca held a manifestation in Tilcara against uranium exploration permits awarded to Uranio del Sur SA in the UNESCO World Heritage area . (Clarín July 12, 2008)
NGOs denounce irregular granting of land for uranium mine in La Rioja province:
Environmentalist organizations and the Kirchnerism of La Rioja say that the provincial government of La Rioja has granted "in silence" almost 150 thousand hectares to a Canadian miner for the purpose of open-pit uranium mining.
In the denunciation the environmental organizations claimed that the government of Luis Beder Herrera, "without official announcement, nor public presentation of environmental impact studies, nor Public Hearing, has granted in total silence from 2007 to today 149,318 hectares of La Riojan territory to the Canadian company Rome Resources Ltd , through the Swiss company Uranio AG and its Argentine subsidiary Uranio del Sur SA". (Los Andes Sep. 4, 2008)
CNEA awaits approval of Environmental Impact Report on planned uranium exploration in Quebrada Alipán:
The National Atomic Energy Commission is preparing a drilling campaign for uranium mining in Quebrada Alipán, about 20 kilometers from the city of La Rioja.
The National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) intends to continue with subsoil studies, "to define the amount of uranium present based on a planned drilling campaign in Quebrada Alipán of 4,500 meters", said the national agency in response to a request for access to public information made by the Anti-Nuclear Movement of the Argentine Republic.
The CNEA is awaiting the approval by the Secretary of the Environment of the Province of La Rioja of the Environmental Impact Report corresponding to File P4-00236-18, entitled "Manifestation of discovery - Update of uranium exploration - Alipán I". (Tramas Jan. 24, 2022)
Roadblock against uranium mine project at Quebrada de Alipán:
The roadblock started last Friday, November 19, along Route 3 before reaching Duraznillo. The same is sustained by neighbors from neighboring areas such as Higuerillas, Puerto Alegre, Duraznillo, capital and surroundings.
On this issue, through a communiqué, the neighbors reaffirmed that there is no social license for uranium mining "since then we have effectively blocked the vehicles of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) that intends to move forward with the uranium mining project located in Las cañas, Quebrada de Alipán.
To this day we continue to cut the road, reaffirming the defense of the right to life, to common goods such as water, to production and to a healthy environment for future generations. [...]" (El Independiente, Nov. 29, 2021)
Protestors against uranium mining project block highway in La Rioja:
Residents of La Rioja today (Mar. 17) blocked the national route 38 to protest against the water shortage, for which they blame the mining operations being conducted a few kilometers away by the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA).
Residents say the lack of water in the region began with the start of 11 projects searching for uranium for the official body about 15 kilometers from the capital of La Rioja, the most populous city in the province. The water shortage began in August last year and worsened during the summer; it coincides with the rise of the large uranium mining project in Quebrada de Alipán, according to the protestors. (Los Andes Mar. 17, 2014)
Provincial government and CNEA continue uranium exploration in La Rioja, despite legislation prohibiting it:
In a statement, the NGO Asamblea Riojana Capital de Ciudadanos por la Vida denounced "the continuing of uranium mining projects" in the Capital department "despite the existence of the ordinance enacted on August 14, 2012" which declared this town "nontoxic, no-nuclear and environmentally sustainable."
The complaint realizes that the Department of Environment of the province on Aug. 27, a few days after the enactment of the ordinance, issued resolution 268 which approved the "Updating of the environmental impact report" for one of the enterprises. This was the CNEA authorization to "continue the work done in the area of the Sierra del Velazco, in the municipalities near El Cantadero", at a distance of about 20 kilometers from the capital, the most populated city in the province, the environmentalists said. (Los Andes Oct. 18, 2012)
> See also Calypso Uranium Corp. files claim to set aside anti-mining law in Mendoza Province
Uranium mining in San Rafael is opposed by ¿Uranio? No Gracias .
On Nov. 16, 2012, Calypso Uranium Corp. retracted its prior disclosure of the uranium resource for its La Pintada project.
The owners of uranium properties in the touristic zone of Cañón del Diamante are taking legal action against further exploration by Canadian company Mega Uranium Ltd. (formerly Maple Minerals Corp.). (Diario Uno May 31, 2006)
Calypso Uranium Corp.'s subsidiary Energía Mineral (Inc.) S.A. expects to complete the Environmental Impact Statement for the Huemul uranium mine project by December 2010. (Los Andes Sep. 4, 2010)
On Aug. 4, 2009, Calypso Uranium Corp. announced that it received provincial approval for the exploration phase of the Huemul Project. According to Calypso President J. Stephen Barley, "Malargüe shows the potential to produce uranium again."
Provincial Supreme Court concurs with Superior Court that environmental protection lawsuit filed against Amarillo Grande uranium mine project is inadmissible:
On January 12, 2022, Blue Sky Uranium Corp. announced that the lawsuit introduced before the Supreme Court of the Province of Río Negro and a subsequent appeal filed before the same Court against the Company have been dismissed.
Throughout this process, the Company's exploration operations proceeded unimpeded. Blue Sky is continuing with its drilling plans, surface exploration initiatives, advanced metallurgical studies, and environmental baseline studies as previously announced.
Superior Court declares environmental protection lawsuit filed against Amarillo Grande uranium mine project inadmissible: A judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Río Negro declared the formal inadmissibility of the amparo filed by 13 people against Minera Cielo Azul SA and the government of Río Negro, in order to order them to refrain from executing or continuing the activities of the company - Argentine subsidiary of the Canadian Blue Sky Uranium CO - within the framework of the Amarillo Grande uranium and vanadium extraction project ("Anit", "Santa Bárbara", "Ivana" properties) to be developed near the towns of Valcheta and Lamarque. (Más Río Negro Nov. 1, 2021)
On Sep. 16, 2021, Blue Sky Uranium Corp. announced the company's wholly-owned Argentine subsidiary, Minera Cielo Azul S.A. ("MCA"), has received notice that it has been named in a lawsuit by anti-mining, environmental activists in Argentina who are asserting environmental protection rights, among other arguments ("Amparo" in Spanish) against the Amarillo Grande project, comprised of Ivana, Anit and Santa Barbara Projects. The lawsuit was introduced before the Supreme Court of the Province of Río Negro, Argentina. The defendants in this "Amparo" action are MCA and the Government of Río Negro.
Environmentalists from Río Negro presented in recent days a Collective Environmental Protection Appeal before the Superior Court of Justice, against uranium mining in the province.
"We ask for the cessation of the actions they are developing and we ask that uranium mining cannot be carried out, due to a lot of environmental consequences for health," they explained. (Noticias Río Negro Mar. 22, 2021)
Tehuelche Mapuche Parliament rejects uranium mining proposal at Ivana deposit of Amarillo Grande project
The Coordinating Committee of the Mapuche Tehuelche Parliament reminded that the uranium exploitation project Mina Ivana "is beginning its development 25 km from Valcheta, within an area of 118,000 hectares that the government of Río Negro has ceded for exploration and exploitation to the company Blue Sky Uranium Corporation". This is a Canadian company which, according to corporate information, is dedicated to "the acquisition, evaluation and exploration of uranium properties in Canada and Argentina".
The Mapuche Tehuelche statement stated that "Amarillo Grande is the name of the integral project and the government has the Preliminary Economic Evaluation Report, but has not made us participate and has not informed our community organization, which has to review the environmental impact report but fundamentally, has to develop a cultural impact report, which is a right that we have as communities to determine the possibility of this project".
On the governmental side, the organization pointed out several shortcomings. "The Provincial Mining Evaluation Council (CoPEAM), created by Law 4738/11 should have indigenous representation so that our position is heard." However, "it does not comply with the participation and consultation with the communities and dispersed settlers, contemplated within Law 2287 as subjects of indigenous law assimilated to the communities and therefore, ILO Convention 169 applies".
For the Coordinadora Mapuche Tehuelche, "the development of this uranium and vanadium project contains an extra danger and that is that they want to install the plant in a flood zone with a tailings pond (water contaminated with radioactive waste) 500 meters from the Tres Picos lagoon. This project is compatible with death and its development will have devastating consequences for life. Any incident will be remediated in thousands of years and the radioactive waste will also be exposed for thousands of years". (Comité por los Derechos Humanos en América Latina, Jan. 10, 2020)
Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment announced for Ivana deposit of Amarillo Grande project:
On February 27, 2019, Blue Sky Uranium Corp. announced the results of the first Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the Ivana Uranium-Vanadium deposit at the Company's 100% owned Amarillo Grande Project in Rio Negro Province, Argentina: "The PEA demonstrates robust economics for a surficial mining operation of the Ivana deposit, with 13 years of uranium and vanadium production." The PEA assumes a uranium price of US$ 50/lb U3O8 and a vanadium price of US$ 15/lb V2O5.
The Ivana operation will consist of surface mining operation delivering mill feed to a nearby processing plant or stockpiles. The annual mining rate will be approximately 4.7 Mtpa (13,000 tpd) consisting of waste material and mill feed. The surface mine will be relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of 30 metres. The length of the mine will be approximately 3000 metres with widths ranging from 100 to 400 metres. The materials mined are unconsolidated gravels and sands and are free digging, therefore drill and blast operations will not be required. Waste materials will be placed out of pit for the first few years. Waste will then be placed either into external dumps or used as in-pit backfill.
Feed material will first be processed through the leach feed preparation plant, a semi-mobile screening and scrubbing facility located at the proposed mining site. The leach feed preparation plant will liberate fine material (<100 µm) from the larger particles (>100 µm) and scrub away and recover fine uranium and vanadium mineral particles coating the large particles, into a leach feed slurry. The rejected coarse fraction (approx. 75% of the mill feed mass from which most of the original uranium and vanadium has been stripped) will be dewatered, stockpiled, and backhauled by the mine fleet to the dump sites or backfilled into the mine excavation.
In the second process stage the slurry containing the fine fraction of the mineralized material will be pumped to the leach plant. An alkaline leach circuit (sodium carbonate and bicarbonate) will be used to dissolve uranium and vanadium from the leach feed minerals. No oxidant is required. Subsequently, uranium and vanadium will be separated by selective chemical precipitation, with uranium solids then calcined to U3O8 or UO3 and vanadium solids calcined to V2O5.
Tailings slurry from the alkaline leach circuit (approx. 25% of the mill feed mass and from which the majority of uranium and vanadium has been stripped) will initially be pumped to a surface tailings management facility (TMF) where it will settle and release water. In later years, the fine tailings will be pumped into containment cells in mined out sections of the pit, for co-disposal with mine waste rock and coarse rejects.
> Calculate mine feasibility
Opposition to uranium exploration in protected area hosting dinosaur and other fossils:
Argentinian senator Magdalena Odarda expressed her opposition to Minera Cielo Azul's activities around the protected area of Bajo Santa Rosa y Bajo Trapalcó, located in the southern border of the Negro river in the Río Negro province.
Odarda asked the provincial ministry of environment to disclose information about the company's exploration activities. Such activities were confirmed in five sites which, she says, have paleontological significance due to the presence of dinosaur and marine reptile fossils. The senator also worries about the environmental effects of such activities.
Odarda says that residents of nearby Patagonian towns oppose the miner's operations, but their protest has been dismissed by both the local and the federal government.
Minera Cielo Azul, a subsidiary of Canadian Blue Sky Uranium , recently launched its exploration campaign at its Amarillo Grande project to prove up resources and outline economics. (mining.com Oct. 9, 2017)
CNEA is working to reactivate the Don Otto uranium project in Salta province. The Don Otto mine is being explored and evaluated to measure its economic feasibility. "Right now, we cannot say whether it will be reactivated or not," said Gian Franco Guidi, CNEA representative for northwestern Argentina. (BNamericas Nov. 27, 2007)
The re-opening of the Don Otto uranium mine will be formally initiated in early August 2007, when the minister of Planning, the governor of Salta, and the president of the national atomic energy commission (CNEA), sign a cooperation agreement. The mine will produce 30 tonnes of uranium per year. (Clarín Aug. 1, 2007)
Dioxitek S.A. , the industrial arm of Argentina's national atomic energy commission CNEA, and La Casualidad S.A., controlled by Salta province, are touching up the details of an agreement to operate jointly the Don Otto uranium mine. CNEA mined Don Otto between 1955 and 1981 but was forced to shut it down when uranium prices fell. "Now with Salta's offer to activate the deposit, we are rehabilitating it to move ahead with exploration and continue extracting what remained from previous mining," CNEA production manager Alberto Castillo said. (BNamericas July 17, 2007)
The Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and the Salta Provincial Government (both via subsidiary entities) have reached an agreement for the re-opening of the Don Otto Uranium Mine. (Globe Uranium Ltd June 12, 2007)
In Bolivia, uranium prospection and exploration is being performed by Intrepid Mines Ltd , U3O8 Corp.
|(Maps and boundary data are copyrighted by FOTW - Flags Of The World web site)|
Ibama to hold hearings on Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project:
The Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) will hold hearings on June 7 - 9, 2022 on the Environmental Impact Study and the respective Environmental Impact Report (EIA/RIMA) for the Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project ("Santa Quitéria Project"). The sessions will be broadcast online on the Youtube channel of Consórcio Santa Quitéria .
> View: Official Gazette Notice No. 14/2022, May 12, 2022 (in Portuguese)
> View: Official Gazette Notice No. 15/2022, May 16, 2022 (in Portuguese)
> Download: related documents (in Portuguese) [Note: the link provided in the Official Gazette is incorrect]
EIS for Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project accepted by IBAMA for analysis:
Last Friday (03/18), the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources - Ibama accepted the Environmental Impact Study and the Environmental Impact Report (EIA/RIMA) of the Santa Quitéria Project. This is an important step in the licensing process, as it checks whether the content of the document complies with the Term of Reference stipulated by the agency and, therefore, will be submitted to technical analysis.
The forecast production is 1.05 million tons/year of phosphate fertilizers, 220 thousand tons/year of dicalcium phosphate (for animal feed) and 2,300 tons/year of uranium concentrate. (INB Mar. 23, 2022)
Brazil accelerates licensing of Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project:
One of the projects listed in the National Fertilizer Plan (PNF) - which the government launched on Friday (Mar. 11) to reduce Brazil's dependence in the sector - is the exploitation of the Itataia deposit, located in the municipality of Santa Quitéria, in Ceará, about 210 km from Fortaleza. Phosphate, which can be used as an input for agribusiness, and uranium, which is used as fuel for nuclear plants, are found in the reserve.
For this reason, besides being part of the PNF, the Santa Quitéria project, as it is called, is also eligible for the Pro-Strategic Minerals Policy, of the Investment Partnerships Program (PPI). A consortium formed by the state-owned Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB) and the Bahia fertilizer manufacturer Galvani in 2011 is qualified to explore the deposit, located in the domains of the Itataia Farm, which covers 4,042 hectares.
For over ten years, the consortium has been working on the environmental licensing of the project with the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) , under criticism from local residents' groups and social movements. The expectation is that the approval of the Environmental Impact Report (Rima), submitted in 2017, will be accelerated with the start of the PNF - which provides, among other measures, the debureaucratization of licensing processes for mining exploration.
According to Galvani, after this stage, the start of construction should occur between the end of this year and the beginning of 2023, so that the operation itself can begin in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025. Winner of a bidding process opened by INB, the company is responsible for the investments and for developing the processes, engineering, studies for environmental licensing, construction, and assembly of the enterprise.
Phosphate is predominant in the site, corresponding to about 90% of the deposit. According to INB, approximately 8.9 million tons of the mineral and 80 thousand tons of uranium are available for exploitation over the 20-year life of the enterprise.
In all, investments of R$ 2.3 billion [US$ 452 million] are foreseen by the consortium in a complex that will perform both the mining and the processing of the ore composed of phosphate and uranium and known as colophanite. At its maximum capacity, the mine, which will be mined in the open pit, is expected to produce 1.05 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually, in addition to 220,000 tons of bicalcium phosphate, used in animal nutrition. (Gazeta do Povo Mar. 14, 2022)
Development of stalled Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project to resume: After undergoing remodeling to meet environmental requirements, the project to explore [?] a uranium and phosphate mine in Ceará will be resumed by the Galvani fertilizer industry and the federal state-owned Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB). The Santa Quitéria Consortium foresees that US $ 400 million will be invested in the Itataia project, 80% of which will be contributed by Galvani. The prospect is that production will start in three years. Conceived in 2009, the project was stalled in the process of obtaining environmental licenses at Ibama. (O Globo Sep. 29, 2020)
Comment invited on EIA for Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project:
Request public hearing within 45 days of April 29, 2014.
> Download: IBAMA Notice in Diário Oficial da União - Seção 3 - Edição nr 80 de 29/04/2014 Pag. 201 (54kB PDF - in Portuguese)
> View INB announcement Apr. 30, 2014 (in Portuguese)
> Download Environmental Impact Report, Feb. 2014 (simplified version of EIA report, in Portuguese - INB)
> Download Estudo de Impacto Ambiental - Projeto Santa Quitéria, Jan. 2014 (full EIA, in Portuguese - IBAMA)
On July 8, 2014, INB announced that the public hearings, which were scheduled for July, were postponed at the request of IBAMA. The new dates will be announced soon.
EIA submitted for Itataia uranium/phosphate mine project:
On Sep. 19, 2013, the Santa Quitéria Consortium, consisting of INB and Galvani, filed with the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA) the Environmental Impact Assessment report for the proposed mining of the phosphate and uranium deposit located in the municipality of Santa Quitéria (CE).
There are two processing plants planned for the mine: one for the production of phosphate fertilizers and dicalcium phosphate (animal feed), and the other for the production of yellow cake - uranium concentrate.
After validation by IBAMA, the environmental impact studies will be made available to the public, and public hearings will be held. The Consortium expects to get a preliminary license in the coming months (!). (INB Sep. 20, 2013)
Manifestation against Itataia uranium mine project: On July 25, 2012, a manifestation against the proposed Itataia uranium mine project was held by the movement "Articulação Antinuclear" (Joint Antinuclear) in the center of Santa Quitéria. The movement was formed by Cáritas Diocesana, MST, Grupo TRAMAS and Pastoral da Terra. The mine has not yet been opened, as state and federal authorities are still in disagreement on the authority for issuing the license. (Blog do Roseno Oliveira)
Uranium production at Santa Quitéria to start in 2014/2015: In spite of a low uranium concentration of nearly 0.1%, uranium extraction at Santa Quitéria could be cost efficient, as the measured resources are associated with phosphate and would produce 240,000 tons of the fertilizer component per year. Santa Quitéria will open in 2014/2015 and will be operated by the industrial group Galvani, that will extract the mineral for INB as part of a phosphate mining operation. The production would reach 1,500 tons per year in 2017. (Reuters Oct. 31, 2011)
INB selects private partner for mining of Santa Quitéria uranium/phosphate deposit:
On June 19, 2008, Brazil's state-run nuclear mining and fuel company INB chose local fertilizers producer Galvani as the private partner to mine phosphate and uranium at the Santa Quitéria reserve.
The INB, which has the monopoly rights on uranium mining in the country with the world's sixth biggest reserves of the radioactive metal, will get the uranium produced at the mine and Galvani will keep the phosphate, used as fertilizer.
Family-owned Galvani is Brazil's only integrated producer of phosphate fertilizers.
The Santa Quitéria prospect has a capacity to produce 240,000 tonnes of phosphate a year and 1,600 tonnes of uranium ore, the INB said in a statement. The private company will invest $350 million in the project.
Santa Quitéria in the northeastern Ceará state would churn out 800 tonnes of uranium in 2011 and then gradually boost output to 1,600 tonnes later, allowing Brazil to export over 1,000 tonnes of excess metal.
(Reuters June 19, 2008)
Brazilian fertilizer company Grupo Galvani will sign a 25-year contract with Brazil Nuclear Industries, or INB, to develop a uranium and phosphates mine at Itataia, the Estado news agency reported Monday (July 20, 2009). The contract, worth 800 million Brazilian reals ($420 million), will be signed next Thursday (July 23). The new unit will start operating in 2012 and will have initial output of 180,000 metric tons of phosphate and 1,200 tons a year of uranium concentrate. INB said when production eventually reaches 1,600 tons a year of concentrate, Brazil would be able to meet the demand for new nuclear plants planned. (Dow Jones July 20, 2009)
Between April 20 and 23, 2000, an estimated 5000 cubic meters of uranium-bearing leaching liquid leaked from a collection pond at the heap leaching facility of the Lagoa Real / Caetité mine. The pond liner, consisting of an HDPE membrane based on a compacted clay layer, obviously leaked. The event had become known only on July 11, 2000, by a denouncement of nine plant workers to the state attorney of Caetité. (Gambá Oct. 26, 2000 / Jan. 9, 2001)
The new 400 t/year uranium processing plant at Lagoa Real / Caetité has started production on June 24, 2000. INB anticipates increasing output to 700-800 tU3O8 (594-678 tU) per year by 2004. [UI News Briefing 00.29]
The uranium is recovered by heap leaching with sulfuric acid.
In Chile, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Lefroy Resources Ltd , Polar Star Mining Corporation , U3O8 Energy Ltd , U3O8 Holdings plc , Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco) , Minera America del Sur SCM, Southern Hemisphere Mining Ltd , Hot Chili Ltd , Alliance Resources Ltd
Chile plans to extract 100 t U3O8 [85 t U] per year as a by-product from copper production. A pilot plant for the extraction of uranium and molybdenum is currently under construction at Radomiro Tomic and is expected to start operation at the end of the year. (Codelco July 28, 2010)
By the end of the year, state-owned copper company Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco) will be working with Chile's Nuclear Energy Commission to determine the feasibility of extracting uranium from its northern Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines, reported Chilean daily El Mercurio this week. (Santiago Times Sep. 3, 2008)
In Colombia, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Energentia Resources Inc., U3O8 Corp. , Blue Sky Uranium Corp. , UrAmerica PLC , Lara Exploration Ltd. , Sprott Resource Corp.
Drill cores left from exploration of Berlín multi-element deposit cause concern among residents:
1,309 metres of drill cores with a uranium contents of 0.11% U3O8 (0.093% U), stored in 374 metal boxes in a shed in the San Juan village of the Berlín district, in the municipality of Samaná (Caldas), are causing concern among residents.
Environmental and nuclear authorities, like the owner company, assure that impacts on human health are impossible, if there is no permanent contact with the material.
The National Mining Agency (ANM) indicates that the samples collected during the exploration of the mining title areas must be delivered to the National Lithotheque, in charge of the Colombian Geological Service (SGC). (La Patria Aug. 2, 2021)
Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment reported for Berlín multi-element deposit: On Dec. 13, 2012, U3O8 Corp. reported a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for its Berlín deposit, where uranium could be produced with by-products phosphate, vanadium, and yttrium, among others.
Uranium mine developer wins trust of local communities by "gently introducing socially supportive initiatives":
South America-focused project developer U3O8 on Tuesday (Nov. 20) said it had achieved significant successes in getting the local communities near to its Berlín uranium project, in Colombia, on board, even though the project is at the exploratory phase.
U3O8 president and CEO Richard Spencer told Mining Weekly Online the key to the project, which had been proven to host much more mineral potential than what was first thought, was to win the trust and recognition of the local communities of Berlín and San Diego, by "gently" introducing socially supportive initiatives. These included implementing educational initiatives, nutritional initiatives and methods to reduce its environmental footprint. "We have been assisting our local communities largely by facilitating the implementation of existing government initiatives. We are in a sense merely connecting the dots," he said in Toronto. (Mining Weekly Nov. 21, 2012)
In Ecuador, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Spirit Exploration, Inc. , Bolivar Mining Corp.
In Guatemala, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Pathfinder Resources Ltd. , Gold-Ore Resources Ltd. , Santoy Resources Ltd.
In Guyana, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by Prometheus Resources Guyana Inc. , U3O8 Corp. , StrataGold Corporation , Epsilon Energy Ltd. , Argus Metals Corp. , Azimuth Resources Ltd , Resgreen Group International Inc. , Cuyuni Mining Inc.
In Paraguay, uranium prospection and exploration is being performed by Coronel Oviedo Mining Company SA, Crescent Resources Corp. , Cue Resources Ltd., Transandes Paraguay S.A., Wildhorse Energy Ltd , Cameco Corp., Yellow Cat Uranium PLC , Picomayo Minerales SA, Uranium Energy Corp., UrAmerica PLC
Government to return exploration block at Yuty to company following lawsuit:
Following a lawsuit by the company Trasandes Paraguay SA (Law No. 3575/07), the government will return the concession of a uranium exploration block that the company held by law, informed the director of mineral resources of the Vice-Ministry of Mines and Energy (VMME), Mónica Urbieta.
She recalled that in 2018 they took away the concession of a block and therefore stopped working. "They did not start exploiting uranium because they still do not have their environmental permit for exploitation. [...]"
She commented that the law they have is for exploration and exploitation, but that the concession was withdrawn because they did not manage to set up the plant for uranium exploitation in Yuty. (ABC Color July 29, 2022)
On May 29, 2015, Uranium Energy Corp. announced that it has obtained government approval to begin the environmental licensing process (the so-called Exploitation Phase).
On Jan. 23, 2012, Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC) and Cue Resources Ltd. (CUE) announced that they have entered into an Arrangement Agreement under which UEC will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of CUE by way of a plan of arrangement. The acquisition was closed on Mar. 30, 2012.
On Sep. 11, 2008, Cue Resources Ltd. announced that Transandes Paraguay S.A. is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cue.
On September 10, 2008, Cue Resources Ltd. announced that Transandes Paraguay S.A. has received the Paraguayan government grant of exploration and exploitation rights to the Yuty uranium project.
In Peru, uranium prospection and exploration is being performed by Eldorado Gold Corporation , Southern Andes Energy Inc. , Vena Resources Inc. , Minergia S.A.C. , Cameco Corporation, Range Resources Ltd , Westmag Ltd , Wealth Minerals Ltd. , Cardero Resource Corp. , Macusani Yellowcake Inc. , Lefroy Resources Ltd , Alara Resources Ltd , Fission Energy Corp., Alturas Minerals Corp. , Bolivar Mining Corp. , U3O8 Corp. , Azincourt Energy Corp.
Macusani Yellowcake suspends hydrogeological studies at Falchani lithium/uranium project due to protests in Puno: In the midst of the escalation of conflicts in southern Peru, Macusani Yellowcake [subsidiary of American Lithium Corp.] suspended its hydrogeological studies in the Falchani lithium project (Puno). This measure was taken to avoid possible tensions between the local peasant patrols, with whom they have a direct relationship, and the provincial ones. (Gestión Jan. 11, 2023)
Lithium can be mined at Falchani deposit without touching uranium - therefore no need for radioactive minerals legislation, company claims:
Macusani Yellowcake says its Falchani lithium project is not associated with the uranium that lies everywhere on the Macusani plateau.
However, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) continues to maintain that the project will be difficult to develop because its operator, Macusani Yellowcake, has failed to discover uranium-free lithium.
"The mining company in charge of these concessions (Macusani Yellowcake) has not recently explored. So, the lithium we have is still a lithium that is associated with uranium," said the head of the sector, Jaime Gálvez, in conversation with the press.
"Falchani's lithium is clean [of uranium]. The thing is that we (Macusani Yellowcake) appeared to explore uranium in 2007, but we found a lithium deposit," explains Ulises Solís, general manager of the Canadian mining company.
He details that both projects are located in separate areas: the lithium project in the Chacaconiza district, while the uranium project is located in the Corani and Isivilla districts.
For this reason, he notes that "there is no need for radioactive minerals legislation," such as the one that Minem has been preparing for more than a year with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and of which nothing is known yet. (El Comercio Mar. 16, 2021)
On Feb. 9, 2021, Plateau Energy Metals announced that American Lithium Corp. reached an agreement to acquire Plateau Energy Metals.
The acquisition was completed on May 11, 2021.
Mining of Falchani lithium/uranium deposit to start in 2023:
Canada's Plateau Energy Metals has raised nearly $600 million to develop Peru's sole lithium project and expects to start mining in 2023, a year later than planned, as the country lags its neighbours in developing the battery mineral, a company official said.
European mutual funds have provided $597 million to help develop the Falchani deposit in the Puno region near the border with Bolivia. Plateau Energy will provide the rest of the total $844 million needed, Ulises Solís, general manager of the company's local subsidiary Macusani Yellowcake, said in an interview on Friday (Oct. 30). (Reuters Nov. 2, 2020)
Peru expected to pass lithium and uranium mining laws within 6 months to allow for mining of Falchani deposit:
> see here
"Uranium ore from the Macusani project in Peru is being shipped to North America for final metallurgical testing, at the request of a 'uranium major', Strathmore Resources has announced. If the tests are successful, Strathmore says, it will be able to produce uranium profitably from the project at current market prices." [UI News Briefing 98/44]
On Feb. 9, 2021, Plateau Energy Metals announced that American Lithium Corp. reached an agreement to acquire Plateau Energy Metals.
On Mar. 15, 2018, Plateau Uranium Inc. announced a name change to Plateau Energy Metals Inc.
Environmental baseline study commissioned for Plateau Uranium Inc.'s Macusani uranium mine project: On April 26, 2016, Plateau Uranium Inc. announced that it has engaged environmental consultant group Asesores y Consultores Mineros SA ("ACOMISA") to commence the enhanced environmental baseline study work required for future permitting and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies.
On Nov. 15, 2016, Plateau Uranium Inc. announced that the environmental baseline study (submitted in September) has been accepted and approved by affected Andean communities and the Peruvian Environmental Authority SENACE (Servicio Nacional de Certificación Ambiental).
Positive Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment announced for Plateau Uranium Inc.'s uranium deposits in Peru: On Jan. 25, 2016, Plateau Uranium Inc. announced the results of an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for its Macusani Plateau uranium project in the Puno District of southeastern Peru (including Colibri, Kihitian, and Isivilla deposits). The PEA assumes a uranium price of US$ 50/lb U3O8.
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Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment announced for Macusani Yellowcake Inc.'s uranium deposits in Peru:
On Dec. 5, 2013, Macusani Yellowcake Inc. announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for its uranium properties located on the Macusani Plateau in the Puno District of southeastern Peru. "The results from the PEA demonstrate that the Project has the potential to become a large, low-cost uranium mining operation."
Potentially economic material for the Project will initially come from multiple target deposits including Colibri 2 & 3/Tupuramani, Chilcuno Chico, Quebrada Blanca, Corachapi and Triunfador 1. Conventional open pit and underground mining methods are proposed. The PEA contemplates the construction of a mine and centralized processing facility operating over a 10 year mine life at a throughput of approximately 23,400 tonnes per day. A heap leach would be used to extract uranium into an acidic aqueous leach solution.
On April 26, 2010, Macusani Yellowcake Inc. announced the completion of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Colibri II/III uranium deposit located on the Macusani Plateau, Puno in southeastern Peru.
On Sep. 27, 2013, Macusani Yellowcake Inc. presented an updated technical report for the Colibri deposit.
Venezuela and Russia have signed an agreement on the cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear power. Among others, the agreement covers the development of uranium and thorium deposits. (RIA Novosti Nov. 27, 2008)
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