New Mexico Properties
Uranium Resources holds a significant range of properties throughout the extent of the Grants mineral belt of west-central New Mexico. Included within our property portfolio are fee lands that we own and some which are leased from third parties, patented and unpatented claims that we own as well as lease, one State of New Mexico mineral lease, and some surface leases.
Collectively, this property position represents one of the largest mineral rights holdings in the Grants mineral belt. These properties include Churchrock/Mancos, Crownpoint, Nose Rock, Roca Honda, West Largo/Ambrosia Lake, Cebolleta (Cibola Project) and Juan Tafoya (Cibola Project).
The Grants mineral belt is an approximately 100-mile-long northwesterly trending belt of
sandstone-hosted uranium deposits that historically have been the largest producer of uranium in the United States. During the period between the early 1950’s and the mid-1980’s, more than 80 underground and-open pit projects were developed and operated. At various times during the productive life of the belt as many as six uranium processing mills were built and operated by The Anaconda Company, Homestake Mining Company, Kerr-McGee, Phillips Petroleum, and United Nuclear. Historically, the Grants mineral belt was the largest source of uranium in the United States.
URI holds a NRC source materials license to build and operate an ISR uranium processing facility on company-owned property in McKinley County, New Mexico. The license allows for the ISR process at the Churchrock and Crownpoint projects that together hold nearly 12.6 million tons of in-place mineralized uranium material. The license allows for the production of up to 1 million pounds per year from Churchrock Section 8 until a successful demonstration of restoration is made; after which the quantity of production can be increased and exploration on other properties covered by the license can begin. Total production under the license is limited to 3 million pounds U3O8 per year.
Since 2007, we have scanned approximately 18,800 drill logs in order to secure the data and we plan to continue these efforts as well as begin to digitize this data to allow for analysis of drill hole information using modern resource modeling techniques. These logs total nearly 23 million feet of hole drilled in the 1970s and 1980s with an estimated drilling and logging replacement cost of $700 million.
URI plans to utilize its historic exploration database to assess the projects that comprise its New Mexico resource base to determine the most economic and efficient method for each project and prioritize the future development of these assets as well as continue to advance uranium asset consolidation activities. The Company will continue to advance its discussions with entities that would benefit from the production of the uranium and continue outreach and communication efforts with the local communities, federal, State and local governments and the Navajo Nation to address legacy issues while continuing education efforts on the safety of today’s uranium recovery practices with the objective of bridging the gap that currently exists between uranium development entities and others with stakeholder interests in the State.