CASPER, Wyo. — In a clear sign that uranium mining companies in Wyoming intend to overcome the recent Japanese nuclear crisis, Crosshair Exploration and Mining Corp. says it will explore for uranium on its Juniper Ridge property in southwest Wyoming this summer.
The $1.9 million exploration project should last four months, involve drilling 400 test holes a combined total of 80,000 feet, and include metallurgical test work, Crosshair said in a media release. The exploration should begin the second week of May.
“We are excited to start drilling in Wyoming and confirm the historical resource at Juniper Ridge,” said Stewart Wallis, president and chief executive of Crosshair. “One summer drill program should allow us to begin the permitting process and continue to advance the property to the prefeasibility stage.”
The Juniper Ridge property spans 4,710 acres. Crosshair says historical estimates have found that there’s slightly less than 7 million pounds of uranium, and while the company believes the estimate is probably correct, the 1986 data doesn’t meet current standards and should not be relied upon.
Crosshair purchased the property in 2010 from Strathmore Minerals. The deposit was originally discovered by Urangesellschaft U.S.A. Inc. in the late 1970s.
Crosshair is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is involved in the Bootheel project in Wyoming, as well exploration and development projects for uranium vanadium and gold in the U.S. and Canada.
Uranium exploration and development in Wyoming has continued despite the nuclear incident in Japan last month, in which several seaside nuclear reactors were stricken when an earthquake-triggered tsunami stripped the plant’s ability to keep some of its nuclear fuel cool.
In the wake of the crisis, many countries reconsidered their nuclear development plans or planned safety reviews of their nuclear facilities.
The price of uranium and stocks of uranium companies plummeted as investors grew concerned about the future of the industry.
Yet many of those involved in the resurgent uranium industry said their plans to explore and develop the state’s resources remained unchanged, despite the incident, because of stabilizing uranium prices and continued domestic demand from the 104 reactors in the United States.