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(last updated 16 Jan 2016)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Belarus: RUE Belgeo
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Bulgaria: Cambridge Mineral Resources plc , Kaboko Mining Ltd (formerly Uran Ltd, application), Bulgarian Mining Corporation Ltd
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Hungary: Whildhorse Energy
On Aug. 3, 2007, WildHorse Energy Ltd announced that Eurash (a joint venture between WildHorse Energy and Sparton Resources) has signed an agreement with Bakonyi Erőmű Zrt (BEZ), the owner of large volumes of mining slag and fly ash as waste products from a coal fired power station at Ajka in western Hungary. The Ajka site contains several heaps of ash, totalling close to 20 million tonnes of material. Measurements of these heaps between 1992 and 1995 indicate that U3O8 grades ranged between 94 and 152 ppm [0.0080 - 0.0129% U] in the ash, and between 33 and 137 ppm [0.0028 - 0.0116% U] in cinders.
Eurash plans to evaluate the uranium content of the ash as well as other metals in the mining slag, with a view to developing a project to recover and process the uranium and other metals.
WildHorse Energy Limited and Sparton Resources Inc. have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to identify and evaluate the possibility of extracting commercial quantities of uranium from waste coal ash generated by many large central European power stations which burn high uranium content lignitic or brown coals. Wildhorse has already started evaluating one specific opportunity in Hungary. Analyses on this material done between 1992 and 1995 indicate the ash contains between 90 and 150 ppm U3O8 [0.0076 - 0.0127% U]. Sparton already is evaluating a similar project in Yunnan Province, China. (Wildhorse/Sparton May 24, 2007; MiningNews Net May 25, 2007)
Uranium mining in Italy is opposed by Legambiente Lombardia
On Sep. 20, 2006, Italian environmentalists vowed to oppose a project to extract uranium at Novazza in the Seriana valley in the northern region of Lombardy, saying it could cause radioactive contamination of the area.
Australia-listed exploration company Metex Resources Ltd. said earlier this week it wanted to explore 300 hectares in the mountains some 85 km northeast of Milan.
Uranium was first discovered in the region in the 1960s, but has never been commercially exploited.
Metex has started a process to gain the necessary permits for the US$150 million project.
Lombardy's regional government is evaluating the project.
Andrea Poggio, head of the Legambiente environmental action group for the Lombardy region told Reuters: "We are very angry that they have not informed local people...We are strongly opposed to it." Poggio said the project presented two main threats: possible radioactive contamination of the valley through rain and mountain springs which can spread radioactive elements from ore once it is extracted, and the radioactive gas radon which accompanies mine works.
Legambiente plans to discuss the project on Sep. 28, 2006, with local authorities and residents of the area. (Reuters Sep. 21, 2006; Legambiente)
Film: Uranium Project , by Stefania Prandi and Alan Gard, 45 minutes, 2011 (in Italian)
[about opposition to uranium mining at Novazza]
> Watch trailer: URANIUM PROJECT - Presentazione (Youtube - in Italian)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic: Universal Mining Investments Macedonia (Perth, WA)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Poland: European Resources Pty Ltd , Whildhorse Energy
Opposition to uranium mining in Poland: Powiedz Nie dla Kopalni Uranu w Sudetach
The Polish Nuclear Power Programme was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 28 January 2014.
> Download Polish Nuclear Power Programme, Ministry of Economy, January 2014 - English Version: (2.9MB MS Word DOCX) · (3MB PDF, from National Atomic Energy Agency)
> Download Written summary of the strategic environmental assessment results and justification for the selection of the Polish Nuclear Power Programme - English version (6.3MB PDF, from German Ministry of Environment)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Portugal: Berkeley Resources Ltd
Uranium mining in Nisa is being opposed by Movimento Urânio em Nisa, Não (MUNN) , Quercus .
> view Quercus statement: "Quercus against approval of uranium mine in Nisa: environmental and public health hazards inadequately evaluated" (July 24, 1999)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Romania: Valhalla Resources Ltd.
Ministry of Economy: Romania could open a new uranium mine:
Romania could open a new uranium mine in Suceava County, said Maricel Popa, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, quoted in a statement sent to Agerpres on Monday (Aug. 26).
"... the chances are very high to find financing for the development of the Tulgheş-Grinţieş deposit", he said.
(Agerpres Aug. 26, 2013)
The total value of the investment stands at 407.331 million Lei (about 91.43 million Euros), VAT included, out of which 322 million Lei are allotted to the construction and assembly works. The annual average uranium ore exploitation capacity accounts for 124,000 tonnes and the project is planned to be developed in 108 months. (ACTMedia Sep. 19, 2013)
CNU announces plans for Tulgheş-Grinţieş uranium mine project in the East Carpathian Mountains
On May 3, 2012, the National company of uranium (CNU) advised that it plans to apply for the environmental permit for the proposed Tulgheş-Grinţieş uranium mine.
> Download Public Announcement, May 3, 2012 (PDF - in Romanian)
Feasibility study to be resumed for uranium mining in the East Carpathian Mountains: The capacity for radioactive ore explotation that National Company of Uranium (CNU) wants to build in the Carpatii Orientali (Neamţ and Harghita county) will cost over 70 million euro, the General Manager of the company, Nicu Popa, stated for the NewsIn. At present, CNU wants to update the feasibility study initially made in 2004, and, once started, the construction of the exploitation capacity could be completed in five years. (ACT Media Aug. 20, 2009)
The National company of uranium (CNU) will resume the feasibility study for the new capacity for the exploitation of radioactive ores, from the Oriental Carpathian Mountains, study to have been made initially in 2004, the general manager of CNU Iosif Moldovan said .
"The importance of this project is the supply with natural uranium necessary to the functioning of units in Cernavoda and the development of the National Nuclear Programme. In Romania, there are no other projects, CNU is the only company in the domain" Iosif Moldovan said. (ACT Media Mar 19, 2009)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Spain: Berkeley Resources Ltd, Areva NC, Mawson Resources Ltd.
On March 24, 2009, the Council of Government of the region Castilla-La Mancha approved a decree that prohibits the exploration of the Mazarete uranium deposit, which will prevent any future commercial mining of the mineral at the site. The Council thus blocks the possibility opened in February by the central Government. The administrative preparations for the exploration at Aragoncillo I and II continue as planned, however. (Ecologistas en Acción de Guadalajara March 25, 2009)
The Spanish Cabinet has lifted the exclusive right for ENUSA (granted in July 1987) to explore and mine for uranium in the "Mazarete Guadalajara" area, located in the north of the province of Guadalajara. The lifting paves the way for the intentions of Minera de Río Alagón S.L, a subsidiary of Berkeley Resources Ltd, that in October 2008 presented two exploration projects for 13 towns of the territory in the Sierra de Aragoncillo, where test pits were already realised in the 1980's. (Blanca Corrales Feb. 20, 2009)
> Opposition: Stop Uranio , Ecologistas en Acción
Updated Pre-Feasibility Study claims improved economics for Berkeley's Salamanca uranium mine project:
On Nov. 4, 2015, Berkeley Energy announced that inclusion of the Zona 7 deposit into an updated Pre-Feasibility Study "has transformed the economics of the Salamanca project." The study is based on a uranium price of US$ 65 per lb U3O8. Start of construction is expected in mid-2016, with first production in 2017 and a mine life of 17.5 years.
> Calculate Mine Feasibility
Group complains about poor practice in exploratory drilling at Retortillo uranium deposit:
The platform Stop Uranio denounces Berkeley Spain for "poor practice" in the implemention and restoration of uranium exploration drill holes made on land in the municipality of Villavieja de Yeltes.
As pointed out by this group in a statement, the "poor practice" is based on grounds such as that the company "is making discharges, uncontrolled deposit and abandonment of mining waste [...]"
(Salamanca RTV al día Oct. 13, 2015)
Berkeley strongly rejected the allegations "because they are false, lacking the slightest technical and legal rigor and confuse the research work that Berkeley has performed in the Exploration Permit Alisos with the work that Berkeley is to perform in the Mining Concession Retortillo-Santidad". (Salamanca RTV al día Oct. 14, 2015)
Spanish Cabinet denies municipality the right to hold referendum on proposed Retortillo uranium mine:
The Cabinet today approved an agreement which does not authorize the municipality of Retortillo (Salamanca) to conduct a referendum on the proposed uranium mining in the municipality.
(ABC Oct. 9, 2015)
> Download Cabinet press release Oct. 9, 2015 (58k PDF - in Spanish)
Berkeley trains residents at Retortillo uranium mine project in use of explosives: The Australian company Berkeley, who wants to carry out an ambitious mining project in the western province of Salamanca, has taught in the town of Retortillo - of the hand of the supplier of explosives Maxam - a 'Safety course in handling explosives for obtaining a gunner's certification'. (Salamanca RTV al día Oct. 8, 2015)
Radiological Analytical Study for Retortillo uranium mine project obtains approval: Berkeley reports that the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) approved on September 30 the Radiological Analytical Study of the project. This study allows to theoretically estimate the potential radiological impact on the population and the environment of the project as a whole (including the mining and processing plant). (Salamanca RTV al día Oct. 8, 2015)
Ministry issues authorization for preliminary infrastructure works at Retortillo uranium mine project:
The Ministry of Industry has awarded Berkeley prior authorization for the radioactive facility Retortillo project. This authorization confirms the official recognition of the proposed objective and the "suitability of the site chosen" whose acquisition entitles the holder to apply for the construction permit for the installation and start preliminary works of infrastructure, in line with the permits granted in the previous licensing phase.
(Las Arribes al día Sep. 25, 2015)
> View Authorization in Official Gazette of Sep. 25, 2015 (in Spanish)
Regional parliament commission demands review of EIS for Retortillo uranium mine project:
The Commission of Development and Environment of the regional legislature of Cortes de Castilla y León adopted at its session on Wednesday (Sep. 16) a proposition of law that calls for the Junta de Castilla y Leon to review the environmental impact statement given to the project of open pit uranium mines that the Australian company Berkeley wants to develop in the towns of Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes.
The proposition of law was filed by attorney Joseph Sarrión (IU-Equo), considering that the proposed uranium mine originally submitted did not contain radioactive waste storage or treatment of uranium ore brought from other mines.
This proposition of law must now be submitted to a vote in the House of the Parliament of Cortes de Castilla y León. (Salamanca RTV al día Sep. 17, 2015)
On Oct. 8, 2015, the House of the Parliament of Cortes de Castilla y León voted against the proposition of law. The governing Partido Popular was the only party voting against it, while all opposition parties supported it. (Salamanca RTV al día Oct. 9, 2015)
Name change of Berkeley Resources Ltd: On July 31, 2015, Berkeley Resources Ltd changed its name to Berkeley Energy Ltd.
250 people hold road blockade in protest against Retortillo uranium mine project: The National road 620 remained closed for about an hour on late Saturday (Aug. 22) morning as a result of a demonstration called by the Platform Stop Uranium against the Australian company Berkeley that wants to develop mining projects in the municipalities of Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes. According to the organizers, about 250 people attended the rally. (Ciudad Rodrigo al día Aug. 22, 2015)
200 people gather in opposition to Retortillo uranium mine project: On Aug. 4, 2015, 200 people gathered in the town square of Retortillo to express their opposition to the Retortillo uranium mine project and listen to alternative proposals. (Las Arribes al día Aug. 5, 2015)
Proposed process plant for Salamanca uranium mine project receives favourable CSN report: On July 20, 2015, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced that the Nuclear Safety Council (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear ) has issued a favourable report for the grant of the Initial Authorisation of the proposed process plant as a radioactive facility. This is the first in a three step process required to authorize the plant for operation.
Waste water discharge permit requested for Retortillo uranium mine project:
The company Berkeley Minera España has requested permission from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero to dump wastewater from mining and processing of uranium ore into river Yeltes and stream Caganchas.
Following application by Berkeley, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero has opened a period of 30 days for the submission of possible arguments for those who consider themselves affected by the request of Berkeley. (Las Arribes al día June 5, 2015)
Planning Commission rejects Berkeley's application to treat Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes as separate mine projects: The Platform Stop Uranio, a group opposed to uranium mining the company Berkeley intends to launch in the municipalities of Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes, welcomes that the Territorial Planning Commission of Salamanca has rejected the application filed by the company for this project to be treated as two separate files according to their location in each of the municipalities. (Las Arribes al día Feb. 5, 2015)
Berkeley Resources fined 8,000 Euros for drilling in Retortillo without permit: The Platform Stop Uranium reported that the mining company Berkeley has been sanctioned by the City Council Retortillo with a fine of 8,000 euros for drilling in the field without having requested the municipal license and therefore lacking a permit. As a result of allegations that this platform made to the competent institutions in October, accompanied by images, Seprona (a unit of the Civil Guard responsible for nature conservation) urged the City Council of Retortillo to arrange a proceeding against Berkeley and to determine the appropriate sanction. The full City Council Retortillo, at its meeting held on December 18, unanimously agreed to fine Berkeley Minera Spain with 8,000 euros, given that it had committed an urban infraction. (Las Arribes al día Jan. 19, 2015)
Protest march in Retortillo against Berkeley's uranium mine project: Around 150 people participated in a march around Retortillo on Dec. 28, 2014, to protest against the uranium mine project proposed by Berkeley Resources. Participants included representatives of associations and political parties such as EQUO, PSOE, Ecologistas en Acción, Spanish Ornithological Society, Farmers Union of Castilla y León, Greenpeace, Balneario de Retortillo workers, and representatives of the City of Boada. (Las Arribes al día Dec. 28, 2014)
115,000 signatures against uranium mine project in Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes handed over to the Ministry of Industry:
The Platform Stop Uranium and EQUO delivered to the Ministry of Industry in Madrid more than 115,000 signatures against the project to establish uranium mines, a processing plant and tailings dumps in Retortillo and Villavieja Yeltes in the province of Salamanca.
112,000 signatures were obtained via Internet (change.org ) and another 3,000 at information stands.
Currently, this project is pending and awaiting the approval of the Ministry of Industry, following a report from the Nuclear Safety Council. (Tribuna de Salamanca Dec. 5, 2014)
Board rejects Berkeley's request for the use of rural land for its Retortillo-Santidad uranium mine project: The Territorial Committee on Environment and Planning (CTMAU) of the Delegation of the Junta de Castilla y León in Salamanca, at its meeting on Thursday 13 November, has agreed to return to the municipalities of Villavieja de Yeltes and Retortillo the project for which Berkeley requested special authorization for the use of rural land for facilities for open pit uranium mining and, if appropriate, to start the procedure again from the beginning, according to the Platform Stop Uranio. (Salamanca RTV al día, Nov. 13, 2014)
Group files complaint against Berkeley's poor uranium exploration practices at Retortillo-Santidad deposit: The platform Stop Uranium has denounced Berkeley Minera España S.A.U to the Junta de Castilla y León, the Government Office of the Ministry of Industry and the Nuclear Safety Council, for malpractice in the implementation and restoration of uranium exploration and the management of the associated radioactive waste, as performed by the Australian company on land in the municipality of Retortillo, due to impacts on environmental radiology. (La Crónica de Salamanca Nov. 3, 2014)
100,000 signatures collected against Retortillo-Santidad uranium mine project in Salamanca: The platform Stop Uranio this Sunday (Oct. 26) held a rally in the square of Corrillo to collect signatures against the uranium mine that the Australian company Berkeley wants to open in Retortillo-Villavieja. Currently, the platform has already collected 100,000 signatures against the project. (La Crónica de Salamanca Oct. 26, 2014)
City Council of Boada approves motion against Retortillo uranium mill: The full City Council of [neighboring] Boada has approved a motion urging the Nuclear Safety Council not to authorize the operation of the uranium ore processing plant planned in Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes. (Salamanca RTV al día, Aug. 9, 2014)
Group launches campaign against licensing of Retortillo-Santidad uranium mine project in Salamanca: Under the slogan 'NO to uranium, YES to life', the group Ecologistas en Acción has launched a campaign 'Berkeley lies' on Tuesday (Aug. 5). Arian García, member of the group explains that in 2012 the Junta de Castilla y León greenlit geographical studies of the site of Retortillo-Holiness for later concession to operate the mine to the Australian company Berkeley. "A few months ago the study concluded. Already in October 2013, in the absence of the environmental impact statement of the mine, the Board decided to give the award to Berkeley without all the complete information." (Salamanca RTV al día, Aug. 5, 2014)
City Council of Villavieja halts approval process of Retortillo uranium mining project: After learning that the wastes produced by the uranium mine are not as inert, sterile, and low-risk, as claimed by Berkeley Resources, the City Council of Villavieja de Yeltes has decided to halt the administrative procedure for the approval of the mine, until the company submits additional documentation. (Ciudad Rodrigo al día, June 24, 2014)
Mining licence granted for Retortillo uranium deposit: On Apr. 24, 2014, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced that the Mining Licence for Retortillo has been granted by the Regional Government of Castilla and León. The Retortillo deposit forms part of the company's Salamanca Project. The Mining Licence is valid for an initial period of 30 years and may be renewed for two additional periods of 30 years.
Spanish and Portuguese Greens demand EU to stop reopening of Retortillo uranium mine:
The environmentalists' formations Equo of Spain and Os Verdes of Portugal file a joint complaint in Brussels to "paralyze" the project to reopen uranium mines in Retortillo-Santidad (Salamanca).
They say the project violates several European norms and hurts the area where the mine is to reopen. (Tribuna de Salamanca Mar. 14, 2014)
Protest in Retortillo against Berkeley's uranium mine project: Over 170 individuals and representatives of various social and political organisations have supported this morning in Retortillo the march organized by Stop Uranium against Berkeley's proposed uranium mine. (Tribuna de Salamanca Dec. 28, 2013)
Ministry of Industry postpones decision on Retortillo uranium mining project, demands assessment of radiological impacts: The political party EQUO unveiled Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 11) a communication received from the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism on the mining project that the Australian company Berkeley wants to develop in the province of Salamanca. In this text, the Ministry informs EQUO that it issued on November 8 a Ministerial Order which temporarily suspends the prior authorization of the Retortillo-Santidad plant that Berkeley wants to build. At least, that permission will not be granted until a year after Berkeley has submitted the information and accreditation the Nuclear Safety Council has demanded. In particular, Berkeley is required to prepare and present technical studies on the radioactive impact of the open pit uranium mines and the generation and storage of radioactive waste on the environment and on people. (Ciudad Rodrigo al Día Dec. 11, 2013)
Environmentalists slam Environmental Impact Assessment for proposed mining of Retortillo deposit for failure to assess radiological impacts:
On Nov. 10, 2013, the NGO Ecologistas en Acción submitted its comments to the Territorial Service of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Salamanca for the public inquiry and consultation on the request for a mining concession for the uranium mining project Retortillo-Santidad. The group criticizes, among others, that the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the company does not evaluate the doses received from exposure to radon and its decay products, nor the impacts of the release of radionuclides to rivers and groundwater in the long term.
> View Ecologistas en Acción release Nov. 10, 2013 (in Spanish)
> Download Alegaciones minería uranio Salamanca (722k PDF - in Spanish)
Proposed mining of Retortillo deposit "unsustainable and environmentally unsound":
The Platform Stop Uranium has collected the statements of the president of the Duero River Basin Authority (Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero - CHD), José Valín Alonso, and considers that Berkeley's project in Retortillo is "unsustainable and environmentally unsound".
Valín recalled that the granting of surface water for industrial use requested by the Australian mining company is limited, among other factors, "the inability to abstract water from or dump water into the river Yeltes in summer" and that "environmental flows must be observed in each year period." The CHD President referred to the abstraction volume requested by Berkeley, with an annual maximum of close to 345 million liters of water from the river watercourse.
In addition, Stop Uranium has referred to the report issued by the Nuclear Safety Council (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear - CSN), which qualifies the waste from the mining operation and the processing plant of the project Retortillo-Santidad as "radioactive", requiring a "joint and inseparable" radiological assessment of both facilities. This would delay the procedure for one year, to carry out a new assessment based on more information hopefully to be obtained from Berkeley. (Tribuna de Salamanca Oct. 21, 2013)
> Download: Propuesta de Dictamen técnico sobre la solicitud de otorgamiento de concesión de explotación de los yacimientos de mineral de uranio de Retortillo-Santidad (Salamanca) , July 30, 2013 (633 kB PDF - CSN, in Spanish)
> Download: Propuesta de Dictamen técnico sobre la solicitud de autorización previa de la planta de concentrado de uranio denominada Planta de tratamiento Retortillo en Salamanca , July 30, 2013 (491 kB PDF - CSN, in Spanish)
Environmental licence granted for mining of Retortillo deposit in Salamanca project:
The Ministry of Environment of the Regional Government of Castilla y León has granted a Favourable Declaration of Environmental Impact ('Environmental Licence') for the mining of the Retortillo deposit, which forms part of Berkeley Resources Ltd's Salamanca project.
(Tribuna de Salamanca Oct. 8, 2013; Berkeley Resources Ltd Oct. 8, 2013)
> Download: Disposición BOCYL-D-08102013-6 , Boletín Oficial de Castilla y León, Núm. 194, Martes, 8 de octubre de 2013, Pág. 66270-66312 (5.8MB PDF - in Spanish)
The public platform against the uranium mine in Salamanca (Plataforma contra la mina de uranio de Salamanca) 'Stop Uranium' described the approval of the Environmental Impact Statement as "environmental nightmare". (Tribuna de Salamanca Oct. 9, 2013)
> View: No a la mina de uranio en Salamanca (in Spanish)
Positive Pre-Feasibility Study announced for Salamanca uranium mine project: On Sep. 26, 2012, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced that a positive Pre-Feasibility Study confirms the "potential" of the Salamanca Project. The study is based on a uranium price of US$ 65 per lb U3O8.
Positive Scoping Study announced for Salamanca 1 uranium mine project: On Nov. 29, 2012, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced that a positive Scoping Study confirms the technical and economic viability of the Salamanca Project.
CSN orders decommissioning of Quercus uranium mill
> View here
Berkeley reaches agreement with ENUSA on uranium exploitation at Salamanca I project:
On July 24, 2012, Berkeley Resources Limited announced that it has reached agreement with Enusa Industrias Avanzadas S.A. ('ENUSA') on terms which provide the company with a 100% interest in select uranium resources within State Reserves held by ENUSA.
Under the agreement, Berkeley holds a 100% interest in, and the exploitation rights to, State Reserves 28 and 29 ('Addendum Reserves') whilst waiving its rights to mine in State Reserves where ENUSA has undertaken rehabilitation. The Addendum Reserves include the substantial unmined Alameda deposit, the Villar deposit and additional prospects. Total resources for the Addendum Reserves are currently estimated at 30.6 million pounds of contained U3O8 [11,769 t U] at an average grade of 465 ppm [0.0394% U] (at a lower cut-off grade of 200 ppm U3O8).
Positive Preliminary Feasibility Study announced for Salamanca 1 uranium mine project: On Jan. 30, 2012, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced a positive Preliminary Feasibility Study for Stage 1 (mining of the Retortillo and Santidad deposits) of its Salamanca 1 uranium project. The ore will be processed by heap leaching, and the ripios (spent ore) will be backfilled into "lined and isolated areas" previously mined within the pit.
Licensing and permitting processes initiated for development of two deposits within the Salamanca 1 uranium project:
On Oct. 13, 2011, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced that on 11th October it initiated the licensing and permitting processes for development of the Retortillo and Santidad deposits within the Salamanca 1 uranium project. These deposits will be the first to be developed in a program focussed on, Berkeley's 100% owned resources.
Salamanca 1 will now be developed as a stand-alone project which will be completely independent of the Company's joint venture with ENUSA, also within the Salamanca Province.
An initial scoping study for the Salamanca 1 uranium project indicates robust economics, at an initial production rate of around 1.5 million pounds of U3O8 [577 t U] per annum. The process will utilise on-off pad, biological heap leaching, which is particularly amenable to the ore type, and to the region and its climate. A preliminary feasibility study is scheduled for completion by year end.
Shares in Berkeley Resources plunged on uncertainty surrounding its proposed joint venture with Enusa for the company's Salamanca uranium project in Spain. Enusa has expressed concerns about the feasibility of the project following Berkeley's submission of a feasibility study. Berkeley maintains the study, prepared by it and its consultants and representing about half of the presently defined mineral resource, confirms the feasibility of the project. (The West Australian May 25, 2011)
The echo of the explosions in the nuclear reactors of Fukushima in Japan has arrived at Salamanca. The plans to restart uranium mining in the zone of Saelices El Chico from 2012 are delayed. This was confirmed by the Australian company Berkeley Resources. (El País May 2, 2011)
On Apr. 29, 2011, Berkeley Resources announced that it is now anticipated that the Feasibility Study for the entire Salamanca Uranium Project will be completed by mid 2012.
On Dec. 14, 2010, Berkeley Resources announced its intention to reopen the uranium operation in Salamanca. The company affirmed in an official notice that it will request the permissions to reopen the mine, for which it must create a company with a 10% interest held by the national uranium company (Enusa) and pay 20 million Euros. According to Berkeley Resources, its plan of operation "guarantees the economic yield of the uranium project in Salamanca". (El País Dec. 15, 2010)
Berkeley Resources Limited is in negotiations with Russian steel maker Severstal over a potential takeover offer by Severstal, Berkeley Resources said on Friday (Oct. 29). (RIA Novosti Oct. 29, 2010)
> see also: Decommissioning of Quercus uranium mill deferred in expectation of restart
On Aug. 10, 2010, Berkeley Resources Limited announced that it has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Electric Power Corporation ('KEPCO'), to finance and develop the Salamanca Uranium Project. KEPCO will invest, at the Project level only, US$ 70 million for a 35% interest in Berkeley's Salamanca Uranium Project, which comprises of Aguila, Alameda, Retortillo and Villar mining areas. KEPCO will also contribute funding of 35% for the development of the Salamanca Uranium Project assets to bring them into production as well as ongoing operating expenditure.
On Dec. 2, 2009, Berkeley Resources Limited announced that the Scoping Study undertaken on its Salamanca Uranium Project has strongly demonstrated the technical and economic viability of the Project. The project would include the re-commissioning of the Quercus uranium mill.
On Feb. 14, 2008, Berkeley Resources Ltd announced a positive Scoping Study for its Salamanca I project.
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Sweden: Svenska Skifferolje AB, Mawson Resources Ltd., Hodges Resources Ltd , Continental Precious Minerals Inc., Beowulf Mining plc , Energy Ventures plc, Nordic Diamonds Ltd. , Aura Energy Ltd , Sino King Enterprise Investment Ltd (Hongkong), Sagacity Holdings Ltd, Trans Atlantic Metals AG , All Star Minerals plc , IGE Nordic AB , Energy Ventures Ltd , Norrsken Energy Limited , Goldsearch Ltd , Mercer Gold Corp. , Uranium Prospects Plc
For opposition to uranium mining in Sweden, see: Nej till uranbrytning (in Swedish)
On April 15, 2007, Continental Precious Minerals Inc. filed an appeal to reverse the decision of The Mining Inspectorate of Sweden not to grant them prospecting rights in Billingen.
In 2006, Svenska Skifferolje AB, Mawson Resources Ltd., and Continental Precious Minerals Inc. applied for prospecting rights in a large area covering most of the cambrium silur triangle of Billingen - Ålleberg - Gerumsberget. The Mining Inspectorate received massive protests from the County Administration of Västergötland , all affected cities, as well as from farmers and other organisations. The applications were all turned down.
In May 2005, Svenska Skifferolje AB applied for prospecting rights in Skaraborg. After massive local protests, the application was turned down by the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden (Bergsstaten ).
Jämtland County Council says no to uranium mining: Last week, the County Council of Jämtland said no to uranium mining in Oviken, thus voting against the county board's proposal. (Östersunds Posten Dec. 2, 2013)
Court declares unused uranium exploration licences in Jämtland forfeit:
The exploration licenses Hara 1 and Näkten 1 in Fåker were held by the Australian company Aura Energy Ltd since 2007. When the company requested an extension, landowners could show that Aura had never begun drilling for uranium, and therefore should forfeit the right to extend. The Administrative Court ruled in favour of the landowners. The Mining Inspectorate (Bergsstaten) has appealed the decision.
The extension of the exploration license for Marby 1 located between Månsåsen and Hallen was approved, however. (Östersunds Posten Oct. 18, 2013)
Municipalities demand power of veto against uranium prospection in alum shale: A number of municipalities demand the power of veto against the prospection in alum shale. In an open letter to the government the chairman of the municipality board of the 24 affected municipalities and farmer Carl Piper writes that if the shale is mined, the land, groundwater and farming would be threatened for the foreseeable future. Exploration companies are now queuing up to prepare for large-scale mining including uranium and natural gas. (Östersunds Posten June 19, 2013)
Municipalities launch website against uranium mining projects in Oviken:
The four municipalities Berg, Östersund and Åre Krokom have launched a joint website where they show their opposition and their shared concerns about the plans for a uranium mining in Oviken. (Östersunds Posten Apr. 29, 2013)
> Oviken - kulturbygd eller gruva (Oviken - cultural traditions or mine)
Demonstration against uranium exploration and mining held in Oviken, Jämtland: On April 3, 2013, a demonstration against uranium exploration and mining was held in Oviken. (Östersunds Posten Apr. 3, 2013)
Activist receives award for opposition to uranium mining projects in Jämtland: The Green Party of Jämtland awards an environmental prize every year and this year's winner is Diana Fernlund of Myrviken, who received the award for her opposition to the exploration and mining of uranium. A few years ago, she started the initiative No to uranium mining in Storsjöbygden , in which she is chairman. (Östersunds Posten Mar. 18, 2013)
New uranium exploration permit awarded in spite of protests of communities:
In spite of protests of communities Berg and Åre, Continental Precious Minerals was awarded another exploration permit for uranium in an area called Gåsloken. The permit covers 3,700 hectares and is located in the border area of the two communities.
(Östersunds Posten Aug. 8, 2012)
Berg community appealed the newly granted exploration licenses for areas Gåsloken and Brattholmen. (Östersunds Posten Aug. 13, 2012)
Mayors of six communities call for companies to terminate uranium exploration:
The municipal councils of Åre, Östersund, Berg, Falköping, Tidaholm, and Skövde called on Continental Precious Minerals, Aura Energy and other uranium exploration companies to voluntarily terminate their exploratory drilling in the area.
The message is that it is wasted money because municipalities still will not allow uranium mining. In the case of uranium mining (other than for exploration), municipalities do have veto power.
(Östersunds Posten June 25, 2012, Svenska Dagbladet June 24, 2012)
> Download English translation of open letter of mayors, June 20, 2012 (PDF - Nejtilluranbrytning)
Åre municipality lost appeal against uranium exploration: The municipality's veto does not apply, thereby enjoying Australian mineral company Aura Energy clearance to test drilling for uranium in Marby in Åre municipality. The municipality appealed the decision on the grounds that the risk was that heavy metals such as uranium and nickel could end up in the Storsjön Lake. But the Environment Court does not consider the arguments but notes that the municipality's veto power does not include drilling. (Östersunds Posten June 21, 2012)
Court grants landowners' appeal against extension of uranium exploration permit in Jämtland: The administrative court in Luleå has granted the appeal of 11 landowners and canceled the extension of Aura Energy's exploration permit for uranium in an area of Berg and Östersund municipalities. In December 2010, the Mining Inspectorate (Bergsstaten) had extended the exploration permit (issued in 2007) until August 2013. (Östersunds Posten Feb. 14, 2012)
Court rejects municipal vetoes to uranium exploration in Jämtland: The Östersund Land and Environment Court rejects the municipality's appeal of the county administrative board's decision, which gives Aura Energy Sweden AB permission to test drill the exploration permit Häggån No. 1 in the Berg and Åre municipalities. The court finds that the exploration of uranium is not covered by the local government veto. It applies only to the mining of uranium. Berg and Åre municipalities may lodge an appeal at the Svea Court of Appeal within three weeks. (Östersunds Posten Feb. 6, 2012)
Municipality continues to appeal extension of exploration licenses in Oviken:
Berg Municipality continues to appeal the decision on extended exploration permits issued for continued uranium exploration in Oviken.
This time, the City has appealed the decisions in the areas of Mo, Hackåsen and Kämpdalen.
In a statement to the county of Norrbotten, about the exploration permit relating to Rörön in Oviken, the municipality maintains its previous 'no' and refers to the decision in principle regarding exploration and mining of uranium in Berg, the City Council took in 2007. (Östersunds Posten Oct. 20, 2011)
Group appeals uranium exploration license granted in Oviken, Jämtland: The County Board last week allowed Continental Precious Minerals to explore a land area of Oviken for uranium. The decision will now be appealed by the Association Nej till uran i Storsjöbygden (No to uranium in Storsjöbygden). (Sveriges Radio Oct. 10, 2011)
Berg Municipality opposes the extension of the uranium exploration permits granted to Continental Precious Minerals Inc. in Oviken. The municipality has appealed the decision of the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden (Bergsstaten ). (Östersunds Posten Sep. 20, 2011)
Krokom Municipality has appealed a decision of administrative law that extended the authorization to Aura Energy Ltd for drilling in Åre and Krokom municipalities. Both municipalities had appealed the Mining Inspectorate's decision to extend the time for test drilling, but were not retained in the Board of Auditors.
But Krokom municipality has gone ahead and appealed to the administrative court. The municipality believes that it is a fundamentally important issue, since the area where test drilling to take place is of national interest for the reindeer industry, national interest for outdoor recreation and national interest for outdoor activities. Krokom municipality also refers to the regional environmental objectives adopted in 2006 stipulating that no uranium mining will occur in Jämtland county. (Länstidningen Östersund March 16, 2011)
Around 30 persons held a demonstration in Östersund against uranium exploration by Mawson Resources Ltd. in Rörvattnet. (Östersunds Posten Apr. 7, 2007)
Protests were held at the Kläppibäcken site, where Mawson Resources started drilling for uranium exploration. (Länstidningen i Östersund March 27, 2007)
During a meeting held in Hotagen (Jämtland), residents strongly opposed uranium exploration in the area. (Östersunds Posten Oct. 13, 2006)
The community of Krokom (Jämtland) has decided to appeal Länsstyrelsen's decision to permit uranium exploration by Mawson Resources Ltd. in the area. The decision was also appealed by the Jovnevaeri sameby (Sami Village). (Östersunds Posten Oct. 12, 2006)
On Oct. 10, 2006, Mawson Resources Ltd. announced that the Company has been granted permission to drill the Tåsjö and Kläppibäcken uranium projects in Jämtland, Sweden.
Remodelled scoping study shows viability of heavily downsized development options for Häggån uranium mine project: On Dec. 4, 2013, Aura Energy Ltd announced - "given the current market conditions" - the results of remodelling the 2012 scoping study for smaller size options than the originally assumed mining rate of 30 million t per year - "options which are more likely to attract funding than a project with a high initial capital cost". Aura concludes that the remodelling "has demonstrated robust project financials at all scales of operation".
Areva refrains from partnership in Häggån uranium mine project: On July 12, 2013, Aura Energy Ltd announced that AREVA Mines SA has elected not to proceed with the proposed strategic partnership involving the Häggån uranium and polymetallic project announced to the market on 7 February 2013.
Areva selected as preferred strategic partner for Häggån uranium mine project: On Feb. 7, 2013, Aura Energy Ltd announced that it has entered into a binding Co-operation Agreement with Areva Mines SA (Areva). Under the terms of the Co-operation Agreement, Areva will undertake an agreed work program in relation to the project over an initial 4 month period. During the period of the Co-operation Agreement, Aura Energy Ltd and Areva will work in good faith to finalise a pre-feasibility study work program, and also conclude the terms of an Option Agreement and Joint Venture Agreement under which Areva may acquire an interest in the project.
"Global miner" interested in partnership to develop Häggån project: On Oct. 29, 2012, Aura Energy Ltd announced that it had received a second offer from another major uranium market participant (a "global miner") for a partnership to develop the Häggån deposit.
On Aug. 14, 2012, Aura Energy Ltd announced that it signed an Exclusivity Agreement with "a major uranium market participant", in respect of a potential strategic partnership for the Häggån uranium and polymetallic project in Sweden.
On May 29, 2012, Aura Energy Ltd announced that a Revised Scoping Study financial model prepared by independent consultants RMDSTEM confirms that the Häggån Project is financially robust.
On Feb. 7, 2012, Aura Energy Ltd announced that a scoping study confirms the economic viability for a bioheap leach project at Häggån.
Preparation of mining license application for Viken deposit commissioned:
On Feb. 27, 2015, Continental Precious Minerals Inc. announced that it has started the preparations for the filing of a Swedish Exploitation Concession which, if successful, will secure the mineral rights for the next 25 years.
Continental has engaged the international and locally well recognized and experienced company Golder Associates Sweden. Golder will, together with the Swedish consultancy company GeoVista AB, prepare the Exploitation Concession. Extensive environmental and social impact data will be collected by these independent consultants and other specialists, and the data will later be assessed by the Swedish Mining Inspectorate before a granting of an exploitation concession.
On Feb. 6, 2014, Continental Precious Minerals Inc. announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on its MMS Viken Project in Sweden. The updated PEA is based on acidic bio-heap leaching, as opposed to the fine grinding, tank leaching and roasting approach taken in the 2010 PEA. The mine would produce four products: uranium oxide and concentrates containing nickel, copper and zinc.
According to the Technical Report dated Feb. 27, 2014, the uranium sales price assumed for the study is US$ 60 per lb U3O8, while the current spot price is $35.50.
On Sept. 13, 2010, Continental Precious Minerals Inc. announced positive results from the preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") (also called a scoping study) on its MMS Viken Licence and surrounding licences in Sweden.
> View deposit info
Environmental base line study commissioned over Närke oil-uranium project: On July 15, 2014, URU Metals Ltd announced the appointment of environmental consultants Pelagia Miljökonsult AB to lead a base line environmental study over the Närke Oil-Uranium Project. The Study is an essential constituent in an application for a Mining Concession and Environmental Permit.
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Switzerland: Aurania Resources Ltd. , AuroVallis Sàrl
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