Virginia Uranium Mining Question Spawns Studies


"A uranium mining and milling operation in Southside Virginia would create up to 350 jobs."

A uranium mining and milling operation in Southside Virginia would create up to 350 jobs and generate $40 million to $50 million for the local economy, a study commissioned by the mine owner concludes.

A summary of the study was submitted to a legislative panel deciding whether Virginia should end its 1982 moratorium of uranium mining. It is one of a number of studies either under way or planned.

The economic analysis was conducted for Virginia Uranium Inc. by Lyntek Inc., a Lakewood, Colo., company that describes itself as a provider of engineering and construction services for the natural resources and environmental remediation industries.

Among the conclusions of the company-paid study, a uranium and milling operation would:
  • Result in an initial private capital investment of $200 million to $225 million.
  • Create 250-300 construction jobs and 300-350 positions for the mining and milling of uranium. The life of the mine is estimated at 30 to 35 years.
  • Generate an annual local impact of $40 million to $50 million in jobs and material costs; and a combined indirect and direct impact of $240 million to $300 million.
The summary cautions that the estimates hinge on the production rate of the mine and ore grades found.

"People talk about this nuclear renaissance and whether it's coming," Patrick Wales, project manager for Virginia Uranium said. "It's here."

Before uranium can be mined in Virginia, the General Assembly would have to lift the 1982 ban.

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