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U.S. uranium production for 2017 to datedown 17%

Staff Writer |
U.S. uranium production for 2017 to date is down 17% from the same period in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest quarterly Domestic Uranium Production Report.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has found uranium-bearing calcrete formations in the USA for the first time.

Seven US facilities produced a total of 643,212 pounds U3O8 (247 tU) during the third quarter of 2017.

These facilities included one conventional uranium mill - the White Mesa mill, in Utah - and six in-situ leach facilities: Crow Butte, in Nebraska; and Lost Creek, Nichols Ranch, Ross, Smith Ranch-Highland and Willow Creek, all in Wyoming.

Production was 11% less than in the second quarter of 2017 and 21% less than for the third quarter of 2016.

Total uranium production for the first three-quarters of 2017 was 1.82 million pounds U3O8, down 17% from the 2.19 million pounds produced in the first three-quarters of 2016.

According to the EIA, production of uranium concentrate at the USA's only operating conventional uranium mill - Energy Fuels' White Mesa - was not from the milling of uranium ore, but from other (non-ore) materials.

The mill, which has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of uranium per year, has a separate alternate feed circuit to produce uranium from uranium-bearing materials other than ore with grades as high as 75% U3O8.

Such materials may come from uranium conversion and other metals processing, and the mill also has the ability to process material generated from land cleanup work.

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