The vision that most people get when they think of mining operations is not a pretty one. It’s difficult to put an attractive spin on massive open-pit mines or piles of tailings the size of small mountains. The natural environment is almost always seen as a primary victim. That’s why it comes as a surprise to many when they hear about a process called “in-situ recovery”, or ISR. It’s the process used by Uranium Energy Corp. to extract uranium with minimal effect on the environment.
Instead of tearing up the earth to get at the uranium underneath, ISR involves a number of small injection wells that pump oxygenated water into the ground. The water dissolves the uranium from the sandstone host and the solution is pumped back up to the surface where it goes through a variety of on-site and off-site processes to remove the uranium.
ISR is not only environmentally friendly, it is considerably less expensive than traditional uranium mining processes, and it is now spreading throughout the uranium mining industry. The technical personnel at Uranium Energy Corp. are considered to be some of the most knowledgeable in the ISR field.
ISR is one of several key strengths of UEC. The company also boasts one of the most comprehensive databases of uranium exploration and mining activity in the country, covering decades of work from some of the biggest names in the industry. It has allowed UEC to target and acquire the best prospective sites. The company’s current project portfolio totals roughly 34 million pounds of U308. In addition, the company has its own fully licensed and permitted uranium processing plant, centrally located for easy access by the company’s Texas projects. One of only a handful of such plants in the entire country, the plant is able to process up to 2.5 million pounds of U308 annually. Perhaps most importantly, UEC is well financed, able to take advantage of its many technical and operational strengths.
For more information, see the company website at www.UraniumEnergy.com, and see http://www.UraniumEnergy.com/uranium/in_situ_leach for a video animation of the ISR process used by UEC.
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