By Amy Levek, The Durango Telegraph, Volume 9, No. 27, July 8, 2010
Two new uranium mills proposed for the Four Corners
The Piñon Ridge Mill will be the most environmentally friendly mill in the world,” says Energy Fuels Inc. president and CEO George Glasier of his company’s project. Energy Fuels Inc. is currently planning the construction of the nation’s first uranium/vanadium mill in 25 years. Located west of Naturita in the Paradox Valley, halfway between the Dolores and San Miguel rivers, on 1,000 acres of privately owned land, the mill is the first significant industry to arise in the area in some time.
Given its economically depressed nature, “the area generally wants the mill,” according to Glasier.
Nucla Mayor Roxy Allex agrees. “Almost everyone here was here when uranium mining was happening, and when the industry went away, the jobs went away. The response from citizens has been favorable. People definitely know what’s proposed. It’s the subject everywhere you go on the streets around here.”
With a serious unemployment problem, the town of Nucla stands to gain up to 350 new jobs, with about 250 of those to be permanent positions at the mill. “That’s a big influx for a town of 735,” declares Mayor Allex.
But others in the region are not as enthusiastic. The Colorado Environmental Council (CEC) has the burgeoning uranium industry squarely on its radar and sees uranium mining compounding the boom in oil and gas activities.