Revolutionary Recovery Technology
Upgrades Uranium Ore Mechanically
An agreement announced today by American Strategic Minerals Corporation ("Amicor") and Ablation Technologies LLC of Casper, Wyoming, ("Ablation") could change the face of uranium mining worldwide.
Colorado-based, publicly traded Amicor (OTCBB: ASMC) and privately held Ablation said they will form a joint venture to manufacture and operate a revolutionary recovery technology developed by Ablation.
The joint venture will be located at the Ablation manufacturing facility in Casper, and will be funded following further testing on Amicor's uranium ore, assuming results that are satisfactory to Amicor.
Processing is expected to start with Amicor's properties and other deposits in the Western United States following funding of the JV.
The innovative, patented technology mechanically separates the uranium-bearing fractions from the uranium-free fractions of uranium-bearing ores, reducing by as much as 95% the amount of ore required to be processed by conventional milling facilities. The process uses only water and does not require any chemicals or reagents--a plus for the environment.
Ninety percent of U.S. uranium resources are recoverable only by conventional mining and milling processes. With the Ablation process, it is believed that the need for conventional milling facilities will likely be reduced substantially. As milling is a costly part of uranium recovery process, the process will substantially reduce this component of uranium production.
The JV is expected to offer its recovery services to mining companies and further commit to process or purchase the concentrated materials from the recovery process.
To be Used at Amicor Mines
The new technology has been tested on a number of different deposits in the U.S., including the uranium/vanadium properties held by Amicor in the Uravan Mineral Belt, which is the oldest uranium mining area in the U.S., and historically the most productive uranium and vanadium region in Colorado.
It is expected that the technology will be used in the mining recovery process at Amicor's mines.
"The process developed by Ablation Technologies could be the most important development in uranium recovery in the last 50 years," said Amicor President and CEO George Glasier. "We believe that projects that are economically marginal at today's prices could be operated profitably as recovery costs will be reduced drastically. Projects that are economically viable at today's prices could likely see margins increased substantially."
The technology can also be used where past mining has left low-grade uranium material on the surface or below the surface. Processing this low-grade material can result in a more complete cleanup of old mine sites.
Foreign Confidential™ analysts believe the new technology has the potential to eliminate up to 90% of uranium tailings, the waste byproduct of uranium mining. Managing the environmentally hazardous waste is a significant cost factor in modern uranium mining and mine rehabilitation.
The new technology is also likely to have a huge impact on transportation of uranium ore, experts say, because it essentially upgrades the ore mechanically. Simply stated, moving the ore great distances could for the first time in the history of the uranium industry become economically attractive--akin to transporting iron ore or coal, only more so, considering the value of uranium. For example, uranium ore produced in the Western U.S. could be exported to China for milling--in ordinary shipping containers.
Mechanical upgrading of uranium ore should also make Western U.S. uranium competitive with Canadian uranium.
Amicor aims to become a major producer of uranium and vanadium in the U.S. Based out of Nucla, Colorado, at the center of the Uravan Mineral Belt, Amicor is engaged in fast-tracked uranium and vanadium mining projects on the Colorado Plateau, while maintaining long-term production with a diverse mineral resource asset base--13 separate properties in six states--throughout the Western U.S. Rare earth elements (REE), both associated with some of the uranium/vanadium ores, as well as stand-alone REE deposits, will be an additional focus, according to CEO Glasier.
Amicor's new venture could give it a global reach, analogous, say, to a domestic independent oil producer capable of operating internationally through application of proprietary technology and knowhow.