If uranium prices are - per pound, total revenues during the 35-year life of the mine would be .1-.5 billion, but in 2011 Virginia Uranium Inc. However, Virginia banned uranium mining in 1982, before projects planned in Orange and Pittsylvania counties went into operation.Efforts to lift the moratorium were not pursued vigorously after 1982 because the price for uranium yellowcake (the powdered uranium oxide ore) remained too low to justify investment in new mining operations.
If the Pittsylvania ore deposit were developed, the two nuclear fuel fabrication facilities that have operated in Lynchburg could enhance Virginia's economy.
Mining at Coles Hill could involve excavating a large open pit mine up to 850 feet deep, followed by crushing the ore and separating the uranium from waste rock. plans an underground mine, removing ore and creating rooms with pillars left to support the roof.
After 21 years of such excavation, the pillars would be pulled during another 13 years of mining, and the rooms would collapse. The 50 states - not the Federal government - regulate the actual mining operations for uranium, just like mining for coal, limestone, or other mineral resources.
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In the early 1980's, after the "oil shocks" of the 1970's stimulated investments in other forms of energy, Marline Corporation searched for uranium in the Piedmont physiographic province of Virginia.The company discovered the Swanson ore deposit in Pittsylvania County, as well as other deposits that were less valuable.According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Marline Corp.began searching for uranium deposits in the East in the late 1970s and in 1982 said it discovered 30 million pounds of uranium oxide in Pittsylvania County, potentially worth billion or more.The company obtained leases on 40,000 uranium-rich acres in the county and 16,000 acres in Fauquier, Madison, Culpeper and Orange counties.However, a 2011 report calculated there was 119 million pounds of uranium, of which 63 million pounds exceeded 0.06% uranium and was economical to process.