Daneros is an underground uranium mine in Bullseye Canyon, off state Route 95 in western San Juan County. It consists of 65 mining claims on Bureau of Land Management property.
Uranium prices have steadily declined in the 18 months since the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan. Prices have fallen from about $68 a pound before the Japan earthquake to $47 per pound as of September – the lowest in two years, according to a Forbes online report.
TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes noted that fall is usually the best buying season in the uranium market, so the current weakness is a bad sign. He predicted that uranium markets will be in the doldrums for another 12 months.
Reliance is a sub-contractor for Energy Fuels Inc., which purchased all of Denison Mines Corporation’s U.S. mining assets and operations in June.
Ron Hochstein, CEO of Denison, a Canadian uranium exploration, development and production company, said the sale was “just a business decision based on Denison’s shareholders.”
He called the sale “an important step forward for Denison,” which received 425 million common shares of Energy Fuels stock in the deal.
Curtis Moore, spokesman for Energy Fuels, declined to comment this week when asked by The Times-Independent to confirm rumors that the company plans significant layoffs at Daneros with the closure of Pandora Mine near La Sal in November.
“I just can’t comment on that right now,” said Moore, who said he did not know the number of employees at the two mine projects.
Moore said Energy Fuels acquired mines in Arizona and Colorado in addition to Utah in the June purchase, which reportedly spurred an 18 percent increase in Energy Fuels’ stock.
Energy Fuels has proposed building a uranium mill near Paradox, Colo. and also owns two other small uranium mines in San Juan County, about 39 miles southeast of Moab. Those mines are not yet in production.