Our Crownpoint project is located on 640 acres (gross, 556 net) at the village of Crownpoint, approximately 35 miles northeast of the town of Gallup and 95 miles northwest of the city of Albuquerque. Access is via paved road from State Highway 371, through the town of Crownpoint to Church Road to the main gate of the property.
The Crownpoint properties are located in the San Juan Basin, 22 miles northeast of our Churchrock deposits and 35 miles northeast of Gallup, New Mexico, adjacent to the town of Crownpoint, New Mexico. The properties consist of 640 gross and 556 net acres. We hold the minerals in the NW 1⁄4 of Section 9, T17N, R13W with 9 unpatented federal claims (CP-1 thru CP9) and the minerals in the SW 1⁄4 of Section 24, T17N, R13W with 10 unpatented federal mining claims (CP-10 thru CP-19). In the SE 1⁄4 of Section 24, T17N, R13W we own in fee a 40% interest in the minerals on approximately 140 acres and hold 100% of the minerals on 20 additional acres with two unpatented federal claims (Consol I and Consol II). In the NE 1⁄4 of Section 25, T17N, R13W we hold the minerals with eight unpatented federal claims (Hydro-1 thru Hydro-8). The federal unpatented claims are held through the payment of a $140.00 assessment fee each year on each claim.
Rail service is available along the BNSF transcontinental railroad twenty miles south of the project area, commercial air service is available at both Gallup and Albuquerque, water and electrical service is available in Crownpoint.
Exploration programs carried out during the 1970’s by Mobil Oil, Conoco and Teton/UNC outlined several areas of uranium mineralization within and adjoining the town site. Mobil Oil conducted an in-situ recovery test on a portion of their properties, but did not develop a commercial scale ISR operation. Conoco, in partnership with Westinghouse, began development of a conventional underground site on a part of their property holdings, but never completed the project, and never produced any uranium from their properties. Both development programs were curtailed due to the collapse of the uranium market in the early 1980’s.
Mineralization is found in the Westwater Member of the Morrison Formation at a depth of from 2,100 to 2,300 feet. Three pilot shafts were commenced on the property in the early 1980’s but were never completed. Surface facilities dating from those activities including buildings and their associated electrical/water infrastructure are still in-place and are currently used as offices and storage facilities.
We spent about $283,000, $9,000 and $3,000 in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively, for permitting activities and land holding costs.
The State Engineer approved our water rights application in 2004 and granted us sufficient water rights for ISR operations for the life of Crownpoint Section 24 extraction. We have two additional pending applications for appropriations of water, which give us the first two ‘‘positions in line’’ on the hearings list for the San Juan Basin. These additional pending water rights applications may involve a claim of jurisdiction by the Navajo Nation.
We hold an NRC license to allow ISR and uranium processing activities at the Crownpoint site.