NEW YORK The U.S. Forest Service has completed a review of the operational plan for U.S. Energy Corp.s proposed Mount Emmons molybdenum project in Gunnison County, Colo., allowing the company to begin scoping and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.
An environmental impact statement will now be prepared for the project, which will subsequently be subject to public review and comment.
"We are very pleased to have met this major project milestone," Keith Larsen, chief executive officer of the Riverton, Wyo.-based company, said in a statement. "This key step will allow us to share the detailed mine plan with the local communities and to discuss the significant economic benefits associated with the project."
The Mount Emmons Mine is expected to produce 8,500 tons of ore per day in its first year of operation and ramp up to 12,600 tons per day by its fourth year. Its operational life is estimated at 33 years.
Initial development of the higher-grade ore is expected to produce 22 million pounds of molybdenum in its first year, ramping up to 27 million pounds by the third year and then averaging 17 million to 20 million pounds annually thereafter.
Mine, mill and infrastructure development is expected to take between three and four years.