A mining licence for the Retortillo deposit in western Spain has been granted to Berkeley Resources by the regional government of Castilla and León. Retortillo would be Spain's only operating uranium mine but further permits are required before operations can begin.
The mining licence issued to Berkeley is valid for 30 years but may be renewed for two additional periods of 30 years.
Australia-based Berkeley said that, having now been granted with a mining licence, the approval processes for gaining other key permits - including the authorization of the process plant as a radioactive facility and the change of land use from rural to industrial use - may now been finalized.
The company received its environmental licence for the Retortillo deposit in October 2013. This covers all mining and processing activities, including treatment of loaded resin transported to Retortillo from other deposits.
The Retortillo project
Retortillo is 100% owned by Berkeley and has resources totalling 16.2 million tonnes at 376 ppm for a total of 13.4 million pounds U3O8 (6080 tU).
A prefeasibility study on the integrated development of Retortillo and the nearby Alameda deposit, completed in 2013, was based on open pit mining, heap leaching, a central processing plant at Retortillo and a remote ion exchange operation at Alameda, with resin trucked to the main plant.
The Retortillo deposit, together with the Santitad and Gambuta deposits, forms Berkeley's Salamanca Project and is the first resource from which production is scheduled to begin.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News