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In uranium market’s permanent downhill slide, companies beg for tax-payers to rescue them

Companies promise payback when prices rise — but until then, uranium wants a break, Casper Star Tribune, Heather Richards 307-266-0592, Heather.Richards@trib.com  Jun 27, 2017 

When the market recovers, the uranium industry won’t need a tax break. But it does now, industry representatives say.

Citing low prices and employment, the Wyoming Mining Association will make the case for a state tax cut on uranium when lawmakers meet Thursday in Casper…..

prices for yellowcake, the powdery ore processed after mining, tumbled as low as $18 per pound last year due to a worldwide glut, from record highs of more than $120 in 2007. Production is down, and employment in the industry has fallen to its lowest level since 2004, according to the Wyoming Mining Association.

Uranium companies need an incentive to invest in new mines and production while the market is suffering…..

Otherwise, production is going to continue to decline as companies dig out the ore available at their existing mines and shy away from the cost of new operations or expansion.

…..But the idea has already sparked pushback by those unimpressed with the association’s argument.

 “’When the market recovers’ has been the theme song of the uranium industry since the 1980s, and they always want some kind of deal,” said Wilma Tope, a board member with the Powder River Basin Resource Council, which opposes a tax cut. “Unfortunately, the history of this industry is one of leaving behind un-reclaimed uranium mines and polluted landscapes for other taxpayers to clean up.”

In a statement released before the committee meeting, the council pointed out that current reclamation sites in Fremont County still need to be addressed, including groundwater concerns at the both the former Split Rock facility near Jeffrey City and the Umetco Minerals Corp. outside Riverton. Cleanup at the American Nuclear Corporation site in Fremont County is on hold due to lack of funds, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company went under in 1994. Cleanup responsibilities were transferred to the state of Wyoming, according to the commission.

“In other words, the American – and Wyoming – taxpayers are on the hook for reclamation costs for mostly foreign owned companies. This is corporate socialism at its best,” Tope said in a statement…..http://trib.com/business/energy/companies-promise-payback-when-prices-rise—-but/article_6533f0f1-64aa-59eb-a458-aead3059624b.html

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June 30, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs

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