The only pending approval required to commence full construction of the uranium mine in Spain is the authorisation for construction for the uranium concentrate plant as a radioactive facility (NSC II), said Australia-listed Berkeley Energia. This means that Berkeley is one permit away from starting full construction of the four-million-pound-a-year Salamanca uranium mine.
The company announced that the Municipality of Retortillo had granted its urbanism licence (UL), which is the land use permit needed for construction works. In late March, the company submitted updated official documentation in relation to the NSC II and has since held a number of meetings with the Nuclear Safety Council (NSC) technical team.
Berkeley said it was preparing written responses to some queries the NSC had and that it would complete this task in the coming weeks. Following submission of the written responses, the next step in the process would be for the NSC technical team to finalise its report and submit it to the NSC board for ratification. Last month, the NSC issued a favourable report for the extension of the validity of the initial authorisation for the uranium concentrate plant as a radioactive facility (NSC I). NSC I was granted in September 2015, with a five-year validity period.
The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has to approve the authorisation and set its duration period.
The definitive feasibility study has reported that over an initial ten-year period the project is capable of producing an average of 4.4-million pounds a year of uranium, at a cash cost of $13.30/lb and a total cash cost of $15.06/lb during steady state.
Berkeley stated that the mine would guarantee Spain and the European Union an internal supplier, which would produce the equivalent of 10% of Europe’s total consumption.