Casper Star-Tribune
Casper, Wyoming

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Uranium prices at lowest level since 1994

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Uranium prices remain at a seven-year low, the Wyoming State Geological Survey said.

The spot market price for yellowcake uranium, which is mined in Wyoming, at the start of the year was at its lowest level since 1994, $7.10 per pound.

Since then the price has risen slightly, and was $7.60 last week.

In the last seven years, the price for yellowcake peaked around $16 late in 1996 and has been on a steady decline since.

Yellowcake does not emit radioactive particles but is used to enrich nuclear fuel.

Wyoming's only two uranium mines are in Converse County: the Highland and Morton Ranch mine owned by Cameco, and the Smith Ranch mine operated by Rio Algom, both Canadian companies.

Wyoming's uranium production may have peaked in 1999 at 2.7 million pounds of yellowcake, the Geological Survey reported in its latest edition of "Wyoming Geo-notes."

Cogema, a French state-owned nuclear group, closed its Christiansen Ranch operation in Wyoming in early 2000, and less yellowcake is anticipated to be produced by the remaining mines, the survey said.

Currently, all Wyoming yellowcake is shipped to France.