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Company to halt bid to mine uranium in Virginia

RICHMOND, Virginia--A company is suspending its campaign to mine one of the world's largest known deposits of uranium ore located in Virginia, concluding that Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe's opposition presents a significant challenge over the next four years.

Virginia Uranium Inc. (VUI) said it will not back the introduction of uranium mining legislation in the 2014 session of the General Assembly, which would be a first step to tap a 119-million-pound (54-million kilogram) deposit of uranium in Pittsylvania County known as Coles Hill.

“The company is currently evaluating all its options going forward, including a substantial reduction of expenses on the Coles Hill project for the interim period,” VUI's parent company Virginia Energy Resources Inc. wrote in financial statement filed in late November, several weeks after McAuliffe's election on Nov. 5.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, had said before his election he would not support lifting the state's decades-long ban on uranium mining and affirmed that position after his election.

Patrick Wales, project manager for Virginia Uranium, issued a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday: “We are in this for the long haul and are committed to developing the Coles Hill project. We will continue evaluating all options to move the project forward.”

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