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Uranium mining may return

Brief by Central Staff

Mining – March 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

A hitherto remote part of Central Colorado could see both development and mining as a result of the sale of a 10,000-acre ranch.

The ranch, in the Tallahassee Creek area south of Florissant, had belonged to Cyprus Minerals, a corporate ancestor of today’s Cyprus-Amax, and in the late 1970s, Cyprus planned a big uranium mine there — the Hansen Project.

But uranium dropped from $43 a pound to $30 in less than a year and Cyprus abandoned the project, while retaining the land.

In late 1996, Cyprus signed a sales contract with New Mexico and Arizona Land Co. — call it “NZ” for short.

Bill Pope, NZ chief executive, said NZ plans some real-estate development there, while the mineral rights would go to a wholly owned subsidiary, NZU.

The Talahassee ore body is fairly compact, he noted, with 25 million pounds of uranium available by mining only 40 acres of the 10,000 — leaving most of the ranch available for residential or other development.

No word on when mining or development might start.

But better uranium prices have encouraged the Cotter Copr. to re-open its mill in CaƱon City, which it closed a decade ago. Cotter plans to have it back in production late this year or early next year.