ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hydro Resources Inc. is one step closer to beginning its uranium mining operations in western New Mexico.
The company says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reactivated its license for in-situ leach mining on 10 claims near Churchrock, N.M. The process involves injecting chemicals into the ground to release uranium.
Environmentalists and some residents of the neighboring Navajo reservation have been critical of the proposal.
A spokesman for Hydro Resource's parent firm, Texas-based Uranium Resources Inc., says the license is an important step but the company still needs approval from the state Environment Department.
The company is also conducting a feasibility study. The fate of the project will ultimately depend on the market for the natural resource.
Spokesman Mat Lueras says Hydro Resources is aiming to be in production in 2013.