US-based uranium and vanadium mining company Energy Fuels will resume operations at the Canyon mine following a favorable court ruling.
The federal appeals court upheld the government’s decision to allow mining at the site that is located near the Grand Canyon National Park.
Environmentalists and tribal groups had previously initiated action against the US Bureau of Land Management, citing outdated and inadequate environmental analysis.
A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled that the operations at the Arizona 1 mine do not violate any environmental protection law and should be allowed to resume operations.
The bureau permitted resumption of operations at the site in 2009.
Conservation groups in the state, meanwhile, expressed displeasure over the ruling saying that it sets a precedent to allow ‘zombie mines’ to operate under erstwhile regulations, reported Cronkite News.
Center for Biological Diversity wildlands campaigns director Taylor McKinnon was quoted as saying, "They are basically zombie mines that will live perpetually without ever being subject to new environmental reviews."
The Canyon mine hosts about 1,629,000 lbs of U3O8 contained in 82,800t of inferred resource at an average grade of 0.98% U3O8.