Uranium exploration company Powertech has submitted an application to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to secure a license to mine uranium and vanadium in the state.

The company plans to develop an in-situ uranium mining operation in Custer and Fall River Counties in southwestern South Dakota.

Powertech seeks to dissolve the uranium present in the ore with water, by driving groundwater into the underground deposits and then extract Uranium by pumping the water to the surface.

The company has also submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for uranium recovery license besides seeking a permit from the EPA Underground Injection Control.

The proposed mine is expected to have a 20-year mine life.

The permit applications are now open for public scrutiny and review with a hearing by Board of Minerals and Environment, tentatively scheduled for May 2013.