Red-Hot Resources

"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Saudi Arabia of Uranium Says "NO!"

From the LA Times today (free subscription required)...

Mining firms again eyeing Navajo land

Demand for uranium is soaring. But the tribe vows a 'knockdown, drag-out legal battle.'

Crownpoint, N.M. -- When mining companies started calling tribal offices last year, Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. issued an edict to employees: Don't answer any questions. Report all contacts to the Navajo attorney general.

Decades after the Cold War uranium boom ended, leaving a trail of poisonous waste across the Navajo Nation, the mining industry is back, seeking to tap the region's vast uranium deposits once again.

Companies are staking claims, buying mineral rights and applying for permits on the edge of the tribal homeland. They make no secret of their desire to mine within the reservation as well.

With demand increasing, the price of uranium has climbed to more than $60 a pound. Six years ago, it was as low as $7.

Mining companies are extracting uranium in Texas, Wyoming and Nebraska, and are taking steps to mine in Colorado.

But Navajo country, covering some 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, is the biggest prize of all — "the Saudi Arabia of uranium," in the words of Mark Pelizza, a vice president of Uranium Resources Inc.

Long story short: Pissed off at the horrible treatment they received from mining companies in the past and wary of disasters like the one that sent 93 million gallons of radioactive water roaring through their land in 1979, the Navajos are refusing to talk to the mining companies today. The mining company executives are incensed -- they can't believe the Navajos can't be bought.

We'll see about that. In the meantime, you know what this will do ... yep, drive up the price of uranium.

Read my post at today for more bullish news on uranium. You can read it by CLICKING HERE.


Check out my new gold and energy blog at