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October 07 Businessexcellence 69 The uranium mining business has had its ups and downs over the last century, and although the nuclear power industry in the US declined in the late 1970s when citizens’ groups pressured Congress into legislation prohibiting the construction of new reactors, overseas plants continued to be built, using radioactive U3O8 as fuel, and the market for uranium managed to survive. Since President Bush signed a national energy bill (The Energy Policy Act of 2005) that, among other initiatives, offers tax incentives for the construction of a new generation of power plants, mainly clean coal and nuclear, the domestic uranium mining situation is improving, with prices for the mineral now hovering around $100 per pound, near the all-time high set in the 1970s. Some analysts predict it will hit at least $150 by the end of 2007. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ur-Energy Inc. is a uranium junior mining company poised to take advantage of the accelerating market. Incorporated in 2004 as a Canadian corporation, it became a public company in November 2005. The company has its registered office in Manotick, Ontario, Canadian exploration office in Brampton, Ontario, and a mining operations office in Casper, Wyoming. President and CEO Bill Boberg, who’s been in the mineral industry since the 1960s, including about 22 years experience with uranium, got a call from board chairman and director Jeffrey Klenda just as he was about to settle into retirement. “I’d done some mining work for Jeff in Africa in the mid- 1990s,” said Boberg, “and he wanted my help acquiring properties in the US and Canada. I agreed to give him four days per month, and I’ve been full-time ever since.” What intrigued Boberg was that Ur-Energy was not a traditional junior miner, since the focus was shifted from a resource company to one that could begin production in a short time frame. He concentrated on acquiring properties that had resources ready for production, and in 2005 started the lengthy application process for a production permit, to move the projects forward. Being a radioactive substance, uranium is heavily regulated by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The application process is typically an 18 month review process after the application is received. Ur-Energy will submit its application to the NRC in the third quarter for their Lost Creek Wyoming project. After the NRC application, another application will be submitted to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ). In the US, Ur-Energy has 13 properties in Wyoming, mainly in the Great Divide Basin (including the Lost Soldier and the Lost Creek properties), the Powder River Basin (including the Kaycee property), and the Shirley Basin (including the Bootheel property), and has recently acquired mineral interests in some 80 mineral leases on a large property covering about 46,363 acres in Harding County, in adjacent South Dakota— “nothing has been done on Harding yet, except for hiring a district geologist, so it’s strictly a conceptual project at the moment,” says Boberg. In northern Canada the company has seven properties, mainly in the Thelon Basin, and in the Hornby Bay Basin with partner Triex Minerals Corporation. It has three projects (Gravel Hill, Ur-Energy