Update on Uranium Activities
VANE Minerals Plc ("VANE" or the "Company") announces an update on its uranium activities in Northern Arizona conducted by VANE Minerals (US) LLC, its wholly owned uranium subsidiary.
On 15 January 2008, the Company announced that it had received from the US Forest Service seven approvals to drill on projects located on Forest Service lands in the Kaibab National Forest. Following the grant of these approvals, a number of local environmental groups have sought to challenge the Forest Service's decision on various grounds and by various means, including recourse to the Courts.
On 12 March 2008, a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief was entered in US District Court by the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and Center for Biological Diversity (Plaintiffs), against District Ranger Richard Stahn and the Forest Service (Defendants), challenging the basis upon which the Forest Service approved VANE Minerals (US) LLC's Plans of Operations for exploratory drilling on the seven Kaibab National Forest projects.
On 4 April 2008, as part of the action against the Forest Service, the US District Court in Phoenix, Arizona issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to suspend VANE's drilling operations in the Kaibab National Forest pending a decision on the case. In light of the TRO, VANE has postponed drilling operations on these projects until the case is resolved. The date of the next phase of the case is due to be set imminently and further announcements will be made in due course.
VANE understands the issue raised as being whether exploratory drilling should be processed under a Categorical Exclusion (CE) or an Environmental Assessment (EA). Both VANE and the Forest Service believe that approval for the drilling activities falls in the CE category, based on current and past history. However, should the case be decided in favour of the Plaintiffs, it appears that, in order to seek to resume drilling, VANE would need to elevate the permit process to an EA.Enquiries:
VANE Minerals Plc
+44 (0) 20 7667 6322
Ambrian Partners Limited
+44 (0) 20 7776 6417
+44 (0) 20 7851 7480
Thomas Weisel Partners
+44 (0) 20 7290 9713
Notes To Editors:
VANE Minerals (VANE) is an AIM listed uranium mineral exploration and development company with a strong focus on North America. The Company has a strong portfolio of projects and was initially self-financed by production from the silver/gold Diablito Mine in Western Mexico.
VANE has built a substantial uranium portfolio in the US which, at present, is the main driver for the Company, offering considerable upside in these strong markets. VANE now has projects in Mexico, Paraguay and the US, incorporating exposure to uranium, gold, silver and copper.
The Company was founded by former members of the international exploration team of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., one of the world's largest producers of copper and gold. The team negotiated exclusive access to Freeport- McMoRan's global exploration database, made up of 7,000-plus files generated over nearly 100 years of exploration. For further information, please review: www.vaneminerals.com.