A panel of judges Wednesday issued a temporary stay against the operating license Powertech Uranium Corp. received earlier this month by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

The ruling, made by three administrative judges on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, suspends the first official approval Powertech has gotten to operate its proposed Dewey-Burdock mine near Edgemont. 

The stay, which both uranium supporters and opponents expected, will allow uranium opponents more time to make their case against the proposal. 

In August, attorneys representing opponents of the proposed mine will make their case before an NRC board over a series of contentions. Those include whether the mine will disturb burial or other culturally significant sites of several tribes, impact local water or not look out for endangered species.

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On Aug. 18, the first day of those proceedings, members of the public will be able to make comments.

The project, which would be about 15 miles northwest of Edgemont, would employ in-situ mining, where the company would inject oxygenated water into the ground to absorb uranium. The water would then be pumped back to the surface, where uranium would be extracted and processed. 

The mine's proponents point to the dozens of jobs it would create, as well as tax revenue for the state.

Contact Joe O'Sullivan at 394-8414 or joe.osullivan@rapidcityjournal.com

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