Powertech Uranium Corp. officials believe the mine could produce as much as 8 million pounds of uranium for use in nuclear power plants, which could generate millions of dollars in revenue.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Powertech is working to obtain federal and state permits with an eye toward opening the mine in 2009.
Area residents, however, are concerned about environmental damage and potential health issues.
Jay and Robin Davis, who own an 80-acre horse pasture in the area, are afraid the mine would contaminate groundwater and soil. "A lot of people just don't want to see this happen," Jay Davis said. "We're very concerned about the health issues once the mining starts."
Richard Blubaugh, Powertech's vice president of environmental health and safety resources, said they plan to use a process in which a solvent solution is injected underground to dissolve the uranium so it could be pumped to the surface.
He said the process, called in-situ, is safer and less invasive than traditional mining methods.
"There is no likelihood of contaminating drinking water. We'll certainly be able to contain the process," Blubaugh said. "We plan to use good engineering, proper instrumentation, good operator training, and have a series of groundwater-monitoring wells."
Powertech also is looking into a possible uranium mine in southwestern South Dakota and a uranium-processing facility in Wyoming.