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Study shows: Uranium industry boosting local economies
Jun 09, 2011 | 1136 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Texas’ uranium industry provides $311 million dollars annually in economic impact and more than 1,160 jobs to rural areas, including Bee and its neighboring counties, according to a newly released study conducted by the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas.

The study, commissioned by the Texas Mining and Reclamation Association, examined the economic and fiscal impacts of uranium production in Texas.

The most common growth is seen in sectors such as food services, wholesale trade, mining support services, architectural and engineering, real estate and health care.

“The new business that accompanies uranium mining projects is vital to these rural communities, which are often under-served in terms of access to basic services such as health care,” said study author Terry Clower of the University of North Texas. “The increased employment and expanded tax base brought by uranium mining means that all of a community’s residents reap the benefits from the expanded services now available to them.”

According to the study, Uranium Energy Corporation, which has operations in Nueces, Karnes, Duval, Bee, Goliad and Live Oak counties, has created more than $83.5 million in economic activity. This activity supports 165 total jobs, paying nearly $18 million in labor and is responsible for $3.9 million in local and state taxes.

The study also listed Signal Equities, which has operations in Bee and Live Oak counties but has its headquarters in Comal County, reports that its operation generates $29.6 million in economic activity, supports 128 total jobs that pay almost $7 million in salaries, wages, and benefits, and contributes $843,000 in state and local taxes.

The uranium region in Texas stretches across the coastal plains and includes 11 South Texas counties.

“Texas is an important producer of uranium as a source of nuclear power for our nation’s ever-growing energy needs,” Chairman of TMRA’s Uranium Committee Howard Fels said. “This demand is projected to increase in the coming years. The communities that are home to uranium mining projects are perfectly poised to see continued, long-term economic benefit from the industry in terms of more jobs, new businesses and increased tax income.”

Other highlights of the report include:

• To date, more than 80 million pounds of uranium — worth $4.8 billion at current prices — have been produced in Texas

• The uranium mining industry in Texas is currently seeing an increase in activity because of improved mining methods and rising uranium prices

• The Texas uranium mining industry annually pays more than $78 million in wages and close to $15 million in state and local taxes

To date, more than 80 million pounds of uranium, worth $4.8 billion at current prices, have been produced in Texas.

The history of uranium mining in Texas stretches back to the fall of 1954 when anomalous levels of radioactivity above background readings were discovered in western Karnes County.

By 1956, there were approximately 15 uranium prospects located along an approximately 100-mile-wide by 300-mile-long region in Texas stretching across the Coastal Plains and encompassing numerous South Texas counties

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June 11, 2011
Mr. Gayle was a humble hero.