Geovic Mining Corp. has leased 15,500 acres in northern Weld County near Pawnee National Grasslands, Grover, and Keota. Geovic’s Vice President of Investor Relations told Northern Colorado Business Report (read article) the corporation is inclined to do in-situ leach mining for uranium and “intends to move as quickly as it can to take advantage of recent high uranium prices that have rekindled a boom in the industry not seen since the late 1970s.”
Union Oil of California (Unocal) explored the area for uranium in the 1970s Several of Geovic’s current officers and managers are past employees of Unocal, including the company’s CEO John Sherborne who worked on the Weld County exploration project. Because these Geovic’s executives were former Unocal employees, they were aware of the Weld County deposits and the company “has leased mineral rights on more than 15,000 acres in the Keota area through about 100 lease agreements signed through 2007, according to documents filed with the Weld County recorder.” (Read article.)
Geovic was organized in Alberta, Canada in 1984. It became a U.S. company in 2006 and opened a home office in Grand Junction, Colorado. Geovic is not currently mining uranium but working to open a large cobalt-nickel-manganese mine in Cameroon, West Africa.
CEO Sherborne, stated in a June 15, 2008 Greeley Tribune article (read article) “anyone with environmental concerns about Geovic is invited to research its activities in Cameroon, a third-world country that had no environmental regulations in place before Geovic's cobalt mining operations.” However, in researching Geovic’s website as of July 1, 2008 it appears Geovic’s cobalt mine in Cameroon “is currently under development, anticipated to commence production in late 2010.” Therefore, Geovic has not accumulated an environmental history of their Cameroon mining operation to research.