RIVERTON, Wyo., April 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- U.S. Energy Corp. (Nasdaq:USEG) ("U.S. Energy" or the "Company") announced today that the Company has received a letter from the U.S. Forest Service ("USFS") notifying the Company that the USFS has completed a review of the Mine Plan of Operations ("MPO" or "Plan") for the Mount Emmons Molybdenum Project in Colorado (the "Project") and that it has determined that the MPO "does contain sufficient information and clarity to form the basis for a proposed action to initiate scoping and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA")." The letter also states, "U.S. Energy has met the requirements of the Reality Check provision granting conditional water rights for the Mt. Emmons Molybdenum Project by filing the Plan for the Mt. Emmons Mine with the Forest Service. No other special use permits or rights-of-way for the water facilities are required because they are addressed in the Plan." The MPO provides an in-depth description of the proposed construction, mining, processing, and reclamation operations for the Project.
The USFS is the agency in charge of leading the NEPA review process to consider the potential impacts of the Project and also identify relevant mitigation requirements. As part of the NEPA review process, it is anticipated that an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") will be prepared for the Project, which will be subject to public review and comment. Subsequent to the review and response to public comments, it is further anticipated that a final EIS would be prepared, after which the USFS would issue a "Record of Decision" either approving the MPO or providing recommendations for modifications to the MPO. Subsequent to the "Record of Decision," it is anticipated that the Company would file a final MPO (incorporating any necessary modifications).Mt. Emmons Molybdenum Project The Mount Emmons deposit is believed to be one of the highest grade primary molybdenum deposits in the world. The Project is a proposed underground mining operation located in Gunnison County, Colorado west of Crested Butte, Colorado. The Company owns 25 patented mining claims consisting of approximately 365 acres of fee land and mineral rights within the Gunnison National Forest in the State of Colorado, as well as an additional 160 acres of fee land. The Company also holds approximately 1,353 unpatented mining and millsite claims associated with the Project, constituting approximately 9,395 acres or approximately 15 square miles of holdings.