RICHMOND, Va. (AP) â¿¿ The drafting of proposed uranium mining legislation is expected to be completed this week in Richmond, Va. as yet another study on the subject makes its debut.

Sen. John Watkins has proposed legislation that could open the door to the mining of a 119-million-pound deposit in Pittsylvania County. The legislation is needed to end a decades-long moratorium on the mining of the radioactive ore.

Meantime, Gov. Bob McDonnell's Uranium Working Group expects to issue its final study, this one on the socioeconomic impact of allowing uranium mining.

Virginia Uranium Inc. has proposed mining the Southside deposit of the ore. Environmentalists and groups that include the NAACP and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation want the 1982 ban to remain in place.

The issue is expected to be fiercely debated in the Legislature.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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