The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on whether a state moratorium on uranium mining on private land is preempted by the U.S. Atomic Energy Act – a move that often signals the justices’ interest in the case.

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Virginia Uranium Inc (VUI), which owns the rights to the largest known deposit of uranium ore in the U.S., sought the high court’s review after a divided panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Virginia’s decades-old ban in February.

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