RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A company seeking to mine for uranium in South Dakota is merging with another uranium exploration and development company with properties in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

Azarga Uranium Corp., through a subsidiary, is working for regulatory approval to mine at the southwest edge of South Dakota's Black Hills. The merger agreement is between Azarga and URZ Energy Corp., which is examining the uranium potential of the Gas Hills area in Wyoming.

URZ chief executive Glenn Catchpole will be chairman of the merged companies' board, while Azarga President and CEO Blake Steele will remain in his current role. Steele says the merger will position them to advance development of the South Dakota project.

Groundwater would be used to leach uranium deposits from rocks in a process known as "in situ" mining.

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