RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has rejected a Virginia company’s bid to end the state’s decades-long ban on uranium mining. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Friday upheld the ruling of a district judge who threw out a lawsuit from Virginia Uranium Inc. challenging the ban. The Pittsylvania County company wants to mine a 119-million-pound deposit of the radioactive ore beneath the rolling hills of Southside Virginia. It argued that a federal law should pre-empt state regulations, but the courts disagreed. Attorney General Mark Herring hailed the ruling. Neither an attorney nor a representative for the company immediately responded to requests for comment. Virginia Uranium has also filed a separate lawsuit in a state court. A trial date in that case hasn’t been set.