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(last updated 8 Aug 2014)

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Alta Mesa · Arizona 1 · Brown Ranch · Cañon City · Christensen Ranch · Cotter mines (CO) · Crow Butte · Daneros · Denison mines (CO) · Highland (PRI) · Hobson · IMC Global · Irigaray · J-Bird· Kingsville Dome · La Sal Mines Complex (Denison) · Lost Creek · Moore Ranch · Mt. Taylor · Nichols Ranch · North Butte · Palangana · Pandora · Pinenut · Rim · Rosita · Schwartzwalder · Smith Ranch · Sunday · Sweetwater · Vasquez · Velvet · White Mesa · Willow Creek


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

> See also: National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management external link (IAEA)

 

Natural Resources Defense Council issues study on environmental impacts of uranium in situ leach mining and related regulatory failures in the U.S.

> See here


 

Arizona


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Arizona 1 mine, Mohave County

> View deposit info

ADEQ invites comment on proposed Air Permit renewal for Arizona 1 uranium mine:
Submit comments by August 21, 2014.
> Download: Public Notice ·Draft Permit ·Technical Support Document (PDF - ADEQ)

Mining at Arizona 1 mine to cease due to depletion of resources: Subject to the results of additional underground drilling, mining at the Arizona 1 mine is expected to cease in early FY-2014 due to the depletion of its known resources. (Energy Fuels Inc. Nov. 14, 2013)

Court dismisses appeal against reopening of Arizona 1 uranium mine: A federal appeals court has ruled against conservationists and tribes in their challenge of a uranium mine north of the Grand Canyon. The group had sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, alleging the agency relied on an outdated and inadequate environmental analysis in allowing the Arizona 1 Mine to resume operation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday (Feb. 4) that the BLM hasn't made any decisions that would trigger a new analysis and that the 1988 operation plan allows for temporary closures. (AP Feb. 3, 2013)

Appeal challenges Arizona 1 uranium mine threatening Grand Canyon: On Nov. 28, 2011, Conservation groups and American Indian tribes filed an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court challenging a lower court ruling that allowed a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park to re-open without updating decades-old environmental reviews. The Arizona 1 uranium mine is located near Kanab Creek immediately north of Grand Canyon National Park.
In 2010, conservation groups and tribes sued the Bureau of Land Management for failing to modernize 23-year-old mining plans and environmental reviews prior to allowing Denison Mines to resume uranium mining after the mine was shuttered in 1992. A federal judge in Phoenix this fall sided with the Bureau and the uranium industry saying no new plans or reviews were needed, prompting today's appeal.
The Arizona 1 is one of four existing uranium mines located in Grand Canyon's 1-million-acre watershed where the Obama administration has proposed a 20-year ban on new mining claims and uranium development on existing claims lacking valid existing rights. A final environmental impact statement was issued for the 1-million acre ban in October; a decision finalizing those protections could come as early as today. (Center for Biological Diversity Nov. 28, 2011)

Reopened Arizona 1 uranium mine largely left to regulate itself: Denison Mines began hauling ore out of the first and only uranium mine to reopen so far, 35 miles southwest of Fredonia, in December 2009. State environmental inspectors didn't arrive for a first inspection at the mine until it had already been open for about nine months. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality external link (ADEQ) had unfilled requests for documents and inspections by engineers that it sought before the mine opened. Mine operators set to work without answering some of these requests.
The first inspection at the mine came in September, and ADEQ inspected at the ground level only, not traveling into the mine that reaches more than 1,252 feet below. Nevertheless, the inspection yielded what ADEQ deemed four "major violations."

"ADEQ is neither equipped nor inclined to regulate these mines in a way that even remotely ensures against irretrievable harm to the environment," said Taylor McKinnon, public lands campaigns director at the Center for Biological Diversity external link.
In the same month ADEQ inspectors arrived, federal inspectors concerned with worker safety cited Denison and contractors with air quality violations, failure to properly label power switches, equipment safety violations, lack of firefighting equipment inspections, and with another violation that is still being contested. One contractor was injured at the mine site in 2009. In all, the Mine Safety and Health Administration external link found 38 possible mine safety violations at the Arizona 1 Mine in 2010, many of which Denison is contesting. (Arizona Daily Sun Jan. 16, 2011)

Arizona 1 uranium mine operating illegally, EPA says: A uranium mine north of the Grand Canyon is operating in violation of the law, and its owner could face thousands of dollars in fines as a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. The agency issued a notice of violation this week to Denison Mines Corp. for its Arizona 1 Mine, which is about 20 miles from the Grand Canyon's northern border. The EPA said Denison failed to notify the agency as to when it would resume mining and that it did not secure the necessary federal approval before ventilating the mine or testing emissions.
Denison President Ron Hochstein said Tuesday (May 4) that he was surprised by the notice and believed the company was operating within the law. He said he was working with regulators to address those issues. (AP May 5, 2010)

> View older issues


Pinenut mine, Mohave County

> View deposit info

Conservation groups urge BLM to suspend Pinenut uranium mine in response to groundwater contamination: Conservation groups have sent a letter urging federal regulators to suspend operations at a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon, where millions of gallons of uranium-laced groundwater threaten people and wildlife. Records from the U.S. Geological Survey show that the contaminated groundwater -- 80 times the limit set to protect public health and the environment -- have inundated the Pinenut uranium mine immediately north of Grand Canyon National Park. It is unknown whether deep aquifers and nearby springs in the national park are also being polluted.
> View Grand Canyon Trust release Aug. 4, 2014 external link

Pinenut uranium mine to continue operation into 2015: On Apr. 23, 2014, Energy Fuels announced that it has revised its previous guidance and currently expects to continue mining at its 100% owned Pinenut Mine through 2014 and into the 1st quarter of 2015.

Pinenut mine to be placed on care and maintenance due to market conditions: Mining at the Pinenut mine is expected to continue into the middle of FY-2014 (July 2014), at which point the mine is expected to be placed on care and maintenance. Re-starting mining activities at Pinenut would be evaluated in the context of business and market conditions, including the U3O8 price environment. (Energy Fuels Inc. Nov. 14, 2013)

Energy Fuels Incorporated proposes to open the Pinenut Mine in Mohave County late this month or in early June, according to a statement from the Bureau of Land Management. (Arizona Daily Sun May 9, 2013)

The state Department of Environmental Quality approved an air quality permit for Denison's Pinenut mine this week. (Arizona Republic Mar. 11, 2011)

On Nov. 12, 2010, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality started the public comment period for the proposed air quality permit for the Pinenut mine. Comment period ends January 14, 2011.
> View ADEQ public notice external link

On Sept. 1, 2009, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued a Discharge Authorization for the 3.04 General Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) 100300 for the Pinenut Mine to Denison Mines (USA) Corp.
> View details (AZDEQ)

On June 19, 2009, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) issued a public notice opening the public comment period on the Water Quality General Aquifer Protection Permit for Denison Mines Corp.'s Pinenut mine. Comment period ends July 22, 2009.
> Download ADEQ notice and documents external link (select "Public Notices, Meetings and Hearings")

Denison Mines has been denied a state permit for the reopening of the Pinenut mine: The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality external link said Denison Mines proposed using outdated, 20-year-old liners and impoundment ponds to capture uranium mine-related runoff. In addition, ADEQ said Denison wasn't specific enough in describing pollution-control measures at the proposed mines.
(Arizona Daily Sun May 14, 2008)


Colorado

> View extra page


Louisiana


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

By-product uranium production from phosphate in Louisiana to cease

By-product uranium production is to 'permanently' cease at IMC Global's external link Uncle Sam and Faustina facilities in Louisiana. Low uranium prices are cited as the major reason for the decision by senior management. The facilities' combined production of 950 000 lbs U3O8 (365.4 tU) last year accounted for approximately 16% of uranium produced in the US; 1998 production is expected to be similar. Meanwhile IMC's New Wales and Plant City recovery facilities in Florida have remained on 'stand-by' since 1992. (UI News Briefing 98.49, Dec. 9, 1998)


Nebraska


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Crow Butte in-situ leach uranium mine, Dawes County, Nebraska

Marsland Expansion · North Trend Expansion · Three Crow Expansion · License violations and reportable events

> View mine details
> View decommissioning issues
> View NRC page external link

Uranium mining at Crow Butte is being opposed by Save Crow Butte

 

Nebraska DEQ invites comment on proposed permit renewal for Crow Butte deep disposal well

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality external link is proposing to renew permit (NE0211670) and re-issue the permit (as NE0211670) to Crow Butte Resources, Inc. (CBR). CBR operates two Class 1 non-hazardous waste injection well designed to accept waste fluids generated at its in-situ uranium mining operation. The injection well is located in the Northwest Quarter of Section 19, Township 31 North, Range 51 West, Dawes County, Nebraska.
Submit comments prior to May 15, 2014.
(Lincoln Journal Star Apr. 3, 2014)
> Download Nebraska DEQ letter to NRC, Mar. 31, 2014 external link (ADAMS Acc. No. ML14100A234)

 

Cameco requests further exemption from groundwater restoration schedule at Mine Unit 3 of Crow Butte in situ leach uranium mine

By letter dated April 30, 2013 external link, Cameco requested a further extension of the completion of groundwater restoration at Mine Unit 3 until July 1, 2016. On Aug. 20, 2009, NRC had already approved an extension to July 1, 2013.

 

Crow Butte uranium mine site evacuated due to threatening wildfire

On Aug. 31 and Sep. 1, 2012, the Crow Butte site was evacuated due to threatening wildfire to the east of the mine. During the evacuation, a crew of five employees remained on-site for security purposes. During the evacuation, all source material on the site was kept under 24 hour surveillance. The wildfires did not enter the licensed area and as a result there were no releases to the environment. (Cameco letter to NRC, Sep. 11, 2012)

 

Cameco requests exemption from groundwater restoration schedules at Crow Butte in situ leach uranium mine

By letter dated February 8, 2012 external link, Cameco requested from NRC an exemption from the requirement to complete groundwater restoration within 24 months, because "the imposition of such precise, prescriptive timeframes to groundwater restoration in aquifers that are part of natural systems is not practicable".
By letter dated June 22, 2012 external link, NRC refused to review the exemption request, since it is incomplete. NRC notes in particular the missing of a description of how the exemption would not endanger life, property, or common defense and security, and, how it would be in the public interest. NRC explicitly expresses its dissatisfaction with the progress of groundwater restoration at the Crow Butte site:

 

Cameco study claims solubility type classification of yellow cake from in situ leaching is 100% "fast"

> View here

 

NRC denies Cameco's request for extension of the period of groundwater restoration at Mine Unit 6 of Crow Butte in situ leach mine

On Dec. 21, 2010, Cameco Resources requested NRC approval for an alternate restoration schedule for Mine Unit #6, extending the period of groundwater restoration to nine years - far beyond the regulatory requirement of 24 months.
On May 21, 2012, NRC denied Crow Butte Resources, Inc.'s request for an alternate restoration schedule for Mine Unit #6.

 

NRC approves extension of the period of groundwater restoration at Crow Butte in situ leach mine

On Aug. 20, 2009, NRC approved Crow Butte Resources, Inc.'s request to extend the period of groundwater restoration beyond the regulatory requirement of 24 months for each of the mine units currently in restoration (i.e., Mine Units 2 to 5).

 

NRC staff finds no problem with groundwater impacts of existing in-situ leach uranium mines

> View here

 

Three Crow Expansion project of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine

> View License Application external link (NRC)

On Oct. 11, 2012, Cameco Resources requested that NRC restart the application process for the Three Crow Expansion Area. Cameco has decided not to pursue the pipeline option at this time.

On Apr. 14, 2011, Cameco Resources requested the NRC suspend review of the Three Crow Expansion Area application so that the option of a pipeline to carry mine fluids directly to the main plant could be evaluated.

On Aug. 3, 2010, Crow Butte Resources, Inc. (CBR) submitted a request for an amendment to Source Materials License SUA-1534 for the development of additional uranium in-situ leach mining resources. The proposed development area is referred to as the Three Crow Expansion Area and will be used as a satellite facility to the main CBR plant.
> Download submitted documents external link (ADAMS Acc. No. ML102230009)

On July 12, 2010, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality received a Class III Injection Well Application and the corresponding Petition for Aquifer Exemption for Crow Butte Resources, Inc., Three Crow Expansion Area. (ADAMS Acc. No. ML102210326 external link).

On March 4, 2009, Cameco submitted to NRC a revised notice of intent to request additional amendments to Source Materials License SUA-1534 for the development of additional uranium in-situ leach mining resources. The proposed development area for use as a satellite facility to the main Crow Butte plant is referred to as the Three Crow Expansion Area. It is Cameco's intent to submit a license amendment application, for this expansion area, during the first quarter of 2010.

 

Marsland Expansion project of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine

> View NRC: Marsland Application external link

On Jan. 31, 2014, NRC released Cameco's response to the RAIs dated March 22, 2013 on the Marsland Expansion Area Environmental Report:
> Download Marsland Expansion Area Environmental RAI external link

On Jan. 24, 2014, NRC released Cameco's response to the RAIs dated July 3, 2013 on the Marsland Expansion Area Technical Report:
> Download: Vol. 1 external link · Vol. 2 external link

On Sep. 6, 2013, NRC released Environmental Report revisions for the Marsland Expansion of the Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine:
> Download Environmental Report revisions external link

On Aug. 21, 2013, NRC released Technical Report revisions for the Marsland Expansion of the Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine:
> Download Marsland Technical Report revisions external link

On May 10, 2013, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board granted the hearing request of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and admitted it as a party to the proceeding.

On April 19, 2013, Cameco submitted to Nebraska DEQ an application for an Area Permit to install and operate Class I Nonhazardous Waste Injection Wells at the company's Marsland Expansion Area. "The purpose of the injection wells is to dispose of well field bleed water and a small volume of process water from ISR mining operations and wastewater generated by groundwater restoration activities."
> Download Class I Nonhazardous Waste Injection Wells Area Permit Application external link

On Feb. 6, 2013, NRC gave notice that an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) is being established to preside over the following proceeding: Crow Butte Resources, Inc. (Marsland Expansion Area). Hearing requests were filed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and a consolidated group of petitioners.
> Federal Register Volume 78, Number 29 (Tuesday, February 12, 2013) (download full text external link)

NRC announces opportunity to request a hearing and to petition for leave to intervene concerning Marsland Expansion project of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine:
Requests for a hearing or leave to intervene must be filed by January 29, 2013.
> Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012) p. 71454-71458 (download full text external link)
> Access Docket ID NRC-2012-0281 external link
> Download Technical and Environmental Report external link · more external link

On May 16, 2012, Cameco submitted the license amendment application for the Marsland Expansion. On June 14, 2012, first portions of the Technical Report and the Environmental Report appeared in NRC's ADAMS Document system.

On Oct. 27, 2010, Crow Butte Resources, Inc. advised that submission of the Marsland license amendment application is anticipated during the third quarter of 2011.

On March 4, 2009, Cameco submitted to NRC a revised notice of intent to request additional amendments to Source Materials License SUA-1534 for the development of additional uranium in-situ leach mining resources. The proposed development area for use as a satellite facility to the main Crow Butte plant is referred to as the Marsland Expansion Area. It is Cameco's intent to submit a license amendment application, for this expansion area, during the third quarter of 2012.

 

$50,000 penalty imposed on Crow Butte Resources for violations at ISL uranium mine

On May 23, 2008, the District Court of Lancaster County, Nebraska, imposed a $50,000 penalty on Cameco's subsidiary Crow Butte Resources for various violations at its Crow Butte in-situ leach uranium mine. According to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, beginning on or about July 1, 2003, and continuing daily thereafter until March 31, 2006, Crow Butte Resources (CBR) violated its UIC Permit No. NE0122611

> Download Complaint and Consent Decree May 23, 2008 external link (NE DEQ)

 

License renewal of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine

NRC issues Safety Evaluation Report on license renewal of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine On Dec. 28, 2012, NRC released the Safety Evaluation Report on the license renewal of the Crow Butte uranium ISL mine:
> Download Safety Evaluation Report License Renewal of the Crow Butte Resources ISR Facility, December 2012 external link

NRC issues draft of license renewal for Crow Butte uranium ISL mine:
> Download NRC cover letter May 23, 2011 external link
> Download NRC draft source material license external link

On Aug. 11, 2011, NRC released another draft of the license renewal for the Crow Butte uranium ISL mine:
> Download NRC cover letter August 11, 2011 external link
> Download NRC draft source material license external link

On Nov. 15, 2012, NRC released another draft of the license renewal for the Crow Butte uranium ISL mine:
> Download NRC cover letter August 11, 2011 external link
> Download NRC draft source material license external link

Geologist raises concern over potential groundwater contamination at Crow Butte uranium ISL mine

Hannan LaGarry, a Chadron State geology instructor, said the Crow Butte mine has ignored recent studies that show faults and fractures in underground layers of rock that could carry contaminants to aquifers used for drinking and livestock. LaGarry said he's not opposed to uranium mining but is concerned that the mine is relying on outdated studies of underground rock. "In recent years, we've found that the assumptions made by previous workers were false and that newer detailed work shows a different story," he said. (Omaha World-Herald Dec. 14, 2008)

> See also: Expert opinion regarding ISL mining in Dawes County, Nebraska external link, by Hannan E. LaGarry, Ph. D., July 2008

Opponents to license renewal of Crow Butte uranium-mine granted hearing

Opponents of a uranium mine at Crawford, Neb., that is seeking to renew its license have been granted a hearing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to voice environmental concerns. The commission has ruled in favor of granting a public hearing on several contentions raised by the Oglala Sioux Tribe; a tribal environmental group; seven individuals; and a northwest Nebraska environmental group, the Western Resources Council. The hearings likely would be held next spring, a commission spokesman said. (Omaha World-Herald Nov. 25, 2008)

NRC announces establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board for license renewal of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine

This proceeding involves a license amendment application from Crow Butte Resources, Inc. seeking a 10-year renewal of its Source Materials License for the in situ leach uranium recovery facility located in Crawford, Nebraska. In response to a May 27, 2008 Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (73 FR 30426), petitions to intervene and requests for hearing have been submitted by (1) Elizabeth Lorina and Mario Gonzales representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe, (2) Shane Robinson and David Frankel representing multiple individuals and multiple organizations, and (3) Thomas J. Ballanco representing the Oglala Delegation of the Great Sioux Nation Treaty Council.

Federal Register: August 21, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 163) p. 49496-49497 (download full text external link)

Residents voice opposition to production increase of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine

Crow Butte Resources (CBR), a mining company on the South Dakota and Nebraska border, wants to increase its annual uranium production by 50 percent. To do that, they and their opposition went face to face before the Atomic Licensing Board on July 23, 2008. At the public hearing, dozens of homeowners from Pine Ridge voiced their opposition to CBR's plan to build a uranium mine near Crawford. They say the company's operation near Chadron is destroying natural resources. (KOTA July 23, 2008)

NRC issues Opportunity To Request a Hearing on license renewal request of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine, and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) for Contention Preparation

A request for a hearing must be filed by July 28, 2008.

Within ten (10) days after publication of this notice of opportunity for hearing any potential party as defined in 10 CFR 2.4 who believes access to SUNSI is necessary for a response to the notice may request access to such information.

Federal Register: May 27, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 102) p. 30426-30430 (download full text external link)

NRC issues Notice of License Amendment Request of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine, and Opportunity To Request a Hearing

A request for a hearing must be filed by June 6, 2008.

Federal Register: April 7, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 67) p. 18823-18825 (download full text external link)

Cameco applies for license renewal of Crow Butte uranium ISL mine

By letter dated Nov. 27, 2007, Crow Butte Resources, Inc. applied for the renewal of Source Materials License No. SUA-1534 for the continued operation of the Crow Butte in situ leach uranium mine.
> Download renewal application documents external link

 

Cameco to increase production from Crow Butte and Smith Ranch-Highland by 70%

On Dec. 4, 2007, Cameco announced that it is targeting to increase the combined production at its Crow Butte and Smith Ranch-Highland in-situ leach operations by 70% to 4.6 million pounds U3O8 [1,769 t U] annually by 2011. The planned production increase requires the restart of the idle Highland uranium recovery plant.

 

North Trend Expansion project of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine

> View License Application external link (NRC)

On July 26, 2013, NRC released the Safety Evaluation Report for the North Trend Expansion Area of the Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine.
> Download: Safety Evaluation Report License Amendment for the Crow Butte Resources North Trend Expansion Area ISR Facility Dawes County, Nebraska external link, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, July 2013

On Aug. 11, 2011, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality issued the permit for the construction and operation of the North Trend Expansion Area of the Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine.

Opposition to aquifer exemption for North Trend expansion of Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine: Uncertainties regarding the presence of faults and factures in the land underlying northwest Nebraska are a major reason that the Crow Butte Resources uranium mine should not receive an 'aquifer exemption' for its proposed North Trend expansion project, opponents of the mine said Monday (Aug. 23).
Making a decision now to allow use of the estimated 1.85 billion gallons [7 million cubic metres] of water in the lower portions of the Chadron formation under the expansion area would be premature, countered David Frankel, an attorney representing mine opponents in hearings before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Detailed research by Chadron geologist Hannan LaGarry indicates that faults and fractures common in the area could link the Chadron aquifer to other water bearing layers, including the Brule and Arikaree, which are used for drinking water, he said. (Rapid City Journal Aug. 25, 2010)

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has scheduled a public hearing regarding a proposal to exempt a portion of the Chadron Aquifer north of Crawford. This portion of the aquifer is associated with a proposed expansion area for the Crow Butte Resources (CBR) uranium mining facility. The proposed exemption would prevent that designated area of the aquifer from being used as a drinking water source in the future. The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 23, 2010.
> View Nebraska DEQ Crow Butte Resources news page external link

On January 6, 2010, Crow Butte Resources submitted to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality external link (NDEQ) a revised version of its application for a Class III Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit for the North Trend Expansion project of its Crow Butte uranium in situ leach mine.
> Download revised application documents external link (ADAMS Acc. No. ML100432281)

The ownership of the Crow Butte Resources uranium mine near Crawford by a Canadian mining company is a legitimate issue for argument in deciding whether the mine should be allowed to expand its operation to a nearby site, a three-member panel of Nuclear Regulatory Commission judges has ruled. In a decision issued Jan. 27, 2009, the NRC judges also said that questions of the impact of low levels of arsenic in water returned to aquifers during mining operations, the relationship between arsenic exposure and diabetes and information about an alleged cluster of pancreatic cancer in the Chadron area can also be raised during hearings on the mine's proposed North Trend expansion. (The Chadron News Feb. 10, 2009)
> Download Memorandum and Order LBP-09-01 Jan. 27, 2009 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML090270965 external link)

On April 29, 2008, an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) ordered as follows:
"In this Memorandum and Order, in addition to ruling on three pending matters on which the participants are in dispute, we find that Petitioners WNRC, Owe Aku, and Debra L. White Plume have shown standing to participate in the proceeding, and admit three of their joint contentions, in modified form. The first two of these concern alleged contamination of water resources and potential resulting environmental and health issues; the third concerns the extent of consultation that is required with tribal leaders regarding a prehistoric Indian camp located in the region of the proposed expansion site, under the National Historic Preservation Act."
> Download Memorandum and Order LBP-08-06, April 29, 2008 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML081200636 external link)
> Download Revised Memorandum and Order LBP-08-06, May 21, 2008 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML081430342 external link)

On November 12, 2007, seven Petitioners from parts of the poorest region in the United States asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to participate in decisions relative to uranium mining and its harmful effects in northwestern Nebraska and the Lakota (Sioux) Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Southwest South Dakota. According to NRC sources, this is the first request to intervene in an NRC proceeding relating to the expansion of an existing uranium mining operation in approximately 17 years. The petitioners are Thomas Cook, Chadron Native American Center, Slim Buttes Agricultural Development Corp., High Plains Community Development Corp., Western Nebraska Resources Council, Debra White Plume, and an Oglala Lakota nonprofit organization called Owe Aku. (UN Observer Dec. 7, 2007)

On Nov. 8, 2007, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality dismissed CBR's petition for aquifer exemption, due to deficiences identified in CBR's Technical Review of Aquifer Exemption Petition dated August 15, 2007.

On May 30, 2007, Crow Butte Resources, Inc. external link (CBR) submitted a request for an amendment to Source Materials License SUA-1534 for the development of additional uranium in-situ leach mining resources. The proposed development area for use as a satellite facility to the existing main plant is referred to as the North Trend Expansion Area.
> Download application documents external link (ADAMS Acc. No. ML072540671)

Crow Butte Resources receives permission for increased plant throughput at in-situ leach mine

By letter dated Oct. 17, 2006, Crow Butte Resources requested from NRC a license amendment to increase the plant throughput from 5000 to 9000 gallons per minute (gpm). An additional production of 150,000 to 250,000 pounds of U308 [58 to 96 t U] per year is expected.
NRC issued an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on Oct. 24, 2007.
> Download Environmental Assessment, Oct. 2007 external link (ADAMS ML072360287)
> Federal Register: October 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 210) p. 61693-61694 (download full text external link)
NRC issued the requested license amendment on Nov. 30, 2007.

Crow Butte in situ leach uranium mine threatened by wild fire

On July 31, 2006, Crow Butte Resources notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the wild fires east of Crow Butte Resources Central Processing Plant. The NRC was informed of the possible evacuation of the Crow Butte site should the fires continue to burn out of control.

Crow Butte Resources plans to expand In Situ Leach operations

"Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards staff has learned that Crow Butte Resources (CBR) plans to expand its in situ leach (ISL) uranium extraction operations in Nebraska by operating up to four satellite facilities. CBR estimates that it will submit a license amendment application to NRC for the first satellite facility in May 2005, and an application for a second satellite facility is targeted for 2006 - 2007. Depending on economics, applications could be submitted to NRC for license amendments for two additional satellite facilities in the 2007 - 2010 time frame. Although a memorandum of understanding to defer active groundwater regulation at ISLs may be executed with the State of Nebraska before the first license amendment is submitted in 2005, NRC must prepare environmental assessments for each application." (U.S. NRC SECY-04-0131 WEEKLY INFORMATION REPORT - WEEK ENDING JULY 16, 2004)

NRC denies Wellfield Unit 1 groundwater restoration approval

By letter dated March 29, 2002, NRC, in a rare move, denied approval for the groundwater restoration at Wellfield Unit 1 of the Crow Butte in-situ leach facility.
"Staff's analysis indicates that concentrations of ammonium, iron, radium-226, selenium, total dissolved solids, and uranium show strongly increasing concentration trends over the stability monitoring period. These trends indicate a reasonable likelihood that license limits would be exceeded in the near future."
> See also Federal Register: April 22, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 77) p. 19598 external link

Cameco writes down Crow Butte ISL property

On Nov. 7, 2000, Cameco announced the writedown of the Crow Butte ISL property. Cameco plans to continue to produce 800,000 pounds U3O8 (308 t U) per year.

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is proposing relaxed limitations for Crow Butte ISL deep injection well

"The Department is proposing to modify the existing permit by removing the injection limitations on flow rate. The limitation for pH is proposed to be changed from 5.0 - 8.5 to 5.0 - 9.5. Reporting for the temperature of the waste stream is proposed to be removed. The limitations for arsenic, barium, and selenium are proposed to be changed from 1 mg/l to 5 mg/l, 20 mg/l to 100 mg/l, and 2 mg/l to 1 mg/l, respectively. Testing for calcium is proposed to be added to the injection parameters with no injection limitation. Testing for cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and silver is proposed to be added with limitations of 1 mg/l, 5 mg/l, 5 mg/l, 0.2 mg/l, and 5 mg/l respectively." [...]

Comments or a request for a public hearing must be submitted by writing to Michael J. Linder, Director, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality external link, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-8922, prior to October 13, 2000.

License renewal for Crow Butte ISL uranium mine (Nebraska)

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed license renewal of the Crow Butte in-situ leach uranium mine in Nebraska.
Any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding may file a request for a hearing within 30 days from February 23, 1998.
> See notice in Federal Register, February 23, 1998 (Vol. 63, No. 35), p. 9023-9024 (download full notice external link).

License Violations and reportable events at Crow Butte ISL uranium mine (Nebraska)

(details on post-Nov.1,1999, events available through ADAMS external link, Docket No. 04008943)


New Mexico


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Mt. Taylor mine, Cibola County

> View deposit info
> View Pending Mine Applications, Regular Existing: Mount Taylor Mine external link (NM EMNRD)

Discharge Permit renewal and modification for Mt. Taylor uranium mine: The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued a draft Discharge Permit renewal and modification (Discharge Permit) to Rio Grande Resources Corporation for the Mt. Taylor uranium mine.
Submit written comments or request public hearing within 30 days from June 27, 2014.
> Download: Public Notice external link (PDF - NMED)
> Download: DRAFT Discharge Permit DP-61 Renewal and Modification external link (655k PDF - NMED)

Court orders new hearing in Mt. Taylor uranium mine permit: In a hearing this morning, state District Court Judge Raymond Ortiz handed a victory to community groups in a case concerning Rio Grande Resources' Mount Taylor uranium mine near Grants. In a ruling from the bench, he agreed that the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) failed to provide the public with meaningful opportunities to participate in the process to renew the mine’s standby mining permit.
He focused on three issues:

(NMELC July 22, 2013)

Group seeks public hearing over proposed reactivation of Mt. Taylor uranium mine after 23 years of inactivity: Today, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center external link (NMELC) filed a request for a public hearing regarding a proposed permit revision to put the Mt. Taylor uranium mine on active status. The mine, near Grants, NM, has been inactive (on "standby" status) without cleanup for 23 years. The mine's owner, Rio Grande Resources, received a fourth renewal for the standby permit in January 2012, but on April 12, 2013 it notified the public it was seeking a revision to change the mine's status to "active". The NMELC filed the hearing request on behalf of its clients, Amigos Bravos external link and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment external link (MASE). (NMELC May 10, 2013)

Mine agency to take input on renewal of standby permit requested for Mount Taylor uranium mine: The New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division has set a public hearing for Rio Grande Resources Corporation's application to renew "Standby Status" for its Mount Taylor Mine on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. in the Cibola County Convention Center.
A standby permit allows the mine operator to let the mine remain inactive without having to do any clean up. The permit lasts for five years. The Mount Taylor mine is located one mile northeast of San Mateo. The mine is an existing underground uranium mine that extracted uranium ore from depths of more than 3,000 feet below ground surface using room-and-pillar and stope mining methods. Uranium ore was produced from the mine from 1979 to 1982 and from 1985 to 1990. The mine has been inactive since January 1990. A copy of Rio Grande Resources' application for the renewal of Standby Status is available at the Mother Whiteside Memorial Library and in Santa Fe at the Mining and Minerals Division's office. These documents are also available for viewing on the MMD website external link. (Cibola Beacon Aug. 15, 2011)

Rio Grande Resources Corporation (RGR) submitted a Standby Status Renewal Application for its Mt. Taylor Mine. The mine is an existing uranium mining operation using underground mining techniques to extract uranium ore from depths of over 3000 feet below ground surface using room-and-pillar and stope mining methods. There are no milling facilities within the proposed Standby area. The Mine has been inactive since January 1990 until the present.
> View Standby Status Application external link (NM EMNRD)

A groundwater discharge permit is being sought for Mount Taylor Uranium Mine and Mill owned by Rio Grande Resources, according to the New Mexico Environment Department external link. Gerald Schoeppner of NMED's Groundwater Quality Bureau said Wednesday that the company has an existing discharge plan for its mine that it's trying to renew, "but that's one of the pieces of the puzzle that's missing - how they're planning to treat their mine water for the dewatering to meet standards."
The Mount Taylor mine previously was a conventional mining operation "and they plan to operate it as a conventional mine in the future," Schoeppner said. The mine site is located just outside the 8,000 foot elevation boundary established in the June 2008 emergency designation of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property.
Rio Grande Resources controls uranium operations and mineral resources acquired by General Atomics from Chevron Resources in 1991. The Mount Taylor project, a conventional underground mine, contains the largest uranium resource in the United States and is currently on standby, according to the company's Web site. Chevron began commercial production at Mount Taylor in 1986, initially shipping the ore to its Panna Maria mill in south Texas for processing. The mine was placed on standby in 1989. (Gallup Independent Feb. 19, 2009)
> Download NMED Public Notice Feb. 13, 2009 external link (PDF)

> See also: Cotter aims to reopen Cañon City (Colorado) uranium mill in 2014 to process ores from Mt Taylor mine (New Mexico)


Texas


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Uranium mining in South Texas is opposed by South Texas Opposes Pollution (STOP) external link.

Alta Mesa ISL, Brooks County

> View deposit details

Mesteña Uranium LLC cited for well plugging deficiencies at exploration wells

On Nov. 23, 2010, the Railroad Commission (RRC) of Texas sent a Deficiency Letter to Mesteña Uranium LLC regarding a Well Plugging Affidavit for Uranium Exploration Permit 125B-1. (Texas RRC Nov. 29, 2010)

TCEQ issues Agreed Order over penalty of $2,000 to Mesteña Uranium LLC

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Enforcement Orders:
An agreed order was entered regarding Mesteña Uranium, L.L.C., Docket No. 2007-1010-UIC-E on December 20, 2007 assessing $2,000 in administrative penalties with $400 deferred. (Texas Register, January 18, 2008, Volume 33 Number 3, Pages 449-634, In Addition)

TCEQ issues Agreed Order over penalty of $2,000 to Mesteña Uranium LLC

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issues Agreed Order over penalty of $2,000 to Mesteña Uranium LLC for failing to secure acceptable financial assurance. (Texas Register, September 21, 2007, Volume 32 Number 38, Pages 6451-6688, In Addition)

> See older issues


Hobson In Situ Leach mine, Karnes County (Texas)

> View deposit details

> View decommissioning issues

 

Hobson plant starts processing of uranium-loaded resins from Palangana in situ leach mine

On Dec. 1, 2010, Uranium Energy Corp announced that it has started the processing of the first shipment of uranium-loaded resins at its Hobson processing plant. This shipment and the start of processing follows the Company's announcement on November 17, 2010 of the initial in-situ recovery (ISR) of uranium at Palangana in South Texas.

> See also Palangana ISL mine

TCEQ invites public comment or request for public meeting about proposed license transfer for Hobson, Tex-1, and Mt Lucas mines

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) invites public comment or request for public meeting about the proposed license transfer for the Hobson, Tex-1, and Mt. Lucas mines from Everest Exploration to South Texas Mining Venture L.L.P.
All written public comments and requests must be submitted within 30 days from the date of newspaper publication of this notice.

> View TCEQ notice: Texas Register, May 28, 2010, Volume 35 Number 22, Pages 4275-4526, In-addition external link
> View TCEQ notice: Texas Register, June 4, 2010, Volume 35 Number 23, Pages 4527-4766, In-addition external link

License renewal for Hobson In Situ Leach processing plant (Texas)

On December 22, 2006, Everest Exploration, Inc. submitted on behalf of South Texas Mining Venture, LLP, an application for renewal of the Hobson Facility Radioactive Material Handling License to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This renewal application allows the Hobson Facility to continue operations as a uranium processing facility and provides the regulatory authorities with necessary information concerning the company's plans to increase the facility's processing capacity to over 1,000,000 pounds of U3O8 (385 t U) per year. (Energy Metals Corporation April 4, 2007)

License Renewal for Everest Exploration Hobson In Situ Leach mine (Texas)

"Everest Exploration for renewal of an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Well, Permit No. WDW-168. The Executive Director has prepared a draft permit.
The applicant currently operates an in-situ uranium mine. Wastes generated on-site are non-hazardous. The injected wastes include: barren solution bleed, restoration waste stream, process waste streams, and tailings or wastes produced by or resulting from the extraction or concentration of uranium, other associated wastes such as ground water and rainfall contaminated by the above authorized wastes, spills of the above authorized wastes, and wash waters and solutions used in cleaning and servicing the waste disposal well system equipment which are compatible with the permitted waste streams, reservoir and well materials. WDW-168 was initially put in service in 1979. The facility is located 0.5 mile southwest of Hobson on Farm-Market Road 81, Karnes County, Texas.
SIGNED MAY 7, 1999" (TNRCC Items Signed by Executive Director 7 May 1999 external link)


Palangana in-situ leach mine, Duval County (Texas)

> View deposit info

Production of Palangana in situ leach mine reduced in response to low uranium prices: Uranium Energy Corp. is cutting production as prices trade at a seven-year low. Uranium Energy will reduce output at its Palangana mine so the project just breaks even, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement today. The savings will be used to develop the company's larger Goliad and Burke Hollow projects. (Business Week Sep. 5, 2013)

Palangana uranium in situ leach mine obtains state authorization for operation of third Production Area: On Dec. 7, 2012, Uranium Energy Corp announced the receipt of a Production Area Authorization from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, allowing for the commencement of operations at Production Area-3 of the Company's Palangana Mine located in South Texas. With wellfields and well control facilities in place already, operations at Production Area-3 has commenced while operations at Production Areas 1 and 2 are ongoing.

> View older issues


Vasquez in-situ leach mine, Duval County (Texas)

> View deposit details

Vasquez ISL mine shut down

During the fourth quarter of 2008, URI shut down the last wellfield at Vasquez. (URI March 11, 2009)

Vasquez ISL mine production below expectations

"Production costs for the third quarter of 2006 were $56.92 per pound compared with $23.57 per pound in the prior year's third quarter. The higher production costs were primarily due to higher capital and operating costs compared with the prior year and also due to the change in the estimated recovery factor of for the Vasquez project from 70% to 50%."
"The Vasquez project has provided significant technical challenges since its inception in 2004 due to the unique geochemical composition of its ore body and the degree of re-reduction found in the uranium deposited within the formation. When uranium has been "re-reduced" it has in nature been oxidized, reduced and then subjected to additional reductants which results in the uranium being less accepting of oxidation for extraction. These factors have contributed to our production costs at Vasquez rising from $20.32 per pound in 2005 to over $46.00 per pound in 2006."
"Our third quarter production consisted of 26,074 pounds [10 t U] from our Vasquez project [...]. Last year's third quarter production of 65,797 pounds [25.3 t U] was produced completely from the Vasquez project. As discussed, given the challenges at this property, its level of production has measurably declined and was below expectations." (URI Nov. 14, 2006)

"[...] Vasquez has continued to operate below expectations. At the beginning of the project in 2004, our mining plan indicated we could produce the Vasquez property at an annual rate of 700,000 pounds [269 t U]. The geological and chemical problems we experienced in 2005 caused us to revise that estimate downward to an annual capacity of 400,000 pounds [154 t U]. [...]" (URI Sep. 19, 2006)

> See older issues


Kingsville Dome and Rosita in-situ leach mines, Kleberg County (Texas)

> View deposit data: Kingsville Dome · Rosita

> View decommissioning issues Kingsville Dome

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality invites comment on proposed approval of expansion of Rosita uranium in situ leach mine

URI, Inc. (URI) has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for an amendment to Radioactive Material License R03653. URI conducts recovery of uranium by the in situ leach methodology. This amendment authorizes URI to expand operations at their Rosita Project by authorizing an increase of the licensed area and authorizing an additional remote ion exchange unit in the added licensed area.
You may submit public comments or request a public meeting about this application. The TCEQ may grant a contested case hearing on this application if a written hearing request is timely submitted. All written public comments and requests must be submitted within 30 days from the date of newspaper publication of this notice.
> Texas Register October 8, 2010, Volume 35 Number 41, Pages 9003-9166 external link

Whistleblower speaks out against methods once used by Uranium Resources Inc. at Kingsville Dome uranium in situ leach mine (Texas)

Roland Burrow worked as a wellfield operator for Uranium Resources, Inc., outside Kingsville, Texas a decade ago. He says the company at the time was regularly flushing high volumes of water into the mine field that would have expanded groundwater pollution beyond its permitted area, posing a potential future risk to the residents of Kingsville. He claims also to have witnessed the falsification of monitoring-well data, which must be regularly submitted to the state to show the contaminated water is contained at the mine site.
He tried unsuccessfully to get the TNRCC and FBI involved, and was fired. He moved a couple counties over, but now a URI offshoot wants to mine in his backyard (at Goliad), and he's decided to fight.
> Watch video Uranium mining whistleblower external link by paleish, Sep. 8, 2009 (Youtube)

Kingsville Dome ISL mine to shut down again

During the fourth quarter of 2008, URI shut down one operating wellfield at Kingsville Dome. The two Kingsville Dome wellfields that remained in production at December 31, 2008 are expected to be depleted by the end of the first quarter of 2009. In Kleberg County, the economic downturn is leading to a slowdown at a uranium plant that's been around for two decades. In fact, the company plans to shut down temporarily over the next month and start working on restoration. (URI Mar. 11, 2009)
The uranium mining plant opened up in 1988. Ever since then, critics have asked how the company plans to clean up. With a slow down expected soon, workers have started that process.
Word about the mining coming to end concerns opponents of the uranium mines. South Texas Opposing Pollution (STOP) leaders said these mines need to be cleaned up. "They have been in the process of cleaning up in the last 20 years," said Mark Walsh, a member of STOP. "They have not cleaned out any area yet; Area 1, 2 or 3." (KIII TV3 Jan. 27, 2009)

Startup of Rosita ISL mine delayed and shut down

On June 9, 2008, Uranium Resources, Inc. announced that there has been a delay in the startup of its Rosita wellfield as a result of a number of aquifer related technical issues.
On March 11, 2009, Uranium Resources, Inc. announced that the Rosita wellfield, which proved to be a technically challenging and therefore, higher cost operation, was shut-in during October, 2008, due to lack of economic feasibility in the current price environment.

Production starts from new wellfield at Kingsville Dome ISL mine

Uranium Resources, Inc. announced on July 19, 2007, that it started production at Wellfield 14 located on the Company's Kingsville Dome project in South Texas. The Company expects to produce 120,000 to 140,000 pounds U3O8 [46 to 54 t U] over a one-year period from this wellfield. Total production costs are projected to fall within the range of $25 to $30 per pound.
The Company plans to bring its next wellfield at Kingsville Dome online in the fourth quarter of this year. The new wellfield should also produce approximately 120,000 to 140,000 pounds U3O8 within a twelve-month period.
The Company produced a total of 109,000 pounds U3O8 [42 t U] during the first quarter, and 136,000 pounds U3O8 [52 t U] during the second quarter 2007.

Restart of Kingsville Dome and Rosita ISL mines delayed

"Delays in restarting production at Kingsville Dome and Rosita have continued. Kingsville was restarted in April 2006. We planned to bring on three new wellfields, one in August and two in September. Weather problems and a shortage of available drill rigs and logging trucks have pushed off the expected startup of these wellfields by at least one month. At Rosita, the shortage of drill rigs and logging trucks has delayed estimated production until the first quarter of 2007. The shortage of drill rigs and logging trucks is the result of intense industry-wide competition for exploration and development tools." (URI Sep. 19, 2006)

Study finds URI Inc failed to restore groundwater quality after in-situ leach mining at Kingsville Dome

Kleberg County Citizen Review Board contracted this study by Dr. George Rice in which he found that Uranium Resources, Inc failed to restore water quality after mining.

Effects of URI's Kingsville Dome Mine on Groundwater Quality external link, Final Report, Prepared for the Kleberg County URI Citizen Review Board By George Rice, July 2006 (ALTURA)

License renewal for Kingsville Dome ISL mine

Hearing request granted on license renewal for waste disposal injection wells at Kingsvill Dome ISL facility

On July 14, 2004, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted the hearing requests by Eleuterio & Enedelia Saenz, Kleberg County and the STOP organization on the applications by URI, Inc., for renewal of permits for two Underground Injection Control wells, WDW-247 (this well has not been constructed) and WDW-248 (constructed), which authorize the continued disposal of industrial nonhazardous waste. The wells are located at the Kingsville Dome Uranium Mine in Kleberg County, approximately eight miles southeast of the City of Kingsville, five miles east of the City of Ricardo, east of Highway 77, and adjacent to Farm Road 1118.
(TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, marked agenda, July 14, 2004)

Extension of Kingsville Dome ISL mine (3rd production area)

Texas regulator approves extension of Kingsville Dome ISL uranium mine

State regulators have given a uranium company the go-ahead to expand its mine near the small South Texas town of Ricardo, despite the protests of residents who say the operation is fouling the groundwater. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ruled on Feb. 22, 2006, that Dallas-based Uranium Resources Inc. could begin mining near the rural Kleberg County community. Commissioners even overruled a Texas administrative law judge who had recommended that the company only be allowed to open the new mine after it cleaned up the groundwater in two older mining areas. (San Antonio Express News Feb. 23, 2006)
> Download Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioners' Marked Agenda Feb. 22, 2006 external link (PDF)

Hearing request granted on application for third production area authorization for the Kingsville Dome Mine

On July 14, 2004, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted the hearing requests by URI, Kleberg County and the STOP organization on the application by URI, Inc., for a third production area authorization for the Kingsville Dome Mine Site under existing Permit No. UR02827-001. The proposed production area authorization number is UR02827-031. The site is located in Kleberg County, approximately eight miles southeast of the City of Kingsville, five miles east of the City of Ricardo, east of Highway 77, and adjacent to Farm Road 1118. The authorization would allow injection into specified zones for the purpose of uranium production. The production zone is the Goliad formation at a depth of 420 feet to 810 feet.
(TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, marked agenda, July 14, 2004)

URI plans to resume mining at Kingsville Dome

During 2004, URI plans to continue actively working towards the completion of the permitting for the Kingsville Dome property. It is anticipated that this will be complete by early 2005 allowing the commencement of production at Kingsville Dome later that year. (URI March 23, 2004)

Kingsville Dome and Rosita ISL facilites to be placed on standby

In view of the depressed uranium market, Uranium Resources, Inc. announced that it plans to shut-in and place on stand-by its Kingsville Dome and Rosita in-situ leaching facilites in South Texas no later than the end of the first quarter of 1999. The Company will maintain certain activities at the Kingsville Dome and Rosita sites including the continuation of its ongoing restoration efforts. (URI release Nov. 16, 1998)

Kingsville Dome ISL license violations and reportable events

Uranium Spill - URI, Incorporated - Kingsville, Texas

"On January 24, 2000, the Licensee notified the Agency of a spill of 'bleed water' that occurred on October 26, 1999, when a feed line became disconnected from a main trunk line. A well field operator discovered a flange connection between a feed line and a main trunk line had separated resulting in a 2000 gallon (7.6 m3) spill. The area was on higher ground causing the water to flow down and collect in a low area inside the fenced property. The spill covered an area of approximately 4800 square feet (446 m2) and was contained onsite."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FORTH QUARTER 1999, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Spill of Radioactive Material - URI, Inc. - Kingsville, Texas

"On June 1, 1999, the Licensee notified the Agency of a spill of approximately 9000 gallons (34 m3) of restoration water containing 2.7 parts per million of uranium. The spill was due to a disconnect in the flow line from the well to the disposal pond. All spilled water was contained on-site."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR THIRD QUARTER 1999, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI, Inc. - Kingsville, Texas

"On January 22, 1998, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 15,000 gallons" (57 m3) "of mine solution fluid containing 35 parts per million uranium that occurred on January 22, 1998. The spill occurred along an extraction line and was contained within the licensed area."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FIRST QUARTER 1998, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI - Kingsville, Texas

"On September 29, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 5000 gallons" (19 m3) "of pregnant mine solution containing 81 parts per million uranium that occurred on September 29, 1997. The spill occurred along an extraction line and was contained within the licensed area."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI - Kingsville, Texas

"On September 16, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 3000 gallons" (11 m3) "of barren mine solution containing 6.7 parts per million uranium that occurred on September 16, 1997. The spill occurred at the end of a lateral line and was contained within the licensed area."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Rosita ISL license violations and reportable events

Uranium Spill - URI, Inc. - San Diego, Texas

"On December 17, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 7000 gallons" (26 m3) "of pregnant solution that occurred on December 17, 1997. The spill occurred on the extraction side of a lateral line. The spill was contained and 2500 gallons were recovered and deposited in a disposal pond."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI, Inc. - San Diego, Texas

"On December 4, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 7000 gallons" (26 m3) "of pregnant solution that occurred on December 4, 1997. The spill occurred on the extraction side of a lateral line. The spill was contained and 3500 gallons were recovered and deposited in a disposal pond."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI, Inc - San Diego, Texas

"On October 13, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 6600 gallons" (25 m3) "of pregnant solution that occurred on October 13, 1997. The spill occurred from the extraction side of a line that was attached to a main trunk line to the plant. The spill was caused by improper fusion of two joints. The spill was contained within a licensed area."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI - San Diego, Texas

"On September 30, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 5000 gallons" (19 m3) "of pregnated solution that occurred on September 30, 1997. The spill occurred at the injection side of a lateral line and covered approximately 400 square feet. The spill was contained and deposited in a disposal pond."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]

Uranium Spill - URI - San Diego, Texas

"On September 1, 1997, the Licensee notified the Agency of a uranium spill involving 30,000 gallons" (114 m3) "of barren injection water containing 1.5 parts per million uranium that occurred on September 1, 1997. The spill occurred at a booster pump on the main barren trunk line covering approximately 1200 square feet."
[SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS FOR THIRD QUARTER 1997, Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control]


Utah


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Southern Nevada Water Authority blames uranium mining near Moab for uranium in Colorado River

Southern Nevada's top water official is raising concerns about "measurable quantities" of uranium showing up in the Colorado River, the region's primary source for drinking water. Southern Nevada Water Authority external link chief Pat Mulroy blames uranium mining, particularly near Moab. In a letter Monday to federal Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Mulroy urges the department to "carefully evaluate" the effect on water quality before authorizing new mining claims near the river. (Salt Lake Tribune June 20, 2008)

 

Velvet mine, San Juan County

> View deposit info

Discharge permit renewal for idle Velvet uranium mine

Submit comments by close of business on June 30, 2014.
> View Public Notice, May 28, 2014 external link (Utah DEQ)

 

Rim mine, San Juan County

> View deposit info

Utah Division of Water Quality announces settlement agreement on violations at Energy Fuels' Rim mine

On June 26, 2013, Utah DEQ announced it has reached a settlement agreement with Energy Fuels Resources resolving alleged violations of the Utah Water Quality Act at the Rim mine. Energy Fuels agrees to pay a penalty of US$ 1,167.
Public comments on the proposed settlement agreement are invited prior to close of business July 26, 2013.
> Download Notice of Violation and Settlement Agreement, Docket No. I12-04 external link

Utah Division of Water Quality invites comment on proposed renewal of permit for water treatment plant at Denison's Rim mine

Public comments are invited any time prior to the deadline of the close of business on May 27, 2011.
> Download Public Notice, April 27, 2011 external link (PDF)
> Download Fact Sheet Statement of Basis external link (PDF)
> Download Wasteload Analysis external link (PDF)
> Download Draft Permit external link (PDF)

 

La Sal Mines Complex (Denison), San Juan County, Utah

> View deposit info
> Download Utah OGM files external link
> View BLM Moab field office project site external link

General

Environmental Assessment for La Sal mine released for public comment

On July 5, 2012, BLM released the Environmental Assessment for the La Sal mine for public comment. The public review and comment period will end on August 21, 2012 (comment period extended).
> Download Public Notice and Environmental Assessment external link (BLM)

On Dec. 2, 2013, BLM announced that the Forest Service has new NEPA requirements under its 36 CFR 218 regulations. The EA, Forest Service FONSI and Forest Service Decision docment will be made available for a 45-day objection period. This is expected to occur in January 2014.

Activist denounces poor supervision of radon emissions from uranium mines near La Sal

A southern Utah activist wants state regulators to be more thorough and more transparent in how they handle hazardous emissions from Utah's uranium mines. Sarah Fields, representing Moab-based Uranium Watch external link, told the Utah Air Quality Board this week that state regulators have failed to carry out basic duties when it comes to cancer-causing radon emissions from uranium mines near La Sal in southeastern Utah's San Juan County.
Fields conceded that Denison's operations now release radon at doses lower than those considered harmful by the Environmental Protection Agency, although that hasn't always been the case. She also insisted DAQ (Division of Air Quality) doesn't have all the information it needs to ensure the mines are operating safely. As an example, she questioned if it was appropriate for DAQ to allow a vent - one that had been cited in an August 2010 notice of violation from the EPA - within a quarter-mile of the La Sal School. (Salt Lake Tribune Apr. 5, 2012)

Denison Mines commences operation of La Sal mine without air quality approval order, no BLM plan of operation, and minimal environmental assessment

Denison Mines Corporation (Denison) has begun the operation of the La Sal Mine, one of the mines in the La Sal Mines Complex, without an updated Plan of Operations and Environmental Assessment and without an modified Approval Order from the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ). (Uranium Watch June 20, 2011)

Continuing health and safety violations at La Sal Mines Complex

The operators of the La Sal Mine Complex, Denison Mines (USA) Corporation (Beaver Shaft Mine) received 10 citations and 2 orders, Reliance Resources LLC (Pandora Mine) received 5 citations and one order from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for health and safety violations in March. This is in addition to 11 citations in January, with proposed penalties of $13,372. MSHA has not yet assessed the penalties for the March citations.
Two of the March orders were issued because MSHA found hazardous conditions underground similar to previously identified hazardous conditions that had resulted in sections of the mines being closed off to workers. These included hazardous ground conditions related to scaling and support-the same type of conditions that caused the fatal accident in May 2010-and the need to wear respirators when the radon daughter concentrations exceed 1 Working Level. The mines have previously been cited for these hazardous conditions.
(Uranium Watch April 5, 2011)

Additional Information (Pandora Complex Mine ID 4200470):
> Access MSHA - Mine Data Retrieval System external link

Community environmental organizations call for EIS for La Sal Mines Complex

Uranium Watch external link, Canyonlands Watershed Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Glen Canyon Group of the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and Living Rivers has called for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the expansion of the La Sal Mines Complex, La Sal, Utah.
The groups submitted comments for the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service-Manti-La Sal National Forest environmental review of the November 2010 Plan of Operations Amendment. The comments included an Environmental Protection Alternative. The mining complex is owned by Denison Mines (USA) Corporation, which also operates the Beaver Shaft. Reliance Resources LLC operates the Pandora Mine. (Uranium Watch Jan. 31, 2011)
> Download Scoping Comments - January 31, 2010 external link (570k PDF)

BLM and Forest Service invite comment on planned expansion of operations at La Sal Mines Complex

The proposed action would approve the following activities on public lands managed by BLM and FS at the La Sal Complex: BLM's comment period ends January 31, 2011.
> View BLM announcement Jan. 4, 2011 external link
> Download La Sal Mines Complex Documents external link (BLM)

The Forest Services' comment period ends March 24, 2011.
> Download La Sal Mines Complex Documents external link (USDA Forest Service)

 

Daneros mine, San Juan County, Utah

> View deposit info
> See also: Uranium Watch Daneros Mine page external link

BLM seeks public input on proposed operating plan modification for continued development of Daneros uranium mine: "This Modification includes components necessary to support additional mine development and mine operation beyond 2012. This Modification is designed to facilitate mineral development activities for a minimum of five and up to approximately 20 years of continued production, depending on market conditions and other factors."
Scoping comments will be accepted by until March 14, 2014.
> Download BLM release Feb. 5, 2014 external link (PDF)
> Download Daneros Plan of Operations, Dec. 2013 external link

Daneros mine to be placed on standby for poor economics: On Oct. 17, 2012, Energy Fuels Inc. announced that it will shift its short-term focus toward lower cost sources of U3O8 production within its asset portfolio. As a result of this revised production strategy, Energy Fuels will be placing the Beaver and Daneros properties on the Colorado Plateau on standby over the course of the first quarter of FY 2013.

> View older issues

 

Pandora mine, San Juan County, Utah

> View deposit info
> Download Utah OGM files external link

 

Mine Safety and Health Administration settles with Reliance Resources on penalties for fatal accident at Pandora mine in 2010: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has settled with Moab based Reliance Resources LLC for penalties associated with the fatal mine accident at the Pandora Mine on May 26, 2010. Reliance Resources operated the mine in La Sal, Utah, for Denison Mines Corporation, a Canadian company. Hunter Diehl was killed when large rock fell on him. He was manually scaling loose material from the rib when it fell.

It has takenover three years to resolve these and other contested penalties. There were 46 violations at the Pandora Mine in 2010. (UraniumWatch Oct. 31, 2013)

Pandora mine to be shut down: On Oct. 17, 2012, Energy Fuels Inc. announced that it will cease mining at the Pandora property during the second quarter of FY 2013, pending the depletion of its identified uranium and vanadium resources.

Pandora mine operator fined $92,600 for fatal accident: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued a penalty of $92,600 to Reliance Resources, LLC, for two violations from the fatal accident on May 26, 2010, at the Pandora Mine (Mine ID 4200470), La Sal, San Juan County, Utah. (UraniumWatch May 7, 2011)

More worker health and safety violations at La Sal mines: The January 2011 Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspections resulted in 5 worker health and safety violations at the Pandora Mine for Reliance Resources LLC and 6 violations at the Beaver Shaft for Denison Mines (USA) Corp. All MSHA violations were associated with the failure of the mine operators to properly protect the workers from exposure to radon daughters (short lived, highly radioactive particulates from the decay of radon) in the mines.
Both Denison Mines and Reliance Resources were cited for exposure of workers to air with concentrations of radon daughters exceeding 1.0 working level (WL) in active workings and for the failure of workers to wear respirators in areas where the radon daughters exceed 1.0 WL. Reliance Resources was also cited for improper ventilation, not posting inactive workings where radon daughter concentrations are about 1.0 WL, and failure to calculate and record complete individual exposures in active working areas with radon daughter concentrations are more than .03 WL. This followed an inspection of December 20 when Denison was fined $6,000 for exposure of workers to radon daughters above the acceptable level, improper ventilation, and failure to calculate and document worker exposure to radon daughters, or progeny.
At the beginning of December, Denison was citied for 12 other violations, some for the same violations that Reliance Resources was cited for after Hunter Diehl was killed at the Pandora Mine 2010. Denison failed to correct hazardous conditions associated with scaling and support and failed to have a competent person examine each working place at least once each shift for conditions that may adversely affect safety or health.
In 2009 Denison received 13 citations; Reliance Resources received 14; total penalties for all were $3,629. In 2010, Denison received 34 citations and orders; total penalties of $18,304. Reliance Resources received 18 citations and orders; total penalties of $2,664 (this does not include any penalties associated with the fatal Pandora Mine accident on May 26, 2010).
Denison has been ajusting its ventilation system to reduce radon emissions so that they do not exceed the standard for doses to the nearest residents, La Sal School, and road maintenance shed. It is difficult for Denison to meet both the dose standard for off-site exposures to radon and the underground worker exposure standards.
(UraniumWatch March 3, 2011)
> Access MSHA - Mine Data Retrieval System external link (Mine ID: 4200470)

Judge approves drilling at Pandora uranium mine in Manti-La Sal National Forest: A federal judge will allow a uranium mining company to drill several new holes in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Three Moab conservation groups had asked Judge Dale A. Kimball to halt the drilling planned by Denison Mines Corp. at its Pandora Mine, claiming the U.S. Forest Service permitted the project without an adequate environmental study. Uranium Watch, Center for Water Advocacy and Living Rivers argued that Denison would create radioactive air emissions and heavy metal contamination if it drills 16 exploration holes and two radon vent holes, a project approved by the Forest Service. Kimball gave more weight to Denison's environmental expert, who said there was no significant risk of environmental harm. Kimball also wrote that the Forest Service followed procedural rules when it allowed the project without environmental assessments or impact statements. (Salt Lake Tribune Sep 14, 2010)

Groups file suit to stop expansion of Pandora uranium mine in La Sal, Utah: Uranium Watch, Center for Water Advocacy, and Living Rivers, conservation groups located in Moab, Utah, yesterday (July 29) filed suit in federal district court in Salt Lake City to halt uranium exploration and the construction of radon vent holes on U.S. Forest Service land in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in La Sal, Utah.
The complaint filed with the United States District Court for the District of Utah challenges a decision by the Moab/Monticello Ranger District to permit the drilling of 16 exploration drill holes and 2 radon vent holes as part of the expansion of the Pandora Uranium Mine.
Radon is vented to the surface from the underground mine operations so that the miners will not breath in the radon gas and be exposed to the short-lived highly radioactive particles that are produced when radon decays. The proposed radon vents would add to the amount of radon gas and radioactive particulates released in the vicinity of the community of La Sal, on the south slope of the La Sal Mountains. In 2009, the amount of radon released from the uranium mines in La Sal jumped from 300 Curies to over 4,500 Curies, according to Denison's annual reports to the Utah Division of Air Quality. Radon is released from vents near the Beaver Shaft not far from the La Sal Elementary School. (Uranium Watch, July 30, 2010)

Uranium miner dies in rockfall accident in Pandora mine: A 28-year-old uranium miner from Moab died Wednesday (May 26) morning after he was hit by falling rock in the Pandora mine near LaSal, San Juan County. (The Salt Lake Tribune May 26, 2010)
Federal regulators faulted a Utah company for safety lapses in the death of a uranium miner who was killed by a large rock slab he was peeling off a tunnel wall near La Sal. A Mine Safety and Health Administration report released Thursday (Sep. 23) said Reliance Resources LLC of Moab was cited for inadequate worker training and failing to test a tunnel wall for loose rock. The citations were rescinded after the company took corrective measures. The report says 28-year-old Hunter Diehl ("deal") of Moab was using a pry bar to pull off loose slabs May 26 when one fell on top of him. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital. Reliance Resources operates the Pandora mine for another company, Denison Mines (USA) Corp. (Business Week Sep. 24, 2010)
> Download MSHA Report of Investigation, Sep. 23, 2010 external link (355k PDF)

A public input period is under way to comment on an air-quality permit for the Pandora uranium mine in La Sal, San Juan County. Moab-based Uranium Watch external link has requested a hearing. Director Sarah Fields raised a concern about the proximity of venting to an elementary school. The deadline for written comments is July 3, 2009. (The Salt Lake Tribune June 9, 2009)
> View Utah DEQ DAQ Permits out for public comment external link ("Denison Mines (USA) Corp, La Sal Mine")

On Sep. 14, 2006, International Uranium Corp. announced it has reached an agreement with Reliance Resources, LLC to conduct contract mining at the Company's Pandora Mine, located near LaSal, Utah. The Pandora Mine is a previously developed mine last operated in the late 1980's. Mining activities are underway and ore shipments to the Company's White Mesa Mill in Blanding, Utah will begin in early October 2006.

 

White Mesa uranium mill (Utah)

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