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(last updated 15 Apr 2014)

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

General

Map of Major U.S. Uranium Reserve Areas external link (DOE EIA)
Map of Uranium Concentrations in soil external link (USGS)

 

Navajo demand halt to all new uranium mining on Navajo land

Uranium-mining leaders and federal regulators poised to fuel a resurgent nuclear power industry gathered in Denver on Wednesday (May 26), vowing to do a better job of protecting the environment but drawing demonstrators nonetheless. Outside the conference, American Indian demonstrators with drums and signs demanded a halt to all new uranium mining on Navajo land, where federal regulators have permitted several projects.
"Our Navajo communities rely on the groundwater for everything. These new projects could contaminate the source of drinking water for 15,000 Navajo community members," said Nadine Padilla of the Multicultural Alliance for Safe Environments. "Our communities are still living with the legacy of contamination from past uranium mining." Uranium companies and regulators "need to deal with the legacy of past contamination before we would even consider new mining," she said. (Denver Post May 27, 2010)

 

Uranium Cafe in Grants, New Mexico

> View Uranium Cafe in Google Streetview external link new window

On May 14, 2010, the Uranium Café in Grants reopened as Nana's Café. (Cibola Beacon May 17, 2010)

The Uranium Cafe, a Route 66 landmark in Grants, N.M., with a classic neon sign, closed about a month ago, according to a Grants/Cibola County Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman. (Route 66 News, April 23, 2007)

The Uranium Cafe, a well-known landmark restaurant that has existed through the uranium mining boom and bust in Grants will be reopening soon with new management. (Gallup Independent Nov. 9, 2005)

 

Navajo council outlaws uranium mining

> View details

 

Bill to subsidize uranium in-situ leach industry

Domenici removes uranium provision

On Nov. 8, 2001, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) struck down his own plan to provide the private sector with $30 million over three years to develop environmental restoration technologies for in-situ leach (ISL) mining of uranium. In a statement from his office in Washington, D.C. Domenici said he decided to remove the ISL provisions from his comprehensive nuclear energy plan in order to calm fears stoked by "substantial misinformation about the legislation." (Gallup Independent, Nov. 10, 2001)
> View Domenici news release Nov. 9, 2001 external link

Senate petitioned to block U mining subsidies

"A letter was sent today by Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Voices Opposed to Environmental Racism to Jeff Bingaman, Chairman, and members of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources committee. It was signed by more than 80 environmental, health and Native American groups and over 100 individuals from around the country urging them to block $30 million dollars in federal grants to companies using in situ leaching methods for uranium mining. The grants, which were approved in the House version of the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill (HR4) and are proposed in Senator Pete Dominici's (R-NM) S. 472, The Nuclear Energy Supply Assurance Act.

If granted these subsidies threaten to renew uranium mining in the Navajo Reservation's Eastern Agency in New Mexico by jump-starting Hydro Resource Inc.'s proposed Crownpoint Uranium Project. This project has been met with vigorous opposition from the Navajo community who are still suffering from the enormously destructive effects of previous uranium mining. Hundreds of abandoned uranium mines still exist on Native American lands in New Mexico and elsewhere in the four-corners region. The cleanup of these sites and the compensation of radiation victims from previous uranium mining continue to be neglected and delayed. On August 15th Navajo President Kelsey Begaye and Vice President Taylor McKenzie sent Sen. Bingaman a strongly worded letter opposing renewed uranium mining on Navajo land. [...]"
(NIRS external link release Oct. 3, 2001)

 

U.S. Congress' plan to subsidize uranium in-situ leach industry affects Navajo

The bill H.R. 2587 external link (Energy Advancement and Conservation Act) would grant a total of US$ 30 million to the U.S. uranium industry to improve the in-situ leach technology. On July 25, 2001, the bill passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce with amendments.
"SEC. 315. COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SPECIAL DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS FOR THE URANIUM MINING INDUSTRY.

(a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002, 2003, and 2004 for--

(1) cooperative, cost-shared, agreements between the Department of Energy and domestic uranium producers to identify, test, and develop improved in situ leaching mining technologies, including low-cost environmental restoration technologies that may be applied to sites after completion of in situ leaching operations; and
(2) funding for competitively selected demonstration projects with domestic uranium producers relating to--
(A) enhanced production with minimal environmental impacts;
(B) restoration of well fields; and
(C) decommissioning and decontamination activities.

(b) DOMESTIC URANIUM PRODUCER- For purposes of this section, the term `domestic uranium producer' has the meaning given that term in section 1018(4) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 2296b-7(4)), except that the term shall not include any producer that has not produced uranium from domestic reserves on or after July 30, 1998."

The corresponding Senate bill is S.472 external link (Nuclear Energy Electricity Supply Assurance Act of 2001 - Sec. 127. Cooperative research and development and special demonstration projects for the uranium mining industry)

These provisions could directly affect Navajo communities in northwestern New Mexico by facilitating development of the Crownpoint Uranium Project, a proposal by Hydro Resources, Inc. (HRI), to construct and operate four uranium ISL mines in Church Rock and Crownpoint in the Eastern Navajo Agency.
Numerous local, regional and national groups including Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM), Concerned Citizens of Crownpoint, SRIC, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, Mineral Policy Center and Taxpayers for Common Sense have blasted the bill's provisions as another environmental injustice on the Navajo people, as corporate welfare for the the uranium industry, and as bad fiscal policy.

> See also SRIC: Uranium Bailout Bill external link
> See also NIRS: Uranium Alert external link

 

Seawater

New material might make uranium extraction from seawater more efficient

Researchers led by Wenbin Lin external link, a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have designed a metal-organic framework (MOF) to collect common uranium-containing ions dissolved in seawater. In lab tests, the material was at least four times better than the conventional plastic adsorbent at drawing the potential nuclear fuel from artificial seawater. (MIT Technology Review May 16, 2013)
> See also: Highly porous and stable metal-organic frameworks for uranium extraction, by M. Carboni, C. W. Abney, S. Liub and W. Lin, in: Chemical Science 2013, Vol. 4, Iss. 6, p. 2396-2402

Uranium extraction from seawater getting more efficient

At the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Erich Schneider, Ph.D., discussed an economic analysis carried out for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that compared the extraction of uranium from seawater to traditional methods of mining ore. The data shows that DOE-funded technology can now extract double the uranium from seawater over initial approaches that began in Japan in the late 1990s. In turn, production costs fall to around $300 per pound of uranium against $560 per pound through the Japanese technology. Even so, extraction from seawater is still around five times dearer than mining uranium. (Earth Times Aug. 21, 2012)
> See also: Oak Ridge National Laboratory release Aug. 21, 2012 external link

Presidential Committee recommends research on uranium recovery from seawater

In a report released on August 2, 1999, the The President's Committee Of Advisors On Science And Technology (PCAST external link) recommended that the U.S. consider participating in international research on extracting uranium from seawater:
"One possibility for maintaining fission as a major option without reprocessing is low-cost extraction of uranium from seawater. The uranium concentration of sea water is low (approximately 3 ppb) but the quantity of contained uranium is vast - some 4 billion tonnes (about 700 times more than known terrestrial resources recoverable at a price of up to $130 per kg). If half of this resource could ultimately be recovered, it could support for 6,500 years 3,000 GW of nuclear capacity (75 percent capacity factor) based on next-generation reactors (e.g., high-temperature gas-cooled reactors) operated on once-through fuel cycles. Research on a process being developed in Japan suggests that it might be feasible to recover uranium from seawater at a cost of $120 per lb of U3O8.40 Although this is more than 10 times the current uranium price, it would contribute just 0.5¢ per kWh to the cost of electricity for a next-generation reactor operated on a once-through fuel cycle-equivalent to the fuel cost for an oil-fired power plant burning $3-a-barrel oil." [emphasis added]
40 Nobukawa 1994: H. Nobukawa "Development of a Floating Type System for Uranium Extraction from Sea Water Using Sea Current and Wave Power," in Proceedings of the 4th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (Osaka, Japan: 10-15 April 1994), pp. 294-300.

Source: Powerful Partnerships: The Federal Role In International Cooperation On Energy Innovation. A Report From The President's Committee Of Advisors On Science And Technology Panel On International Cooperation In Energy Research, Development, Demonstration, And Deployment. Washington, DC, June 1999, p. 5-26 - 5-27 (download full text external link, 1.3M PDF format)


Alaska

General · Bokan Mountain
> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Uranium exploration in Alaska is being opposed by Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU).

 

Alaska Natives protest uranium exploration on Iditarod Trail

A Coalition of Alaskan Indigenous Peoples, Alaskan citizens, students and community organizations are demonstrating support for students protesting Uranium activity in the traditional cultural use areas near the Arctic Inupiat community of Elim. Alaskans from various organizations and communities gathered at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on March 7th, 2009, downtown Anchorage, to demonstrate support for the students and community of Elim. Students in Elim will be protesting uranium as dog mushers race through the Elim checkpoint 123 miles from Nome. (Atlantic Free Press March 14, 2009)

Protest against uranium exploration in Alaska

Some people used all of the attention at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod sled dog race to draw attention to concerns over a uranium mining project near an Iditarod checkpoint.
Two companies, Triex Minerals Corp. and Full Metal Minerals Ltd. conducted core drilling for uranium about thirty miles from the village of Elim last year. And they are gearing up for drilling this summer. Some residents, including students in Elim, are worried that the side effects of uranium mining will harm the environment, including water, fish and animals. (KTUU Mar. 1, 2008)

 

Bokan Mountain property

> View deposit info

Bokan Mountain - Dotson Ridge deposit to be mined solely for rare earths: The Preliminary Economic Assessment dated Jan. 10, 2013, assumes mining of the deposit exclusively for rare earth elements (REE); constituents such as thorium, uranium, and iron will be removed from the REE concentrate and will be sent to the underground backfill.

Preliminary Economic Assessment commissioned for Bokan Mountain - Dotson Ridge property: On Nov. 9, 2011, Ucore Rare Metals Inc. announced that it has awarded the contract for the completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Company's Bokan Mountain - Dotson Ridge Property to Wardrop, A Tetra Tech Company. The PEA is expected to be completed in Q1 of 2012.


Arizona

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Colorado

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Florida

General · Plant City
> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

PhosEnergy process for uranium by-product extraction from phosphate fertiliser production

Cameco to invest into technology for uranium extraction from phosphoric acid: On Nov. 9, 2009, Uranium Equities Ltd external link announced that Cameco invests up to US$ 16.5 million for the continued development and commercialisation of the PhosEnergy Process for the extraction of uranium from phosphoric acid.
Operating cost estimates based on a pilot plant in Florida indicate that, with contingency, the process is capable of producing uranium at operating costs in the order of US$ 25-30/lb U3O8 with over 90% uranium recovery.
On June 22, 2012, Uranium Equities Ltd announced that a transportable Demonstration Plant, designed to gather additional operating and capital cost information for the commercialisation of the process, was commissioned in May in the USA.
On Sep. 19, 2012, Uranium Equities Ltd announced that it has completed four, 10 day tests at two different fertiliser plants. The company said the process produced consistently high uranium recovery of more than 90 per cent, and the chemistry of the phosphate stream was otherwise unaffected. The production cost for the uranium concentrate was estimated at $US20-$US25 per pound, with other costs dependent on the size of the plant. "The design criteria derived from the demonstration plant runs will be fed into an engineering study planned to commence in the December quarter of 2012 to further increase confidence in the capital and operating cost estimates," the company said.
On Mar. 5, 2013, Uranium Equities Ltd announced a positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) has supported the viability and low-cost nature of the PhosEnergy Process for extracting uranium as a by-product from phosphate fertiliser production.

Mosaic Co., CF Industries considering uranium extraction from phosphate rock

Mosaic Co. external link, Plymouth, MN, and CF Industries Holdings Inc. external link, Long Grove, Ill., the two largest U.S. producers of phosphate fertilizer, said they are considering projects to extract and sell uranium amid surging prices for nuclear fuel. Mosaic may decide in six months whether to build a facility in Florida for extracting uranium from phosphate rock, a spokesman said. CF Industries also is reviewing plans for a possible uranium-extraction project, said a spokesman. (Star Tribune Apr. 16, 2007)

IMC-Agrico considering restart of uranium by-product production from phosphates, New Wales, Florida

IMC-Agrico external link is reported to be looking into restarting by-product uranium production (from phosphates) from its New Wales, Florida, facility early next year. [UI News Briefing 96/23]
(this news seems to be obsolete, look here)

 

Uranium recovery facility project at CF Industries' Plant City Phosphate Complex

CF Industries to build uranium recovery facility at its Plant City Phosphate Complex

As a result of the recent price run-up for uranium, CF Industries has decided it is economically feasible to build a uranium extraction facility at its Plant City Phosphate Complex. The new facility will be able to produce about 900,000 pounds [346 t U] of uranium a year. CF expects uranium extraction to begin in three to four years. The company estimates it will cost about $200 million to build the new facility. CF prepares to begin seeking state and county permits to build and operate the extraction facility (The Tampa Tribune Sep. 6, 2007)

CF Industries to study feasibility of uranium recovery facility at Plant City Phosphate Complex

CF Industries Holdings external link said that it will explore the feasibility of building a uranium recovery facility at its Plant City Phosphate Complex, with production possible within three to four years. Illinois-based CF Industries, which operates a phosphate mine in Hardee County that ships material to its Plant City operation about 12 miles north of the city, jointly agreed to the feasibility project with Connecticut-based Nukem Inc. external link, a global trader of uranium. The two companies are seeking long-term contracts with U.S. electric utilities to supply about 900,000 pounds of a uranium compound [346 t U] annually, CF Industries said in a news release. If the uranium extraction project were economically feasible, the two companies would obtain financing and permits and proceed with engineering plans, the release stated. Uranium shows up in 50 to 200 parts per million in phosphate-laden earth, and rising uranium prices in recent months have created the additional market to extract uranium from phosphate, which generally is used for fertilizer. (The Tampa Tribune July 31, 2007)


Idaho

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

General

Opposition to uranium exploration in the old Stanley Uranium District

The Forest Service has approved uranium exploration drilling in the Harden Creek drainage between Sunbeam and Stanley. Challis-Yankee Fork District external link Ranger Ralph Rau signed a decision memo January 28, 2008, giving Magnum Minerals U.S.A. Corp. the green light for a two-stage project to drill test holes in the old Stanley Uranium District. The project will have no significant impact on the environment because uranium historically was mined in nearby deposits, according to the decision.
Clayton-area resident David Richmond and his group Friends of the West, opposes uranium mining in the headwaters of the Salmon River. Richmond is concerned that radioactive byproducts of uranium mining could pollute the Salmon River, which threatened salmon use for migration and spawning. He sees a risk of human injury as well as catastrophic effects in the entire Columbia River drainage, starting at Harden Creek, into the upper Salmon mainstem, to the Snake and eventually to the Columbia River and ocean. (The Challis Messenger Feb. 7, 2008)


Michigan

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

General

Initiative plans ballot initiative for temporary ban on uranium mining and processing in Michigan

A proposed Michigan ballot measure that would prohibit some types of mining and restrict others took a small step forward Wednesday (Oct. 14). The petition form submitted by a group called the Michigan Save Our Water Committee external link was approved by a state election board. The group would have to collect more than 300,000 valid signatures of Michigan voters to get its proposal on the statewide November 2010 ballot.
The measure would prohibit uranium mining and processing until "new rules" are established to "protect against the special risks associated with those activities," according to the petition language. (Chicago Tribune Oct. 14, 2009)
(A ballot initiative is a right given to citizens under Michigan's Constitution to draft and pass legislation directly.)


Missouri


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

 


Montana

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

General

On March 27, 2008, Bayswater Uranium Corporation external link notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intent to file a license application to conduct in situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery operations at one to three project sites in southeastern Montana. Bayswater anticipates that it will not be submitting its application prior to late 2010.


Nevada

General · Apex-Lowboy
> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Apex-Lowboy project, Lander County

> View deposit info

On Oct. 19, 2012, NRC was notified that the new management team of Uranium Company of Nevada (UCN) "has recently made the determination that the Apex Mine and Mill would not be considered for any further development at this time".

On Nov. 11, 2010, Uranium King Corporation and Uranium Company of Nevada, LLC notified the NRC of their intent to submit an application to construct and operate a uranium recovery facility in Lander County, Nevada at the site of the former Apex Uranium Mine by the third quarter of 2012.

On Sep. 27, 2008, Uranium King Corporation and Uranium Company of Nevada, LLC (both 100%-owned subisdiaries of Uranium King Ltd) provided notice to the NRC that they intend to submit an application to construct and operate a uranium recovery facility in Lander County, Nevada at the site of the former Apex Uranium Mine.


New Mexico

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North Dakota

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

Sentinel project

> View deposit info

Australian company considers heap leaching of lignite for uranium

An Australian company exploring for uranium in southwestern North Dakota believes it may be able to save millions of dollars by pouring chemicals over piles of lignite to extract the radioactive element and other valuable substances.
Formation Resources Inc. of Bismarck, a unit of PacMag Metals Ltd. external link, based in West Perth, Australia, was granted a state permit last year to drill test holes for uranium in parts of Billings and Slope counties. The company said it also found molybdenum and germanium.
The company has said it would use an open-pit mine and build a processing plant in the area. (The Dickinson Press Sep. 22, 2009)

In June 2010, PacMag Metals Ltd. was taken over by Entrée Gold Inc. external link. On Oct. 14, 2010, Entrée announced that uranium is not one of its main commodity foci, and the company is looking to joint venture or sell the project to a uranium-focused group.


Oregon

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

Aurora, Malheur County

> View deposit info

Aurora uranium mine project on hold: According to Oregon Energy, "the project is on ice and not moving forward due to uranium prices and sage grouse issue." (NRC Memo Dec. 12, 2013)

Notice of Intent provided to submit license application for Aurora project: On Apr. 4, 2012, Energy Ventures Limited external link announced that Notice of Intent to submit a Source Material Facility License Application has been provided to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This notice relates to the proposed development of a uranium processing plant and tailings management facility at the Company's Aurora Uranium Project.

Company presents project for Aurora open pit uranium mine and mill: The results of Oregon Energy's test drilling at the Aurora uranium deposit in southeast Oregon has encouraged the company to go ahead with its plans for an open-pit mine at the site, and Oregon Energy's president Lachlan Reynolds says Oregon Energy is willing to drop $200 million to establish the mine.
Gary Lynch, assistant director of the Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program of Oregon's Department of Geology and Natural Resources (DOGAMI) external link says Oregon Energy presented its proposal at a public meeting of the DOGAMI governing board on Sept. 13 but the company has not yet submitted an application for a mine.
The mine area, according to Chris Hansen of the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) external link, is "absolutely core sage grouse habitat." Sage grouse have been in decline in Oregon. According to ONDA, there is warrant to list the rapidly disappearing sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, but thanks to politics and a backlog with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the sage grouse is on a waiting list with 250 other species. Two drainages of Cottonwood and McDermitt Creeks go through the site, and Fish and Wildlife documents show that the creeks or their tributaries are endangered species listed Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat.
Oregon Energy plans to process the uranium on the site, which is also a concern for Hansen. (Eugene Weekly Sep. 29, 2011)


South Dakota

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Texas

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Utah

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Virginia

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Wyoming

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