New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 7, 2017

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The Characterization of Uranium Mobility at the Jeter Mine, Ladron Mountain Mine District, Socorro County, New Mexico

Ashlynne Winton1, Ingar Walder1 and Bonnie Frey2

1New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, 87801,
2New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, 87801

Mining has played a remarkable role in the economic development of the United States. Despite the closure of many mine features as a way to mitigate physical safety hazards, state and federal agencies are concerned that some of these features could still pose an environmental affect after closure and some of these effects could increase due to natural hazards that occur especially in desert environments, such as wildfires and periods of regional monsoonal flow. The objective of this research is to investigate and identify concentrations of uranium and other heavy metals from the Jeter mine, in the Sierra Ladrones Wilderness Study Area, Ladron Mountains district, Socorro County, New Mexico, which produced 26,563 kg U3O8 between 1954–1958. By utilizing standard flow-through column tests on waste rock material, physical and chemical hazards posed by the Jeter mine site will be evaluated. Preliminary paste pH ~ 6 results suggest this area is non-acid producing; XRD analysis coinfirms that torbernite is precipitating along the fault gouge. Before and after concentrations of uranium will be measured and analyzed using electron microprobe, ICP-MS, sequential chemical extraction (SCE), acid based accounting (ABA), and field leach tests. Further water chemistry analysis will be conducted on the surrounding cattle wells in the district.

pp. 74

2017 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 7, 2017, Macey Center, New Mexico Tech campus, Socorro, NM