Uranium resources in the Grants uranium district, New Mexico: An update
Virginia T. McLemore, Brad Hill, Niranjan Khalsa, and Susan A. Lucas Kamat

Abstract:

The Grants uranium district, which extends from east of Laguna to west of Gallup in the San Juan Basin is probably 4th in total historical world production behind East Germany, the Athabasca Basin in Canada, and South Africa. Sandstone uranium deposits account for the majority of the uranium production from the Grants district and the most significant deposits are those in the Morrison Formation, specifically the Westwater Canyon Member, where more than 169,500 short tons of U3O8 were produced from 1950 to 2002. At least 114 major mines and undeveloped deposits are found in eight subdistricts in the Grants district, but only four projects offer the potential to produce in the near-term: Roca Honda, Mount Taylor, La Jara Mesa, and Church Rock Section 8. Although deposits currently producing elsewhere tend to be higher grade and/or larger tonnage, the Grants district still contains a large enough resource to have a major impact on the global uranium supply. The economic feasibility of mining a number of these deposits will increase with the licensing and construction of a regional mill, improved in situ recovery technologies, decreasing production costs, and an increase in world-wide uranium consumption.


Citation:

  1. McLemore, Virginia T.; Hill, Brad; Khalsa, Niranjan; Lucas Kamat, Susan A., 2013, Uranium resources in the Grants uranium district, New Mexico: An update, in: Geology of Route 66 region: Flagstaff to Grants, Zeigler, Kate; Timmons, J. Michael; Timmons, Stacy; Semken, Steve, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 64th Field Conference, pp. 117-126.

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