General geology of uranium-vanadium deposits of Salt Wash Sandstones, Le Sal area, San Juan County, Utah
— Kovschak, Anthony A., Jr. and Robert L. Nylund


Important uranium-vanadium deposits occur in the uppermost sandstone "rim" of the fluvial Salt Wash member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation in the La Sal area, approximately 50 km south of Moab, Utah. The deposits are concentrated in an east-west trending belt approximately 19 km in length. The mineralized trend is virtually continuous from the community of La Sal Junction, Utah, on the west to the Utah-Colorado state line on the east. Utah Highway 46 parallels the mineralized trend and pro- vides easy access to either the Union Carbide uranium mill at Uravan, Colorado, 100 km to the east or to Atlas Minerals uranium mill at Moab, Utah, 50 km to the north (fig. 1). Uranium deposits are located in the southernmost sections of T.28S., R.24 and 25E. and the northernmost sections of T.29S., R.24 and 25E.
Mining and exploration activity have progressed both eastward and westward in recent years, from an early start in the La Sal Creek area on the east, and the La Sal Junction-Rattlesnake area on the west. The majority of the existing reserves lie in the central La Sal area between the Pine Ridge collapse and the old Continental Materials Corporation Rattlesnake Pit. Production grades for La Sal and La Sal Creek ores are somewhat higher in vanadium and uranium than production grades from other localities (Table 1). The La Sal-La Sal Creek district is the largest Salt Wash production area outside the main Uravan mineral belt with future forecasts calling for substantially more production. Union Carbide Corporation and Atlas Minerals control the overwhelming land position, and both have operating mines in the area: Beaver Shaft, Mike, Snowball, Heckla, La Sal; and Pandora, respectively.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Kovschak, Anthony A., Jr.; Nylund, Robert L., 1981, General geology of uranium-vanadium deposits of Salt Wash Sandstones, Le Sal area, San Juan County, Utah, in: Western slope Colorado--western Colorado and eastern Utah, Epis, Rudy C.; Callender, Jonathan F., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 32nd Field Conference, pp. 171-176.

[see guidebook]