New Drilling Planned For Northern Arizona Uranium Mine

Published: Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 7:35am
Updated: Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 7:34am

Northern Arizona has some of the richest uranium deposits in the country, including the Canyon Mine, where additional drilling will begin in January.

The Canyon Mine is a small mine but a rich deposit at 1 percent uranium, said Curtis Moore of Energy Fuels Inc.

“We’ve already identified about 1.6 million pounds of uranium in this deposit, but we think it’s likely to be quite a bit larger than that," Moore said. "It may be small but it is very rich.  And we’re also finding copper in this particular deposit."

Moore said the economic impact is across the West, including mining jobs in Arizona. The mill processor is in Utah and Energy Fuels’ headquarters in Colorado, plus wherever the electricity finally gets sold across the U.S.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear power station is the largest in the country. Uranium mining fuels nuclear energy, which provides about 20 percent of electricity and two-thirds of all carbon-free energy in the U.S.

Energy Fuels is the second-largest U.S. producer of uranium, but the U.S. as a whole is not a major player, importing approximately 90 percent, Moore said.  

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