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Old 01-22-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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I know I've posted before about Uranium (U), based on a briefing I received in early 2007, but cannot find those old posts.

IIRC, world requirements are for about 150M pounds/year of U for the 440 nuclear power plants around the world, but the mining industry only produces about 100M pounds/year. The difference has been make up by reprocessing U from old nuclear weapons, mostly Russian weapons, but that will be over by 2013 or thereabouts.

Two things are working to increase the mining for U:
- No more old nuclear weapons to reprocess, and
- Russia, China and India all had plans for 40 nuclear power plants, each, as of 2007, with rising interest in the USA as well.

I suspect if the USA produces more U than our requirements, that some of the excess will be exported to nations like India, with whom the USA has a nuclear cooperation treaty that includes U sales. The USA hopes to gain not only from sales of U to India, but also from sales of power plants as well. It appears Colorado is on the cusp of renewed U mining, but don't expect the output to be locked up in the USA.

U prices closed this week at $68.00/pound, down from $135.00/pound during the uranium bubble of 2007, and well up from the $10/pound in the early 2000's.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 01-22-2011 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,257 posts, read 3,177,257 times
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Default ...additional info on this subject.....

I have found this Thread to be of particular interest, since I spent hundreds of hours back in the 1960's calling on the mining/milling facilities in Nucla, Uravan and Naturita. ....(after having spent many hours --usually the previous day---meeting with the design engineers at Union Carbide's officies in Grand Junction)... I worked for a company that manufactured Uranium Ore Processing Equipment.

In the early 1960's, "Solvent Extraction" (SX) was the primary process used to produce "Yellow Cake", and "mixer/settler tanks" were a major requirement in the process. The company I worked for manufactured the "SX" tanks and other related equipment and piping.

Anyway.....................if you'd like to read an interesting and informative article, published in the June 29th, 2010, issue of the "SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN" magazine........... "Is it time to Restart the Uranium Industry in the U.S.?"

It is an interesting read.............

(SIDE BAR NOTE re Grand Junction, Fred Barnes & "Barnes Bullets").

I always saved some time to drop by the home of Fred Barnes... (the original founder of BARNES BULLETS) ..to replendish my supply of some of his wonderful bullets; (hand made, solid copper Jackets and devistating on big game). He always had a pot of pork&Beans cookin' on the stove and a bottle whiskey close at hand. If you were a "handloader", you always had a good visit with "good 'ole Fred". I'm near the end of my 8th decade, and still have a few of his 190 gr .308 caliber that I load up every fall for the .30-06 for elk. His 112 gr., .243 caliber loaded to max, were great for antelope and deer.

Ketch ya leter.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 01-22-2011 at 08:34 PM.. Reason: Added a link to the article, and one for Barnes Bullets.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
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Thanks Mike for adding the "links" and your kind comment........Griz
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Thanks Mike for adding the "links" and your kind comment........Griz
You're most welcome.

The uranium mining business seems to be little understood outside of the industry, though many of us are aware of how coal, gold, copper, iron ore and other minerals are extracted. I've been reading lately about some sort of acid-leaching to extract uranium, in-situ, without the need to tunnel underground as has been done is a number of instances. I'm just curious if the SX tanks you used to deal with are related to the extraction method.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
With the exception of Jazzlover, myself, and maybe one or two other people who frequent the Colorado forum, I'm willing to bet that damn few have ever spent any significant time there.
I may be included with the one or two other CD folks who have spent time in the Naturita-Uravan-Paradox Valley area. I'm a geologist although I haven't done any work with U deposits. I know several local U geologists and have been on field outings with them in that area.

Just this past week I attended a GJ Geological Society meeting where one of the old U geologists gave a talk about U in western Colorado.

I've also spent time in the area as a "tourist," riding my bike through on multi-day trips. We always manage to stay over in Naturita and we have met the nicest people there. When Ride The Rockies went through there a few years ago the town welcomed them.

A few years ago when I was there I was talking to the lady at the visitor center, they were thrilled at the prospect of the new U mill being proposed. I'm sure she was aware of the hazarous history of U mining in the area but the prospect of the economic boost was huge. That was probably around 2007 when U had a boom and there was also some other extraction activities going on. The town was bustling. The local RV park was full of workers RVs. I was there last year and the RV park was nearly empty.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
You're most welcome.

The uranium mining business seems to be little understood outside of the industry, though many of us are aware of how coal, gold, copper, iron ore and other minerals are extracted. I've been reading lately about some sort of acid-leaching to extract uranium, in-situ, without the need to tunnel underground as has been done is a number of instances. I'm just curious if the SX tanks you used to deal with are related to the extraction method.
Please be clear on the fact that I am not an engineer, or chemical process person in any sense of the imagination...............I was a Marketing, Project Management and Business Development type person (servicing the Mining & Minerals Industry)for about 36 of my almost 40 years in the Industrial Field. (I retired in '93).

I did however, adsorb and learn quite abit about various extraction processes just by having frequent contact (and discussions) with those that were in that field ...(as related to Uranium, Gold, Silver, Copper, Beryllium; Molybdenum; Cobalt; etc).

My area of responsibility was to a convince the "customer " that I represented a company that could provide a "package" (i.e. : engineer, design and fabricate) the equipment necessary to process the "pregnant liquor" (in the case of Uranium.) If my memory is correct, I remember an "In-situ" Uranium operation in Converse County, WY (Buffalo area?) that was active in the 1990's, (and I believe is still in operation). In my simple layman's terms, a leaching soultion was pumped down into the (underground) uranium bearing orebody.

This water based leaching solution dissolved the uranium, which was then pumped back to the surface as a "pregnant solution" and processed into U-308, (sometimes referred to as "Yellow-cake". Again, if I remember correctly it was then shipped (over-the-road) to a Kerr-McGee Corp., facility (in Oklahoma) for further processing. We provided the "ion-exchange columns" that were used in the first stage of processing (on-site) the pregnant liquor.
Whether "SX" units were also involved in processing this "liquor"......I cannot remember.

Some of the advantages to an in-situ operation included: no-disturbance (minimal at best) of the surface to reach the ore-body; no tailings; no tailings pond; no haul roads for transporting ore; no dust, etc, etc, etc.

Again, I certainly am no expert in this field, and take no responsibility for the accuracy of what I remember.

I might also add that driving to these mining & milling site locations (year- round) back in the 1950's provided some un-forgetable experiences. As time progressed into the '60's; 70's 80's and '90's........the access roads to these sites were improved quite a bit. I traveled to mine & mill sites in: CO; ID; MT; UT; WY; AZ; N.M.; TX......from the 11,360 foot elevation at the Climax Moly mine site........to the 157 feet elevation atGeorge West, TX., In-Situ operation for Uranium.

Great memories..............." CARPE DIEM"
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Griz, I found several U mines in WY. The Canadian firm, Cameco, operates some U mines in Converse County. One is Reynolds Ranch, about 30 miles NE of Douglas, WY and another called Smith Ranch - Highland.

Thanks for the info, all that driving around was a great way to see the country.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Griz, I found several U mines in WY. The Canadian firm, Cameco, operates some U mines in Converse County. One is Reynolds Ranch, about 30 miles NE of Douglas, WY and another called Smith Ranch - Highland.

Thanks for the info, ....>>>>*all that driving around was a great way to see the country.
*Yes, it was.............and I apologize for having digressed (in my previous post) so far from the subject of the thread.
I also commend you (and others) for showing an interest in the possible direct and indirect ramifications of revitalizing certain mining, milling and processing operations in Colorado.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:47 PM
Status: "I voted!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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I lived in Nucla / Naturita for a while back in 2004. I had never seen such a depressed, desolate area in my life! The Dolores River near there is pretty much dead from all the mining run off that has poured into it. The countryside was pretty well decimated with settling ponds and "No Trespassing" signs posted near some of the more dangerous areas by the DOE. It is absolutely criminal what the uranium companies were allowed to get away with in that region. Many of the older miners had developed cancer from their time working with the uranium.

Montrose is a 2 to 3 hour drive away over winding mountain roads and doesn't give a damn about the western part of the county. When I was there, the town of Telluride decided to dump raw sewage into the San Miguel River which contaminated crops and drinking water from Norwood on down.

Naturita certainly needs an economic boost, but the last thing it needs is more uranium mining.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Denver
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Seems to me that a good career path should be found in financial and environmentally sound management of the mine tailings.

Most of us enjoy our lives of comparative luxury...unless you live in a tee pee. We consume minerals, the earth is constructed of minerals. Now if we can extract those minerals without ruination.

I don't think mining can be done with zero impact....but to substantially lower the impact would be a worthwhile goal.

I wonder how many C-D environmentalists drive about in a giant SUV?

I have never called myself an environmentalist, they are the claim jumpers of the 21st century. I just enjoy the environment and want future generations to do the same.
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