EG-11 Promises and Problems of a “New” Uranium Mining Method: In Situ Solution Mining


Promises and problems of a “new” uranium mining method: in situ solution mining. 21 pages. 5 figures. 4 tables. Digital PDF download. EG-11D

This study was a cooperative investigation conducted by the CGS and funded by a U.S. Geological Survey Grant on the Study of Environmental Impact of Energy Resource Development in the Denver Basin, Colorado. It was presented at the 5th Governor’s Conference on Environmental Geology held in Grand Junction from October 9-12, 1979.

As technology advances and the economy changes, new mining methods are researched and developed by industry and the Federal government. Planners may encounter situations where industry wishes to utilize a new, unfamiliar mining technique to recover a mineral resource. Many of these methods offer considerable socio-economic and environmental advantages over conventional mining and milling techniques. Other of these methods, however, may result in significant impacts that concern planners. This paper describes only one of these methods, in situ solution mining, which is a relatively old technique that recently has been successfully used to extract uranium. This report presents the mining and processing techniques, wastes and effluents, waste disposal and control, monitoring programs, environmental effects of accidents, and restoration.