Science for Decision Making on Uranium Mining in Arizona

Arizona 1 Mine

The Arizona 1 Mine is located in the Arizona Strip (the area of Arizona north of the Colorado River), approximately 35 miles south of Fredonia, and 8 miles west of Kanab Creek, in Mohave County.

The mine was near full development in 1992, but did not produce any uranium ore1. In 2009 the Arizona 1 Mine began mining operations2 and by 2012 it had produced approximately 765,000 pounds of uranium oxide3. No ore processing is conducted on site, rather the ore is shipped to a mill near Blanding, Utah 4.

Soil, plant, and animal samples were collected in 2014-2015 to characterize chemical and radiochemical concentrations after active mining but before reclamation. Soil samples were collected in 2018 to characterize post-mining infiltration and chemical characteristics of the shallow subsurface (the unsaturated zone). Other studies include environmental DNA to help identify species in contact with detention pond water, acoustic studies to characterize bat and amphibian species using the detention pond, and ongoing dust monitoring. A water supply well for the Arizona 1 and Pinenut mines has been periodically sampled since 2009. Additional sampling may take place once reclamation is complete.

Currently (2020) the mine is on standby status.

Mine Location

Mine Site Maps 20200921 Arizona1 sm

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Arizona1 lg little

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Base map images are the intellectual property of Esri and are used herein under license. Copyright © 2016 Esri and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Activities

Activities listed below are scientific research studies occurring at this site. Studies within the Grand Canyon region are grouped by theme and each theme has specific tasks (referenced by task number).

The View Activity button below each task will open a separate window with detailed activity information.

Biology

Analyze Ecological Risk of Contaminant Concentrations at Breccia Pipe Uranium Mines

  • GCSP Tasks: 15
  • Status: Completed

 

Characterizing Vegetation Communities at Breccia Pipe Deposits through the Mine Life Cycle

  • GCSP Tasks: 7a
  • Status: Ongoing

 

Environmental DNA at Mine and at Reference Locations

  • GCSP Tasks: 7a
  • Status: Completed

 

Exposure Characterization in Plants and Animals through the Mine Life Cycle

 

Migratory Bird Surveys

  • GCSP Tasks: 5a
  • Status: Ongoing

 

Mine Utilization by Bats and Amphibians

  • GCSP Tasks: 5a , 7a
  • Status: Ongoing

Soil

Characterize Aeolian Transport across the Mine Life Cycle

  • GCSP Tasks: 11
  • Status: Ongoing

 

Characterize Element Mobility and Bioavailability in Soil Samples

 

Characterize Surface Radiation and Soil and Dust Chemistry through the Mine Life Cycle

 

Quantify Water and Uranium Movement in the Unsaturated Zone at Sites through the Mine Life Cycle

Water

Investigating Potential Impacts from Uranium Mining on Grand Canyon Regional Groundwater Resources

Aerial Images

1992

Az1 1992

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Base map data from Google, U.S. Geological Survey, 1992.

2015

Az1 2015

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Base map data from Google, 2015.

2019

Arizona1 2019

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Base map data from Google, 2019.


Sources:

1 Otton, J.K., and Van Gosen, B.S., 2010, Uranium resource availability in breccia pipes in northern Arizona, Chapter A in Alpine, A.E., ed., Hydrological, geological, and biological site characterization of breccia pipe uranium deposits in northern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5025, p. 23-41

2 U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 2012, Northern Arizona mineral withdrawal—Final environmental impact statement

3 Pool, T.C., and Ross D.A., 2012, Technical report on the Arizona strip uranium project, Arizona, U.S.A.: NI 43-101 Report prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. for Energy Fuels Inc., 119 p.

4 Alpine, Andrea E., ed., 2010, Hydrological, geological, and biological site characterization of breccia pipe uranium deposits in northern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010—5025, 353 p., 1 pl., scale 1:375,000