Uranium Development in Colorado

sixcageyMechanics

Feb 22, 2014 (7 years and 8 months ago)

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By:

Frank Filas, P.E.

Environmental Manager

Energy Fuels Resources Corporation

44 Union Blvd., Suite 600

Lakewood, Colorado 80228











Uranium Development in Colorado
and Potential Water Impacts

1

2

Uravan Mineral Belt

Morrison Formation Uranium

and Vanadium Deposits

3

In
-
Place Uranium/Vanadium Resource

Salt Wash Sandstone


Morrison Formation

Mining

Dry Mine:

7 gallons per ton of ore mined

(200 tpd mine consumes 350,000 gallons per year)

Wet Mine:

Discharge of 10 to 100 gpm of treated mine water

(Pump, treat and discharge 5 to 50 million gallons per year)

Milling

Piñon Ridge Mill:

415 gallons per ton of ore milled

(500 tpd mill consumes 73 million gallons of water per
year)

Impacts from Water Consumption

4

Mining


Site run
-
off and mine water discharge may contain elevated
concentrations of metals and radionuclides; especially uranium,
radium
-
226, arsenic and selenium


Mining may result in groundwater impacts; however, groundwater is
typically of poor quality prior to mining

Milling


Mill process and waste solutions have low pH levels and very elevated
concentrations of radionuclides and metals. A release of these solutions
could impact surface and groundwater systems.

Potential Water Quality Impacts

5

Mine Operation


Surface facilities are sited to avoid drainages, streams, wetlands and other water features


Mine water treated prior to discharge to meet State standards


Off
-
site water diverted around the mine site


On
-
site precipitation and run
-
off is collected in a sedimentation basin


Ore pad is typically lined and designed as a zero
-
discharge facility

Mine Closure


All mines in Colorado are fully bonded for reclamation


Surface facilities are demolished, regraded,
topsoiled

and seeded


Underground workings are sealed in accordance with best management practices to
prevent intermingling of aquifers

o
Dry mine practices

o
Wet mine practices

Water Quality Protection

Measures at Mines

6

7

Whirlwind Mine

Near Gateway, Colorado

8

Mill Operation


Current mill siting standards require a remote location away from rivers, streams and shallow
aquifers


Mills are designed as zero
-
discharge facilities


Processing tanks, equipment and piping are designed with secondary containment and leak detection


Wastewater impoundments have multiple liner systems and leak collection and recovery systems


All precipitation and run
-
off on mill sites is contained and used on
-
site or treated and discharged

Mill Closure


All mills are fully bonded for site closure and reclamation


All contaminated materials are placed in a tailings cell and covered with a soil cover designed to
resist erosion


Funding for long
-
term care and maintenance is provided to the DOE by the mill operator

Water Quality Protection

Measures at Mills

9

Typical Liner System

10

Piñon Ridge Mill

11

Reclaimed Uravan Mill

12


Uranium mining will have limited impact on water consumption
and use


Uranium milling will have a larger impact on water consumption
and use but also will provide substantial quantities of uranium and
vanadium for power generation and industrial use


Mining impacts to surface and groundwater are minimized
through modern mine and reclamation design practices


Milling impacts to surface and groundwater are minimized
through proper siting, secondary containment measures, and
comprehensive closure and reclamation

Summary