URANIUM DEPOSITS OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU
There are thousands of uranium occurrences in the ~200k mile2 area of the Colorado Plateau, which is the richest uranium province in the U.S. The Plateau has been explored and mined for uranium since the mid-1940s and has a high potential for additional uranium resources. Uranium has been mined in the Plateau by conventional underground and open pit methods and was primarily used as fuel to power domestic nuclear reactors. Although, due to poor economic conditions, there has been no uranium mined in the Plateau since 2016, the region hosts the only active uranium mill in the U.S. and exploration activity has recently increased in response to rising prices and global demand.
Most of the uranium in the region is contained within sandstone-hosted deposits, with most production coming from the Triassic Chinle Formation and Jurassic Morrison Formation. Other notable uranium deposits that have been mined within the Plateau occur in solution-collapse breccia pipes in northwestern Arizona. Vanadium commonly accompanies uranium in these deposits and has been intermittently recovered for use in steel production with potential future use in redox flow batteries. Additional research on the characteristics and extent of uranium deposits in the Plateau is currently being advanced through the continued collection of data for the USMIN project.