Paper No. 30-3
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM
THE GEOLOGY AND POTENTIAL OF UTAH’S SEDIMENT-HOSTED URANIUM-VANADIUM DEPOSITS IN THE AGE OF CRITICAL MINERALS AND CARBON NEUTRALITY
Utah is the second largest vanadium producer and the third largest uranium producer historically in the United States, almost exclusively from deposits in the Colorado Plateau, southeastern Utah. Commercial mining for radioactive deposits started around 1900, and the discovery of the Mi Vida mine in Utah’s Lisbon Valley mining district in 1952 was the trigger for the uranium exploration rush in the Colorado Plateau from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. Overall, Utah has produced an estimated 122 million lbs U3O8 and 136 million lbs V2O5 since 1904, and modern resources identify approximately 12.6 million tons of ore containing nearly 50 million lbs U3O8 and over 58 million lbs V2O5 remaining (Mills and Jordan, 2021). With the onset of a new era of mining focused on critical minerals and developing strong domestic mineral supply chains as well as carbon neutral solutions to energy production, the uranium and vanadium deposits of southeastern Utah have been receiving renewed attention and exploration focus. Increased awareness of the mineralization and regional potential calls for a review of modern updates to the traditional sediment-hosted uranium-vanadium mineralization models, current exploration and resources in the Colorado Plateau, and the environmental and economic considerations of mining restarts in these historical mining districts.
Mills, S.E. and Jordan, B., 2021, Uranium and vanadium resources of Utah—an update in the era of critical minerals and carbon neutrality: Utah Geological Survey Open-File Report 735, 26 p., 1 appendix, https://doi.org/10.34191/OFR-735.