Wednesday, October 14, 2015

National Monument bill aimed at preventing mining in northern Arizona

 Tucson congressman Raul Grijalva introduced legislation to put 1.7 million acres in northern Arizona off limit to mineral exploration and mining by creating the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument.  [Right, credit, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council]

In a news interview, Rep. Grijalva admitted the bill has no chance of passage in the House and likely won't even get a hearing but he hopes President Obama will intervene and use the Antiquities Act to declare a national monument without requiring congressional approval.

The land proposal had previously been called the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

Northern Arizona hosts a huge uranium resource, mostly in breccia pipe deposits.   A recent study by AZGS found that the number of breccia pipes and consequent  uranium resources are likely to be at least 10 times greater than previous studies.

A report released last week by the US Dept. of Energy's Energy Information Administration revealed that US nuclear energy producers doubled the amount of uranium they bought from Kazahkstan last year, while US sources dropped dramatically.

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