Thursday, February 21, 2008

Uranium exploration in northern Arizona heats up

Today's Tucson Daily Star carries a strongly worded editorial calling on Congress to prevent drilling for uranium by Vane Minerals in the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona. Today's Tucson Weekly similarly blasts the plans.

The company plans on drilling 8 breccia pipe targets in 2008. Seven are on Forest Service lands, the eighth is on State of Arizona school trust lands, according to Vane. [right: Vane Mineral's breccia pipe targets in northern Arizona. Black dots are Vane's targets, red are non-operating uranium mines, and orange are uranium resources held by others] The newspapers object to drilling in proximity to the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.

Vane reports they have 39 drill targets in the northern Arizona breccia pipe district based on a the technical report was prepared by SRK Consultants here in Tucson.

The breccia pipes are generally 300 feet or less in diameter, and can extend down 2,500 feet or so. [right: uranium mine in northern Arizona. Vane Minerals]

[below: surface expression of a breccia pipe. Vane Minerals]

[Disclosure: Vane Minerals Chief Operating Officer Kris Hefton serves on the Executive Committee of the Arizona Geological Society with me. I have not talked with him about this project]

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