A new uranium source has been found near the Grand Canyon. It is expected that a decision will be made soon by federal officials regarding mining the Uranium. Critics of the plan are warning that mining the Uranium could lead to high levels of pollution that will destroy water supply in the region.
The decision to allowing mining is thought to be made in the months to come. The Commerce and Interior Departments have had thoughts about changing the classification of Uranium to a mineral that would have a critical status.
This would allow mining of the mineral to proceed without anything standing in its way.
Reclassifying would allow for an increase of Uranium mining on a national level.
President Trump is actually in favor of trying to mine the Uranium near the Grand Canyon. Critics of the plan are trying to stop the idea from becoming a reality. Many critics fear that if mining is allowed near the Grand Canyon that it could damage the environment for generations to come.
They also believe that it could harm the fragile park that so many people come to each year.
Amber Reimondo, who is the energy program director at the Grand Canyon Trust, has stated, “It’s not a secret that uranium mining companies have pined after the Grand Canyon for a long time. The last time there was a uranium price spike in 2007, over 10,000 mining claims were filed.” Profit is undoubtedly the reason so many mining claims were filed.
Many critics believe that the approval to mine near the Grand Canyon could have an impact on the 2020 election. Arizona has become a hot spot for Republicans and Democrats as the state could be a deciding factor in the White House races and control of the Senate. Each political party has taken sides. The Democrats have sided with the environmentalists and the Republicans are pointing out the potential for many new jobs in the area.
The final step that is needed before mining can start is the approval of the President. He must approve a petition that was filed in 2018 by two uranium producers that would essentially set up a 25 percent purchasing quota on uranium mined in the United States. President Trump is expected to make a decision in July.
Right now the uranium at the Grand Canyon proposed mining site is considered to be a very high-grade material. The price for uranium is currently down. The approval to start mining would actually help uranium miners because it would require national companies to buy from their local dealers.
Sandy Bahr, who represents the Sierra Club, has stated, “The companies have been pushing for a number of things to get the prices up, like including uranium in the list of critical minerals. It is definitely an effort by companies like Energy Fuels — which has lands around the Grand Canyon — to get those uranium prices.” She has also mentioned, “There s no royalty on hard rock mineral. There is almost nothing that is returned to the public from these mines on public lands.”
Paul Goranson, who is the COO of Energy Fuels, has stated, “Uranium has always been a key part of our national security organization and priorities. We built the massive Manhattan Project to take that material for military uses and nuclear power generation — we think it aligns.”
The approval of the petition would open up 1 million acres of land to uranium mining. It is estimated that there are 326 million pounds of uranium at the proposed mining site.
This definitely would have a major impact on the economy as new jobs would be created. Officials believe that 1,180 new jobs could be created if the petition is approved by the White House.
Critics claim that the United States has enough uranium that comes from allies. However, the Trump administration has been pushing for America to be independent of foreign aid for fuel consumption. The opening of the new mine would be a large step in America producing all of its own fuel and energy needs.