Grand Canyon Mine Halted Due to Financial Restraints

    November 6, 2013
    Sarah Parrott
    Comments are off for this post.

The Grand Canyon is perhaps best known for its role as an amazing, awe-inspiring sight of nature’s beauty and power, a beautiful American landmark that brings flocks of tourists (and their wallets) to areas that might not otherwise have a chance at much revenue. A lesser-known aspect of the Grand Canyon, however, is the multiple mining projects that go on around the national landmark. Such endeavors are proving to be less profitable than is ideal, however, as one mining company has decided to halt its endeavors in the grand canyon due to financial restraints.

A uranium mining company, in the midst of sinking a shaft for a mine just south of the Grand Canyon National Park, put its work on hold due to “market conditions and the expense of litigation.” The company, Energy Fuels Resources Inc, stated that the project will be halted until December of 2014, over a year from now, or “until a ruling is issued in a federal case challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to allow development of the Canyon Mine near Tusayan.” The company had previously stated that they planned to extract 83,000 tons of ore to create 1.6 million pounds of processed uranium (“yellow cake”), but the time frame will now need re-evaluating in the face of halted production.

Financial restraints might not be the only reason the mine has been halted, however. A local Native american tribe and multiple conservation groups have been working to halt the mine’s production for years, saying that the mine posed “potential harm to waters and wildlife of Grand Canyon, as well as cultural resources.” This constant backlash, as well as record-low prices for yellow cake uranium, have finally condemned the mine to a stand-still until some compromises can be met.

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club was quoted as saying, “Obviously this is an indication that it doesn’t look good from an economic perspective. We obviously think that it has never looked good from an environmental perspective. It would be nice if they would also recognize that aspect of it and make the shutdown permanent.” With prices low and the backlash strong, it seems like this mine may soon meet a permanent end.

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]
  • Donald West

    The GRAND Canyon is a PUBLIC park. Saving it was one of the best ideas America has come up with. Who the hell allowed anyone to even think about mining there!? I’d like to see names and faces of who are responsible and brought to justice.

  • Ken Sagorski

    The story is overblown. The proposed mine is not IN the Grand Canyon or IN Grand Canyon National Park; the mine is south of the National Park boundaries. I believe in truth in advertising and truth in reporting; this article is just sensationalism.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Michael S.

    There shouldn’t be any drilling in the Grand Canyon.That place is sacred,& belongs to the Earth,not the people that live on it.

    • Mike

      The Grand Canyon does not “belong to the Earth”. Nothing belongs to the Earth, because the Earth is a ball of rock (molten and solid) and isn’t alive. Anthropomorphism (the ascribing of human characteristics to animals, plants, and now, rocks) is delusional.

  • jwyoming

    Eco Nuts never have figured out where milk comes from let alone how to make a living with your two hands. They depend on government handouts and grants. The Indians quoted here are only looking to get a bigger cut from the mine. They don’t oppose it they just want more for their share.

  • Mike

    The hypocrisy of environmentalists has no bounds. The environmentalists I know all enjoy a wonderful standard of living, made possible by technology and industry. Yet they spend their lives destroying that which sustains them.

  • http://yahoo charlie thibodeau

    Why did the state give the minning company a permit to mine anything in the canyon in the first place? Fools.