Experts Say The Risk of Uranium Mining Near the Grand Canyon Is Not Worth The Reward
If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d probably never come across Canyon Mine, an active uranium mine near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. To get there, you turn off Highway 64, about 11 miles before the South Ranger Station entrance, and follow Forest Service Road 305 through a forest of ponderosa pine, pinyon, and juniper trees.
After five miles, the bumpy unpaved road ends at a metal fence with a few security cameras and “no trespassing” signs mounted on it. Canyon Mine, which is owned and operated by Energy Fuels Resources, isn’t particularly impressive from the outside. Aside from the tall green headframe, there’s a squat building, a few trucks, some rock piles, and a large black plastic-lined storage pool filled with water.
Unlike the big, hellish-looking open pit coal mines of Appalachia, uranium mines tend to leave a much smaller physical imprint on the surface of the earth. In fact, there’s a good chance that if you were visiting the Grand Canyon during the mine’s extraction phase, which is expected to start in the next few years, you’d never know anything was happening.
But Canyon Mine is just one mine. What if there were hundreds of them in the area? …Continue Reading in the Phoenix New Times