Canyon Uranium Mine

The Canyon Mine is a uranium mine located about 6 miles southeast of the town of Tusayan on the Tusayan Ranger District. The entire mine site is about 17 acres in size. 

Current Status:

On Nov. 5, 2013, Energy Fuels Resources (EFR) advised the Forest Service of its intent to put shaft sinking operations on standby at Canyon Mine.

There is significant existing infrastructure at the site including a head-frame, hoist and a partially-sunk shaft. There is no estimated date on when ore production will occur at the mine.

Uranium:

There are approximately 1,629,000 lbs. of U3O8 at Canyon, contained in 82,800 tons of inferred resource at an average grade of 0.98% U3O8. Uranium deposits are located within northern Arizona breccia pipes, which are vertical cylindrical bodies of broken sedimentary rock. Over the past half century, there has been intense interest in these uranium resources. Uranium is managed as a locatable mineral on federal land including National Forests. For locatable mineral policy and additional information on Forest Service Minerals and Geology Management, please visit  www.fs.fed.us/geology

Mineral Withdrawal and Valid Existing Rights:

Canyon Mine is located within the area segregated in 2009 and then ultimately withdrawn in the Northern Arizona Withdrawal process by the Secretary of Interior on January 9, 2012. Mining claims at the Canyon Mine were evaluated by U.S. Forest Service mineral examiners with regard to valid existing rights under the 1872 Mining Law, due to the segregation and withdrawal. This mineral examination, completed on April 18, 2012, confirmed the existence of valid existing rights.

Canyon Mine Review:

In 2012, the Kaibab National Forest completed a review of the Canyon Mine Plan of Operations and all other associated approval documentation. That review was completed June 25, 2012.  

Background Information:

In October 1984, Energy Fuels Nuclear submitted a proposed Plan of Operations to mine uranium from the Canyon claims. The U.S. Forest Service completed an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the plan, including significant comment and input from federally recognized tribes. The final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision were issued on September 29, 1986, approving the Plan of Operations with modifications. Mine site surface preparation activities began in late 1986. Appeals of this decision were made to the Southwestern Regional Forester and the Chief of the Forest Service, who both affirmed the Forest Supervisor’s decision. The Havasupai Tribe and others then sued over this decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The District Court ruled for the U.S. Forest Service on all counts, and a subsequent appeal was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the District Court on August 16, 1991. In 1992, due to the economic downturn in the price of uranium, the Canyon Mine was put into standby status. 

The head-frame of Canyon Uranium Mine on the Tusayan Ranger District
 
The Energy Fuels Resources sign at the front gate of Canyon Uranium Mine.