State Geological Survey Publishes Report On Historic Uranium Mine District

Jul 23, 2019

Subtle outcrops of the lower fine-grained member of the early Eocene Wind River Formation near Sarcophagus Butte. View is looking northeast toward the Gas Hills hogbacks.
Credit Wyoming State Geological Survey

The Wyoming State Geological Survey has released a new report about the state's most productive uranium reserve.

The Gas Hills District near Riverton produced 111 million pounds of uranium concentrate from 1954 to 1988. But mining in the district stopped because of declining uranium prices and is not currently active.

Uranium is a heavy metal mostly used in nuclear energy production. It also has military and medical uses.

Director of the Wyoming Geological Survey Erin Campbell said the report is a compilation of the history of mining, type of deposits and estimates of the remaining uranium.

"It's significant because the Gas Hills has been the most productive uranium district in Wyoming and one of the most important in the United States in terms of the amount of ore that was produced," she said.

Campbell said there are upwards of 50 million pounds of uranium unmined in the district. Uranium mining is still productive in parts of Wyoming including the Great Divide and Powder River Basins. In 2018, Wyoming produced around 43 percent of the country's uranium.