2016 Mining History Association Tour

 

Tours of the Colorado Plateau Uranium Country

Sponsor: Rimrocker Historical Museum,
Naturita, Colorado

Tour Leaders: Jane Thompson and
Sharon and Duane Johannsen

June 9 and 12, 2016

 

PHOTO GALLERY 4 of 4
CLICK ON A PHOTO TO DISPLAY A LARGER IMAGE

 

This wooden chute was used to convey ore from the mines above it on the canyon wall to ore wagons or trucks on the access road below.

This substantial steel ore bin near the mines on the Club Claims may date from a more recent period of uranium mining.

Ore milling at Uravan extended from the 1920s to 1984.  Plants were operated successively by the Standard Chemical Company, U. S. Vanadium Company, The Manhattan Project, and Union Carbide Corporation.  After the last plants closed, a major site cleanup was conducted under the Uranium Mill Tailings Reclamation Act (UMTRA).  All buildings, equipment, contaminated soil, and tailings were placed in engineered waste disposal areas such as the Burbank Cell shown above.

In addition to the site reclamation, the town of Uravan was fenced and closed to the public.  Only a few foundations from the mills are still visible.  Highway 141 follows the Sam Miguel River and passes the site of this historic town that produced radium, vanadium, and uranium, and played such an important role in providing strategic minerals to the World War II effort.


This matrix of photos shows the Uravan town site as it appears today.  During its final years, Mill “A” stood at the base of the cliff on the left.  Only a few foundations remain.  Mill “B” was located on the top of the cliffs.  The residential areas for the workers and their families were located in the flat areas along the banks of the San Miguel River. CLICK ON THE IMAGE for an enlarged version of the photograph. 

This map of Union Carbide’s plants and town at Uravan shows the extent of the facilities.  The viewpoint for the photograph above is near the site of the school building on the right side of the map and looks in the northwesterly direction toward the left. CLICK ON THE IMAGE for an enlarged version of the map. 

Photos courtesy of Mike Kaas

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