Asked Questions Related
- What is uranium?
- Uranium is the heaviest naturally-occurring chemical element and it
is radioactive, which means that this element, when concentrated, is
capable of producing energy. Uranium is a hard, dense, silver-gray metal
in concentrated form.
- Where does uranium occur in the natural envrionment?
- Most rocks contain trace amounts of uranium (bulk concentrations on
the order of 2 to 4 parts per million), however, uranium is not distributed
uniformly through rocks, but tends to be concentrated in certain minerals.
Some common accessory minerals in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary
rocks, such as apatite and zircon, contain 2 to 1000 ppm uranium. Ore
minerals like pitchblende,
a variety of uraninite, uraninite (85 per cent uranium), carnotite, autunite,
uranophane, and tobernite have uranium concentrations that are high enough
to be economically mined. In addition, uranium can also be recovered
in commercial quantities from coal and monazite sands. Uranium also occurs
naturally in surface and ground water and in the ocean.
- Where does uranium mineralization occur in the
state of New Mexico?
- Uranium districts are shown in red on this map of the mining districts
in the state of New Mexico. Most uranium deposits in New Mexico are found
in sandstones of the Jurassic Morrison Formation and the Jurassic Todilto
(click to download a 619 Kb PDF of this
Virginia McLemore discusses
of uranium exploration and production in New Mexico in the 2002 Decision
- Where can I find additional information about uranium
mineralization in New Mexico?
- The following publications are
available through the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources:
- Resource Map 18. Uranium resources in New Mexico,
by V. T. McLemore and W. L. Chenoweth, 1989, 36 p. text, 1 sheet,
- Open-File Report 353. Uranium mines and deposits
in the Grants district, Cibola and McKinley Counties, New Mexico,
by V. T. McLemore and W. L. Chenoweth, 1992, 22 p., 2 tables, 1
fig., 7 sheets, 1:24,000 scale maps
- Open-File Report 461. Database of uranium mines,
prospects, occurrences and mills in New Mexico, by V.T. McLemore,
K. Donahue, C.B.. Krueger, A. Rowe, L. Ulbricht, M.L. Jackson,
M.R. Breese, G. Jones, and M. Wilks, 2002, CD-ROM.
- Where can I find geophysical logs for wells intersecting
- These logs are in the Petroleum
Records library at the NMBG&MR.