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Continental Oil Co. and Pioneer Nuclear, Inc., began a geologic and geotechnical evaluation in 1967 on uranium properties in south Texas. Construction of a mining and milling complex began in 1971. Mine planning and design provided the starting point for field operations. Startup operations guided the early development of the mining properties. Stripping equipment began overburden removal following construction of field facilities. The first exposure of ore signaled the conversion of operations to ore control and mining. Environmental and reclamation activities are coincident with stripping and mining operations. The ore produced is shipped to the mill complex for processing. Extraction of the uranium and conversion to a "concentrate" requires crushing, grinding, leaching solvent extraction, stripping, precipitation, and drying. All activity at the mill and mine sites is monitored by state and federal agencies on a continuing basis.
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