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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 72 (1988)

Issue: 10B. (October Part B)

First Page: 391

Last Page: 396

Title: Developments in Uranium in 1987

Author(s): William L. Chenoweth (2)


Legal and political factors, imports, and low prices continued to plague the domestic uranium industry. As a result, the Secretary of Energy in 1987 declared the domestic industry to be nonviable for the third straight year. Uranium exploration expenditures in the United States declined for the ninth consecutive year. In 1987, an estimated $18 million was spent on uranium exploration, including 1.9 million ft of surface drilling. This drilling was done mainly in production areas and in areas of recent discoveries.

Production of uranium concentrate decreased slightly in 1987, when 12.5 million lb of uranium oxide (U3O8) were produced, a 7% decrease from 1986. Uranium produced from mine water, solution mining, and as the by-product of phosphoric acid and copper production accounted for about 38% of the total production in the United States. At the end of 1987, only 5 uranium mills were operating in the United States.

The large, high-grade reserves being discovered and developed in Saskatchewan will enable Canada to dominate the world market for many years. Development of the Olympic Dam deposit continued in Australia and will begin production in 1988. United States uranium production is expected to increase slightly in 1988, as a new open-pit mine begins production.

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