United States

Crow Butte Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeIn-Situ
StatusCare and Maintenance
Commodities
  • Uranium
Mining Method
  • Solution mining
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotCameco’s operations in the United States, Crow Butte and Smith Ranch-Highland, are not currently producing as the decision was made in 2016 to curtail production and defer all wellfield development. As a result of 2016 decision, commercial production at the US operations ceased in 2018.

The current operating licence for Crow Butte expires in October 2024. Efforts are underway for re-licensing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Cameco do not expect any production in 2024.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Cameco Corp. 100 % Indirect
Cameco owns 100% of Crow Butte through a wholly-owned subsidiary Crow Butte Resources, Inc.

Deposit type

  • Sandstone hosted

Summary:

The Crow Butte uranium deposit is a sandstone-type, roll-front uranium deposit, and is contained within the Chadron sandstone, at the base of the Oligocene Chadron Formation.

The Chadron uranium deposits are roll-front deposits formed by the precipitation of uranium from uranium- rich, oxidizing waters as they moved into or through a reducing aquifer. Because the uranium was transported by, and precipitated from, groundwater, an interpretation of the development of the groundwater system through geologic time has been made to identify factors controlling uranium accumulation.

Petrographic data (e.g., U-bearing matrix at grain contacts) indicate that U mineralization occurred before lithification of the sandstone. Dissolution of abundant rhyolitic volcanic ash produced U- and Si-rich ground waters that were channeled through permeable sandstones at the base of the Chadron by relatively impermeable overlying and underlying beds. The precipitation of early authigenic pyrite created a reducing environment favorable for precipitation and accumulation of U in the basal sandstone. The U has remained in a reduced state, as evidenced by the fact that the unoxidized minerals, coffinite and uraninite, comprise the bulk of the ore. At least some U and V remain bound to amorphous volcanic material and/or smectite rather than existing as discrete mineral phases.

The Chadron sandstone, which hosts the Crow Butte deposit, consists of coarse-grained, cross-bedded sandstone, with thin lenses of gravel-size conglomerate and interbedded clay layers. The sandstone is composed of 65% quartz, 25% feldspar and 10% rock fragments. The sediments also contain up to 30% air-fall ash in places.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits201720162015
All production numbers are expressed as U3O8.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Sep 7, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Aug 19, 2022
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 29, 2024

EmployeesYear
...... Subscription required 2015

Aerial view:

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