Uranium mining: A Colorado company pumps out ore, with implications for economy and national security – by Scott Weiser (Denver Gazette – July 7, 2024)


Travis Chiotti puts a brass tag bearing his name on a hook on the “in” board before heading 1,400 feet down-shaft. It’s a pair — the other tag goes in his pocket. Just in case. Helmet, headlamp, heavy steel-toed rubber boots, emergency respirator. Check.

Mining is hard work. Simply moving around is taxing. In these wet tunnels, the slopes are steep and slippery. The mud clings, and calf-deep pools of water can trap a boot. Underground miners are a special breed. Absent the cacophony of pumps, ventilation air blasting at 140,000 cubic feet per minute, drilling, blasting, and moving rock with diesel skip loaders, the absolute silence is deafening.

And if one’s headlamp battery fails, there’s only total darkness. The miners don’t mind. They like it down there, they told The Denver Gazette one day in May.

Chiotti, a superintendent at the mine owned by a Colorado company, and his crew are at the frontlines in the battle over uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. The outcome of that battle offers all kinds of implications for Americans — jobs, energy, the environment, the economy, national security.

For the rest of this article: https://denvergazette.com/news/environment/pinyon-plain-mine-central-to-uranium-mining-controversy-in-arizona/article_35a94cda-2a75-11ef-baeb-7f8b07a1411e.html