There have been articles recently suggesting that the US needs to cut imports of uranium from Russia and encourage domestic production. I recalled a reference to uranium in one of my Karnes oil deeds and decided to poke around a bit. It turns out that there was briefly a uranium mine on the property 60 years ago.
My initial impression is that Karnes may not be best, but perhaps one of the better locations in the country if mining scales up. But uranium royalties might be small in comparison to oil. Costs and foreign competition caused most US mines to shut down over the years. One of the reports below mentions low levels of surface radiation in the area, apparently just a result of uranium in rock fairly near the surface.
This may be old news to locals, but I thought I'd share a little information I found in case some are interested. See the links below.
(you can search other areas at the above link too,
not sure how to interpret this or how reliable it is)
Having grown up in Falls City in the 60's, I had a ring side set to Uranium mining, milling, and refining, here are some famous facts:
Majority of mining was done via scraper / haulers digging a cone shaped pit down to the uranium ore where, depending on the pit's proximity to the milling and refining operations the ore was either picked up with scrapers for short hauls on private roads, or with front end loaders for transport by truck on public roads.
As could be expected, only the deposits closest to surface were mined, no draglines / shovel operations like you see in lignite mines down at Christine.
There were three milling / refining plants that I was aware of. The first was just north of the old Dewesville store location on FM1344 , now just south of the EOG Pipeline / Truck terminal. The second was on FM 791 About 3 miles from the first site, and about 7 miles from Falls City. The third was on FM 81 between Hobson and Panna Maria.
All three are now super fund sites, or close to it, and the cancer incidence rate in the area in the 70"s and 80's was always a target of class action suits
There was also an in-situ extraction technology done on acreage on FM 81 just south of Hobson the may still be active.
Interesting historical info - I am a big fan of things like this / love the local "forgotten" history.
I can only imagine what this area looked like back in the 60's and 70's before all the O&G drilling and other development that has taken place
Thanks for posting this