Mining could mean millions to area
Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2013
In a nearly packed room, representatives from the Dewey-Burdock project, as well as leading researchers from the School of Mines and the United States Geological Survey (UCGS), discussed PowerTech’s mining operation, located northwest of Edgemont near the Wyoming border.
Uranium, a heavy, natural — yet, unstable — element can be found in the ground, seawater and in the Earth’s crust. Yellowcake, the powdery product from uranium, would be harvested from the site and used for nuclear power, medical isotopes, smoke detectors, luminous watch dials, military armor and counterweights on ships.
“Uranium is the most powerful energy source,” said Dr. James Monro, Ph.D. and P.E. with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. “It is two million times more powerful than chemical engineering and it leaves a small footprint since there are no carbon dioxide emissions.”
Monro said the United States will need 26 percent more electricity between now and 2030, something that uranium mining can help fulfill.
“One uranium pellet the size of the tip of your little finger is the same as 149 gallons of oil or 1,780 pounds of coal,” he said. “The substance would be shipped in 55-gallon drums and would be shipped for further processing.”
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