Uranium producers say Grand Canyon will not be mined
Reports have surfaced in the American media in recent weeks suggesting that the Trump administration would support the development of uranium projects near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. In 2012 the Obama government placed a 20-year embargo on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon National Park.
As such, Joe Biden, the Democrat nominee for this November’s elections, has stated that he would shut down any projects being considered in the park.
In response, the Uranium Producers of America went a step further, releasing a statement on 20 August to say that none of the companies that it represents have any plans to mine in the Grand Canyon.
“We wish to state in no uncertain terms that nobody – including the US uranium industry who we represent – is advocating to open the Grand Canyon National Park to uranium mining.”
The statement added that there were two existing uranium mines in northern Arizona, and a few more mines had been proposed, but that “[t]he proposed mines will only be permitted to proceed in accordance with today's stringent environmental standards. There are important differences between uranium mining from 50-plus years go and what we do in 2020”.
The profile of the American uranium industry has fallen in recent decades. Until the 1980s the country was the world's largest producer; but since then it has relied on imports to meet an ever greater share of its need. In recent years these imports have come from geopolitical foes, mainly Russia and China, and so developing the domestic uranium industry is becoming a strategi priority for the US government.