New Uranium Mine Opens in Campbell County

by Taylor Viydo, 
Crews have begun recovering uranium at a new in-situ mine in Southern Campbell County. After years of preparation, Cameco's North Butte Uranium Mine began operating on Monday. 
Construction on the mine started a year ago and the facility is a few weeks away from producing processable uranium. That uranium, which will be in a resin-form, will then be taken to Cameco's Smith Ranch Highland facility near Glenrock where it will be made into yellowcake.
The North Butte employs 54 full time workers, part Cameco employees and part drilling contractors. The mine is located in Southeastern Campbell County near the Pumpkin Buttes area.
The mine is expected to produce about 300,000 pounds of uranium by the end of 2013 and is expected to put out 700,000 pounds by 2015. 
The new mine is the first of several satellite facilities planned by Cameco. According to spokesman Ken Vaughn, the company has one mine planned for Converse County and another in the works for the Gas Hills area near the Natrona-Fremont County border. Three other mines are also planned in the Nebraska panhandle. 
"We're excited to have this new facility in operation," said Vaughn of the North Butte Mine. 
Cameco is the largest uranium producer in the US and accounts for half of the country's output. The company's Smith Ranch Highland mine is celebrating it's 25 anniversary this year and is currently the largest uranium mining operation in the US. 
According to the Wyoming State Geological Survey, Wyoming is currently the nation's leading producer of uranium ore and also holds the largest uranium reserves in the US.

In-situ Uranium wells at the North Butte mine.