Our Nose Rock project is situated on 6,400 acres in west-central New Mexico, about 45 miles northeast of the town of Gallup and 94 miles northwest of the city of Albuquerque. It is the former site of an extensive underground uranium development program, carried out by the minerals department of Phillips Petroleum, who abandoned the project during the early 1980’s uranium price down-turn. The project is north of the generally accepted northern boundary of the Grants mineral belt. Access to the project area is quite good, as New Mexico State highway 371 passes within six miles.
We control extensive mineral rights at the Nose Rock project, covering an area of approximately 6,400 acres, which we own outright. Our mineral rights are situated in sections 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, and 31, Township 19 north, Range 11 West, McKinley County, New Mexico. The surface estate over our deeded mineral rights is owned in fee by the Navajo nation. There is no meaningful infrastructure present at the project.
Access to the project area is quite good, as New Mexico State highway 371 passes within six miles, and Tribal highway 9, which connects with highway 371 is within three miles of the southern boundary of the project. A paved access road connects the project with Tribal highway 9.
The uranium deposits at the Nose Rock project were discovered by geologists of the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1973 after a careful analysis of geologic characteristics of mineral discoveries along the western end of the Grants mineral belt. Prior to the discovery of the Nose Rock mineral system there were no uranium deposits known to exist in the general area. Phillips drilled more than 3,000 holes to define the mineralization prior to undertaking an extensive development program at Nose Rock. The development program included the construction of an extensive surface support facility, as well as developing three shafts, each with depths exceeding 3,200 feet below the surface. The project was abandoned in the early 1980’s, because of the uranium market downturn, and no commercial amounts of uranium were ever produced from the site.
The uranium deposits at the Nose Rock project are hosted within sandstone units of the Westwater Canyon Member of the Jurassic-age Morrison Formation. Much of the mineralization at Nose Rock appears to be concentrated in ‘‘C’’ or crescent-shaped rolls that are reminiscent of the ‘‘classical’’ roll fronts of the Wyoming Basins and South Texas uranium province, but the Nose Rock features are of a larger scale. The nature and origin of the mineralization at Nose Rock remains a matter of debate.
Environmental and Permits
Although Phillips carried out biological and cultural resource studies of the project area, we have not expanded upon that earlier work, and we do not hold any permits for either drilling or uranium recovery at the project.
Situated within the San Juan Basin, and at a depth ranging from 3,000 to nearly 3,900 feet below the surface, there is a considerable volume of groundwater present in the deposit. Control of this groundwater will be a key to efficiently developing the project.