Poison Canyon Uranium Mines – Grants, New Mexico

New Mexico has the second-largest known reserves of uranium in the United States and most of the ore is contained in the sandstone of the Morrison Formation and in the Todilto limestone in Jackpile, Poison Canyon and Westwater Canyon.

I like travelling to Poison Canyon to look for beautiful samples of Tyaumanite.  Poison canyon is located 20 miles northwest of Grants, New Mexico near Mount Taylor.

The Grants uranium district extends from east of Laguna to west of Gallup and may be one of the top four areas for historic world production of uranium behind East German, the Athabasca Basin in Canada and South Africa.  Between 1951 and 1989 the Grants uranium district produced more uranium than any other district in the United States.

In 1951 the first uranium ore was discovered in the Morrison Formation in a 55-foot thick layer of sandstone at the top known as Poison Canyon Sandstone.

The uranium deposits in Poison Canyon and the Ambrosia Lake district are located in the most folded and faulted part of the south side of the San Juan Basin in a part of the basin that is sometimes called the Chaco slope.  The largest fold in the region is called the McCartys syncline.  The Todilto folds indicate that they originated from regional processes instead of local.