Vanadium Queen Uranium Mine


[img src=]1120View of the Vanadium Queen mine from SR 46
[img src=]280View of the Vanadium Queen mine from SR 46
[img src=]370road up to the mine
[img src=]390Mining Artifacts
[img src=]310Mining Artifacts
[img src=]110Mining Artifacts
[img src=]110Mining Artifacts
[img src=]120View
[img src=]190Almost there, a little closer view
[img src=]230a sign that we are not alone
[img src=]110We are being watched from above
[img src=]100We are being watched from above
[img src=]260Warning sign
[img src=]240Ore Dump
[img src=]190Birds eye view from the mine
[img src=]110Birds eye view from the Mine
[img src=]190Ore Piling
[img src=]180Ore Piling
[img src=]160Ore Piling
[img src=]160Ore Piling
[img src=]160Vanadium Queen Shop
[img src=]160Vanadium Queen Shop
[img src=]170mining artifact
[img src=]170View of the Portal
[img src=]170View of the Shop from the Mine entrance
[img src=]160Getting closer to the entrance/portal
[img src=]140closeup of the entrance
[img src=]130Timbers above the portal
[img src=]110night shot of what lies inside....
[img src=]140Just inside the Portal is a gate blocking the entry
[img src=]130another shot of the interior of the portal
[img src=]140The Mine Shop
[img src=]140The Mine shop
[img src=]120Inside the Mine shop
[img src=]120Inside the Mine shop
[img src=]100Inside the Mine shop
[img src=]160Inside the Mine shop
[img src=]110Inside the Mine shop
[img src=]110Miner?
[img src=]120What tools go where?
[img src=]110Electrical artifacts
[img src=]100Electrical artifacts
[img src=]110Artifacts
[img src=]120mining Artifacts
[img src=]100Mining Artifacts
[img src=]110Perfect view to finish a hard day of Uranium/Vanadium mining!

The Vanadium Queen isn’t the bustling, Uranium mine it once was but it’s still a sight worth reckoning, It’s been idle for sometime and you have to cross private property to get there, so a hike was necessary to see what it’s been up to lately.  Upon arrival I could still hear the dynamite exploding and the ore truck running and all the life that went on around this mine. not unlike holding a sea shell up to your ear and still being able to hear the waves.  Although there wasn’t a miner in sight and all the grasses and shrubs have taken over the once cleared sight it’s still a piece of history worth sharing! below is a burger king commercial that was filmed in it and below that is a little more information on it.

The Vanadium Queen mine (pi. 12) is in sec. 29, T.
28 S., R. 26 E., about 11 miles east of La Sal, Utah.
The portals, on La Sal Creek Canyon about a third of a
mile northeast of the confluence of La Sal and Twomile
Creeks, are reached by a half mile of truck trail that
connects with Utah State Highway 46 at the stream
The Vanadium Queen claim was originally staked on
July 16, 1931, by Messrs. L. H. Couchman and H. W.
Balsley of Moab, Utah. The property was later acquired
by Mr. Abe Day of Moab, Utah, who relocated
the Vanadium Queen claim and staked 11 additional
claims from a block 3,000 feet wide and 3,600 feet long.
The Vanadium Queen Nos. 1-12 claims were drilled in
the summer of 1953 by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The mine workings, at that time, were those nearest the
outcrop on the Vanadium Queen No. 1 claim. Mining
activity had stopped because an exploratory drift bearing
northeast penetrated a thick layer of dark-green
mudstone that marked the edge of the ore-bearing
sandstone lens.
Mining was resumed after the discovery of ore by
drilling beyond the mudstone layer. In 1954 the property
was sold to Mr. Don Danvers of San Antonio, Tex.,
and in 1955 it became the property of the Vanadium
Queen Mining Corp., for whom Mr. Joe Pitts of Grand
Junction, Colo.,was mine supervisor.
The Vanadium Queen deposit is in the uppermost continuous
Salt Wash sandstone, commonly referred to as
the ore-bearing sandstone (see p. 12). Drill-hole data
from around the mine show that the ore-bearing sandstone
ranges in thickness from 20 to 87 feet. In plan
the group of deposits trend northeast and lie close to
the axis of the La Sal Creek syncline but are oriented
obliquely to it. The deposits extend along a low depression
at the base of the ore-bearing sandstone. This
depression is a sedimentary feature independent of tectonic
structures and represents a local channel scoured
by a Salt Wash stream into the underlying mudstone
prior to deposition of the ore-bearing sandstone.
All three workings of the mine are connected by a
single haulage drift. The main drift is about 550
feet long and varies in trend from N. 50° E. at the portal
to about due north at the innermost workings.
The outer workings are the largest and oldest of the
mine and are in the area around mine portals 1, 2, and
3. These workings comprise a maze of drifts and rooms
that extend northwest and southeast of the main drift.
Part of the workings are caved and were not mapped.
The workings ‘cover an area about 510 feet long and
about 160 feet wide at its widest point and have an
arcuate trend from northwest-southeast to northeastsouthwest.
The arcuate shape of the deposit and the
trends of sedimentary features suggest that the deposit
may be contained in a lenticular sandstone that was deposited
in a channel meander.
The sandstone in the outer workings is light brown
to light gray and consists of medium- to fine-grained
quartz and minor accessory minerals. With the exception
of the red and green mudstone at the portal and
the dark-gray mudstone unit in the main drift (pi. 12,
section A-A’} and in the east end of the working (pi.
12, section B-B’}, mudstone is sparse and is limited
chiefly to thin seams and films.
The dark-gray mudstone lens exposed in the main
drift is considered important in reconstructing the
order of sedimentation in the Vanadium Queen mine
area and may be a factor affecting ore emplacement.
Section A-A’ (pi. 12), measured along the main haulageway,
shows that the mudstone fills a scour cut in
sandstone. This mudstone is also exposed farther east
in the back of the middle workings where it overlies
the same sandstone unit, but at a higher stratigraphic
level. In the main haulageway the base of the mudstone
swings downward toward the portal at an angle
of 17°. The sandstone lens disappears in the floor of
the drift and mudstone is exposed along the wall for
a distance of 70 feet. The mudstone unit, in turn, is
truncated on the west by another sandstone body. The
mudstone lens may have been cut or scoured by a locally
degrading stream, probably a stream at flood
stage. This stream is marked by a small terrace that
has been cut in the mudstone at the contact. These
exposures indicate that at least five distinct episodes of
sedimentation and scouring are recorded within this
part of the mine: (1) deposition of the inner (middle
workings) sandstone, (2) scour by stream action, (3)
deposition of mudstone, (4) scour by stream action,
and (5) deposition of outer (outer workings) sandstone.
The dark-gray mudstone exposed in the main drift
also occurs near the back in the eastern end of the outer
workings (pi. 12, section B’-B”} and in the middle
workings. The basal contact of the mudstone is stratigraphically
higher than in the main drift. The mudstone
rests on a sandstone lens that is continuous with
the deeply scoured sandstone of the middle workings.
Both the sandstone unit and the gray mudstone overlying
it have been scoured and are in contact with the
same sandstone lens that truncates the gray mudstone
in the main haulageway. The trend of the contact of
this scour is indicated by the location of the edge of
the gray mudstone ~(pl. 12) –
Sedimentary features, such as crossbedding, ripple
marks, and stream lineation (pi. 12), indicate that
although the general channel direction was N. 70°-80°
E., local meanders were widely divergent from the
major trend. This same general channel direction was
determined in the Firefly-Pigmay and Gray Daun mines
and is confirmed by information from drill holes northeast
of the Vanadium Queen mine.
The dark-gray mudstone may have been an impermeable
barrier to mineral-rich solutions. If so, the
solutions moving through the ore-bearing sandstone
were deflected around the flanks or trapped by the mudstone
lens. The elongate ore bodies and long axes of
the ore rolls (pi. 12) generally parallel the margin of
the mudstone lens and also the scour-and-fill features
observed in the adjacent sandstone. Similar associations
of mudstone lenses and ore bodies can be observed
elsewhere in the mine.
The ore bodies of the outer workings occur as tabular
blanketlike bodies and as pods and rolls. The blanket
ore bodies are as much as 180 feet long and 80 feet wide.
Some of the rolls are as much as 30 feet long. The ore
in the outer workings is considerably oxidized and rich
in disseminated carnotite, which with roscoelite and
vanadium hydromica impart a greenish color to the ore.
Roscoelite and vanadium hydromica are the principal
vanadium minerals. The proximity of the deposits to
the outcrop and their location above the water table
explain the high degree of oxidation. Very sparse
amounts of malachite and azurite occur as spots or
“buttons” in one place on the drift walls. Carbonaceous
wood is sparse in the outer workings where it occurs
in barren mudstone. In a few places it occurs with
mineralized material.
Most of the middle workings are east of the main drift
and cover an area 130 feet long and 125 feet wide. It
is almost entirely made up of rooms, pillars, and connecting
drifts which join the main drift in two places.
The middle workings are wet and require pumping.
The deposit mined in the middle workings is in a
light gray to light brown massive to crossbedded sandstone
lens containing minor amounts of mudstone. The
mudstone occurs mostly as thin seams or lenses and is
usually green or gray. In a few places, however, it is
red. In the back over much of the working the darkgray
mudstone lens, described earlier, is exposed.
The ore in the middle workings occurs chiefly in undulating,
tabular, or blanketlike ‘bodies. The ore in
some tabular bodies reaches a thickness of 6 feet or
more. There are three short ore rolls, all 10 feet or
less in length, in the workings. The ore is composed
principally of black unoxidized and partially oxidized
minerals. Apparently most of the ore bodies lay partly
beneath the water table in a sandstone lens that was
nearly enclosed by mudstone and partly saturated prior
to mining. Sparse amounts of yellow minerals indicate
that parts of the ore bodies were above the water table
and partially oxidized.
In 1954 the ore body nearest the haulageway was
sampled, shortly after it was first exposed, by A. D.
Weeks and the authors. The ore below the track level
was completely water saturated. Weeks (written commun.,.
1957) identified carnotite, tyuyamunite, metatyuyamunite,
melanovanadite, simplotite, and vanadium
silicates. She found that the water standing in the
workings had a pH greater than 7.6. She believes the
alkaline environment explains the presence of melanovanadite
and simplotite, which form under such a
condition. Weeks also noted the presence of a vanadium-
iron mineral that gives an X-ray pattern similar
to nolanite, which is a low-valent vanadium-iron
Carbonaceous wood is sparse in the middle workings,
but where it is found ore minerals replace or impregnate
The innermost workings lie at the northeast end of
the main drift, which is composed of rooms and connecting
drifts covering an area about 100 feet long and
80 feet wide. Like the middle workings, the inner
workings are wet, and places mined ‘below the level of
the main drift must ‘be pumped.
The sandstone in the inner working is light brown to
light gray, massive to crossbedded and, in places, is
tightly cemented. A mudstone conglomerate layer 2
feet thick at the back just above the ore is exposed in
the north and east walls of the working. A gray mudstone
breccia lies near the margin of the ore body and
below the conglomerate. The breccia apparently represents
collapse of mudstone along the stream margin
(fig. 12) during deposition of the ore-bearing sandstone.
In places the angular mudstone fragments rest in an
imbricate fashion within a broad shallow scour. In
cross section, the degree of overlap shown ‘by the fragments
appears to indicate where individual fragments
are with respect to the channel margin. Near the chan70
FIGTJEE 12. Greenish-gray mudstone-ipebble conglomerate (top)
and mudstone breccia (middle) resting on ore-bearing sandstone
lens in the Vanadium Queen mine.
nel axis, for example, overlap of the fragments is complete,
and a line drawn along their edges will be almost
vertical. On either side of the axis the fragments display
overlap which increases laterally toward the channel
margin, and the result is a shingling effect. A line
drawn along the edges of overlapping fragments will
be inclined toward the axis of the channel. Near the
channel margins, overlap is slight, and lines drawn
along the edges of ‘overlapping fragments are only
slightly inclined toward the channel axis. In the Vanadium
Queen mine the local channel marked by mudstone
fragments rests on a sandstone lens that contains
ore. It is conceivable, therefore, that ‘the study of imbricate
mudstone breccias may be used locally as a guide
to thicker sandstone lenses and, subsequently, to new
ore bodies.
The ore of the inner workings occurs in undulating
tabular or blanketlike bodies as much as ’60 feet long,
50 feet wide, and 5 feet thick. Several small pods as
much as 3 feet long occur in the workings. The ore is
predominantly the black type but in places blue-black
and yellow ore is found. The yellow carnotitetype ore
is on or in close proximity to open fractures. The presence
of blue-black minerals in the ore of the inner workings
suggests that the ore ‘bodies are in an initial stage
of oxidation. As in the ore bodies of the middle workings,
the oxidation state of these ore bodies is probably
related to a relatively recent drop in the water table.
Carbonaceous wood is very sparse in the inner workings
and is found as macerated debris on the bedding
planes of the barren sandstone.
The principal vanadium minerals in the Vanadium
Queen mine are mon’troseite, corvusite, vanadium hydromica,
hewettite, tyuyamunite and simplotite. The principal
uranium minerals are uraninite, coflmite(?), and
carnotite. Most of the ore minerals coat the quartz
grains, fill the interstices -between them, and, in places,
replace fossil wood. Montroseite, corvusite, pitchblende,
and coffinite( ? ) are intimately intermixed in the
ore bodies that are virtually unoxidized. The oxidized
parts of the deposits contain ‘t!he remainder of the mineral
suite. The ore produced contains 2.79 percent V2OS
and 0.35 percent U3O8 in a ratio of 8:1.
There are two sets of fractures in the Vanadium
Queen mine: a dominant set that trends N. 70° W. to
due west, and a minor set that trends slightly west of
north. The dominant set is best exposed in the main
drift near the portal. This set roughly parallels the
axis of the La Sal Creek syncline and is thought to
be accentuated by incipient slumping of the beds near
the canyon wall. The second set is nearly perpendicular
to the axis and is thought to be the result of tensional
stress. The fractures appear to have in no way controlled
the deposition of the ore; however, where the
fractures are open and penetrate the ore bodies, they
have facilitated the circulation of ground water and
the oxidation of the ore. Carnotite and tyuyamunite
commonly coat the fracture surfaces.” this excerpt is taken out a report from the US Atomic agency “Click here” to read the full report

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