The Quivira mine areas contain abandoned uranium mines and are considered to be the major sources of the soil contamination at the Site. All the uranium ore from the mines, approximately 5 million pounds, was processed at the Quivira Mining Corporation (QMC) Ambrosia Lake Mill located in Grants, New Mexico, and accessed via the haul road (a.k.a. Red Water Pond Road).
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The Site consists of one shaft, a uranium ore waste pile, several mine vent holes, treatment ponds and a production well developed at approximately 1,800 feet used to dewater the mine workings during operations. The western and southern edges of the Site, representing an approximately 30 to 40 foot face reportedly constructed of mining overburden, is partially adjacent to the RWPR and the Arroyo.
The mining activities have resulted in a legacy of radioactive waste piles, sediment settling ponds and mine equipment debris. When the mine closed, RAML conducted reclamation activities to protect future land users and neighbors primarily from physical hazards, and addressed some environmental issues. All of the buildings and equipment were cleared from the area. Some of the mine waste piles were returned to the shafts. Remaining waste piles were contoured to reduce movement of the material. The ponds were drained and a fence was installed around the mine site and associated areas.
Region 9 determined that additional actions and investigation were needed to address potential health impacts to the community. As described below, RAML has agreed to investigate and stabilize (prevent further erosion and movement of waste at ) portions of the site pursuant to a 2010 Administrative Order on Consent.