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History of Uranium, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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In 1952 Charles Augustus Steen, an unemployed oil geologist from Texas, effectively proved there was significant uranium ore on the Colorado Plateau. Settling his wife and four young sons in a tarpaper shack near Cisco, he took off alone to seek the precious mineral. Unable to afford a geiger counter, he took a broken down drill rig into the back-country, ignored standard uranium-seeking technology, and used oil exploration geology to locate the Mi Vida mine in the Shinarump conglomerate of an area the AEC had deemed barren of ore. What had been ridiculed as "Steen's Folly" resulted in the nation's first big uranium strike in the Big Indian Wash of Lisbon Valley southeast of Moab.

Steen's find triggered more. Vernon Pick claimed the Delta Mine northwest of Hanksville, later selling it to international financier Floyd Odlum for nine million dollars and an airplane. Pratt Seegmiller staked the lucrative Freedom and Prospector claims near Marysvale. Joe Cooper and Fletcher Bronson discovered uranium in their played-out Happy Jack copper mine near Monticello and netted over $25 million. Between 1946 and 1959, 309,380 claims were filed in four Utah counties. A center of activity, the once sleepy farming town of Moab became known as "The Uranium Capitol of the World."


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