This operation was initially a joint venture with the French American Company (FRAMCO) and Conoco where URI earned a 50% undivided interest
in the assets by investing in a wellfield and plant capable of processing 1,200 gallons-per-minute. FRAMCO and Conoco learned the technical feasibility of solution mining
from URI. The facility was permitted, designed, built, and brought into production on time, and at budget in February, 1980.
A sum of $2.3M was spent for the initial wellfield and plant. Later, URI acquired 100% of the property.
This project employed the "upflow, self leveling, gravity IX columns," which were further refined to allow in-place elutions.
This project produced approximately 1M lbs. U3O8 which was sold to foreign, as well as domestic electrical utilities. The project mined at depths ranging from 280 - 320 feet underground using ISL technology
URI Benavides ISL
Benavides Plant Entrance