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Jacobs Engineering Group, Water table contour map for the Dolores River North Continent and Union Carbide uranium processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, November 1994, U.S. Department of Energy


Slick Rock Processing Sites

Reflecting the productivity of the Slick Rock Mining District, several processing plants were constructed adjacent to the Delores River to mill ore into yellowcake

The Slick Rock East Mill was constructed by the Shattuck Chemical Company in 1931 and acquired by North Continent Mines in 1934. The federal government assumed control in 1945 and adapted the radium and vanadium mill sites to provide uranium for the Manhattan Project. The facility was taken over by the Union Carbide Corporation in 1957 until it closed in the early 1960s. Radioactive and other contaminated materials were moved to the Slick Rock and Burro Canyon disposal sites, and the Slick Rock East milling site has since been seeded with native grasses and recontoured.

Also on the banks of the Delores, the Slick Rock West facility was operated by Union Carbide from 1957-1961 to upgrade ore mined in the surrounding area before shipping it to the company's plant in Rifle, CO for further processing. Remediation began in 1995 to remove 671,000 cubic yards of contaminated matter, including benzene, manganese, molybdenum, nitrate, radium-226, radium-228, selenium, toluene, and uranium.


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management. "Slick Rock, Colorado, Disposal and Processing Sites" Fact Sheet. May 2020. Accessed June 10, 2021.

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