Smith Ranch-Highland / North Butte
- The combined operations at Smith Ranch-Highland (including the North Butte satellite mine) form the largest uranium production facility in the USA.
- Smith Ranch-Highland is ISO 14001 certified. In situ production began in 1988 at the primary site, and in 2013 at the North Butte satellite.
Smith Ranch-Highland – originally two mines now operated as one – has been fully-owned by Cameco Resources since 2002. The North Butte satellite facility was added in 2013. The central processing plant at Smith Ranch-Highland produces uranium concentrate that is shipped to other facilities for ultimate production into fuel for nuclear power plants.
Water conservation is important. Virtually all the water the mine uses is continually recycled. Monitor wells ring the ore zones to assure we are managing and protecting groundwater. The mine has conducted leading research in such methods as bioremediation to assure the water is safe and clean when mining is completed.
Reclamation of the land begins even as we are mining. Top soil is preserved. Storm-water runoff is controlled. Grasses and other native vegetation are planted almost immediately after an area is developed. An important fact: Cameco Resources maintains surety bonds to assure that, not matter what, restoration and reclamation will be completed.