Uranium mill lays off 30% of workers

White Mesa is largest private employer in San Juan County

The expansive White Mesa Uranium Mill is San Juan County’s largest private employer. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight/Grand Canyon Trust

Changes in the global uranium market have prompted managers of the White Mesa Mill near Blanding to lay off 30% of their employees. The mill is the largest private employer in San Juan County.

Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) spoke on the House floor in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with words of support for residents of San Juan County, mill workers and employees at the La Sal uranium mine complex. He said he hopes to create new economic opportunities in rural Utah.

“This mill has provided families with good incomes and generated tax dollars to help the local infrastructure… Rural Utahns deserve the same quality of life that their urban friends have, including access to broadband, quality medical care, and good paying jobs. I will continue to work in Congress to bring these vital services to rural Utah. While it has been a difficult week for many in San Juan County, I know the community will be resilient and persevere.”

Curtis said the foreign subsidization of uranium production “has had a devastating impact on North American production and has affected the mill’s operations, and as a result, roughly 30% of the employees had to be let go at our nation’s last operating uranium mill. In addition to producing critical minerals, this mill has provided families with good incomes and generated tax dollars to help the local infrastructure.”

Curtis observed that, “Unlike more urban parts of Utah with a business hiring on every corner, rural areas often have fewer economic opportunities. However, the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit I’ve observed among the residents of San Juan County make me confident they’ll successfully fight through this difficult time and ultimately come out stronger for it.”