There is a magic society, created by sorcerers to escape persecution. Their society is isolated from the main kingdoms, though they eventually will trade with them again in less than a few decades. For now they are looking for an environment whose nature and terrain would be suitable to build cities. Currently, I am trying to set up an environment where they can have uranium mines. Their cities and technology are mainly powered by nuclear reactors that use uranium, and eventually plutonium as they progress. The main plan is to make them settle in a harsh, snowy environment similar to Siberia, but I am unsure.

My question is, geographically, what types of environments are most likely for uranium deposits be found in, mainly in large quantities, to be mined?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you done any research on your own? We used to be on the watchlist of many 3 letter agencies for various reasons, tipping on where to find Uranium wasn't on the list, yet $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Oct 24, 2022 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I have tried, but I could not find specific terrain, biomes, and/or environments. $\endgroup$
    – Crafter
    Oct 24, 2022 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Crafter, you don't need just concentrations of Uranium; you need the ability to concentrate a specific isotope (U235) which takes special processing. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Oct 24, 2022 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ -1 for lack of research. Looking on wikipedia answered this question with far greater detail than any answer posted so far. Searching Google images for uranium mine locations was just as useful. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Oct 24, 2022 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ Real world mineral deposits aren't found in X biome. You can't say "This is a temperate forest. I'll be able to find uranium here." Once a mineral is deposited it's going to stay there until disturbed by some other geological force, in the intervening eons any number of biomes can come and go above a deposit. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


Minerals and geography.

While there are some minerals that form in the tropics due to higher solar flux eg bauxite. Most economically viable minerals are with associated with hydrothermal systems. Why? Hydrothermal systems are allow for dissolving then concentrating many minerals. Any time somebody is mining a vein of minerals, they are mining the results of hydrothermal systems.


While some resulting rocks are more acidic and others alkaline, which does affect which plants grow. This doesn't really help indicate which minerals are where. to my knowledge there are no bulk biomes associated with specific minerals.


Overburden is an issue. Many places in the world may have rich deposits but if they are under a kilometer of overburden they won't be mined. This also means that flat places that are good for farming tend to be piles of overburden that are not good for mining.

Overburden can any of: Glacial till, river/lake deposits, uplifted ocean floor, lava, other igneous deposits etc.

The minerals are buried making it harder to prospect and mine if anything ever was/is found.

Alluvial deposits.

Of course another major deposit type is those deposited as part of ocean/lake/swamp beds. Generally these will be lighter minerals such as potassium, lithium, salt. Gold is rather si


Mines are often in mountainous or hilly regions simply because the overburden is low and prospectors can find minerals at surface.


Another major placement is along valleys following faults. Cracks allow water to flow. Faults tend to be weaker thus erode faster thus where waterways often end up. This leads to saying best place to find a mine is within eyesight of the head frame of another mine.

Nuclear aspect

I suppose there will be much hand waving to get past the required physics, chemistry, metallurgy, computation, manufacturing electrical,,etc technologies that are required or very useful. To just build a steam turbine of good efficiency is a big problem.


All this to say is that places that are good to mine are rarely where is is good to farm and thus put a city and areas easy to mine are poor for farming thus no cities. This has been generic to most minerals because it applies to most minerals. There can of course be a reasonable places to put a city with mine sites somewhat nearby ie a few days travel.


Practically anywhere, but more commonly on cratons (old continental crust). Uranium is found in multiple geological conditions. Uranium as an element is found throughout the Earth’s crust, and can be uncovered through erosion or volcanism, deposited through sedimentation and even collected over millions of years by iron oxide affixing bacteria, as is the case in Australia’s largest uranium deposit.


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