Uranium miners in the US are seeking access to a 70 million ton deposit in the semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory - Navajo Nation, near the state of New Mexico.

The site is spread across more than 27,000km², with a ban on mining imposed by the natives since 2005 citing adverse effects to the residents’ health as well as the environment.

The US government, which has jurisdiction on Navajo Trust Land, had earlier allowed uranium mining in the territory for three decades when nearly four million tons were extracted.

Mining was then conducted employing conventional underground methods that resulted in the contamination of surrounding land and water with uranium.

As prices for the commodity increase with an increase in demand, companies are making a renewed effort to mine the territory once again; promising the employment of advanced technologies to prevent contamination of the environment.

Companies such as Laramide Resources, Rio Grande Resources, Strathmore Minerals and Uranium Resources have investments in land adjacent to the nation’s boundaries, reported The Farmington Daily Times.