Here is a way to get more uranium from old mines and simultaneously protect surface water quality. In the paper Non-Traditional Utilization of Uranium Deposits After Underground Mining Completion, Rapantova et al. write of recovery of uranium from groundwater seeping out of abandoned and closed underground mines. In a reasonable abstract they say it all:

In the course of the development and exploitation of a uranium deposits, the chemistry of the mine waters may change depending upon the extent of the infiltration area, the total volume of worked-out ore, its mineralogical composition, and the final depth of mining. In the course of flooding the underground mine after its closure, many important changes occur in the content of dissolved substances in waters: there may be increases of several orders of magnitude in the concentration of uranium, radium, iron, and other minerals. Mine waters from flooded former uranium mines thus represent, with reference to their considerable volumes, a significant potential source of uranium. This paper presents the results of an ongoing research project dealing with the possibilities of the intensive processing of mine waters from flooded uranium mines as a source of uranium.

This paper and a number of others have just been added to the InfoMine library courtesy of Raj Singal who gave us permission to choose and post our favorites from the CD of the proceedings of the conference he organized called Mine Planning and Equipment Selection and Environmental Issues and Waste Management in Energy and Mineral Production for the 2007 conference held in Bangkok, Thailand. The full CD is available through the InfoMine eStore.