Uranium mining in Asia to flourish thanks to rising demand for nuclear power

NEW YORK (GBI Research), 21 June 2012 – Uranium mining is set to soar in the future due to rising demand for nuclear power, with Asia’s colossal reserves looking set to meet these needs, according to natural resources expert GBI Research.

The new report,  suggests that mounting demand for nuclear power generation will boost uranium prices, offering to make Asia-Pacific a tidy sum, but only if they can overcome environmental and professional hazards.

According to the Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the spot price of uranium, which hung around the $62 per pound mark in 2011, will reach around $81 a pound by 2016 due to the massive surge in demand. The availability of huge reserves, coupled with rising prices, will drive the Asia-Pacific uranium mining industry.

Asia-Pacific is the largest uranium-producing region in the world, boasting an estimated production of 34,041 tons of uranium (tU) during 2011, over half the global production. Kazakhstan contributed just under two-thirds of this, followed by Australia with 25.2%, Uzbekistan with 7.2%, China with 2.6% and India with a 1.1% share.

Asia’s uranium mining industry has been helped by the region’s abundant reserves, which, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), stood at 3,599,421tU in 2010, accounting for about 57% of total global reserves. New planned projects and the expansion of existing uranium mines will drive up uranium mine production throughout Asia-Pacific, with Australia, India, Kazakhstan and China all being expected to increase regional uranium mine production in the outlook period.

The development and expansion of nuclear power generation in China, India and South Korea will play a major role in the uranium mining industry. Total uranium demand in China is expected to expand from 15,000 tU/yr in 2020 to 40,000 tU/yr in 2030, while demand in India and Korea will grow to 12,000 tU/yr and 7,000 tU/yr in 2030 respectively, according to the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle 2011.

Should Asia-Pacific manage to minimize environmental damage such as soil erosion, which can destroy local ecosystems, and workers’ risk of radiation due to airborne radioactive dust particles, the region’s production is set to grow at its estimated CAGR of 4.7%, from 40,301.7tU in 2012 to 58,402.6tU by 2020.

 

This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.

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