Uranium Top Stories

Energy metals snapshot: Eight companies advancing assets for a greener future

Amid efforts to move the world away from fossil fuels,…

USNC-Power to develop Canada’s first small modular reactor

Following the federal government’s release of the country’s Small Modular…

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India, China and Russia will be driving uranium’s future

Although its future is unclear, significant expansion of nuclear power capacity is projected to occur in non-OECD countries, especially China, India and Russia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The government agency released its International Energy Outlook 2011 last week. "China, Russia, and India account for the largest increment in world net installed nuclear power from 2008 to 2035: China adds 106 gigawatts of nuclear capacity over the period, Russia 28 gigawatts, and India 24 gigawatts."

Mega tailings dam in South Africa could get kyboshed

Fin24 is reporting that a huge tailings dam being built in Kuma township could get kyboshed due to opposition from environmental groups, pressure groups and demands from landowners. The Kareerand tailings dam being built by First Uranium TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM 15km outside Stilfontein is a R400 million project motivated by a need to solve the ubiquitous dust cloud that currently envelops Kuma residents from 15 old tailings dams — relics from the Buffelsfontein and Hartbeesfontein gold mines — says Fin24, which describes the dam in some detail:

Striking uranium workers ‘defeat logic’

A strike appears imminent at Rio Tinto's Rssing Uranium Mine in the Namibian-Naukluft Park (pictured) after workers unhappy over production bonuses on Wednesday voted unanimously in favour of industrial action that could cripple operations at the mine responsible for some 5% of world production. Management said the demands were unreasonable and defeat logic. The industrial action takes place at a difficult time for the uranium industry with the spot price recently falling below $50 – levels last seen immediately after the nuclear accident at Fukushima. The sector has lost some 40% of its value since the Japan disaster and the first deal of what is expected to be widespread consolidation in the industry is already shaping up to be a classic David and Goliath fight.

BHP is looking for robotics exec to dig world’s biggest open pit

Adelaide Now reports BHP Billiton wants to "future-proof" its massive Olympic Dam project, including using driverless haulage trucks and this week put out a recruitment ad for an executive to oversee the high-tech initiative. The system would mean operators can be in a control room on the site or even in the comfort of a city office hundreds of kilometres away. BHP Billiton is in the final stages of the approval process for the $30 billion expansion of its existing underground operation at Olympic Dam to create a new open pit mine that would be the worlds biggest – trucks will haul overburden 24/7 for five to six years just to reach the ore body. The combined operations would mine 72 Mt ore per year and would produce 750,000 tonnes refined copper, 19,000 tonnes uranium oxide, 800,000 gold ounces and 2.9 Moz of silver per year.

Record $8.5 billion likely spent in 2011 exploring for gold

Research firm Metals Economics Group reports gold continues to be top exploration target accounting for more than 50% of global exploration of non-ferrous metals for the second consecutive year in 2011. Latin America is set continue to be the industry's favorite regional exploration destination in 2011, while Canada will remain the top overall country. Copper will account for roughly a fifth of 2011 nonferrous exploration budgets that is expected to exceed US$17 billion for expenditures related to precious and base metals, diamonds, uranium, and some industrial minerals. It represents an increase of about 50% from the 2010 total and a new all time high.

Labrador could lift uranium mining ban

The Inuit government of Labrador says it will review a 2008 moratorium on uranium mining that it brought in to protect the environment, The Winnipeg Free Press reported, with the Nunatsiavut Assembly voting last night to review the legislation imposing the moratorium on mining, production and development of uranium on Inuit lands. The moratorium was imposed on concerns over the environmental effects of uranium mining including low-level emissions produced from tailings. If a government committee recommends that the moratorium be lifted, legislation would be put forward to remove the restriction, says The Free Press. A report is expected by December.

Hathor board rallies the troops against ‘predatory, opportunistic’ bid

Hathor Exploration announced early Wednesday that its board unanimously recommends that shareholders reject Cameco's unsolicited offer for the company calling it 'opportunistic' and 'predatory' coming in the wake of the Fukishima disaster in Japan that sent uranium oxide prices to lows of around $50/pound. Hathor opened down slightly on Wednesday trading at $4.15 versus Cameco's offer of $3.75. Yesterday the company said a preliminary economic assessment of its Roughrider uranium deposit showed it would potentially be one of the lowest cost uranium producers in the world at only $14.44/lb U3O8. The junior uranium explorer has gained about 56% since the offer and 121% since the start of the year. In contrast $8 billion industry bellwether Cameco’s stock has almost halved in 2011.