interesting news re: ROSATOM and its U mining projects – partial “freeze” due to low prize of U. Whether Mkuju River will be also be put on “care and maintainence” or whether it will be developped further, has not been publisized in this article.
As mentioned previously, the economics play a most important role in any further developments of U mining.
* * * * * (All bolds NOT in the original)
Russia’s Rosatom to mothball uranium mine expansion projects
MOSCOW, Nov 13, 2013 (Reuters)2013
Canadianminer Uranium One Holding, acquired this year by Russian state-owned reactor builder and supplier Rosatom, said it would freeze expansion projects in Russia
and elsewhere due to low uranium prices.
The price of uranium, used mainly as fuel for nuclear plants, plummeted after the March 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant and has shown no signs of recovery.
“We cannot discount the dramatic fall in natural uranium prices, as a result of which over 50 percent of global uranium production is currently loss-making,” Uranium One President Vadim Zhivov told Reuters in emailed comments on Wednesday.
“Given the unfavourable market environment, we have decided to freeze expansion projects both in Russia and abroad,” Zhivov said.
Uranium One, which Rosatom took private last month, will mothball the Honeymoon mine in uranium-rich South Australia
, local media reported this week, citing high costs and unfavourable contracts with Japan’s Mitsui.
A company spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the mine would be put in “care and maintenance” mode.
Zhivov did not specify which of the company’s projects had been cancelled, saying the details would be announced later.
Rosatom’s mining arm Atomredmetzoloto
, which includes Uranium One and is one of the world’s top three uranium producers, is also developing the Mkuju River mine in Tanzania
and several minor projects in Russia
and has plans to expand its Willow Creek project in the U.S. state of Wyoming.
Zhivov said the company was mulling production cuts at some high-cost projects but did not elaborate.
Uranium One, which claims to have the lowest production costs in the industry, said last week it planned to produce 12.5 million pounds of uranium oxide concentrate in 2013 and then reduce output to 12.4 million pounds next year.
November uranium futures
on the New York Mercantile exchange
closed at $35.85 per pound onTuesday, compared with $68 per pound
before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan
Uranium One Chief Executive Chris Sattler said in August that low uranium prices would force high-cost mines to close, which could boost prices in the next couple of years as supplies dwindle..