PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Sarasota, FL, United States, 2006/10/02 - Power Resources Chief Executive Fletcher Newton cited infrastructure challenges to mining uranium in Kazakhstan while remarking on the extraordinary uranium grades the country provides..
Fletcher Newton, Chief Executive of Cameco Corp subsidiary Power Resources, debunked U.S. utility expectations of an overwhelming supply of uranium from Kazakhstan to fuel the nation’s 103 reactors in the near future. In a presentation at the Platts Nuclear Fuel Strategies conference in Washington, D.C. this past week, Newton announced, “There is lots of uranium out there, but getting it will be a challenge.”
Newton cited infrastructure problems, such as building roads and providing sufficient electricity for uranium mining and processing, and anticipated some delays. He told the audience, “To mine 100 metric tons of uranium will require 40 million kilograms of sulphuric acid.” He explained this annually amounted to 2200 truckloads of sulphuric acid – about six truckloads per day. Newton also cited the recent Kazak phenomenon of traffic jams and cited a traffic accident which resulted in a fatality – an unusual development for this mainly agrarian nation. The country will need to build “several sulphuric acid” plants, Newton remarked, to provide this much acid to mine uranium in Kazakhstan using the in situ leach method. He speculated whether Cameco , France’s Areva or Kazakhstan’s KazAtomProm would build those plants.
Still, the country’s uranium supply is plentiful. Newton noted head grades – the initial uranium grades at the start of the uranium mining process – were more than double of those found at Cameco’s in situ recovery uranium operations in the United States. Asked about the projections Kazakhstan officials have made about the country’s uranium production, Newton responded that some like to think “big thoughts.” Newton observed that being in Kazakhstan was like stepping back into the eighteenth or nineteenth century.
Stockinterview.com is an online news service, which provides investigative reporting, editorial, analysis and commentary of the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium mining, nuclear power, the environment and the natural resource industry. Over the past three years, the Internet news website has covered the nuclear energy renaissance, the worldwide uranium mining boom and the potential influence of alternative fuel sources on China’s dramatic economic growth.
For the feature article (and Fletcher Newton’s ‘Milk Anecdote’ about Kazak uranium forecasts), entitled “Miners and Utilities at Odds over Uranium Price Forecasts,” please visit our website.