Archive | Uranium

EPA uranium hearings: A tale of two cities – by John D. Taylor (Rapid City Journal – May 16, 2017)

http://rapidcityjournal.com/

HOT SPRINGS – On a gray Wednesday when a little mni wichoni (Lakota for life-giving water) was falling from the skies, a group of about 40 protesters marched from Centennial Park to the Mueller Center shouting “Mni Wichoni, water is life,” and “No uranium mining in the Black Hills,” along the way.

The protesters – including Sarah Peterson and Mary Helen Pederson, from the local group, It’s All About the Water, as well as a contingent of Oglala Lakota elders, children and adults from Pine Ridge, Rapid City and other locations, along with a veterans group, all part of the Clean Water Alliance of the Black Hills – were concerned about the threats they believe AzaragaUranium/Powertech’s plans for the Dewey Burdock in situ leaching uranium mining project will bring to the area, particularly the dry region’s water resources.

After praying, the contingent descended on the Mueller Center to share their concerns about the project with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the fourth of five scheduled public hearings EPA would hold on the company’s plans and the two draft permits the agency has issued to Azarga/Powertech, along with the Clean Water Act exemption the one permit will require. Continue Reading →

Uranium mine cleanup moves ahead, but Saskatchewan is left with ballooning cost – by Rob Drinkwater (CBC News Saskatchewan – May 14, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/

Cleanup cost about 10 times higher than original $25M estimate

The Canadian Press – The total price tag was estimated at under $25 million when the federal government agreed to pay for half the cleanup of a radioactive Cold-War-era uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.

But a decade later, the expected cost for remediation of the remote Gunnar mine has swelled to about 10 times that and Ottawa isn’t offering any more money, even as the province starts this summer to remediate millions of tonnes of tailings and waste rock left when the mine closed in 1964.

“With Gunnar, just the size of the waste-rock piles and the tailings area alone, it’s fairly unavoidable that costs were significantly more,” said Cory Hughes, executive director of mineral policy at the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy. “You really have to be there to appreciate the size of the project.” Continue Reading →

Areva pulls out of Baker Lake, Nunavut uranium mine remains mothballed – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 5, 2017)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

“We thank all the Nunavummiut who have welcomed us” Areva Resources Canada, the proponent of the Kiggavik uranium project, has decided to close shop in Baker Lake and put its office building up for sale.

“After over 10 years exploring in the territory, studying the possibility of developing the Kiggavik Project and making numerous friends in the Kivalliq region, it’s time to say good bye,” the company said in an advertisement in the Nunatsiaq News print newspaper of May 5.

“We thank all the Nunavummiut who have welcomed us, guided us and supported us over the years. It was a pleasure getting to know you and working with you.” The company is now seeking expressions of interest from bidders interested in buying building 2028 in Baker Lake. Continue Reading →

OPEC Teaches Biggest Uranium Miner How to Handle Price Crash – by Nariman Gizitdinov (Bloomberg News – May 3, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Kazakhstan, which mines almost 40 percent of the world’s uranium, thinks it has the market heft to function as a one-nation OPEC for the nuclear fuel.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose 13 members also pump about 40 percent of global output, is an “example” in the way it’s used its size to pursue higher pricing, according to Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, which owns the state’s 100 percent stake in uranium producer Kazatomprom.

Already enjoying the advantage of being the lowest-cost producer in the world, Kazatomprom was able to turn a profit last year even after prices collapsed, said Berik Beisengaliyev, the fund’s management board member. It also plans to build its own trading arm to assert greater sway in the market, he said in an interview in Almaty. A decision on an initial public offering of shares in the company is due in the first half of next year. Continue Reading →

Museum of Moab releases DVD featuring Steen interview and uranium films (The Times-Independent – March 30, 2017)

http://www.moabtimes.com/

The Museum of Moab has released a new compilation of documentaries that will take viewers back to Moab’s uranium fever days. “Uranium Craze — Moab and Mining in the 1950s” was produced by Omni Productions and the Museum of Moab and contains never-before-seen footage of a 1992 interview with Charlie Steen by Jim Mattingly in which the “Uranium King” discusses Moab and southeast Utah during the peak of the uranium boom 40 years earlier.

In addition to the Steen interview, two movies made by Steen’s companies in about 1954 are also included. “This is Mi Vida” tells the story of Steen’s flagship mine, while “Million Dollar Drill Holes” is a promotional film produced to showcase Steen’s Moab Drilling Company.

The films include original footage of uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau in the mid-1950s. The films have been shown at Star Hall in Moab several times in the past, as part of Museum of Moab events. Continue Reading →

Dealing With Central Asia’s Poisonous Nuclear Legacy – by Catherine Putz (The Diplomat – March 29, 2017)

http://thediplomat.com/

Soviet-era uranium mining and waste facilities spread across Central Asia remain a serious public and environmental risk.

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Coordination Group for Uranium Legacy Sites (CGULS) visited Tajikistan last week. The visit was part of ongoing preparations for the remediation of uranium legacy sites — efforts to reduce the public and environmental risks linked to what remains from the nearly five decades in which the Soviet Union mined and processed uranium in the Central Asian region.

More than 25 years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. One of the biggest open questions as the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate states was what would become of its nuclear weapons and material scattered across the constituent states. Kazakhstan and Ukraine, for example, hosted Soviet nuclear weapons.

Kazakhstan, the Nuclear Threat Initiative notes, “inherited 1,410 nuclear warheads and the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapon test site” with independence. Semipalatinsk was where the Soviet Union conducted more than 450 nuclear tests, including its first. Continue Reading →

Greenland closer to building world’s fifth-largest uranium mine – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – March 13, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

It would also be the world’s second-biggest rare earths operation.

Greenland may soon start building the world’s fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earths operation, which could fuel independence dreams in the island, an “autonomous administrative division” within Denmark since 2009.

The proposed open pit mine in the southern town of Kvanefjeld is expected to process over 100 million tonnes of ore in the coming decades, helping Greenland to diversified its economy. According to Danish Radio, it would also alleviate the island’s dependence on a locked Danish subsidy of 3.2 billion DKK (about $500 million), which constitutes about half of its budget.

But Greenland Minerals and Energy’s (ASX:GGG) project, which would have an annual processing capacity of 3 million tonnes of ore a year and employ at least 325 locals, is facing opposition from those who don’t want to see major landscape and environmental changes. Continue Reading →

Tepco invokes ‘Act of God’ clause on Cameco deal, but it seems more like a Hail Mary – by Drew Hasselback (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Tokyo Electric Power’s move to pull the plug on an agreement with Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp. is the latest example of a company arguably stretching the traditional use of a force majeure or “Act of God” clause to suspend a contract.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. argues that it has been unable to operate its nuclear power plants in Japan because of government regulations enacted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The accident was caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami. Centuries of legal tradition should easily place those natural disasters within anyone’s definition of Acts of God.

You probably can’t say that for government-made regulation, though Tepco’s obvious point is there wouldn’t be regulation but for those preceding Acts of God. Maybe it is legally possible to say those natural disasters started a chain reaction of unforeseeable events, including more government regulation. It depends on the wording of the force majeure clause in the contract between Tepco and Cameco. Continue Reading →

Uranium market conditions last year were the worst in 30 years, says Cameco Corp CEO – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 11, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Uranium market conditions in 2016 were the toughest that Cameco Corp. CEO Tim Gitzel has seen in his 30 years in the business, but he says he remains cautiously optimistic about the long-term picture.

“We’ve been saying for some time that uranium prices are neither rational nor sustainable,” Gitzel told investors during a conference call Friday to discuss its dismal 2016 earnings. “Current prices are failing to incent the investment decisions required to ensure reliable supply is available to meet growing demand out into the future.”

Cameco reported a fourth-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of $144 million, or 36 cents per share, which was more than 10 times larger than the loss of $10 million, or three cents per share, reported in the year-earlier period. The fourth quarter of 2016 included an impairment charge of $238 million. The company booked a $210 million impairment charge in the 2015 quarter. Continue Reading →

If the future really is nuclear, Niger says it is ready for it (MiningWeekly.com – February 8, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

CAPE TOWN – Investing in mining production in Niger might sound a little like playing in the traffic with razor blades but delegates at the Investing in African Mining Indaba heard on Tuesday, that it is a lot better bet than it sounds on a number of levels.

The country’s Mines and Energy Minister Moussa Hassane Baraze was at pains to assure would-be investors who had gathered for a country case study that Niger not only had huge untapped potential but a legal and political environment that was very supportive of foreign investment in the sector.

In addition to being politically stable, he said, Niger had a lot of in-country experience in uranium mining. The case for investing received strong support from a number of representatives of private industry who have been active in the country for many years. Continue Reading →

Cameco’s brief respite from the uranium slump coming to an end – by Tim Shufelt (Globe and Mail – February 6, 2017)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The financial aftershocks of the catastrophic 2011 Japanese earthquake continue to ripple through the uranium market, which, six years later, cannot seem to escape its perpetual slump. The latest reprieve from the brutal selloff is starting to look like yet another false start, merely interrupting an otherwise downward trajectory.

Canadian uranium-mining champion Cameco Corp. itself sought to rein in the market’s budding enthusiasm by calling the Street’s earnings estimates unrealistic in mid-January and warning of a 2016 loss. How big a loss will be revealed when the company reports its financials this Thursday.

“I think it’s a no-touch situation from an investment perspective for at least a year,” said John Stephenson, president of Stephenson & Co. Capital Management. Continue Reading →

Cameco Corp will fight after Tokyo Electric cancels $1.3 billion contract – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 2, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Cameco Corp. said Wednesday it has rejected a key Japanese customer’s attempt to cancel its contract — a move that would mean $1.3 billion in lost revenue — as the Saskatoon-based uranium giant works to protect deals signed with customers before the market tanked.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. issued a termination notice for a uranium supply contract on Jan. 24. On Monday, the Japanese power company said it would not accept a delivery scheduled for Tuesday.

Cameco shares plunged 11.29 per cent to end the day at $14.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Tepco alleges a “force majeure” event — or an act of God — has occurred because it has been unable operate its generating plants for the past 18 months due to government regulations enacted after the disastrous Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Continue Reading →

Cameco Corp will fight after Tokyo Electric cancels $1.3 billion contract – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 1, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Cameco Corp. said Wednesday it has rejected a key Japanese customer’s attempt to cancel its contract — a move that would mean $1.3 billion in lost revenue — as the Saskatoon-based uranium giant works to protect deals signed with customers amid lower uranium prices.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. issued a termination notice for a uranium supply contract on Jan. 24. On Monday, the Japanese power company said it would not accept a delivery scheduled for Tuesday. Cameco shares plunged 12 per cent just after the opening bell to $14.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Tepco alleges a “force majeure” event — or an act of God — has occurred because it has been unable operate its generating plants for the past 18 months due to government regulations enacted after the disastrous Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Continue Reading →

These 10 mines have the world’s most valuable ore – by Vladimir Basov (Mining.com – January 30, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Have you ever wondered which mines are blasting, shovelling and hauling the most expensive ore? While the world’s highest-value minerals are well known – this list includes precious metals and gemstones – it is more practical for mining industry stakeholders to estimate the value of minerals by looking through the lens of a mining operation. Simply put, what is the worth of an excavator/ loader bucket at a particular open pit or underground mine compared to its peers in the industry?

InfoMine’s IntelligenceMine database has a powerful tool that allows users to get a quick reserves/resources valuation based on the most recent estimates of reserves/resources and commodity prices updated on a daily basis.

The following analysis covers those currently active mining operations throughout the world that are separate reporting units and which have most recent reserves evaluation figures disclosed by the owners/operators after December 31, 2014. Continue Reading →

Interview with David Cates, President & CEO of Denison Mines (Resource World – January 26, 2017)

http://resourceworld.com/

Denison Mines Corp. [DML-TSX; DNN-NYSE MKT] is launching a major uranium exploration program on its mineral holdings in the prolific Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan. Their $14.5 million (Denison’s share) budget will be focused on the 60%-owned flagship Wheeler River Project. Cameco holds 30% and JCU Canada 10%. Denison also has a 22.5% interest in the operating McClean Lake uranium mill.

At the Wheeler River property, the Phoenix deposit has indicated resources of 70.2M lbs U3O8 grading 19.1% U3O8, and is the highest grade undeveloped uranium deposit in the world. The Gryphon deposit is hosted in basement rock, approximately 3 km northwest of Phoenix, and hosts inferred resources of 43M lbs U3O8 grading 2.3% U3O8.

In an interview with Resource World, David Cates, President and CEO, discusses the outlook for the uranium sector.

RESOURCE WORLD: Talking to investors and mining executives, I’m getting two kinds of comments: 1) Uranium is asleep and will stay that way for some time, and 2) the price of uranium is just now starting to recover. What is your take on the uranium price scenario? Continue Reading →