Carnotite (52,77% U) replacing wood, Melroy mine, Henry Mountains, Utah, United States
The main use of uranium in the civilian sector is to fuel nuclear power plants. One kilogram of uranium-235 can theoretically produce about 80 terajoules of energy (8×1013 joules), assuming complete fission; as much energy as 3000 tonnes of coal. The major application of uranium in the military sector is in high-density penetrators. This ammunition consists of depleted uranium alloyed with 1–2% other elements. At high impact speed, the density, hardness, and pyrophoricity of the projectile enable destruction of heavily armored targets.

Uranium price: 12 months
Uranium charts on InfoMine.com
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Conversion: 1 pound = 0,453 kilogram

Historical uranium price forecasts

In 2012 world consumption of uranium was 165 million pounds versus 152 million pounds of mined uranium production. Globally there are 434 nuclear reactors operable, 67 reactors are under construction, 159 are on order or planned and 318 are proposed. Cameco (one of the world's largest publicly traded uranium companies) estimates world uranium demand will increase to about 240 million pounds by 2022.

The proposed new nuclear power reactors worldwide increased strongly from January to August 2007. As reported by the World Nuclear Association, this category has increased from 222 reactors (January 29) to 304 reactors (August 30), an increase of 82 reactors (or 37%).
China announced 114 planned and proposed new nuclear power reactors, up from 63 in January '07 (an increase of 81%); and the US is up from 23 in January '07 to 32 units (up 39%).

Links to uranium supply and demand
List of uranium stocks with latest financial data

Alpha Minerals (TSX-V: AMW) and Fission Uranium (TSX-V: FCU) released their best diamond drill intercept yet of Patterson Lake South uranium project in Saskatchewan, Canada, in September 2013. The dark pitchblende (UO2) in the core sticks out, especially where the intercept crosses over 52 percent U308. One of the best uranium intersections in the Athabasca basin. (Image: Alpha; text: Mineweb)

The World Nuclear Association expects demand will rise to 160 000 t by 2030, from 65 000 t in 2007.
NYMEX signed a 10-year agreement with the UxC to introduce on and off-exchange traded uranium futures products and the launch on 7 May, 2007, marked the first uranium futures trade in history. The contract trades under the symbol UX and the minimum contract size is 250 pounds of uranium U3O8. It will be a financially settled contract with each month settling on the corresponding spot month-end U3O8 price published by UxC.

In February, 2007, world consumption of uranium concentrate was 180 million pounds which outpaced annual production of 100 million pounds and there were 150 buyers of uranium worldwide, but only eight producers. Nufcor, the holder of 2,3 million pounds of uranium oxide, estimated that investors like Nufcor, Canada’s Uranium Participation Corporation (7 million lbs) and hedge funds were holding 15 million lbs of uranium, equating to eight percent of global consumption for one year in March, 2007.
China's largest nuclear power plant builder said in May, 2007, it is in discussions with companies in Australia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia because of a potential domestic uranium shortage. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 20,2007, that London-based UraMin (AIM, TSX: UMN) had been negotiating with China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC). Lui Xuehong, Vice President of the CNNC's overseas uranium exploration unit, told the Power & Alternative Energy Summit that discussions are also ongoing with companies in Canada, Niger and Algeria.
Liu specifically referred to UraMin's "good assets in Africa," which include acquired or pending mineral rights in Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Róssing Uranium Mine, Namibia

Links to major uranium producers
Australia holds 40% of the world's uranium reserves and exports are allowed from parts of the country, but not from mineral-rich Western Australia or Queensland under a policy that has its roots in the anti-nuclear movement of the 1970's. Cameco (Canadian) is the world's No 1 producer of uranium oxide. Its principal interests comprise Canada's McArthur River and the flood-affected Cigar Lake, Inkai in Kazakhstan, and the US Crow Butte and Smith Ranch/Highland operations. Rio Tinto rates as No 2 world producer of uranium oxide, thanks to its stake in Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), and its 69% interest in the Rössing mine in Namibia. France-based Areva is No 3, and like Cameco, has interests in Canada's McArthur River and Cigar Lake. KazAtomProm rates as No 4 producer, thanks to its interest, like Cameco, in Inkai. BHP Billiton is next on the list, followed by TVEL (Russia), Navoi (Uzbekistan), Vostgok (Ukraine), Nufcor (South Africa) and CNNC (China). There are also lesser-known producers of uranium oxide, such as AngloGold Ashanti, as a by-product from its gold mines.

  • Cameco Corporation (NYSE:CCJ; TSX:CCO) mines in Canada, USA, Kazakhstan. Cameco has alliances and joint ventures with exploration companies in Gabon in western Africa and in Nunavut. It has a non-binding memorandum of understanding, entered into in June of 2006, to acquire 19,5% of UNOR Inc (UNOFF.PK, UNI.V) formerly Hornby Bay Exploration Ltd. UNOR has 226 mineral claims in Nunavut on the Hornby Basin, which has similar geological features to the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan.
Cameco reports record revenue from high uranium prices - Friday, February 10, 2012 

  • Rio Tinto plc (NYSE:RTP;TSX:RIO) mines in Australia (Energy Resources of Australia), USA, Namibia. In 2006, Rio Tnto's total production was 7,094 tonnes, second only to Cameco, which produced 8,249 tonnes.
Ex-Areva CEO wants expert to probe UraMin report - Thursday, February 09, 2012
Areva uranium deal eyed amid fraud allegations
By: Reuters
Published: 13th January 2012

PARIS – Controversy over Areva's $2.5-billion purchase of uranium miner UraMin grew on Friday after a consultant said the French state-owned company may have been the victim of a fraud.

The nuclear energy group has launched an internal enquiry into the 2007 deal after a drop in world uranium prices and disappointing results at UraMin's mines in Africa forced the group to take $2.4-billion of charges on the unit.

Marc Eichinger, a consultant who said he was commissioned by Areva to produce a confidential report on the deal, told French newspaper Le Parisien the takeover was made in "very dubious" conditions.

"Areva had nothing to do with UraMin, a company that had no production or proven reserves," said Eichinger, the founder of Assistance Petroleum International Capital, a consultancy based in Sciez on the French-Swiss border.

Areva declined to make any comment on the interview, only saying the supervisory board expected the findings of an internal investigation by the end of February.

Two sources at Areva, who declined to be identified, said they knew nothing about Eichinger's report.

Eichinger, who did not return calls by Reuters, said the fraud could have been facilitated by some executives at Areva, without citing names.

He said Areva made the acquisition on the basis of information provided by a company paid by UraMin, instead of sending its own experts to evaluate the potential of UraMin's mines.

At the time, Areva said it expected UraMin's deposits in South Africa, Namibia and the Central African Republic to produce around 7,000 tonnes annually from 2012.

"I have no doubt that UraMin has been a very bad deal for Areva, but once this is said, there is nothing more to add to it. Many people have tried to demonstrate this was a fraud but so far no one has brought the proof that it was," said a source who has direct knowledge of the situation.


Rene Ricol, who was asked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to look into Areva's accounts in 2010, told Reuters his audit led to Areva taking a 400 million euro charge on UraMin and a mention in the group's accounts that unpromising chemical tests on the Trekkopje in Namibia could lead to new writedowns.

But Ricol said he did not investigate the deal itself.

"Several people have alerted me on this issue, but I am not a police officer or a judge. I am an accountant. If one has elements pointing at a fraud, one has to bring them to the prosecutor," Ricol said.

The Paris prosecutor's office said there was no investigation underway on fraud allegations.

"Areva has not filed a suit so there is no investigation underway," a spokesman said.


The new development comes soon after Areva's former boss Anne Lauvergeon filed a legal suit after discovering a confidential report by private investigators on whether her husband, a business consultant, had illegally benefited from the UraMin acquisition.

It also comes against a background of a highly charged atmosphere at Areva surrounding the abrupt replacement of Lauvergeon in June 2011.

Lauvergeon was replaced by her former number two Luc Oursel after she came under fire for cost overruns at a project in Finland, the loss of a huge deal in Abu Dhabi and a public spat with Henri Proglio, the head of state utility EDF.

Dubbed "Atomic Anne" or "Madame Mon" by French media for her feisty personality, Lauvergeon was a polarising presence during her 10-year tenure, drawing fierce criticism from some quarters as well as admiration from others.

Areva has suspended the payment of a 1.5-million-euro severance payment to Lauvergeon pending the outcome of the UraMin investigation.

The UraMin deal was made at a time of booming demand for enriched uranium, and a battle among mining players to secure access to new reserves, as high oil prices and concern about global warming was leading to a global nuclear renaissance.

Since then, the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, has led several countries to shelve their plans -- pushing uranium prices sharply lower.

At the time of the deal, some analysts said the price for UraMIn - a 21 percent premium - was steep but none questioned that the purchase would bolster Areva's mining portfolio.

Marc Goua, a French socialist parliamentarian appointed to write a report on the nuclear industry, said plunging uranium prices alone do not explain the losses linked to UraMin deal.

In a preliminary report, he said the acquisition was rushed by Areva and the economy ministry on the basis that securing uranium supplies had become critical for Areva to win multi-billion dollar nuclear reactor deals in China.

The speed of the deal left little time for fact finding on the ground, Goua said.
  • BHP Billiton (WMC Resources) (LSE:BLT; NYSE:BHP) mines in Australia. Olympic Dam has the world's fourth-largest copper deposit, the biggest uranium deposit, and produces more gold and silver than most other mines in Australia. BHP Billiton produced 2,868 tonnes of uranium in 2006.
  • SXR Uranium One Inc (TSX:SXR) agreed in February 2007 to buy UrAsia Energy Ltd (TSXv:UUU) for $3.1 billion, to form the world's second- largest uranium producer. The combined company, once all its mines are operating, will trail only Cameco Corp. in production and be the only producer in Kazakhstan, South Africa, Australia, the U.S. and Canada, the five largest holders of uranium deposits. It also entered into an agreement with US Energy Corporation for the purchase of the Shootaring Canyon uranium mill in Utah, as well as a land package comprising about 38 763 acres of uranium exploration properties in the US. SXR, is the owner of South Africa's largest undeveloped uranium deposit and UrAsia owns uranium mines in Central Asia. UrAsia mines 1,8 million pounds of uranium in Kazakhstan a year. The company has three mining and exploration projects in Kazakhstan and a fourth exploration venture in Kyrgyzstan. The combined company will be known as Uranium One Inc. Uranium One will have estimated production of more than 7 million pounds of uranium in 2008 from five projects, at cash costs of about $10-$12 per pound. By 2012, the company will produce upwards of between 12 and 15 million pounds per annum. It has indicated U3O8 resources of 36,4 million tons grading 0,81 kg/t, containing 64,9 million pounds U3O8 and inferred U3O8 resources of 219,4 million tons grading 0,38 kg/t, containing 183,6 million pounds U3O8. In June, 2007, Uranium One announced the acquisition of Energy Metals Corporation in a C$1.6bn all-share transaction that gives Uranium One increased exposure to the United States and will increase its projected output to 28 million pounds in 2013, compared to the 2011 production forecast of 27 million pounds by Cameco, the world's largest listed uranium company.
First Uranium still teeters on the brink - Thursday, January 26, 2012

Links to other uranium producers and exploration companies

In a report by RBC Capital Markets, 21 listed stocks with exposure to uranium are mentioned that may be considered as investable. There are six with a market capitalisation of $2bn or more: Cameco (CCO-DB.TO, CCO.TO, CCJ), ERA, Paladin Resources (PDN.TO, PALAF.PK, PUR.F, PLR.VX), UrAsia (TSXv:UUU), Denison Mines, and sxr Uranium One (TSX:SXR). Following in terms of market capitalisaton are UraMin (UMN.TO, UAMNF.PK), First Uranium (FIU.TO, FURAF.PK), Aurora (AXU.TO, AUEGF.PK), Energy Metals (EMC.TO, EYMTF.PK, EMU), Mega Uranium (MGA.TO, MGAFF.PK, MGAUF.PK), Laramide Resources (LAM.TO, L4R.F), Forsys Metals Corporation, Ur-Energy (URE.TO, UREGF.PK, U9T.SG), Tournigan Gold (TVC.V, TVCZF.PK, TGP.F), Strathmore Minerals (STM.V, STHJF.PK, UXP.F), Khan Resources (KRI.TO, KHRIF.PK), Western Prospector (WNP.V), Omega Corporation, Berkeley Resources (BKLRF.PK, BKY.L, B5R.F), and Uranium PowerCorporation. (Denison Mines Corporation made a bid to acquire any or all of the issued and outstanding shares of OmegaCorp Limited for a total consideration of AU$177,6 million (CDN$166 million) in April, 2007. Denison at that stage held approximately 31,5% of the common shares of OmegaCorp.)
Link to uranium deposit database

The International Atomic Energy Agency database with 858 recorded uranium deposits and occurrences. Information and statistics on deposit types, geological settings, reserves and status

Links to uranium mining locality maps

Uranium mining and exploration in Africa

Africa's 2006 output of 17,5 million lbs of uranium oxide would more than double by 2011 from the projects of just one company, UraMin Inc, which is seeking to become the world's fourth biggest uranium producer with production of 18 million lbs.

Click HERE for an overview ( Mbendi)

Uranium Exploration in Africa by Country (Associated Press)

Indeed, the ability to control energy, whether it be making wood fires or building power plants, is a prerequisite for civilization.
-Isaac Asimov, 1991.