• 4 minutes Nord Stream 2 Halt Possible Over Navalny Poisoning
  • 8 minutes America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now
  • 11 minutes JP Morgan says investors should prepare for rising odds of Trump win
  • 4 hours US after 4 more years of Trump?
  • 20 mins Famine, Economic Collapse of China on the Horizon?
  • 2 hours Something wicked this way comes
  • 2 hours Why NG falling n crude up?
  • 3 hours Permian in for Prosperous and Bright Future
  • 3 hours Oil giants partner with environmental group to track Permian Basin's methane emissions
  • 2 days Daniel Yergin Book is a Reality Check on Energy
  • 3 days Gepthermal fracking: how to confuse a greenie
  • 3 days YPF to redeploy rigs in Vaca Muerta on export potential
  • 1 day The Perfect Solution To Remove Conflict Problems In The South China East Asia Sea
  • 4 hours Top HHS official takes leave of absence after Facebook rant about CDC conspiracies
  • 6 hours Biden NOW says he supports Fracking
  • 2 days Open letter from Politico about US-russian relations
UAE’s Nuclear Power Pivot Comes At A High Cost

UAE’s Nuclear Power Pivot Comes At A High Cost

The United Arab Emirates have…

The Nuclear Sector Gets A State-Sponsored Lifeline

The Nuclear Sector Gets A State-Sponsored Lifeline

The U.S. Department of Energy…

Nuclear Power Could Win Big In U.S. Elections

Nuclear Power Could Win Big In U.S. Elections

The world’s largest nuclear power…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Premium Content

World’s Biggest Uranium Nation Just Confirmed Record Production

Last August, I discussed how uranium production in world-leading nation Kazakhstan appeared to be rising, despite lower prices.

And this week we got confirmation that 2015 was another record year for this uranium hotspot.

Kazakhstan’s state uranium miner Kazatomprom said Monday that the country’s output saw a substantial rise over the past year. With production jumping 4.3 percent in 2015, to 23,800 tonnes uranium (52.5 million pounds). Related: The Condensate Con: How Real Is The Oil Glut?

That’s an increase of over 970 tonnes (2.1 million pounds) from the 22,829 tonnes that Kazakhstan produced in 2014. Showing that the mining industry here is continuing to expand, even as prices have languished below $40 per pound for the entirety of the past year.

Such price levels however, appear to be entirely feasible for Kazakhstan’s uranium industry. Which enjoys some of the lowest production costs in the world, outside of Canada’s stellar Athabasca Basin.

This is a case where geology and metallurgy come together to create world-leading production conditions. With Kazakhstan’s deposits having decent grades, generally above 0.1 percent uranium oxide — and also being amenable to sulfuric acid leaching, which is usually more effective than the alkaline leaching that must be used in places like the U.S. Related: $20 Oil No Longer Seen As Good For The Economy

That’s an important lesson in general for mining observers: there are a lot of different factors that go into determining a mine’s position on the global cost curve. But when the stars align, low production costs can keep an operation in demand even during market downturns like we’ve seen in uranium the last few years.

A final interesting note from the Kazakhstan data is that production from state mining firm Kazatomprom itself actually declined in 2015. With the company producing 13,000 tonnes uranium during the past year, as compared to 13,156 tonnes in 2014. Related: Oman Offers to Slash Oil Production If OPEC Follows Suit

That suggests private enterprise in Kazakhstan is actually picking up the slack. No numbers were given on which firms were responsible for the overall production rise — but recent moves by Chinese firms into Kazakhstan could be helping.

Watch for this to remain the world’s go-to producer as long as uranium prices stay subdued.

Here’s to thriving in the lows

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • Toran on January 20 2016 said:
    Just an FYI, the conversion of tU to m lbs U3O8 is off. The multiplier should be 2.6, totaling ~61.9 m lbs.
  • Don Clifford on February 15 2016 said:
    Chinese demand drove oil over $100/barrel, now they're building out nuclear to replace their dirty and inefficient coal plants.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News