Chinese uranium mine in Niger starts trials
January 4, 2011
The company produced the first barrel of uranium at the West African mine last week, it revealed in a statement on its website, without giving further details.
China’s uranium demand may rise to 20 000tpa by 2020, more than a third of the 50 572t mined globally last year, according to the World Nuclear Association. The nation may purchase about
5 000t this year, more than twice as much as it consumes, to build stockpiles for new reactors, according to Thomas Neff, a physicist and uranium-industry analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
China National Nuclear and Shenzhen-based ZTE Energy Company had originally expected to start production at uranium mines in Niger in 2009, and expand the annual output to 700t by 2011 and 1 000t ultimately, said Chen Yuehui, deputy general manager of China National Nuclear’s overseas exploration unit.