Fuel cycle roundup #27

06 June 2014

First consignment from Cooke

Sibanye Gold has sent its first consignment of 10 tonnes of uranium diuranate from its Cooke operations in South Africa to Nufcor for calcining to uranium oxide.

Sibanye was unbundled from Goldfields Ltd in 2013, and acquired the Cooke operations, including the Ezulwini gold and uranium processing plant, from Gold One the same year. The company intends to offset revenue from by-product uranium against the total cost of gold production at the mine, and envisages uranium production of 230 tonnes per year by the end of 2016.

Business as usual at Kazakh operations

Normal business operations at the Betpak Dala and Kyzylkum uranium joint ventures in Kazakhstan are not likely to be affected pending the issue of new subsoil rights, Uranium One has said. A Kazakh court has dismissed the company's appeal against a court order invalidating existing licences.

Agreements providing for the continuation of operations at Betpak Dala and Kyzylkum were signed concurrently with agreements between Uranium One's parent company Rosatom and Kazakh joint venture partner Kazatomprom providing for the issuance of new subsoil rights for the Akdala, South Inkai and Kharasan uranium fields. Uranium One and Kazatomprom have also signed a definitive uranium offtake agreement ensuring the continuity of deliveries to Uranium One and its customers during this period.

Areva wins Vattenfall contract

Areva is to supply fuel assemblies for four of Vattenfall's Swedish reactors under a new contract running from 2016 to 2020. The company has not specified the reactors involved. The assemblies will be manufactured at the Lingen plant in Germany. Areva also said that Vattenfall is going forwards with the irradiation of Areva's new Gaia PWR fuel design at its Ringhals plant.

Paladin progress

China's National Development Reform Commission has approved China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC's) proposed purchase of a 25% interest in Paladin's Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia. The sale, announced earlier this year, still requires approval by other Chinese governmental authorities.

Meanwhile Paladin has confirmed that all uranium production at Kayelekera, including circuit inventory cleanup, ceased on 21 May. Earlier this year, the company announced its plans to place Malawi's only operating uranium mine in care and maintenance until such time as the uranium price reaches $70-75 per pound U3O8.

Skyharbour buys into Athabasca Basin

Vancouver-based Skyharbour Resources is to purchase the Way Lake and Yurchison Lake uranium projects in Canada from Denison Mines for $20,000 in cash and two million common shares. Both projects are in the eastern Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan. Way Lake has inferred NI43-101 uranium resources of 6.96 million pounds U3O8 (2677 tU). The company says Yurchison Lake boasts "strong discovery potential."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News