Iran announces start-up of uranium mine

07 February 2023

Work has begun at the Narigan Mining and Industrial Complex in Yazd province, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has announced. AEOI describes it as the country's largest uranium-molybdenum mine.

The ceremonial start of operations at Narigan (Image: AEOI)

The mine was formally inaugurated by Mohamed Eslami, head of the AEOI, on 5 February, who said developing the capacity to supply Iran's nuclear fuel cycle for electricity supply and "radiation use" is a "heavy and significant investment" needed to secure clean energy.

According to the Fars news agency, Eslami said the uranium from Narigan will be sent to Isfahan for "purification" and fabrication into nuclear fuel. He said the site is estimated to hold "650 tons of uranium metal" and "4,600 tons of molybdenum metal ... in the category of definitive and probable reserves".

No timescale for mining operations was given.

The ceremony took place on 5 February (Image: AEOI)

The most recent edition of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) joint report on uranium resources, production and demand - known as the Red Book - says Iran has 4,316 tU of reasonably assured uranium resources and 5,535 tU of inferred resources. A 50 tU per year plant to process uranium ore from the Saghand underground mine in Yazd began operations near Ardakan in 2017. A 21 tU per year uranium plant at Bandar Abbas operated from 2006, processing ore from the Gachin deposit in the province of Hormozgan, but closed down in 2016.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News