HARTBEESFONTEIN, North West (miningweekly.com) – JSE-listed investment holding company Oakbay Resources & Energy is upbeat about the long-term prospects for the uranium industry.
“It is estimated that uranium demand will grow to 266-million pounds a year by 2030, up from the current 140-million pounds a year. Uranium prices are also forecast to rise by 65% to 85% by 2017 as a result of an expected increase in demand and potential supply shortages,” CEO Varun Gupta told journalists at a site visit to the company’s Shiva uranium mine on Wednesday.
He explained that uranium demand was predominantly driven by its use in nuclear power generation, pointing out that there were currently about 355 operating nuclear power plants worldwide with 45 to 70 under construction and another 366 either in planning or at proposal stage worldwide.
Gupta said the company had focused on starting openpit gold mining at the mine to provide cash flow. The mine had a total gold resource of 5.2-million ounces and an estimated 16-year mine life.
The mining complex comprised three underground shafts, an openpit gold mining operation and two processing plants, one for uranium and the other for gold.