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Australia Lines Up Honeymoon Uranium Mine as Nuclear Momentum Builds via Bloomberg

By James Thornhill

The planned restart of a mothballed uranium mine in Australia — the world’s third-largest producer — is a fresh sign that developers are beginning to respond to an improving demand outlook and the support of the Biden administration for zero-emissions nuclear energy.

The Honeymoon mine, which was shuttered in 2014 due to weak prices, could be re-started in 12 months, developer Boss Energy Ltd. said in a feasibility study. The company was just waiting for a stronger price signal, according to Chief Executive Officer Duncan Craib, adding that he was confident market dynamics were moving in the right direction.

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China is another growth area, potentially doubling its nuclear generation capacity to as much as 100 gigawatts by 2030, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Simon Chan. A recent safety scare around a gas build-up in the Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong is unlikely to derail that growth, according to experts.

“Safety is always a focus for nuclear due to its potential impact,” Chan said. “We think the recent issues at Taishan could increase the attention on safety, but the long-term growth outlook should remain intact.”

Australia has two active mines — BHP Group’s Olympic Dam and Quasar Resources Pty’s Four Mile. Honeymoon, which was acquired by Boss in 2015, could add an extra 2.45 million pounds (1,225 tons) of production a year to a market, which currently requires around 67,500 tons a year, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Boss Energy, which counts Paradice Investment Management LLC and Tribeca Investment Partners Pty, among its investors, has seen its shares jump 63% this year. Other major producers Cameco Corp. and Paladin Energy Ltd. have risen 48% and 92% respectively.

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