Cameco kicks off uranium mine approvals process

A mining hopeful in Western Australia plans to double the amount of uranium it will process.

Cameco bought the Yeelirrie project, 70 km south-west of Wiluna, from BHP Billiton in 2012 for $452 million.

But the Saskatchewan-based company wants to double the amount of ore BHP was granted approval to process, so has opted to restart the environmental approval process.

Under the new plan, processing capacity at the site would be 7 500 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate per annum.

Cameco has committed to completing a development proposal by June 2018

It is estimated that Yeelirrie hosts measured and indicated mineral resources of approximately 139 million pounds of U3O8, with an average grade of approximately 0.13% U3O8and inferred resource of approximately 5 million pounds at 0.10% U3O8.

The move by Cameco comes at a time when positivity has crept back into the uranium market.

Prices have risen from lows of US$28/lb to a recent high of US$44/lb as Japan commits to restarting nuclear reactors.

Expected supply shortfalls in the mid-term and nuclear growth in China are expected to further buoy prices into the New Year. 

Image: cameco.com

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