Boss Energy is a step closer to its goal of becoming Australia’s next uranium producer at the Honeymoon project in South Australia, as prices continue to sit higher than earlier company estimates.
Since July 2021, the spot price of uranium has risen from US$32.40 ($44.50) per pound to more than US$50 per pound, and was US$41.25 per pound at the time of writing.
According to a statement from Boss, the company received three requests for tender proposals from three countries with nuclear energy in recent weeks in a sign of the increasing strength of the uranium market and Honeymoon’s status in the industry as a near-term producer.
Boss managing director Duncan Craib said his company would continue to extend its advantage as the most advanced emerging uranium producer in Australia.
“We have a plant in care and maintenance, other significant production and storage infrastructure in place, we have formed an owners’ team to restart Honeymoon and we are moving through the FEED stage rapidly,” he said.
“By continuing to advance Honeymoon on several fronts while growing the uranium inventory, we can ensure we can capitalise on the rapidly turning uranium market at the moment of our choosing.”
According to a report released by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), Australian-mined uranium could be used to power advanced nuclear technologies like small modular reactors (SMRs) with the potential to power remote mine sites
The Small Modular Reactors in the Australian Context report states that SMRs will maintain the essential system grid security currently under threat from the close of baseload power stations.
“A blend of clean generation sources will also maximise the cost-effective production of hydrogen and synthetic fuels, and ensure best, economical use is made of storage capacity in the grid,” the report states.
“Their full-time production of emissions-free electricity and heat supports more efficient and productive paths to hydrogen production, as well as a broad range of industrial applications including ammonia production, food processing, synthetic fuels and metal ore processing and metal smelting.
“Providing reliable, low cost zero emission industrial scale power makes SMRs an ideal power solution for remote mining operations.”
The MCA has long advocated that Australia needs to consider zero emission nuclear energy.
MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said changes in the economic, trade, security, policy and technology environments in which Australia operates means that all options for low-carbon energy sources must be considered.
“With one third of the world’s uranium reserves, Australia has a significant uranium mining sector, supplying about 10 per cent of global demand,” Constable said.
“That is enough uranium to power almost the entire output of the national electricity market with low cost zero emission power.
“Australia should take advantage of growing international interest in nuclear energy and look to expand its already significant uranium sector.”