The world is in danger of a uranium supply shortfall as the global nuclear industry speeds up, chief executive of Energy Resources Australia (ERA) Rob Atkinson told MINING DAILY.
“While there are an awful lot of nuclear reactors being built around the world, uranium mines are not keeping pace,” he said.
“With 30 countries in the world operating nuclear reactors, as well as another 14 countries planning reactors, that leaves open quite a significant supply opportunity.”
Operator of the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory, ERA last week reported a record first half profit of $127.6 million for the six months to June 30, up from $38.9 million during the same period last year.
The company also announced uranium oxide sales of 2,280 tonnes, which was a 31% increase over last year.
The positive results came weeks after ERA received environmental approval from the Federal and Northern Territory Governments to commence further exploration drilling at its Ranger 3 Deeps ore body which has a current resource of around 34,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.
According to Atkinson, given the company’s positive results and increasing resource levels, ERA is well placed to be a major supplier as the world continues to increase its use of nuclear power.
“Given the nuclear build and the focus on greenhouse gas reduction, I am very excited about the future,” he said.
“I think we are in a bit of a box seat at the moment.”