Close X Cookies are necessary for the proper functioning of 24hGold.com. By continuing your navigation on our website, you are accepting the use of cookies.
To learn more about cookies ...
EnglishFrench
In the same category

Saskatchewan: A Gold Mine for Uranium

IMG Auteur
Published : August 19th, 2010
786 words - Reading time : 1 - 3 minutes
( 0 vote, 0/5 )
Print article
  Article Comments Comment this article Rating All Articles  
0
Send
0
comment
Our Newsletter...
Category : Investing

 

 

 

 

Mining is a risky business and accidents happen. But when your mine is the world’s largest uranium deposit, fourth largest copper deposit, and fifth largest gold deposit, an accident can cost a little bit more than the average. Something BHP Billiton found out after the shaft accident at its flagship Olympic Dam mine located 560 kilometers north of Adelaide, South Australia.


In October of last year, a breakdown of one of two haulage systems saw a loaded iron skip plummeting to the bottom of the 800-meter-deep main shaft. It caused enough damage to the inside of the shaft, and to the gears and the wheels that bring the ore to the surface, that it took nine months to repair.


So much does it actually cost when production is halted at a mine that’s clearly won the geological lottery?


BHP Billiton revealed on July 21 that annual copper production was down 11% in 2010, uranium production off by 43%, and gold production was 19% below the normal. The amount of material mined in fiscal 2010 was 5.3 million tonnes, down 9.8 million tonnes from last year.


The mine has, according to the company, returned to full production now. There is however, the small problem of contracts.
One of BHP’s largest clients is China, the country whose energy appetite just can’t get enough. The country that will be buying up to 5,000 metric tonnes of uranium this year.


The Olympic Dam mine produces 7% of the world’s uranium, production that was affected by the shutdown. While production is getting back on track today, the feeling in the BHP boardroom is one of unease.


The reason: the rise in the number of new nuclear power stations coming online in the next few years, along with all the contracts that need to be fulfilled. Expansion plans are in the works already. BHP is looking to massively increase the size of the mine and has handed in a 4,000-page environmental impact statement (EIS) draft to the Australian government.


The sticking point is, they’re going to have to go deeper, and it’s going to get a lot more expensive. The Australian government isn’t going to turn away from the opportunity to tax this goldmine either. And if the problems of additional cost aren’t enough, the rail system in Australia can’t handle moving that much ore at all times, so tack on some more delays.


Unsurprisingly, BHP is out scouting the market for some good deals on uranium. Top on their list is Saskatchewan, Canada.


Why Canada Is 45 Times Better Than the U.S.


The uranium deposits in Saskatchewan aren’t just significantly large; they’re also the highest-quality uranium known on the planet. The ore mined at MacArthur River has an average ore grade of 21% – average ore grades are given as a percentage of uranium oxide in the ore.


Just to compare, the uranium found in the U.S. is usually around 0.4 - 0.5%. That makes the Athabasca Basin uranium 45 times higher-grade.


The uranium deposit at MacArthur River can be visualized as a few school busses parked within a school football field. It might sound small, but in uranium-speak, that deposit’s big! It’s big because the grades are incredible in the Athabasca Basin. And that makes it huge financially.


Canada also ensures that the uranium it sells is used solely for electricity generation at nuclear power plants. The end use is very strictly enforced through an assortment of international non-proliferation treaties and Canadian export restrictions.
In fact, uranium on a per-tonne basis is worth more than gold if you’re in the Athabasca Basin. Given current uranium spot prices, it can fetch a staggering US$13,500 per tonne. That’s unheard of!


BHP Takes a Whole Building in Saskatoon


After meeting with many uranium executives, one can’t help but notice the large BHP building off 3rd Avenue while walking around Saskatoon. It’s not just the potash and diamonds that BHP cares about in Saskatchewan. The quantity of uranium underneath the Athabasca Basin is almost beyond reckoning. It can provide substantial wealth to the right company and the right investor.


If BHP decides to enter the uranium sector in Saskatchewan, which companies are on their short list?


That’s exactly what I was finding out while wandering the prairies.

----


If you want to know which juniors are the most likely to be taken over by uranium-hungry BHP, you’ll find out soon in Casey’s Energy Report. After Marin has done his due diligence, he’ll emerge with a few hand-picked small-cap companies that show the greatest potential to provide investors with handsome returns. Take your 3-month risk-free trial now and get in early when Marin gives the starter shot. Learn more here.



 

Marin Katusa

Casey’s Energy Report


 


 

 

 

<< Previous article
Rate : Average :0 (0 vote)
>> Next article
Marin Katusa is the chief investment strategist, Energy Division, of Casey Research, publishers of the Casey Energy Speculator and Casey Energy Confidential Alert Service. An accomplished investment analyst and former professor of advanced mathematics, Marin specializes in uncovering early-stage opportunities in the junior resource sector using a combination of boots on the ground and a proprietary diagnostic tool that analyzes and compares hundreds of investment variables.
WebsiteSubscribe to his services
Latest comment posted for this article
Be the first to comment
Add your comment
Top articles
Latest Comments
Panicked Hedge Funds Now Praying...
30 Junovertheedge
"... and the silly game theory ..." Obviously you have no knowledge of game theory and its applications. Otherwise you wouldn't have used ...
The Gold Standard: Generator & P...
30 Junuser4779
Is it really so bad for Americans that they do not spend their lives labouring on a production line to make mass-produced goods, and have left this...
The Gold Standard: Generator & P...
30 Junsam_site
You state, “To continue selling to the West, China will have to open wide its doors to imports” Here’s the crux of your argument of why Chin...
The euro crisis
30 Junovertheedge1
"There is no immediate benefit from debating why." Debate? That would be like debating whether or not gravity exists. You stated the obvio...
The Ultimate Confirmation
29 Junovertheedge
It would appear that we share the same conclusion. A few sealed cans of kerosene might be handy as well. Thumbs up sir.
The Ultimate Confirmation
29 JunS W.1
My main sentiment here is why swap dollars for gold or silver only to sell at some later date for more dollars when that same paper is continually ...
The Ultimate Confirmation
28 Junovertheedge1
Well, gotta admit that there is a problem if a person tries to play silver as both an investment and as an insurance policy. I would suggest th...
The Ultimate Confirmation
27 JunS W.
Fair call, overtheedge. I've given Butler short shrift several times. Fancy spending 30 yrs analysing the silver market likely believing Ag...
Most commented articlesFavoritesMore...
World PM Newsflow
ALL
GOLD
SILVER
PGM & DIAMONDS
OIL & GAS
OTHER METALS
Mining Company News
Arch Coal(Au-Coal-Cu)ACI
SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Announces an Investigation Involving Possible Violations Concerning Arch Coal, Inc.’s 401 (k) Plan-- ACI
US$ 0.33-2.94%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Mindoro Res.(Cu-Ni-Zn)MIO.V
Mindoro Announces That Bridge Loan from TVI Resource Development, Phils. Inc. has Not Been Extended
CA$ 0.01+0.00%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Bannerman(Ur)BMN.AX
Change of Director's Interest Notice - L Jubber
AU$ 0.05+4.08%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Peabody(Coal)BTU
Mid-Day Market Update: Chubb Surges Following Announcement of Acquisition by Ace; Ballard Power Shares Decline
US$ 1.78-18.72%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Peabody(Coal)BTU
Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Constellation Brands Q1 Profit Tops Views
US$ 1.78-18.72%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Asian Mineral Res.(Co-Ni-Cu)ASN.V
Asian Mineral Resources Announces Appointment of Director
CA$ 0.05+0.00%Trend Power :
Corporate news
AlstomALO.PA
Alstom’s Citadis Dualis enters service on the Nantes-Clisson line
€UR 25.73+1.10%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Range Res.RRS.AX
Why Range Resources (RRC) Could Be Positioned for a Slump - Tale of the Tape
AU$ 0.02+0.00%Trend Power :
Corporate news
IC Potash(Ur-Gems)ICP.TO
IC Potash Announces Results Of 2015 Annual And Special Meeting And Extension Of Expiry Date For Outstanding Warrants
CA$ 0.22-2.22%Trend Power :
Corporate news
AlstomALO.PA
Alstom signs a turnkey contract with Eletrosul to integrate wind farms in southern Brazil
€UR 25.73+1.10%Trend Power :
Corporate news
Comments closed