|3/13/2017 by mdc|
|India and Mongolia plan to begin governmental talks in Mid-2017 on trading in uranium, a mineral abundant in the land-locked Asian country and a key attraction for New Delhi as it seeks new sources of fuel for its ever-growing chain of nuclear plants by needing a tighter partnership with a nation on the periphery of China. But also, Mongolia will be testing its traditional dependence on China by increasing its engagement with other countries i.e., going beyond China dominion.|
Mongolia has a long history of uranium exploration commencing with joint Russian and Mongolian endeavors from the 1950s involving an investment of some US$ 200 million then. Initial success was obtained in the Saddle Hills area of northeastern Mongolia (Dornod and Gurvanbulag regions) where uranium is present in volcanogenic sediments. Prior to 1960, numerous uranium occurrences were discovered in the deposits of brown coal in eastern Mongolia.
Over 1970-90 government geological surveys covered much of the country and based on these the country was classified into four uranium provinces.. Mongol-Priargun, Gobi-Tamsag, Khentei-Daur and Northern Mongolian. Each has different geology and hosts different deposit types. Within these provinces, nine uranium deposits and about 100 uranium occurrences were identified (all sandstone-related).
Though India and Mongolia signed a civilian nuclear deal for uranium supplies way back in 2009, unfortunately, India is still awaiting its first uranium supply from Mongolia. Since, then talks between New Delhi and Ulan Bator on the import of uranium by India have so far remained informal, partly because Mongolia lacks clarity in its regulatory framework for the sale of minerals to other countries under its Nuclear Energy Law 2009.
As India has set a target of generating 63,000MW of nuclear power by 2032, it currently generates less than 10,000MW. Thus, it quickly needs to secure steady import routes of uranium for its nuclear energy supply chain.