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Index / Uranium (Nuclear Minerals) / Nuclear Power - Economics, Design, and Industry

1/8/2016 by mdc
Vivien Diniz reports that so far in 2016, Athabasca Basin uranium companies Cameco, Denison Mines and NexGen Energy have laid out plans for the year. On the first trading day of 2016, the uranium spot price was sitting a mere quarter of a dollar higher than its 2015 close, at $34.50 per pound of U3O8. But despite this weak pricing environment, three Athabasca Basin uranium companies have come forward with strong plans for 2016.

One of those is Cameco, the world second-largest uranium producer. This week, the company announced plans to increase the production rate at its Cigar Lake mine to 16 million pounds of packaged uranium concentrate. Ore produced from Cigar Lake is milled and packaged at the McClean Lake operation, which is owned and operated in majority by AREVA. As it stands, McClean Lake is only approved for annual production of 13 million pounds. AREVA plans to submit an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to increase McLean Lake licensed annual production limit so that it falls in line with Cameco production expectations.

Also this week, Denison Mines announced its uranium exploration plans for 2016, noting that it will be starting an exploration drill program on January 12. Furthermore, the company is looking to spend roughly US$13 million on Canadian exploration and evaluation; it is expecting revenue of $5.4 million from McClean Lake. The company is also awaiting the results of a preliminary economic assessment for Wheeler River.

Finally, up-and-coming uranium exploration and development company NexGen Energy announced assay results from an additional seven angled drill holes from its summer 2015 program at the Rook I property in the Athabasca Basin. While all seven holes returned significant and extensive uranium mineralization, the company has pointed in particular to hole AR-15-59c2, which intersected 36.5 meters at 10.11% U3O8, including 3.meters at 10.11% U3O8, including 3.5 meters at 52.33% U3O8.

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