A uranium extraction facility would help clean up potential or existing environmental hazards, create a new supply of domestic uranium, and create value as cement and concrete filler material. Sparton would benefit from management fees and possible royalties plus an equity ownership in the company operating the facility.
Sparton’s team is continuing to acquire samples from other high uranium ash stations in other areas of China and new results will be available on an ongoing basis. Since signing the agreement in China, Sparton has signed agreements to do similar programs in 6 countries in Central Europe and the Republic of South Africa.
There are shorter lead times to getting Uranium production from coal ash than from regular uranium mines.
Seawater Uranium Collection Would not Move the Seawater
Japanese plans for Uranium from Seawater would be to place the uranium collection system in the path of ocean currents. Kuroshio current moves 520,000 tons of uranium every year.
At a regular meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) on June 2, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) reported on technology for collecting uranium from seawater. According to the two organizations, the total amount of uranium contained in seawater – as one of the 77 elements dissolved therein – measures some 4.5 billion tons, about one thousand times more than is known to exist in uranium mines. Even if Japan could collect just 0.2% of the 520,000 tons of uranium transported every year by the Japan (Kuroshio) Current that flows in the Pacific Ocean, it could easily meet its annual need of 8,000 tons.
The Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) has recently recommended Japan mass-culture seaweed to collect natural resources such as bio-ethanol and uranium. In the “Apollo and Poseidon Initiative 2025,” MRI suggests that Japan cultures gulfweed, which can grow more than 2 metres high a year in the sea. The plants could also absorb carbon dioxide and purify the seawater, and can be used as non-food alternative energy sources for bio-ethanol. In April, MRI plans to inaugurate a consortium comprising public research institutes and manufacturers to move the plan forward. Using advanced molecular and gene-engineering technologies, MRI estimates that Japan would be capable of producing 65 million metric tons of gulfweed a year, and recovering a resource of 195 million tons of uranium. The annual rate of recovery is 40% of Japan’s total consumption. (19 February 2008, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun)
Currently about eight million or so tonnes of seaweed are produced each year, with a market of nearly $6 billion, primarily China, Japan and Korea. The seaweed is grown for food.
New Conventional Uranium Sources
State-owned China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) has discovered China’s largest uranium deposit to date, with the new find in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region estimated to hold tens of thousands of tonnes of uranium. The deposit, in Ordos, was discovered around the same time as another
large uranium deposit that has reserves of over 10,000 tonnes. The other deposit was uncovered in Ili in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to People’s Daily.
It reported trenching numbers of up to 0.192% (3.84 lbs/ton) U3O8 over 4 meters at its new high grade Grandroy zone, 7 km north of its 40 million pound Double S deposit in Quebec. The grades reported today are more than 10x the grade of Double S.
At the nearby Turgeon Est zone, grab samples ranged up to 0.685% (13.7 lbs/ton) U3O8. The company says a diamond drilling program will commence shortly on Grandroy and Turgeon Est Zones.
Strateco Resources Inc. (TSX:RSC) Matoush Uranium Project in the Otish Mountains of Quebec the most advanced exploration uranium project in Canada by a junior. Strateco began the EA process in 2008, and has since been interfacing with the agency in what is a very stringent evaluation and compliance process designed to protect the environment and the public from risks associated with uranium mining activities. The Matoush deposit, 265 km north of Chibougamau in north-central Quebec, has a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource estimate stipulating indicated resources of 3.73 million pounds of U3O8 at 0.68% U3O8 and inferred resources of 13 million pounds at 0.44% U3O8. These resources are as of July 25, 2008. Since then, more than 30,000 metres were drilled and add to the resources. One of the unique qualities of the Matoush deposit is the grade. Outside Athabasca this project is the highest grade in the world (average grade) with a grade of about 11 pounds per tonne of uranium. We have also a scoping study which has been done last year showing that the project is very strong economically and justified to the next step which is the bankable feasibility study which we have already started.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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