Guangdong Nuclear’s Full Namibia Uranium Output in 2017Felix Njini
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co. will achieve full production at the Namibian Husab uranium project in 2017 after taking control of the site last year.
First output is on schedule to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 before achieving full capacity of 15 million pounds of the nuclear fuel a year, Grant Marais, a spokesman for unit Swakop Uranium, said yesterday in an e-mailed reply to queries.
China Guangdong bid A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) for Extract Resources Ltd. of Australia last year to take control of Husab as China’s second-largest reactor builder sought supplies for operations at home. Husab was described at the time as the world’s fourth-largest uranium deposit. Prices of the fuel have plunged this year to the lowest since 2005 and Areva SA last year suspended development of a mine in Namibia.
“We are confident that the price will be substantially higher in 2017 when the Husab mine reaches nameplate production” or installed capacity, Marais said. The price slid as low as $34.50 a pound, Georgia-based Ux Consulting says.
Prices fell after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that caused a nuclear meltdown and the closing of most atomic operations. As of June, only 2 out of 50 had opened.
Building at Husab is 25 percent complete and by mid-2015 a million metric tons of ore will have been stockpiled, he said.
Water for the mine will be secured from a desalination plant being built by Areva. Husab will need 7 million cubic meters of water a year once full production starts, Marais said.
The Namibian government owns 10 percent of the mine.