Author Forecasts: U.S. Uranium Mining Production to Jump by 800 Percent in 10 Years

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Uranium author forecasts annual U.S. uranium mining production could jump above 25 million pounds by 2016, providing 4,000 new mining jobs to depressed areas in Wyoming , New Mexico and Utah . U.S. uranium producers could reap more than $10 billion in new uranium sales.

According to uranium geologist David R. Miller, co-author of “Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market,” re-starting many of the uranium mining projects abandoned over the past two decades could produce more than 25 million pounds of ‘yellowcake’ by 2016. This could bring depressed towns in Wyoming , New Mexico , and Utah about 4,000 high-paying mining jobs. “For every direct mining job, about seven new service jobs are also created,” said Miller. He forecast that over the next 20 years, “The uranium industry could spin off $20 billion in cash flow to U.S. uranium producers.”

Miller’s forecasts show Wyoming leading all other states in uranium mining with production projections in excess of 10 million pounds of uranium oxide by 2015. While he expects aggressive growth in Wyoming uranium mining, he expects New Mexico uranium mining to become the big surprise after 2010. “ New Mexico uranium deposits have some of the highest grades in the country,” Miller said. “The political climate in Grants, New Mexico is also one of the most encouraging environments for uranium mining in the United States.” Uranium mining in New Mexico stopped in the 1990’s during the bottom of the ‘uranium drought.’

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. utilities loaded 58 million pounds of uranium into the country’s 103 nuclear reactors in 2005. In the same year, domestic uranium miners fell short on what the utilities required, only producing about 2 million pounds. The difference was made up by importing uranium from other countries. For the past two decades, American utilities have increasingly relied upon foreign uranium. The U.S.-Russian ‘swords for plowshares’ deal, which provided U.S.utilities with cheap uranium expires in 2013. Dismantled Russian warheads presently provide nearly 50 percent of the reactor fuel for U.S. utilities, powering about 10 percent of the country’s electrical power grid.

Miller argues for U.S. utilities to work with domestic miners and cultivate a national supply of mined uranium to safeguard against potential supply disruptions. Aggressive acquisition of not-yet-mined uranium by China , Russia and India “could hinder U.S. utilities from obtaining sufficient uranium at economic prices before the end of this decade,” Miller insisted.

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