China Nuclear May Start Mining Mongolia Uranium in Two Years

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China National Nuclear Corp., the nation’s biggest operator of reactors, plans to start mining uranium from the Gurvanbulag deposit in eastern Mongolia within two years.

China Nuclear’s stake in the mining venture will be decided soon, Tsogtsaikhan Gombo, a director at MonAtom, Mongolia’s state-owned company in charge of uranium, said in Beijing. The Mongolian government must own more than 51 percent of any uranium project, he said.

The world’s second-largest energy consumer wants to increase the use of nuclear power by about 10 times by 2030 to cut reliance on oil and coal, the government-owned China Institute of Atomic Energy said in April. China has been in discussions to develop uranium resources in countries including Algeria and Jordan.

China National declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

The Gurvanbulag deposit holds 10,000 to 15,000 metric tons of uranium reserves compared with Mongolia’s proven reserves of about 62,000 tons of the nuclear fuel, Gombo said at a conference Oct. 23. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s estimate of Mongolia’s uranium reserves is more than 1.2 million tons.

China Nuclear got access to Gurvanbulag after its acquisition this year of a majority stake in Canadian mining company Western Prospector Group, which discovered the reserves.

China’s own uranium resources can meet domestic demand until at least 2020, Kang Rixin, China Nuclear’s former president, said on July 4.

--Baizhen Chua. Editors: John Chacko, Alex Devine.

To contact Bloomberg News staff on this story: Baizhen Chua in Beijing at +86-138-1046-5154 or bchua14@bloomberg.net.

Source:www.bloomberg.com

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