uranium
#Actualite #Energy #Mining #Namibia #Africa
Denys Bédarride
24 January 2022 Last update on Monday, January 24, 2022 At 11:03 AM

As the world's largest producer of uranium, Kazakhstan went through a major social crisis at the start of the year. If the events did not disrupt the world supply, they serve as a reminder of the dependence on the Asian country, at a time when uranium is enjoying renewed interest.

The mining company GoviEx Uranium, active in Niger, Zambia and Mali, believes that the recent social unrest in Kazakhstan represents an opportunity for African uranium-producing countries.

“ The recent crisis in Kazakhstan has highlighted the potential risk for production, in particular due to the concentration of supply ”, indicate Govind Friedland and Daniel Major, respectively executive chairman and CEO of the company, in the annual letter addressed January 12 to shareholders.

Kazakhstan is indeed a key player in the market with 40% of the world supply. As the country descended into chaos during the first days of 2022, the price of uranium thus rose by 8% on Wednesday January 5 to exceed $45, according to data from market analyst UxC, reported by Bloomberg.

Opportunities in Africa

While the Kazakh state now claims that the situation is under control and that, for its part, the national company Kazatomprom has not indicated any disruption in its supply chain during the unrest, this type of situation can nevertheless encourage buyers to diversify. their sources of supply, with investments in new projects. It should be noted, however, that the uranium market is special, because nuclear power plants, which concentrate demand, make long-term supplies and remain little subject to temporary disturbances.

While the energy transition is accelerating with its needs for low-carbon energy production, a renewed interest in nuclear power and therefore in untapped uranium reserves is still topical. Last year, these forecasts encouraged several companies active on projects, notably in Niger, Namibia or Malawi, to accelerate their activities to meet the increase in demand for fuel.

As for GoviEx, the company is targeting the start of commercial production for 2025 at the Nigerian Madaouela project, its most advanced African asset. A feasibility study should be completed by June 2022 for the start of construction work in 2023.

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