Uranium output to triple by 2017
According to the Bank of Namibia, production of the nuclear fuel will rise 62.9% in 2016 and 89.5% in 2017. Uranium oxide production will expand by a factor of 3, from 3713 metric tonnes in 2013 to around 11,000 MT in 2017.
These projections are based on the output of Swakop Uranium’s Husab project. The first production of uranium oxide started in February, with full ramp-up expected in 2017. The mine is 90% owned by China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp (CGN) and 10% by the Swakop Uranium developer.
The US$2-billion project potentially could produce 15 million pounds of U308 annually, overtaking Niger and Australia. It is claimed to be the third largest uranium-only deposit in the world, with measured and indicated reserves of about 140,000 tonnes. The open-pit mine with two pits is expected to have a 20-year life.