Uranium And The United States: Colin Healy

United States, Russia agree on United Nations-Syria chemical arms measure

CH: In-situ recovery mining, also known as in-situ leach, is a method of mining where uranium deposited in hydrologically confined layers of the earth is extracted by injecting a solution into the layers capable of dissolving the uranium, at targeted depths, through a series of injection wells, and pumping out this uranium-bearing solution through a series of grid-patterned recovery wells, for processing in surface-based treatment facilities. 45% of global uranium production in 2012 was by this method. ISR mining generally has the advantage of lower up front capital cost, and due to the mining methodology, a smaller surface impact. Successful ISR operations of this type can also yield lower operating costs than conventional mining methods. Still large higher grade conventional mining operations can achieve low cost production, but generally involve significantly longer construction periods, and higher capital burden. UIN: There has been a lot of consolidation in the uranium sector in recent years, do you see this as being a trend that we will see more of moving forward? CH: I still believe there is room for consolidation in the uranium sector globally. I think that in a recovering uranium price environment, you may see competition for some of the more interesting deposits out there. I think that those who are consolidating now, when uranium prices seem to be bottoming, will be rewarded. Sitting on the sidelines too long may mean trying to make a move in a more competitive situation, and ultimately mean higher acquisition costs. UIN: What role, if any, will utilities play in the industrys consolidation? CH: I dont expect U.S. utilities will change their direction and become consolidators or owners of uranium producing operations.

TOUGH NEGOTIATIONS In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama sought to persuade world leaders to apply pressure on Damascus with a resolution that included tough consequences should Assad not surrender his chemical weapons stockpiles in a verifiable way. But by putting the Syria crisis back in the hands of the UN Security Council where Russia has the ability to block punitive action, the chances of US military action appeared to recede even further. Obama faces tough opposition from a sceptical Congress and a war-wary public on the wisdom of intervening military in Syria. With rebel forces plagued by divisions, the Friends of Syria – a bloc of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries plus Turkey -followed up Thursday’s announcement of the draft resolution with a pledge to boost aid to the opposition. Weapons shipments to the rebels have been inadequate to shift the military balance in their favour. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Syria “will implode before any side would claim a military victory” and that all sides needed to move rapidly to put a political solution in place to end the conflict. A senior US official said earlier that the United States and China – another permanent Security Council member – strongly agreed on the need to quickly adopt a binding resolution on eradicating Syria’s chemical arsenal, a remark that appeared aimed at putting pressure on Russia to accept the measure. Russia at first appeared unswayed. Kerry met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for about an hour on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations. After the draft resolution was announced, the Chinese foreign minister said, “The major concerns of all the parties, including China’s concerns, have basically been resolved.” China has backed Russia to veto three council resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned Assad’s government and threatened it with sanctions. Western diplomats say Beijing has little reason to support Assad but is eager to ensure Russia will continue to back it in the Security Council on issues like North Korea.