Higher uranium price to trigger wave of new mines in Namibia

A RAFT of uranium projects in Namibia were waiting for higher prices before approval, said Bloomberg News citing the southern African country’s finance minister, Ipumbu Shiimi.

“There are a number of uranium projects in the pipeline just waiting for the price to recover,” Shiimi told the newswire in an interview last week. “If the price reaches $65-$70 a pound, then that will trigger more investment in uranium.”

Namibia is investing in water facilities and is planning a second desalination plant to supply mines in the dry Erongo region in anticipation of higher uranium prices attracting investors, Shiimi told Bloomberg News.

“The rising price of uranium has incentivised uranium miners to ramp up exploration and production,” John Ciampaglia, CEO of Sprott Asset Management, which launched the world’s first uranium physical trust last year, said in a presentation dated May 17. “Worldwide, 57 new nuclear plants are under construction and 97 are planned, but current uranium production is failing to meet demand.”

Uranium production from Namibia is currently from Rossing Uranium Mine and Husab Uranium controlled by Chinese investors. Australia’s Paladin Energy plans to resume commercial production at its Langer Heinrich mine by 2024.

Bloomberg News said there were five mining areas under exploration in the country, according to the Namibian Uranium Association including projects identified by Deep Yellow, Bannerman Resources and Elevate Uranium.