Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section

Uranium Production Cycle


Technical Meeting on Low Grade Uranium Ore

29-31 March 2010
IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria


I. INTRODUCTION

Increasing interest in nuclear power worldwide has lead to rising uranium demand, and in turn, the price of uranium concentrates. The consequent uranium industry revival has prompted renewed uranium exploration and mining activities in several countries while the short fall of uranium supply has been complemented by secondary supply. The uranium resource base and yellowcake production are expect to continue their upward trend from both existing and new mines. New sources of primary uranium will focus on exploration and exploitation of lower grade ore bodies, and so resource projects will seek low energy mining methods, as well as lower intensity ore treatment routes, to minimize yellowcake recovery costs from these deposits.

Mature expertise and modern technologies will be needed to ensure an increasing supply of uranium raw materials from low grade resources. The direct treatment of mined and broken uranium ores by heap, dump and in-place leaching is expected to play an increasing role for uranium production. Further, sound environmental management, community liaison, effective project delivery, efficient operation, closure strategies, regulatory compliance, personnel training and education will be required to minimize the impact and cost of uranium mining and production, and to secure public acceptance of nuclear energy.

The long term stewardship of nuclear power will include an adequate planning and development of uranium resources that can be delivered to the market at competitive prices. Environmental controls and mining techniques to better integrate exploitation of uranium deposits with ore treatment flowsheets must be planned as socially acceptable operations, and closure plans must meet the requirements of increasingly stringent regulatory requirements and community expectations.

II. TOPICS TO BE COVERED

In addition to a range of presentations by invited speakers , contributions, as either audio-visual papers and posters, are invited on the following topics;

III. ORGANIZATION

Scientific Secretary:
Mr Peter BARTSCH
Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology
Phone: +43 1 2600 22470
Fax: +43 1 26007
Email: [email protected]

Secretary:
Ms Helena Kuitunen,
Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology
Phone: +43 1 2600 22756
Fax: +43 1 26007
Email: [email protected]