Nuclear Energy and Uranium in Mongolia

By , 11 December, 2009, 2 Comments

Mr. Eric de SEZE, General Director & CEO of Areva Mongolia, “Nuclear Energy and Uranium” “PART TWO of BCM Meeting Highlights”

On Monday, December 7, 2009, Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) held its last meeting of the year.  Guest speakers Mr. B. Enhuyag, First Deputy Governor of Bank of Mongolia and Mr. Eric de SEZE, General Director & CEO of Areva Mongolia discussed “Views on Current Macro-Economics and Mongolia’s Banking Sector” and “Nuclear Energy and Uranium”, respectively.

Rather than spit out their presentations verbatim, I will highlight points that I found interesting.

Please note these highlights are written NOT written verbatim; they are written in my own words and, in some cases, there may be quite big errors.  Personally, I did not even anticipate that I might post some highlights online for view of the public at large.  Please bear with me.

Mr. Eric de SEZE, General Director & CEO of Areva Mongolia, “Nuclear Energy and Uranium”

  • 97-98% of enriched uranium can be recycled.
  • Uranium is typically found at 1-2.5% and enriched is considered at 3%.
  • Everything has radiation, including the water we drink.  The question is the level or radiation.  Radiation experienced by an average person is 2.4 mSv (per year?) while a radiation experienced by a person living at 1,500m altitude is 3.6 mSv
  • On Uranium pricing, the media tends to focus on the volatile spot price of Uranium, but the industry insiders and traders focus on contract pricing.  Example pricing showed spot pricing at $42.50/lb and contract pricing at $65/lb.
  • Dornod & Dulaan Uul uranium reserve could propel Mongolia to #4 in the world (in term s of uranium mining?).
  • Rio Tinto mines 18% of Uranium in the world
  • Mongolia’s “almost neighbor“ Kazakhstan could become world’s #1 uranium mining country in either 2009 or 2010
  • There are three basic mining methods: rock 65%, sand 25%, by product 10%
  • Although Mongolia has two or three large uranium mining deposits, the methods needed will be at least two completely different methods.  The mining north will be the more standard “rock” mining, whereas the deposits in Gobi or to the South, will require “sand” mining techniques, which is completely different in exploration and mining methods from the former.
  • World reserve for uranium mining is 4.5M tU, which is enough to use for 70 years.  However, this number stays roughly the same year after year because more are found as more are used.
  • Mongolia is officially #14 in determined uranium reserve, which is basically the same as India, a country which has been doing uranium mining and using nuclear energy for decades now
  • Mongolia’s reserve is roughly twice that of China and 1/3 that of Russia
  • Uranium is two times heavier than lead.  1 Cubic Liter of Uranium will weigh 19+ times more than water… almost 20 kilos per cubic liter!
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