(last updated 14 May 2021)
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In China, uranium prospection and/or exploration is being performed by
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC),
Tibet Baoming Industry & Trade Ltd.
China plans acquisition of more foreign uranium assets and dramatic increase of domestic uranium production to 30,000 t/a by 2030
The uranium subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corp, the country's largest nuclear operator, is looking to buy more assets in the uranium-rich countries such as Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia, a top company official said.
"We will consider acquiring more uranium assets if the price is reasonable," Zhou Rongsheng, chief engineer at CGN Uranium Resources Co Ltd, told China Daily on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing.
"We are now considering expanding cooperation with Kazakhstan in both uranium production and fuel assemblies."
He said China's uranium production is expected to top 30,000 tons by 2030, which will enable the country to secure fuel supplies for nuclear power plants being planned at home and abroad.
"By 2020, uranium production in China will exceed one-third of the world's total production," he added.
(China Daily Apr. 14, 2016)
[The World Nuclear Association estimates China's 2014 domestic uranium production at 1,500 t U.]
China to open four new uranium mines
State-owned China National Nuclear Corp has announced plans to build four new uranium mines in China, South China Morning Post reported, citing the firm's chief engineer Zhang Jindai. Zhang said the mining bases in Guangdong, Jiangxi, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia would each have annual output capacity of 1,000 tons of raw ore [? presumably ore concentrate].
(China Economic Review Oct. 22, 2015)
More Chinese companies gaining access to uranium properties abroad
Since the 12th Five-Year Plan, Anhui enterprises have been speeding up "Going Global" and have made great breakthroughs in looking for mineral resources in foreign countries, according to the Anhui Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Exploration (APBGME).
Anhui Geology and Mineral Exploration Overseas Company , affiliated to APBGME, boasts 77 mines with a total area of about 5000 square kilometers in foreign countries. The categories of mines include iron, gold, uranium, tungsten, tin, bronze, lead and zinc.
(anhuinews.com Apr. 14, 2014)
China imported 18,968 t of uranium in 2013 (!)
China imported 18,968 tons of uranium for $2.371 billion in 2013 from five countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Namibia and Canada).
(AKIpress Feb. 13, 2014)
[This corresponds to approx. one third of the world uranium production (2012: 58,395 t U), while China's consumption is only a fraction of this amount (2010: 3,900 t U)!]
> See also: Uzbekistan exports 1,663 t of uranium to China in 2013
Destruction of uranium deposits by nearby coal mining causes headaches in China...
Huge newly discovered reserves of much-needed uranium are in danger of being destroyed amid a row over digging it up.
And as China's nuclear and coal sectors battle over the sites where the radioactive heavy metal lies buried, experts say the uranium is accidentally ending up in coal-fired power stations - creating radioactive ash that is falling on surrounding cities.
One Canadian firm that declined to be interviewed has built a plant near one coal-fired power station in Yunnan to collect the uranium from the ash.
Currently, domestic supply is limited to some low-grade mines formed by ancient volcano eruptions in southern and central provinces such as Sichuan and Hunan. However, state geologists now believe there could be tens of thousands of tons of uranium in the basins of northern China.
The deposits in Ili in Xinjiang and Erdos in Inner Mongolia were described as "world-class" and "mega-sized" in recent reports by state media.
The problem is these rich veins of uranium are buried between thick belts of coal.
Song Xuebin, former head of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)'s 821 Factory that produces uranium fuel, has filed a complaint with the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
He alleged the coal mines were encroaching on the uranium deposits. "These basins contained oil, gas, coal and uranium," he wrote. "Due to its large scale and high speed of construction, coal mining will soon bring huge destruction to uranium resources. It will also cause the environment to suffer radioactive pollution."
Professor Gu Zhongmao, of the China Institute of Atomic Energy and a top adviser to CNNC, said that balancing the interests of the two different energy sectors was proving a headache for the central government.
"The problem is that if we leave those deposits there, they will soon be destroyed by coal mining," warned Gu. "It is not unlikely that the bulk of Chinese uranium reserves end up in the furnaces of coal-fired power plants instead of in nuclear reactors."
(South China Morning Post Nov. 18, 2012)
China to speed up uranium exploration at home and abroad
China National Nuclear Corp will speed up overseas uranium mining exploration, focusing on Australia, Africa and Central Asia, to meet the energy company's growing demand for the raw material, its chairman said on Monday (Nov. 12).
"We have no worries about uranium resource reserves, as we will enhance efforts on exploring the resources both at home and abroad," said Sun Qin, chairman of China National Nuclear Corp, a State-owned energy company which runs more than 40 percent of China's nuclear sites.
"We expect that the domestic market will satisfy half of our demand, with the other half coming from overseas," especially through purchasing uranium resources abroad, Sun said. China imported 16,126 metric tons of uranium in 2011, down 6 percent from the previous year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Around 95 percent of China's uranium imports are from Kazakhstan, Namibia, Australia and Uzbekistan.
(China Daily Nov. 13, 2012)
CGNPG uranium subsidiary develops new mines in China
The uranium subsidiary of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) said it is developing two large mines in China's Guangdong province and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The move is likely to add as much as 1,000 tons to the country's annual production capacity of the nuclear fuel.
"The two mines, both of the 10,000 tons level, are expected to start operations in 2013, each with an annual production capacity of no more than 500 tons," said Zhou Zhenxing, chairman of CGNPG Uranium Resources Co (CGNPG-URC).
(China Daily May 14, 2011)
China more than tripled uranium imports in 2010
China more than tripled its uranium imports to 17,136 tons [!] in the year 2010.
China shipped the material from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Namibia, Russia and Australia.
(The Wall Street Journal Jan. 21, 2011)
China buying uranium to build stockpiles
China is buying unprecedented amounts of uranium:
The nation may purchase about 5,000 metric tons this year, more than twice as much as it consumes, building stockpiles for new reactors, according to Thomas Neff, a physicist and uranium-industry analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
(Bloomberg July 12, 2010)
CNNC to open uranium mine in Xinjiang
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) vice president Qiu Jiangang said that CNNC would build a big uranium ore exploration and production base in Xinjiang.
(CNNC Sep. 10, 2009)
CNNC speeding up uranium exploitation in northwest China
China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), China's major nuclear power developer, signed a framework agreement with the government of northwestern Qinghai Province to speed up local uranium exploitation efforts in order to support government nuclear energy targets, state media reported July 16.
(Interfax China July 17, 2008)
China's uranium demand to rise sixfold by 2020; imports needed
China's uranium demand for power generation will rise to 7,000 tons by 2020 from 1,000 tons, an official with the State Nuclear Power Agency said.
China will need to import uranium to help meet demand because domestic production won't be sufficient by 2020, Li Junjie, director of the uranium material department under the agency, said at an industry conference in Beijing.
In addition to purchasing directly from foreign uranium producers, the government encourages Chinese companies to invest and develop uranium reserves overseas, he said without elaborating.
(Dow Jones Nov. 14, 2007)
China says domestic uranium deposits are sufficient by 2020 only
China has enough uranium reserves to develop its nuclear power industry by 2020, said Wang Zhongtang, a senior official with the State Environment Protection Administration.
A recent survey on 4.3 million square km of the country's territory indicated the annual exploitations of uranium will be able to meet demand in the years up to 2020, he said.
But the official admitted global market is necessary for the long-term development of China's nuclear power industry.
The country is talking with South Africa and Australia about related cooperation and developing new ways to improve the efficiency of uranium usage, said the official.
(People's Daily July 9, 2007)
China to set up strategic uranium reserve
China will build a strategic uranium reserve in the coming years as it pushes a plan for a massive expansion of its nuclear power industry by 2020, state press said on Apr. 17, 2007.
According to the plan, China will focus domestic uranium exploration in the Yili Basin in northwestern China's Xinjiang region and in the Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia.
China will also seek uranium resources overseas, it said.
(AFP Apr. 18, 2007)
On May 17, 2007, Sparton Resources Inc. announced that China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has agreed to purchase any uranium oxide produced from the coal ash leaching tests, as well as any future U3O8 production from the program.
On Dec. 19, 2006, Sparton Resources Inc. reported that it has identified a major supply of uraniferous coal ash in central Yunnan Province.
The local coal has a high ash content (approximately 20-30%) and the coal uranium content varies from about 20-315 parts per million (ppm) and averages about 65 ppm U (historical and current data). Both the bottom ash and fly ash samples tested by Sparton returned values varying from 123-142 ppm U.
Assuming an average U content of 125 ppm, the annual coal ash produced from the three power stations burning that coal contains about 390,000 pounds of U3O8 [150 t U]. At a uranium recovery rate of 70% (to be confirmed with planned leaching tests) 273,000 pounds of uranium oxide [105 t U] could be processed annually.
China plans to build facility for uranium extraction from seawater
China plans to have a fully operational facility capable of extracting uranium from the ocean in about a decade's time, according to the country's nuclear authorities.
Construction work could start as early as 2026, and once completed the plant would have the capacity to extract tonnes of uranium a year from seawater, where uranium reserves are believed to be 1,000 times more than on land.
The China Academy of Engineering Physics, which oversees the development of nuclear weapons [!], will lead the project with support from civilian research institutes like the Chinese Academy of Sciences, according to researchers informed about the project.
The cost to extract 1kg (2.2lbs) of uranium from the ocean costs over US$1,000, or more than 10 times the price to extract it from land, according to one estimate in the Tsinghua paper [study by professor Ye Gang et al. published in the Journal of Tsinghua University in March 2021].
(South China Morning Post May 13, 2021)
CNNC and Saudi Arabia collaborate on uranium extraction from seawater
> View here
China discovers more uranium deposits in Inner Mongolia
Chinese geologists have discovered more uranium deposits at China's largest uranium mine, Xinhua reported Thursday (Nov. 7).
Geological exploration around the western sections of the Daying uranium mine, located in Erdos City in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, started earlier this year and lasted six months, said Cheng Liwei, director of the China Central Geological Survey Fund Management Center.
The belt of uranium at the Daying mine is now thought to be 20 kilometers longer than originally estimated, making the mine the 14th largest in the world, said Cheng.
"Compared with a preliminary survey in 2012, this new discovery represents a uranium deposit increase of about 60%," Cheng said, without disclosing the estimated size of the deposit.
Exploration staff have already reached a drilling depth of about 15,000 meters around the western areas of the Daying mine. The exploration project is supported by investments totaling 24.6 million yuan (US$ 4 million), the Management Center said in a statement on its website.
(WantChinaTimes.com Nov. 8, 2014)
China announces find of large uranium deposit in Inner Mongolia
A large leaching sandstone-type uranium deposit has been discovered in China's northern regions, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Land and Resources on Sunday (Nov. 4).
The mine, ranking as the country's largest leaching sandstone-type uranium deposit identified so far, was found in Daying areas in central Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the ministry said.
The discovery, which makes the site one of the world's top uranium mines, has great significance for boosting domestic uranium supplies and ensuring energy sources for developing nuclear power, the ministry said, without elaborating on the mine's size.
(Xinhua Nov. 4, 2012)
China announces find of major uranium deposit in Inner Mongolia
China has found a major uranium deposit in Ordos region of Inner Mongolia holding an estimated 30,000 tonnes of the metal, state television reported on Saturday (Dec. 4).
(Reuters Dec. 4, 2010)
Dringwa mine project, Dzögé County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture
Tibetans protest against start of uranium mining at Drakzong sacred mountain
Chinese authorities have used intimidation and threats of force to block attempts by local Tibetans to save a sacred mountain from uranium mining at Dringwa Township in Dzoge County of Ngaba, north-eastern Tibet.
On August 10 a mining team sent by the Chinese government proceeded to start mining at Drakzong, a sacred mountain in Dringwa, (Ch: Zhanwa, Ruo'ergai County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.)
"A large number of Tibetans gathered at the site to stop the miners," sources said, the local Tibetans explained miners that it was inauspicious to mine at the sacred site and that mining would have disastrous consequences on the environmental stability of the area.
"In response, the miners threatened to call the police for obstructing their work. Despite protests from Tibetans," sources said, adding that "the mining team has already made preparations to start mining uranium; mining machines and equipment have been brought to the site."
(Tibet Post International Aug. 23, 2015)
Yili deposit, Xinjiang Autonomous Region
> View deposit info
CNNC signs agreement with state on mining of Yili uranium deposit
On August 20, 2011, CNNC Jingyuan Uranous Industry Company signed an agreement on uranium mine exploitation in Yili with state government.
(CNNC Aug. 29, 2011)
Guyuan, Hebei Province
> View deposit info
Trial production at the Guyuan uranium-molybdenum mine in Hebei Province is expected to start at the beginning of 2009. (CNNC Aug. 29, 2008)