Global Uranium Investment Shortfall Creates Focus on Australia's Reserves
New Australian uranium opportunities are emerging because of the lack of worldwide investment in the sector's mining and exploration industry for more than 25 years, according to new uranium listing, Uranium Equities Limited (ASX: BLN).
Addressing the 2006 Uranium Conference in Adelaide today, UEL Managing Director, Mr Mark Chalmers, told delegates the lack of investment had led to the current contraction in production capacity, and a scarcity of uranium projects at the development phase.
"Alarmingly, this has contributed to a massive shrinking in expertise in the industry to a point where there are few industry professionals - engineers, geologists and metallurgists - with any uranium industry operating experience," Mr Chalmers said.
"The number of companies and people that have participated in the industry on a worldwide basis over the past 20 years, and is now available, is very small. A generation of expertise has been lost.
"The uranium industry's knowledge and relationships is in the hands of a few number of professionals operating outside of the major industry participants and that is a major strength for UEL.
"This scenario creates the present opportunity in Australia to identify and secure equity in high quality uranium projects."
Mr Chalmers - who helped bring the Beverley uranium mine in SA into production - said the strategy within this environment for UEL was to focus largely on known advanced properties that had the largest potential in the medium-term, but that UEL would also be a significant explorer.
"While uranium projects are some of the most difficult to permit and execute, UEL is experienced with this. Our focus on investments in the uranium sector will extend from downstream (utilities) to upstream (producers) and participants (exploration companies)," he said.
UEL has interests in 19 uranium projects over 10,000 square kilometres of tenements in three states.
"Uranium is being viewed as an increasingly important commodity and our approach has been to put together a management team that understands uranium, expand our open ground position and identify transactions opportunities."
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