Lotus Resources Limited, an Australian Stock Exchange-listed mining firm which owns Kayelekera Uranium Mine (KUM) in Karonga, says it has commenced discussions with nuclear power plant operators in North America, Asia and Europe.
In its recent update, the firm said discussion follows growing global supply deficit of uranium in the nuclear fuel industry.
Lotus Resources Limited managing director Eduard Smirnov said in the update that KUM has the potential to be one of the first operations globally to recommence uranium production to meet the impending and growing shortfall in supply.
He said: “Our pathway to production is evolving at an opportune time. The nuclear fuel industry started this decade with a growing supply deficit, fast declining utility coverage rates and no time to permit and build new mines.
“Lotus is well-positioned to move quickly, developing Kayelekera’s restart plans while marketing our product across the globe.”
The statement comes as the Restart Scoping Study for KUM has highlighted the project’s potential to support a viable long-term operation in the right uranium price environment.
The scoping study assessed two production scenarios, both of which assumed 97 percent of production from the measured and indicated mineral resource category.
“Given the positive outcome of the study, the company plans to advance to a restart feasibility study,” said Smirnov.
The 2020 Malawi Government Annual Economic Report shows that about 56 new nuclear reactors are under construction with China, India and Russia leading.
“There are, however, some good prospects that the price for uranium may pick up in the near future due to supply and demand fundamentals,” reads the report in part.
In March this year, Lotus completed the acquisition of the KUM from Paladin Energy Limited.
After KUM was closed, the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product dropped from eight percent in 2009 to 0.8 percent in 2019.