The world produced 118 million pounds of uranium in 2010 but consumed 190 million pounds. The deficit is made up from Cold War era supplies and conversion of Soviet nuclear weapons. But according to story on Mineweb.com, Thomas Drolet, the president of Drolet & Associates Energy Services, predicted during a presentation at Cambridge House's Vancouver Resource Investment conference, that a uranium shortage will hit the world by 2016.He assumes that at least 30 of Japan's 50 idled nuclear reactors will be brought back on line to meet power demands.
Mineweb says the supply crunch is widely expected to begin by next year. [Right, uranium ore. Credit, USGS]
Arizona is increasingly recognized by the mining industry as having some of the richest deposits in the nation, hosted in hundreds or even thousands of breccia pipes across the northern part of the state. The recent 20 year ban on exploration and mining imposed by the Secretary of Interior on a million acres of federal lands took out some of the highest concentrations of breccia pipes in the region. However, Tucson-based Liberty Star Uranium noted in a letter to investors that the federal ban could increase the value of remaining uranium properties in the region by further restricting supply.