Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.
Australia will quadruple uranium production pushing itself ahead of Canada as the world’s largest producer. Australian state premier Mike Rann made this boast to a group of Indian journalists at the Citi Australia and new Zealand Investment conference earlier this month, according to a report in The Hindu of March 8, 2009.
The single project that would rocket Australian uranium production ahead of Canadian is the expansion of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine. The company is looking at the feasibility of expanding output from 4,300 t/y to 19,000 t/y. That would create a single mine that could produce 35% of the world’s current uranium needs.
The newspaper account did not specify whether all those tonnes per year were elemental uranium or uranium oxide. A quick peek at the BHP Billiton website confirmed that the annual output is tonnes of U3O8.