Published on Friday February 08 2013 (AEST)
Uranium supply threatened by force majeur
in Kazakhstan and Niger
According to a new report by Canaaccord Wealth Management a violent storm in Kazakhstan in mid-January damaged power transmission lines for Kazatomprom's uranium mines in the Sozak region. State-owned Kazatomprom has since reported that operation of the affected uranium mines has been halted, and that repair of the power transmission lines could take anywhere between one to five months.
Analysts estimate that the power outage could lead to a shortfall in uranium supply of up to 21 million pounds. In the meantime political turmoil in Mali threatens to spread to neighboring Niger, where France's Areva runs extensive uranium operations.
Areva's two uranium operations in Niger have an estimated total output of 10.9 million pounds of uranium this year, much of which could be disrupted if conflict spreads from Mali to Niger, where France has already taken the precaution of dispatching special forces soldiers and helicopters.
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