His work as a mining engineer has exposed him to 50-degree heat in Australia and minus 50 degree temperatures in China (Marcus Leroux writes). Paul Atherley likes to joke that with his last endeavor he has at last found a happy medium. The uranium miners Salamanca project has more going o it than a balmy climate and proximity to some of pains best wine. Mr Atherley reckons it can produce the worlds cheapest uranium and enough to power Britain’s energy needs or more than five years.
An AIM quoted miner will set out its stall today as the lowest cost producer of uranium needed to feed the world’s growing number of nuclear reactors. Berkeley Energia, which aims to begin construction of its Salamanca mine in northwestern Spain next year, will announce the results of additional work on its Zona 7 deposit, which it says will enable it to bring down operating costs by 40 per cent, making it a lower cost producer than the Toronto listed Uranium One. The mine also would give Europe’s 160 reactors, which rely almost entirely on imports, chiefly from Kazakhstan, Russia and Niger, a source of uranium on their doorstep.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain the two governments signed the £24.5billion Hinkley Point project, heralding a new age of nuclear development for the UK as it strives to meet its EU carbon targets.
It has been estimated that the UK will need to install another 35,000 wind turbines to meet its 2020 targets. However, these developments need to be set against the headwind of Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s recently announced cuts in subsidies to renewables, and George Osborne and the Treasury’s lobbying for a 25 per cent cut in subsidies to onshore wind. Public opinion appears to be on the government’s side, with growing opposition to onshore wind farms and a recent Opinium survey revealing that 44 per cent agree that the UK needs to build more nuclear power plants.
A second-to-last set of infill drilling results from Berkeley Energy’s Zona 7 deposit within its Salamanca uranium project in Spain has delivered more good news for the company, as it prepares to finally overhaul its 2013 prefeasibility study in light of this “exceptional discovery”.