Uranium mining from the oceans? It’s just not economical
“…….. Ocean-mined uranium feasible, but not economical The Street By Resource Investing News 08/29/12 - If uranium buyers can’t find enough U308 on land, perhaps they can turn to the sea; or so say scientists from the University of Alabama and the American Chemical Society. “The ocean actually contains more uranium, although very dilute, than you can find in any land source in total,” said chemist Robin Rogers in a recent news conference, “which means we have a wonderful resource; it’s just always been very expensive to get it out.”
On and off over the past half century, scientists have been researching ways to extract uranium from seawater, but the process has always proved so costly and laborious that no one in the industry took it seriously. The US Department of Energy recently funded a project to develop a more cost-efficient process, and as a result researchers were able to decrease the cost estimate for ocean-mined uranium by over 46 percent to $300 per pound. Unfortunately, that’s five times costlier than traditional mining and a far cry from economical.
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