Canada’s Global Atomic has received a letter of intent (LoI) from a second major western utility for the procurement of 2.4-million pounds of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) from the Dasa project, in Niger.
The contract has a revenue potential of $140-million and will begin in 2025, the company reported on Wednesday.
In June, a North American utility submitted a LoI for the procurement of 2.1-million pounds of U3O8, with a revenue potential of $110-million.
Dasa will recover 45.4-million pounds of U3O8 over 12 years in its initial phase.
"It is becoming clear that the unprecedented geopolitical situation heightens the need for geographical diversity of economic nuclear fuel supply," said president and CEO Stephen Roman.
Utilities are seeking to diversify away from securing nuclear fuel from Russia, after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. Should western powers sanction Russian uranium supply, an additional 10 000 t of supply would be needed, Financial Times reported this week, citing an official from the world’s biggest uranium miner, Kazatomprom.
Further, Roman said the landscape for nuclear power was “extremely buoyant” as the drive for energy independence supplemented the global push for low-carbon baseload power.
Phase 1 of Dasa, which represents less than 20% of the deposit’s mineralisation, will produce 3.8-million pounds a year of U3O8, at an all-in sustaining cost of $21.93/lb.
Global Atomic recently entered the engineering, procurement and construction management phase at Dasa, where underground mining is set to begin next month.
The feasibility study showed that Dasa is economically compelling, even at a price of $35/lb. The price of U3O8 breached $50/lb in August and some predictions are that it will surge to $70/lb next year.