Steenkampskraal mine in the Western Cape says the thorium (Th) deposit at the mine is the highest grade in the world, at an average of 2,14% Th. The latest mineral resource estimate indicates the presence of 11 700 t of thorium. A report by the Colorado School of Mines says that Th could be used as a nuclear fuel and that the demand for this element could eventually rise to nearly 4000 t per year. This mine is said to be the lowest cost producer of Th in the world, with an estimated production cost of US$3,56/kg. The report indicates that the world’s three lowest-cost producers could together produce about 3718 t of Th per year, which is about the quantity that the report indicates could be required by the nuclear industry in the future. Steenkampskraal therefore expects to play an important role in the development and introduction of thorium as a nuclear fuel.
Contact Trevor Blench, Steenkampskraal, Tel 102 667-2141, firstname.lastname@example.org
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