Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, is expected to start the production of its own uranium as early as 2015, Australian energy company Stonehenge Metals, which has the exclusive rights to the deposits, said Wednesday. “Our goal is to operate the first uranium mine in Korea, which would be both a massive national asset and a boon to the local communities,” Richard Henning, managing director of the Perth-based Stonehenge, said at a press conference in Seoul.
In the 1980s, the Korean government discovered uranium deposits in an underground seam near Daejeon, about 160 kilometers south of Seoul. But they were not commercially viable at the time due to the high cost of development.
Nuclear power supplies 40 percent of power needs here and the domestic demand for the material will continue to double by 2020. But Korea has been entirely dependent on imports for uranium thus far. According to a previous study by the Korean government, around 65 million pounds of uranium are distributed throughout the Daejeon area, an amount that could deliver a quarter of the nation’s current nuclear needs for the next 20 years.
For full article see Korea Herald.