Past experience does not guarantee future abundance, and existing identified reserves could be depleted in several decades if nuclear power were to expand dramatically around the globe. A commodity market for uranium began to emerge in the s. In the longer term, an increase in the price of uranium would encourage exploration and development of new mines around the world, undercutting any attempt to control the market. Therefore, although expanded control by one country can lead to short-term price spikes, such a spike in uranium prices would not present a danger to the economy as a whole, or even to utilities that are heavily dependent on nuclear power. The world uranium market has exhibited similar behavior. That spring, it merged with another mining company, the Canada-based UrAsia Energy. Neither of these trends is observed. In spite of this evidence of past and present abundance, are there signs that uranium may become scarce? We created a breakdown of the nine "investors" and their donations to the Clinton Foundation, based on the most complete information we could find through the Clinton Foundation, media reports and public filings as well as what Clinton Cash reported. Although it did lead to substantial expenditures on exploration, the uranium price boom of the last decade was too short-lived to justify tapping costlier-to-mine US deposits and ushering in a new era of large-scale US production. Domestic production, which was essentially zero as recently as , supplied 41 percent of US demand in On the contrary, the donations detailed by author Schweizer occurred at least two years before the deal. Around the world, the average uranium content of such depleted-uranium tails stood at around 0. But this would trigger increased production at existing mines as well as efficiency measures that could be put in place almost immediately. The article, headlined " Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal ," focuses on donations to charities connected to former US President Bill Clinton and his family, made by businessmen who stood to profit from the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company with worldwide uranium-mining interests.
The Kremlin upped its stake in the company from 17 percent to a controlling 51 percent the following year, and assumed total ownership of the company in and renamed it to Uranium One Holding. In general, attempts to control access to strategic commodities are self-defeating because they raise prices, stimulating more efficient use in the short term and additional production in the longer term. Market forces will act over the medium to long term to expand production, exploit existing reserves, discover new resources, and reduce prices. The Russian government will have little control over these dynamics. That spring, it merged with another mining company, the Canada-based UrAsia Energy. Their estimate, which is still widely cited, established a relationship between the concentration of the uranium in ore and the amount available at that concentration. Domestic production, which was essentially zero as recently as , supplied 41 percent of US demand in As a result, only a few US uranium mines remained competitive at low prices. Because UrAsia investors could have conceivably sold their shares before they could have profited off the Russian deal. Identified reserves stand at 7. If new discoveries of attractive deposits were not keeping pace with extraction, the ore grade would be dropping over time. The impact of a moderate price rise, if temporary and due to an attempt to control the market, or even if sustained due to resource pressures, would be modest. On the contrary, the donations detailed by author Schweizer occurred at least two years before the deal. It churns out a smaller portion of actual uranium produced in the United States 11 percent in , according to Oilprice. The U content of natural uranium, in weight percent, is 0. To the contrary, at , tonnes, US reasonably assured uranium resources—a standard measure for such deposits—are the second largest in the world. US utilities satisfy 80 percent to 90 percent of their requirements through long-term contracts, which are substantially less volatile. The average cost of discovering a kilogram of identified reserves can be inferred from Redbook data on exploration expenditures, reserves, and production over time. Since reliable record keeping began in , identified uranium reserves have increased by over 4 million tonnes , even as more than 2 million tonnes of uranium were extracted. By , in the immediate wake of the price boom, it had fallen to 0. This would be achieved by tapping into deposits that are currently uneconomic and therefore poorly prospected, such as phosphates and shales. Uranium is not likely to become scarce or controlled by one country. To put these resources in perspective, total world uranium demand is currently about 60, tonnes per year. US uranium production did not rise substantially in response to this price boom, but domestic production has long played a minor role in meeting US uranium demand. Around the world, the average uranium content of such depleted-uranium tails stood at around 0.
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