Russian state uranium holding AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ) has published a new resource estimate for one of the world's major uranium deposits, the Elkon uranium district.
ARMZ has reported new JORC-compliant figures from an assessment of the resource base in the five fields of the South Elkon ore region in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) carried out as part of a pre-feasibility study for mining. The new figures of 229.8 thousand tonnes comprises 71.3 thousand tonnes classed as measured and indicated, and 158.5 thousand tonnes of inferred resources, at an ore grade of 0.143% (1430 ppm). The estimate is in a similar region to the 257.8 thousand tonnes of reserves, at an average of 0.146%, calculated in 1980.
The Elkon Mining and Chemical Combine (EMMC) was set up to develop the eight southern Yakutia deposits, which represent around 6% of world reserves, with plans for production to start at what would be Russia's largest mining complex in 2015. The remote Yakutia region has also been promised up to four floating nuclear power plants. The first such plant, destined for Vilyuchinsk in Russia's far east, is currently under construction.