Although Argentina's atomic power program was largely suspended during the 1990s, nuclear research remained active. Argentina has some inactive uranium mines and the capacity to enrich uranium, process fuel rods, and produce the heavy water used in reactors. Price caps and other policies have limited profit and led most companies to invest less in exploration and production, industry executives say.Argentina 's Uranium Resources Argentina's uranium resources only total about 15,000 tonnes according to the most recent OECD redbook, although some analysts suggest the expansion of "exploration targets" might increase this potential to as much as 55,000 tonnes. Uranium exploration and a modest amount of mining were carried out during the mid-1950s, but due to lack of profitability the last mine closed in 1997. Cumulative national production until then from open pit and heap leaching at seven mines was 2,509 tonnes. However, there are plans to reopen the Sierra Pintada mine (San Rafael) in Mendoza in the central west, which closed in1997. Combined reserves for this and at Cerro Solo in the south total less than 8000 tonnes. In 2007, the CNEA reached an agreement with the Salta provincial government in the north of the country to reopen the Don Otto uranium mine, which intermittently operated from 1963 to 1981. Australian-based Cauldron Energy Ltd holds leases over 16 km of outcropping uranium- copper mineralization at Rio Colorado, Catamarca province. This region was previously explored by CNEA during the 1950s and 1960s. Uranium Spot Prices Stable Both industry consultant UXC and TradeTech report no movement in the spot price for uranium from the previous week at $41.50 per pound. There was some new demand emerging this week with two US utilities seeking delivery for over 300 tonnes. Offers are due next week for one US utility seeking 260 tonnes for delivery in 2010.
With help from Assistant Editor Vivien DinizOriginal article on Uranium Investing News