One of the most overlooked resources in the Australian landscape is finally starting to get some love. Prices for ‘Yellowcake’ uranium are on the rise, and with it, Australian miners’ hopes. Pinned to global green energy ambitions and supported by an openness to nuclear power in Europe, particularly France, uranium mining is suddenly back on the menu. Prices for the energy commodity have reached a 15-year high recently as the export market heats up, hitting $US80.25 ($121.14) per pound early in November. Companies like Boss Energy are enjoying the uranium glow as they restart mining operations at the previously closed Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia. 

Honeymoon was mothballed in 2013 due to falling uranium prices.

Boss will also refine its uranium mining method from solvent extraction to ion exchange. Deep Yellow is another Australian industry player with its sights set on a long-term uptick in demand for Yellowcake. The company’s major Alligator River exploration project is one of the most extensive uranium packages in the world, stretching across multiple tenements in the Northern Territory.  Deep Yellow has a mineral resource estimate for the NT tenement of 32.9 million pounds (Mlb), alongside an expected 15-year mine life for its Mulga Rock project in WA. 

And Mine of the Year is… Roy Hill

The Australian Mining Prospect Awards have gone off with a bang in Bris-Vegas this week, with Roy Hill getting the nod as ‘Australia’s Mine of the Year’. The 12 awards covered a range of disciplines, including achievements in safety, environment, discoveries, indigenous engagement, and more. Major player Roy Hill got the big gong after hitting its production targets and executing improved safety controls and environmental and sustainability programs. The company is also making strides towards automating its complete iron ore site in WA, working with contractor Epiroc to become the world’s largest fully autonomous mine. While gradually shifting its fleet of 96 halt rucks to driverless operation, the mine still managed to produce record iron ore shipments of 63.3 million tonnes over the year.

Roy Hill’s environmental initiatives also swayed the judges as it continues to reprocess tailings material through a dedicated WHIMS plant. Gina Rinehart and Roy Hill have been in the news recently as they eye a potential takeover of hot lithium prospect Liontown Resources.

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

Among the other awards presented on the night include those for:  

  • Indigenous and Community Engagement
  • Excellence in IIoT Application
  • Excellence in Environmental Management and Sustainability
  • Excellence in Mine Safety, OH&S
  • Project Lead of the Year
  • Safety Advocate of the Year
  • Innovative Mining Solution
  • Mine Project Success of the Year
  • Discovery of the Year
  • Outstanding Mine Performance
  • Lifetime Achievement

China Pushes Growth in Renewable Energy Industry

Known as the world’s largest manufacturing hub, no one expected China to become a leading innovator and champion of renewable energies.

But surprisingly, that’s what’s happening.

According to Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, China is smashing records for its uptake of renewables like wind and solar and is predicted to install a mammoth 230GW of infrastructure this year. China has become a renewable energy powerhouse in recent years and will invest around AUD 210 billion in new wind and solar power by the end of 2023. By comparison, China’s 230GW of new renewables added this year represents more than double that installed in the United States and Europe combined. According to a Wood Mackenzie analyst, “China announced its 2060 carbon neutral target in 2020 and since then has been quietly re-organizing the entire power sector to support rapid electrification and expansion of renewables.

We can only hope that the rest of the world will try to emulate China’s dominance in the sector in years to come.


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