Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Uranium Country Notes
Exploration for uranium started in the early 1950s, since when deposits have been discovered in a number of locations, mostly in the western part of the country and in the southerly province of Chubut in Patagonia. During the 1990s, a countrywide programme of exploration directed at the evaluation of areas with uranium potential was undertaken. Regional assessment of uranium potential continues, with selected areas of interest being studied in greater depth. Several Canadian companies have been involved in exploration activities in recent times.
Uranium was produced on a small scale from the mid-1950s, with cumulative production reaching 2 631 tonnes by the end of 1999. Since then, output has been in abeyance. The production centre at San Rafael in the province of Mendoza, which processed ore from the Sierra Pintada deposit, has been placed on a standby basis. In June 2004, the state agency CNEA, which since 1996 has owned and operated Argentina's uranium industry, presented a proposal to reactivate the San Rafael complex, but in early-2007 a firm decision to reopen the plant had not yet been taken.
Proved reserves of uranium, in terms of RAR recoverable at less than US$ 80/kgU, were 4 880 tonnes at the beginning of 2005. Further Identified Resources comprised 2 200 tonnes of RAR, recoverable at US$ 80-130/kgU and 8 560 tonnes of IR recoverable at less than US$ 130/kgU. Undiscovered resources (at the latter cost level) consisted of 1 440 tonnes of PR.