Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Uranium Country Notes
Exploration by the French Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) led to the discovery in 1956 of a substantial deposit of uranium ore near Mounana in south-eastern Gabon. Further deposits in the Franceville Basin were located during 1965-1982. Exploratory activity continued until the late 1990s. Signs of a revival of interest in Gabon's uranium resources were evident in March 2006 when a press release announced that two Canadian corporations, Cameco and Pitchstone Exploration, had signed an agreement with Motapa Diamonds Inc. to jointly explore Motapa's uranium exploration licences in the Franceville Basin.
Uranium production from the Mounana production centre began in 1961 and built up to a peak of around 1 250 tpa by the end of the 1970s. Subsequently output followed a declining trend, ceasing altogether in early 1999. The last underground mine, exploiting the Okelobondo deposit (discovered in 1974), closed down in November 1997. An open-pit operation at the Mikouloungou deposit (discovered in 1965) was in production from June 1997 to March 1999, since when Gabon has ceased to be a uranium producer.
Gabon's cumulative production of over 25 000 tonnes of uranium indicates its historic significance as one of the leading minor producers.
Known conventional resources of uranium in Gabon amount to just under 6 000 tonnes, comprising 4 830 tonnes of RAR recoverable at less than US$ 130/kgU, and 1 000 tonnes of IR in the same price category.