Ghana is Africa's New Uranium Hotspot



Global uranium production has seen a resurgence after years of relative inactivity. Production declined following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. However, rapid climate change and pollution created by coal have inadvertently fueled the recent spike in uranium activity. Unlike other commodities, uranium spot prices increased in 2015 and averaged at US$38.3/lb, up 8% from 2014.
After experiencing a rise in 2015, spot prices declined by 10% from US$35.4/lb in Q4 2015 to US$31.8/lb in Q1 2016 due to high inventories in Japan, the US and Europe. Uranium supply continued to increase while short term demand reduced. Global demand is expected to increase to 40% by 2025, as new nuclear power plants are completed in China, India and Russia.  The milestone decision of the British Government to approve the construction of Hinkley Point C marks the relaunch of nuclear in Europe and has boosted and renewed confidence in nuclear power across Europe and beyond and this is likely to bolster the building of new reactors across Europe and have impact on uranium prices on the market with time.
Africa holds 18% of the world’s uranium resources. Interest in African uranium initially stemmed from the US’s military nuclear ambitions. Exploration and mining began in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, growing demand for energy, rising global oil prices, and the increased concern for climate change have revived interest in uranium mining and exploration in general.
Much of this interest has been focused on Africa because of its relatively accessible uranium, flexible regulations, and low labour costs. Most uranium mining companies in Africa focus their efforts on the largest available uranium deposits, in Namibia and Niger, neglecting the untapped potential of uranium fields in Ghana.  Our exploratory research has shown that Ghana has substantial uranium deposits of 40,000 tonnes of uranium.
For the reasons highlighted above, this report aims to identify the commercial viability of Ghana’s uranium deposits and the location of these deposits. Our research objectives include, but are not limited to:
        identifying the potential uranium sites and explorations which have taken place in the country,
   understanding Ghana’s laws and general legal framework surrounding around uranium exploration and
         collecting information on the destination of Ghana’s uranium.
The speculative resources of Ghana falls within the range of 15,000 tU and 40,000 tU (tonnes uranium). The World Nuclear Association reference scenario projects world uranium demand at about 65,220 tU in 2016, and most of this will need to come directly from mines.
Although uranium prospecting in Ghana began in 1952, it did not yield any economically viable deposits of the mineral. Recent studies have shown that Ghana stands a high chance of striking co-product uranium resources.
Much of the issues raised in this report serve to point investors towards the prospects of uranium exploration and mining in Ghana.
This study is therefore coming at a time when the export potential for uranium is high, and prices of Ghana’s gold and crude oil continue to plummet. The international prices of oil and gold, which account for 50% of Ghana’s exports, plummeted by 47% and 8% respectively in 2015. According to Ghana’s 2016 budget statement, the value of merchandise exports for January to September 2015 was projected at $7,750.8 million but decreased by $2,312.1 million. Falling commodity prices of gold and oil, coupled with decreased production of all the major export commodities resulted in the low export figure.
Ghana’s crude oil export total was estimated at $1,468.8 million from January to September, 2015 versus $2,925.7 million recorded in the same period in 2014. Gold exports also amounted to $2,445.2 million, compared to $3,369.3 million in the corresponding period in 2014. The average realized price dropped by 8.2% to $1,181.6 per fine ounce while the volume exported decreased by 21.0% to 2.1 million fine ounces.
Consequently, this is therefore the time investors should be looking at Ghana’s extractive resource potential, not for gold or oil, but as a potential uranium supplier. The report should therefore be of interest to all parties interested in uranium exploration and mining, both locally, regionally and internationally, as well as the Ghanaian government. Ideas presented in this report are meant to steer the future direction of uranium mining in Ghana.

This document therefore contributes to a better understanding of uranium mining in Ghana. The findings of this report should therefore be seen as an information resource beneficial to all stakeholders.
The topics covered in this report are as follows;

1.                   GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE AND POPULATION OF GHANA

2.                  GHANA: ECONOMY AND FISCAL POLICY

3.                  MINING IN GHANA

4.                  MINERAL EXPLORATION AND MINING IN AFRICA

5.                  WORLD SUPPLY AND CONSUMPTION OF URANIUM

6.                  LEGISLATION ON URANIUM EXPLORATION AND MINING IN GHANA

7.                  URANIUM EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES IN GHANA

8.                 URANIUM POTENTIAL HOTSPOTS IN GHANA

9.                  EXPLORATION CHALLENGES IN GHANA
10.              THE BUSINESS CASE FOR URANIUM EXPLORATION

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