In 1970, the plant started production of rare earth and specialty metals products and uranium processing ceased in 1990 concurrent with the fall of the USSR. In 1997, the formerly state-owned plant was privatized.
Legislation that would shift uranium mining on US federal lands to management through a competitive leasing program rather than the currently used claim and patent system has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.
The peripatetic Mercenary Geologist explains that even if all under-construction and planned nuclear facilities are suspended, not enough uranium is being mined currently to supply ongoing demand and reveals a number of companies poised to benefit.
Potash salts are extracted in about a dozen areas, but only a few have large scale. As with other bulk minerals, the boom in potash exploration is keyed to both greater supply diversity and more capacity.
Mineral commodities trade in four to seven year boom and bust cycles within longer 20- to 30-year secular market trends. Since starting work I have experienced the end of a 30-year secular bull market, a 23-year bear and a seven-years on-going bull.
The peripatetic Mercenary Geologist covers a lot of territory on a correction in gold, his still-hot rare earth elements (REE) favorites, the next REE juniors leader and what criteria he uses to evaluate the "best of the best" stocks.
If copper prices continue to go higher, we will see a negative impact on major industrial activity with increasing capital and operating costs. This scenario happened previously in early to mid-2008 before commodity prices collapsed.
After booming earlier in the decade, busting in 2007 into 2008 and being flat and out of favor until early this year, uranium is now the 'Next Big Thing,' attendees at the San Francisco Hard Assets Investment Conference 2010 have been told.