Classification of Resources of Uranium Deposits
To describe resources of uranium deposits in Russia a number of terms are used.
Reserves of Allocated Subsoil Fund means reserves of deposits for which there is an exploration and development license.
Reserves of Unallocated Subsoil Fund — means reserves of deposits for which there is no exploration and development license. Geological reserves of uranium are determined on the basis of geological data obtained as a result of a deposit exploration.
Uranium reserves in placeare determined on the basis of geological data obtained as a result of a deposit exploration.
Recoverable Reservesmeans the reserves estimated based on reserves in place subject to uranium recovery ratio when mined depending upon the mining method. To describe the reserves symbols are often use which describe the level of geological exploration of subsoil on the basis of which the geological reserves of uranium were estimated:
В+С1 — proven reserves which describe a high level of subsoil exploration and, thus, a high level of accuracy of their estimation.
С2 — probable reserves which indicate a fairly high level of geological exploration to estimate the geological reserves.
Off-balance reserves — either В+С1 or С2 category of reserves which currently may not be developed for any reason. This may be due to mining conditions, pricing policy etc.
For the purposes of classification of reserves and resources of uranium adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in addition to the level of geological exploration the economic efficiency of their development using the existing mining methods is taken into account. It takes into account direct mining, transportation and uranium concentrate (U3O8) production costs, and costs related to geological exploration to extend the life of a mine, to ensuring environmental safety during the period of the deposit development and upon completion thereof, capital costs of construction of new production facilities (where necessary), non-amortization and other expenses.
There are three cost categories of uranium ores depending upon the cost of production of 1 kg of uranium: <$40/kg; <$80/kg; <$130/kg.
Currently, ores with the uranium mining costs of <$80/kg may be commercially developed.