Is Iran buying large quantities of uranium ore or yellowcake?
It is true that Iran has an extensive uranium enrichment program. It is true that Iran is making progress in its nuclear program. It is also true that Iran in the past has claimed that it was forced to resort to secrecy after U.S. pressure resulted in several of its nuclear contracts with foreign governments being terminated.
Yellowcake is a form of uranium concentrate obtained from leach solutions as an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ore. Sources indicate that aggressive buying in uranium stocks is occurring in North America on speculation that Iran is buying uranium. Look at shares of Canada’s Cameco (CCJ), up 30% year-to-date. Similarly aggressive speculation does not seem to be happening on overseas stock exchanges.
In the 1970s, South Africa sold 600 tons of yellowcake to Iran. At that time, with U.S. support, the Shah of Iran had embarked on building as many as twenty atomic power reactors in Iran and signed a contract with Kraftwerk Union (now Siemens) to build a power reactor at Bushehr.
It would appear that the purchase from long ago is the source of some of Iran’s uranium. Iran also has its own uranium mines. One mine is in southern Iran near the Persian Gulf at Gchine. The second mine is in central Iran at Saghand. There have been reports the Saghand mine contains a low-grade ore body of about 553 parts per million uranium…Read more at Forbes