The world could be facing a supply shortage of the element uranium, the power source of nuclear reactors in most developed countries, as alternative non-nuclear materials remain elusive.
This was the assessment of Paladin chief executive John Borshoff as he trumpeted a warning that by 2020, uranium global supply may be 25 per cent lower than earlier anticipated.
Toro Energy, which is out to construct the first ever uranium mine in Western Australia, has delayed to the back burner the financing negotiations over the proposed mine project in Wiluna pending the approval and release of the federal government's environmental decision.
The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan affected the world's uranium industry, miner Paladin Energy Ltd said, claiming that in a uranium supply, demand and price study it has conducted, last year's catastrophic disaster gave off negative effects more on the industry's supply generation capability rather than on demand.
Uranium's current prices, which recently hit two-year lows, is greatly affecting the development of new uranium projects, such as in the case of BHP Billiton's supposed Olympic Dam mine, known to be the world's largest uranium deposit.
"In summary, this market analysis confirms a supply industry in crisis in which production is unable to meet emerging requirements in the short to medium term," Mr Borshoff said.
Even Paladin was unable to meet its projection guidance for the September quarter of 2012.
In a statement, Paladin reported combined production from its Langer Heinrich and Kayelekera mines dropped 5.8 per cent in September to only 1.929 million pounds, resulting from a 16-day annual maintenance shutdown at Kayelekera during the quarter.
Sales for the quarter were 1,224,477 pounds, generating income of $US61 million ($A59.6 million).
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