Russia and Argentina Join Forces on Uranium Mining

Earlier this week, Russia and Argentina signed their fourth agreement in six years regarding uranium exploration and mining.

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On Tuesday (January 23), Russia and Argentina came together in Moscow to sign a memorandum of understanding under which Russia will aid the South American country in uranium exploration and mining.

The agreement consists of two main components. The first and most important is the cooperation between Russia and Argentina in uranium exploration and mining, with a particular focus on the in-situ recovery (ISR) method of uranium extraction.

ISR mining uses the native groundwater in the orebody, which is fortified with a complexing agent and in most cases an oxidant. It is then pumped through the underground orebody to recover the minerals in it by leaching. Once the solution is returned to the surface, the uranium is recovered.

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In a statement, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said ISR is “the most efficient method due to its low costs and minimal environmental impact, given that it does not require soil removal.” 

The ministry added, “[t]he signing of the memorandum seeks to position Argentina as a global uranium producer in the region and to fully satisfy Argentine demand for this metal from now on, until UrAmerica starts its own production and our country gradually becomes self-sufficient in uranium.”

UrAmerica is a private uranium exploration company based in Buenos Aires.

The second component of the agreement is that Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom will supply Argentina with a nuclear power plant.

This is not the first time that the two countries have come together. Russia and Argentina have collaborated in 2012, 2014 and 2015. All projects have dealt with nuclear energy and have involved using one another’s resources for economic prosperity.

Overall, the current project will bring a $250-million investment and will create approximately 500 jobs, further boosting Argentina’s economy.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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