CORRECTED-Russia's Rosatom to mothball uranium mine expansion projects

Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:33am EST
 
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(Corrects corporate structure in paragraphs 1, 4 to show Uranium One not part of Atomredmetzoloto)

* Uranium One mothballs Honeymoon mine in Australia

* Development of the Tanzanian Mkuju River mine may stop

* 50 pct of global production loses money - U1 president

MOSCOW, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The mining arm of Russian state-owned reactor builder and supplier Rosatom, among the world's top three uranium producers, said it would freeze expansion projects in Russia and elsewhere due to low prices.

The price of uranium, used mainly as fuel for nuclear plants, plummeted after the March 2011 meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant and has shown no signs of recovery.

"We cannot discount the dramatic fall in natural uranium prices, as a result of which over 50 percent of global uranium production is currently loss-making," Vadim Zhivov, chairman of Atomredmetzoloto and president of Uranium One Holding, told Reuters in emailed comments on Wednesday.

"Given the unfavourable market environment, we have decided to freeze expansion projects both in Russia and abroad," Zhivov said.

Rosatom's mining arm comprises Atomredmetzoloto, which controls Russian assets, and Uranium One Holding, which oversees foreign assets.   Continued...