ENERGY: Mining for Uranium and Thorium

LessThunk comment:

There are two main type of deposits sought by Uranium and Thorium miners.

One uranium type is placer deposits of uranium in sandstone, composed of uraninite and coffinite. Where ever oxidized uranium is precipitated from abruptly reducing groundwater, then sandstone roll front deposits are built up. The other major type of uranium deposits, which are sandwidged between sandstone sitting atop any igneous or metamorphic formation,  unconformity-associated deposits. The minerals in unconformity deposits containing uranium are uraninite and pitchblende.

Thorium is mined in conjunction with uranium, so much that estimates of reserves for these elements are made based off of uranium content. Thorium is typically found in the minerals thorite, thorianite and monazite however monazite is the only mineral from which Thorium is currently mined. These monazite deposits are found in placer deposits.

Currently, India and Australia are estimated to have the biggest thorium deposits in the world.


China is working on being first to use Thorium at utility scale for electricity production.

Chinese move over to Thorium

Categorised as: energy

Posted by: Phaedrus

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