Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 1:17 pm 
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What is the expected cost to mine one ton of thorium? Now it is a specialty metal costing $5000/gram.


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 1:47 pm 
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I had no idea those old lantern mantles were worth so much.

Seriously, no. The cost to mine it, given its similar chemistry and distribution to uranium, would be around $50/kg at 300ppm if Rossing is any guide. There are doubtless many deposits of higher grade ores given there's no real demand for it right now.


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 3:22 pm 
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edpell wrote:
What is the expected cost to mine one ton of thorium? Now it is a specialty metal costing $5000/gram.


Don't you mean $5,000/kg?


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 3:27 pm 
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I remember looking up costs at some USGS site: $300,000/ton. Today it is a waste product of rare earth mining with a negative value.


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 4:55 pm 
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From http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/thorium/mcs-2011-thori.pdf which is on the USGS site, the price at the end of years 2008, 2009 and 2010 was $5.46/kilo for welding-grade Thorium Nitrate, $27/kilo for mantle-grade Thorium Nitrate, and $252/kilo for 99.99% Thorium.

The total value of Thorium compounds used in the US was only $174,000. It was all imported.

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Paul Studier


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PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 10:19 pm 
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pstudier wrote:
From http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/thorium/mcs-2011-thori.pdf which is on the USGS site, the price at the end of years 2008, 2009 and 2010 was $5.46/kilo for welding-grade Thorium Nitrate, $27/kilo for mantle-grade Thorium Nitrate, and $252/kilo for 99.99% Thorium.

The total value of Thorium compounds used in the US was only $174,000. It was all imported.


Thank you.


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2011 2:37 am 
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These prices of imported thorium would include transport costs, rather high for specialty nuclear materials. Higher quality Indian Monazite has 4-10% Th. The cost to producers would be less than that of Canadian uranium.
The reason why Indians are not already using thorium fuel is paucity of fissile feed. Still, it is used for power flattening in newly commissioned reactors and is proposed as blanket in the PFBR.
Functioning experimental KAMINI and the new design AHWR are not breeders. PFBR and successors are proposed as creators of fissile feed.


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