Forecasting the price of uranium based on the costs of uranium deposits exploitation

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Abstract

The paper presents the concept of forecasting uranium prices on the basis of the uranium deposits exploitation costs. The model for estimating the costs of raw material extraction over time, depending on the supply level sufficient to meet the demand from nuclear power plants, has been developed. The aforementioned costs, given the inelastic demand for uranium, determine the price of this raw material. This allows estimating the future price of uranium on the basis of knowledge of the resource base and the relationships determining changes in parameters characterizing the resources. As these estimates are affected by considerable uncertainty, the study has used a stochastic approach, constructing the precise probability distributions of uncertain parameters. Based on literature analysis, the variables that are correlated with each other have been identified. The model has implemented the identified correlations between variables. A number of assumptions regarding the input data, model limitations, and the relationship between the variables has been adopted. On the basis of the Monte Carlo simulation, the probability distribution of uranium prices in the coming years until 2050 has been obtained. According to the obtained estimation, uranium prices will remain stable at around 90 USD/kg by 2030. The prices are expected to increase in the next years. It can be assumed that this trend will grow in the future. In 2050, the expected uranium price will be about 130 USD/kg.

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Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi

Mineral Resources Management; The Journal of Polish Academy of Sciences

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