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Large uranium deposit found in Nepal

world Updated: Jun 10, 2014 22:50 IST
Utpal Parashar

The Upper Mustang region in Nepal bordering China could have large deposit of uranium, says a recent survey.

The ground radiometric survey was carried out recently in the remote Himalayan region by a team from the department of mines and geology.

“We have found large amount of radioactive material in the rocks of that region, thus confirming the presence of uranium deposit,” Director General of the department Sarabjeet Prasad Mahato told the Himal weekly.

Though the quality of the uranium is yet to be ascertained, preliminary research suggests the deposit spread over an area of 10 km in length and 3 km in width could be of medium grade.

This is not the first time uranium deposits have been found in Nepal. The department had earlier found such deposits in Makwanpur district close to the capital Kathmandu.

“But this deposit appears to be of better quality,” Deputy DG Hifzur Rahman told the magazine.

Despite discovery of another large deposit in Upper Mustang it may not be possible to extract the expensive ore easily.

Nepal doesn’t have the required infrastructure to conduct further research on the quality of uranium found in the region. The large amount of fund needed to extract the ore is also another issue.

But the department says if the deposit in Upper Mustang is found to be of good quality Nepal can take help of foreign agencies to extract the ore and export unprocessed uranium concentrate.

Such concentrate called ‘yellow cake’ could fetch over $100 dollars per kg depending on its quality.