According to news reports, India has discovered what its government claims could be the world’s largest uranium reserves in a mine due to start operating by the end of the year. The nation’s Department of Atomic Energy recently confirmed that the Tumalapalli mine in the southern state of Andrha Pradesh holds 49,000 metric tons of uranium, but assumes that the total amount is closer to 150,000 tons.
While international analysts question the Indian government’s claim that the mine could become the world’s largest uranium mine, the discovery is significant as India, along with nations like China and South Korea, is looking to expand its nuclear energy program.
The deposits may be low-grade and insufficient to cover the country’s supply gap, but as we’re entering into an era of resource scarcity and global competition for the world’s mineral riches, they constitute an important step towards reducing India’s dependence on foreign resources. U.S. policy makers should take note.