The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has established the presence of 1,71,672 tonnes of Uranium (U3O8) as on June 2011. Indigenous Uranium resources are adequate to fuel reactors of the capacity of about 10,000 MWe.
At present AMD is exploring uranium deposits at Tumallapalle-Rachkuntapalle, Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh; Rohil, Sikar district in Rajasthan; Wahkut and Umthungkut in Meghalaya, Gogi, Gulburga district in Karnataka; Sinridungari –Banadungri and Bangurdih, Singhbhum district in Jharkhand.
Out of these deposits, 63,269 tonnes of uranium (U3O8) have been established during the XI Plan Period. In Rohil, the Exploratory Drilling done till date has established 5,100 tonnes of uranium (U3O8). In About 19,738 tonnes .4,682 tonnes and 50,987 tonnes of uranium (U3O8) has been established in Meghalaya , Gogi and Jharkhand respectively. There are number of smaller deposits in Chhattisgarh, UP and Katnataka.
On August 28, 2012, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman R.K. Sinha announced the discovery of a large Uranium deposit at Rohil in Rajasthan’s Sikar district.
Estimated at 5,185 tonnes, the Rohil deposit would be the the fourth largest in the country after Tummalapalle, Chitrial and Peddagattu extension in Andhra Pradesh.
The new site is close to the Rohil North region, which has already been found to have a deposit of about 381 tonnes.
According to Sinha, the estimate of the deposit is preliminary; more extensive surveys would be made to ascertain the actual width and depth of the field.
As of June, 2012, the Department’s Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research established a total deposit of 1.84 lakh tonnes of the uranium ore resources in different parts of the country.
Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) which operates under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), operates six underground mines, one opencast mine and two processing plants, in Jharkhand.
On April 20, 2012, UCIL commissioned the Tummalapalle uranium ore mine and processing plant in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. The plant will produce 3,000 tonnes of ore per day. [via Hindu]
The process plant has been constructed next to the mine and will use alkali pressure leaching process to produce sodium di-uranate from the ore. It has high levels of automation.
In February 2012, the PTI reported that India will commission a new uranium mine and a processing plant in the next few weeks.
Diwakar Acharya, Chairman and Managing Director of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) told the press in New Delhi, "The Mouldih mine in Jharkhand is almost ready and would be commissioned in a few weeks time."
According to plans, the Mouldih mine, when operational, is expected to deliver uranium ore upto 500 tonnes per day.
This ore will be processed at the Turamdih mill which has the capacity to process 3000 tonnes of uranium ore per day, Acharya said.
He said the capacity of the Turamdih mill was also being enhanced to 4500 tonnes per day.
"We are in the process of getting regulatory clearances," Acharya said.
On March 7, 2011, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), which explores uranium in the country, announced the discovery of what appear to be large deposits of natural uranium (U3O8) in the Tummalapalle belt in the southern part of the Kadapa basin in Andhra Pradesh.
AMD has already established 44,000 tons uranium reserves, enough to sustain generation of 5,000 MWe of nuclear power, in just 15 km of the geological belt that extends to 160-km.
P.B. Maithani, Director, AMD, is confident deposits extend in the entire length of 160 km of the belt with a “depth consistency” of about 400 meters. He estimates the reserve could be “one of the top 20 of the world's deposits where more than 60,000 tonnes of uranium is available.”
According to Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, the discovery is “very large although it is not a rich ore.” He added that “there is a possibility of further extension” of the ore on either side of Tummalapalle.
The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) plans to build a mine at Tummalapalle with a state-of-the-art decline and a mill to process the uranium into yellow cake by next year.
Yellow cake is converted into fuel bundles and fed into the nuclear power reactor. Both the AMD and the UCIL belong to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
About 4,000 tonnes of uranium deposits have also been found at Gogi in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. “Gogi is not a large deposit but it is a rich ore,” says Dr. Banerjee.
Gradewise, the Gogi ore was richer than the Tummalapalle ore though its extent is limited.
“But we may get a number of Gogis with similar fracture/fault-controlled uranium-mineralisation setup in the nearby areas,” Mr. Maithani said.
“Fracture-controlled mineralisation of uranium has been found at Rohil in Sikar district in Rajasthan and the grade of the ore is similar to that of the Gogi ore. The Rohil belt is 130 km long and there is continuity of occurrence of uranium ore. The Rohil belt may yield between 5,000 tonnes and 10,000 tonnes of uranium,” Mr. Maithani announced.
In Meghalaya, about 10,000 tonnes (at Domiasiat) and 8,000 tonnes (Wakhyn) of deposits were discovered several years ago. But the UCIL was unable to mine them because of socio-economic problems, according to S.K. Mathur, Scientific Officer, AMD.