Analytical capacity expands to match uranium boom.Saskatchewan's capacity in mineral analysis is expanding rapidly to meet the needs of the province's booming uranium exploration industry.
Activity in uranium exploration is exceptionally strong in northern Saskatchewan at this time. Driving this growth is the spot price of uranium, which has risen 165 per cent in the last two years. Factors behind this improvement include global supply shortages; expanding nuclear power programs in China, India, and other developing countries; and a renewed interest in nuclear as an energy source that does not produce greenhouse gas greenhouse gas
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
greenhouse gas emissions.
Already the world's top producer of mined uranium, Saskatchewan is in a strong position to meet growing demand. The Athabasca Basin The Athabasca Basin is a region of Northern Saskatchewan and Alberta Canada that is best known as the world's leading source of uranium. It currently supplies about 30% of the world's uranium.
The basin is located just to the south of Lake Athabasca. in the northern part of the province is the richest known source of uranium in the world. When exploration in the basin started some 40 years ago, developing a deposit with average uranium content of 0.1 per cent was considered economic. Today's high-grade deposits contain up to 21 per cent uranium, making Saskatchewan a top choice for any future development.
The first deposits mined in Saskatchewan were close to the surface. Higher-grade deposits are deeper, requiring more sophisticated exploration techniques. Fortunately, Saskatchewan has amassed a huge amount of information to guide exploration activities. The Saskatchewan Mineral Deposits Index (SMDI SMDI Simplified Message Desk Interface (telephone network service, customer interface specification)
SMDI Station Message Desk Interface
SMDI SCSI Musical Data Interchange
SMDI Storage Module Disk Interconnect ) summarizes a large number of prospects, providing exploration companies with a solid footing on which to base their investment in locating promising deposits.
In addition to major players such as Cameco and Cogema, some 25 junior companies are active in the field. This is creating a minor boom in support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services in several northern communities. It is also forcing the geoanalytical sector to work overtime to accommodate industry growth.
Saskatoon's geoanalytical workforce has grown from under 20 to around 100 over the last two years. Laboratories are working double shifts five days a week, as well as weekends. Even so, demand for mineral analysis is so high that turnaround on samples is now five to six weeks instead of the 10 days that was the norm prior to the current boom.
Another factor contributing to the bottleneck A lessening of throughput. It often refers to networks that are overloaded, which is caused by the inability of the hardware and transmission lines to support the traffic. It can also refer to a mismatch inside the computer where slower-speed peripheral buses and devices prevent the CPU is a corresponding surge in diamond exploration and sample analysis.
Early this year, two junior exploration companies stepped in to support the geoanalytical sector by donating equipment that will help reduce turnaround times (1) In batch processing, the time it takes to receive finished reports after submission of documents or files for processing. In an online environment, turnaround time is the same as response time. on data.
JNR Jnr Junior
Noun 1. Jnr - a son who has the same first name as his father
son, boy - a male human offspring; "their son became a famous judge"; "his boy is taller than he is"
Resources president Richard Kusmirski and International Uranium Corporation president Ron Hochstein say their companies are both producing high volumes of samples from exploration in the Athabasca Basin. Although their donation of lab equipment is actually being used to help streamline diamond sample analysis, this frees up lab time to provide services for uranium companies.
Saskatchewan's mining boom is leading to new technical advances. One example is a 3D virtual reality and modeling facility in Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. . Although applications of this facility are not restricted to mining, there are many potential benefits of the technology for mining companies.
The facility allows professionals to put on virtual reality glasses and observe three-dimensional conceptual models of data. A mining geologist or engineer can view a 3D model of an ore body to identify rich deposits or even plan mine shafts and pillars. A miner would be able to examine an ore body, look at it from different perspectives, zoom in and out, and find details in the model.
The 3D facility is a true collaborative effort. The University of Saskatchewan The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is a coeducational public research university located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The University is celebrating its centennial year in 2007. , for example, is assisting with system design and operation and providing access to West Grid, a community of university computer centres. The facility will also be effective in evaluating large volumes of 3D tomography data generated by users of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron The Canadian Light Source (CLS) is a third-generation 2.9 GeV synchrotron located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It opened on October 22, 2004 after three years of construction and cost C$173.5 million. . The facility is also expected to generate significant industry contributions through applied research.
The growth and increased sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. of Saskatchewan's geoanalytical sector, combined with its strength in exploration and growing worldwide demand for uranium, point to a prosperous future for the uranium sector in this province.
Irvine Annesley is a Senior Research Geologist at the Saskatchewan Research Council The Saskatchewan Research Council is a Saskatchewan, Canada technology corporation, owned by the province. It provides contract research, technology transfer and analytical services to companies in Saskatchewan and around the world. .