A POTENTIAL SUPPLY SYSTEM FOR URANIUM BASED UPON A CRUSTAL ABUNDANCE MODEL.
AuthorCHAVEZ-MARTINEZ, MARIO LUIS.
AdvisorHarris, DeVerle P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe design of a computerized system for the estimation of uranium potential supply in the United States constitutes the primary objective of this dissertation. Once completed, this system performs for various levels of economic variables, such as prices, the estimation of potential uranium supply without requiring the appraisal by geologists, area by area, of undiscovered uranium endowment. The main components that form the system are explicit models of endowment, exploration, and production. These component models are derived from engineering and geological data, and together, they comprise the system. This system is unique in that it links physical attributes of endowment to time series of price and production. This linkage is made by simulating the activities of the U.S. uranium industry, activities (exploration, mine development, and production) that are involved in the transformation of endowment to potential supply. Uranium endowment is first generated by employing a crustal abundance model; a data file containing characteristics (tonnage, grade, depth, intra-deposit grade variation) of the discrete deposits that comprise the endowment is established by this model. An exploration model relates discoveries to exploration effect and deposit characteristics. Discovery yield for a given effort is linked to the relative "discoverability" of the deposits of the endowment as well as to the total exploration effort. An economic evaluation is performed on each discovery to determine whether or not the deposit can be developed and produced, given the stated level of the economic variables. The system then determines the magnitude of potential supply that could be forthcoming from all discoverable and exploitable deposits for the stated economic circumstances. Initially, the parameters of the system must be estimated. The approach employed for this estimation makes use of the time series information on uranium exploration and production activities. In essence, the system is used to simulate the past history of the U.S. uranium industry (period 1948-1978) and to generate industry statistics for these activities; the parameters selected are those values that cause the system to yield a time series that matches closely that which actually occurred.
Degree ProgramMining and Geological Engineering Mineral Economics Program