South Africa's Prime Minister Daniel Malan pressed a stubby finger to a small gold button one day last week and touched off a $112 million uranium industry. There had been hints that South Africa was in the atomic business, but this was the first firm news that the country was producing uranium on a scale that is expected to net $84 million a year.

Back in 1945 the late Prime Minister Jan Christian Smuts phoned Calvin Stowe McLean, president of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines: "Is it true that there's uranium in our gold mines?" McLean told Smuts: "Yes, but it...

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