Archive | Uranium

Greenland closer to building world’s fifth-largest uranium mine – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – March 13, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

It would also be the world’s second-biggest rare earths operation.

Greenland may soon start building the world’s fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earths operation, which could fuel independence dreams in the island, an “autonomous administrative division” within Denmark since 2009.

The proposed open pit mine in the southern town of Kvanefjeld is expected to process over 100 million tonnes of ore in the coming decades, helping Greenland to diversified its economy. According to Danish Radio, it would also alleviate the island’s dependence on a locked Danish subsidy of 3.2 billion DKK (about $500 million), which constitutes about half of its budget.

But Greenland Minerals and Energy’s (ASX:GGG) project, which would have an annual processing capacity of 3 million tonnes of ore a year and employ at least 325 locals, is facing opposition from those who don’t want to see major landscape and environmental changes. Continue Reading →

Tepco invokes ‘Act of God’ clause on Cameco deal, but it seems more like a Hail Mary – by Drew Hasselback (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Tokyo Electric Power’s move to pull the plug on an agreement with Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp. is the latest example of a company arguably stretching the traditional use of a force majeure or “Act of God” clause to suspend a contract.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. argues that it has been unable to operate its nuclear power plants in Japan because of government regulations enacted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The accident was caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami. Centuries of legal tradition should easily place those natural disasters within anyone’s definition of Acts of God.

You probably can’t say that for government-made regulation, though Tepco’s obvious point is there wouldn’t be regulation but for those preceding Acts of God. Maybe it is legally possible to say those natural disasters started a chain reaction of unforeseeable events, including more government regulation. It depends on the wording of the force majeure clause in the contract between Tepco and Cameco. Continue Reading →

Uranium market conditions last year were the worst in 30 years, says Cameco Corp CEO – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 11, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Uranium market conditions in 2016 were the toughest that Cameco Corp. CEO Tim Gitzel has seen in his 30 years in the business, but he says he remains cautiously optimistic about the long-term picture.

“We’ve been saying for some time that uranium prices are neither rational nor sustainable,” Gitzel told investors during a conference call Friday to discuss its dismal 2016 earnings. “Current prices are failing to incent the investment decisions required to ensure reliable supply is available to meet growing demand out into the future.”

Cameco reported a fourth-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of $144 million, or 36 cents per share, which was more than 10 times larger than the loss of $10 million, or three cents per share, reported in the year-earlier period. The fourth quarter of 2016 included an impairment charge of $238 million. The company booked a $210 million impairment charge in the 2015 quarter. Continue Reading →

If the future really is nuclear, Niger says it is ready for it (MiningWeekly.com – February 8, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

CAPE TOWN – Investing in mining production in Niger might sound a little like playing in the traffic with razor blades but delegates at the Investing in African Mining Indaba heard on Tuesday, that it is a lot better bet than it sounds on a number of levels.

The country’s Mines and Energy Minister Moussa Hassane Baraze was at pains to assure would-be investors who had gathered for a country case study that Niger not only had huge untapped potential but a legal and political environment that was very supportive of foreign investment in the sector.

In addition to being politically stable, he said, Niger had a lot of in-country experience in uranium mining. The case for investing received strong support from a number of representatives of private industry who have been active in the country for many years. Continue Reading →

Cameco’s brief respite from the uranium slump coming to an end – by Tim Shufelt (Globe and Mail – February 6, 2017)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The financial aftershocks of the catastrophic 2011 Japanese earthquake continue to ripple through the uranium market, which, six years later, cannot seem to escape its perpetual slump. The latest reprieve from the brutal selloff is starting to look like yet another false start, merely interrupting an otherwise downward trajectory.

Canadian uranium-mining champion Cameco Corp. itself sought to rein in the market’s budding enthusiasm by calling the Street’s earnings estimates unrealistic in mid-January and warning of a 2016 loss. How big a loss will be revealed when the company reports its financials this Thursday.

“I think it’s a no-touch situation from an investment perspective for at least a year,” said John Stephenson, president of Stephenson & Co. Capital Management. Continue Reading →

Cameco Corp will fight after Tokyo Electric cancels $1.3 billion contract – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 2, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Cameco Corp. said Wednesday it has rejected a key Japanese customer’s attempt to cancel its contract — a move that would mean $1.3 billion in lost revenue — as the Saskatoon-based uranium giant works to protect deals signed with customers before the market tanked.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. issued a termination notice for a uranium supply contract on Jan. 24. On Monday, the Japanese power company said it would not accept a delivery scheduled for Tuesday.

Cameco shares plunged 11.29 per cent to end the day at $14.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Tepco alleges a “force majeure” event — or an act of God — has occurred because it has been unable operate its generating plants for the past 18 months due to government regulations enacted after the disastrous Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Continue Reading →

Cameco Corp will fight after Tokyo Electric cancels $1.3 billion contract – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 1, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Cameco Corp. said Wednesday it has rejected a key Japanese customer’s attempt to cancel its contract — a move that would mean $1.3 billion in lost revenue — as the Saskatoon-based uranium giant works to protect deals signed with customers amid lower uranium prices.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. issued a termination notice for a uranium supply contract on Jan. 24. On Monday, the Japanese power company said it would not accept a delivery scheduled for Tuesday. Cameco shares plunged 12 per cent just after the opening bell to $14.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Tepco alleges a “force majeure” event — or an act of God — has occurred because it has been unable operate its generating plants for the past 18 months due to government regulations enacted after the disastrous Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Continue Reading →

These 10 mines have the world’s most valuable ore – by Vladimir Basov (Mining.com – January 30, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Have you ever wondered which mines are blasting, shovelling and hauling the most expensive ore? While the world’s highest-value minerals are well known – this list includes precious metals and gemstones – it is more practical for mining industry stakeholders to estimate the value of minerals by looking through the lens of a mining operation. Simply put, what is the worth of an excavator/ loader bucket at a particular open pit or underground mine compared to its peers in the industry?

InfoMine’s IntelligenceMine database has a powerful tool that allows users to get a quick reserves/resources valuation based on the most recent estimates of reserves/resources and commodity prices updated on a daily basis.

The following analysis covers those currently active mining operations throughout the world that are separate reporting units and which have most recent reserves evaluation figures disclosed by the owners/operators after December 31, 2014. Continue Reading →

Interview with David Cates, President & CEO of Denison Mines (Resource World – January 26, 2017)

http://resourceworld.com/

Denison Mines Corp. [DML-TSX; DNN-NYSE MKT] is launching a major uranium exploration program on its mineral holdings in the prolific Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan. Their $14.5 million (Denison’s share) budget will be focused on the 60%-owned flagship Wheeler River Project. Cameco holds 30% and JCU Canada 10%. Denison also has a 22.5% interest in the operating McClean Lake uranium mill.

At the Wheeler River property, the Phoenix deposit has indicated resources of 70.2M lbs U3O8 grading 19.1% U3O8, and is the highest grade undeveloped uranium deposit in the world. The Gryphon deposit is hosted in basement rock, approximately 3 km northwest of Phoenix, and hosts inferred resources of 43M lbs U3O8 grading 2.3% U3O8.

In an interview with Resource World, David Cates, President and CEO, discusses the outlook for the uranium sector.

RESOURCE WORLD: Talking to investors and mining executives, I’m getting two kinds of comments: 1) Uranium is asleep and will stay that way for some time, and 2) the price of uranium is just now starting to recover. What is your take on the uranium price scenario? Continue Reading →

Cameco defends decision to tell analysts they were wrong, but sees oversupply issues fading – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – January 20, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Cameco Corp. is more optimistic about long-term demand for uranium than it it has been for five years, a top executive said Thursday after its stock price tumbled following the company’s unusual warning to analysts they were too bullish on the company’s 2016 performance.

The Saskatoon-based uranium miner took an extraordinary step Tuesday by issuing an announcement that analysts’ estimates for the company’s full-year results were too high. It said it expected to report a 2016 loss Feb. 9. The company’s share price lost about 10 per cent of its value on Wednesday but recovered nearly as much Thursday when it traded around $15.60 per share at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Grant Isaac, Cameco’s chief financial officer, told the TD Securities Mining Conference that the company felt compelled to “correct what we felt was a misalignment in earnings expectations,” noting that restructuring costs from shuttered operations and legal costs associated with a tax dispute will weigh on its 2016 balance sheet. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Justice Department, EPA and The Navajo Nation Announce Settlement for Cleanup of 94 Abandoned Uranium Mines on The Navajo Nation (January 17, 2017)

January 17, 2017 – The United States and the Navajo Nation have entered into a settlement agreement with two affiliated subsidiaries of Freeport-McMoRan, Inc, for the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. Under the settlement, valued at over $600 million, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company and Western Nuclear, Inc., will perform the work and the United States will contribute approximately half of the costs.

The settlement terms are outlined in a proposed consent decree filed today in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. With this settlement, funds are now committed to begin the cleanup process at over 200 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

The work to be conducted is subject to oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading →

Cameco to cut 120 mining and milling jobs in Saskatchewan – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 18, 2017)

http://thestarphoenix.com/

Cameco Corp. says it plans to continue its cost-cutting program by eliminating a total of about 120 jobs from its McArthur River, Cigar Lake and Key Lake operations in northern Saskatchewan.

The Saskatoon-based uranium miner said the changes represent about 10 per cent of the workforce at its three major facilities in the province, and that the layoffs will be complete by the end of May.

Cameco’s announcement comes less than two months after it unveiled plans to save some cash by temporarily halting production at its northern mines and mill for four weeks over the summer. Continue Reading →

Cameco gets environmental approval to build Australian uranium mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 17, 2017)

http://thestarphoenix.com/

Cameco Corp. is one step closer to building its proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine in Western Australia, after the state’s government overturned an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommendation that the project be halted.

It remains unclear, however, when the Saskatoon-based company — which operates two mines in Saskatchewan and an in situ recovery operation in Kazakhstan — will build the multi-billion-dollar open-pit mine, located 650 kilometres northeast of Perth.

“We are advancing Yeelirrie through the environmental assessment process so that we are ready to respond when the market signals a need for more uranium,” managing director of Cameco’s Australian subsidy Brian Reilly said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Oversupply prompts Kazakh uranium production cut (World Nuclear News – January 10, 2017)

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/

Kazakhstan plans to produce 10% less uranium in 2017 than previously planned in response to ongoing oversupply in the uranium market, KazAtomProm chairman Askar Zhumagaliyev announced today.

In total, Kazakh uranium production for 2017 will be 2000 tU less than previously planned. The reduction is roughly equivalent to 3% of total global uranium production based on 2015 figures.

Kazakhstan’s uranium mining operations are either wholly owned by state-run company Kazatomprom or operated through joint ventures between KazAtomProm with international partners. The exact production levels for each mine and joint venture have been determined and approved by their respective management boards, based on the circumstances and economics of each operation, and vary from the 10% aggregate, KazAtomProm said. Continue Reading →

World’s Worst Commodity Radioactive for Investor Portfolios – by Joe Deaux, Natalie Obiko Pearson, and Klaus Wille (Bloomberg News – January 6, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

No major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. In fact, the element used to make nuclear fuel has had a pretty dismal decade. Prices tumbled 41 percent last year, touching a 12-year low below $18 a pound in November, according to Ux Consulting Co., which compiles market data.

The slump was the seventh in nine years. The rise of nuclear power has slowed as utilities shifted to cheaper natural gas for new generators. And after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, safety concerns led big uranium buyers including Japan and Germany to shut down or decommission reactors.

“It’s the world’s best asset in the world’s worst market,” said Leigh Curyer, chief executive officer of NexGen Energy Ltd., a Vancouver-based uranium producer. “I don’t think there’s a mine profitable at current spot prices. This short-term spot price isn’t reflective of the cost of producing a pound globally.” Continue Reading →