Uranium Week: Uncertainty Lingers

Weekly Reports | Jan 28 2020

The uranium market is again in stasis as several lingering issues provide for collective uncertainty.

-No response yet to White House Working Group recommendations
-No indication regarding Iran sanction waiver expiries
-No interest from buyers

By Greg Peel

The global uranium industry has begun 2020 with the same issue besetting it in 2019 – uncertainty.

It was two years ago this month two US uranium miners petitioned the US government to force US nuclear power generators to buy 25% of their uranium requirements from US miners which otherwise buy cheaper imports from the likes of Russia et al. The response from the White House was ultimately to set up a Working Group to examine the entire US nuclear fuel cycle.

Clearly appreciating that forcing an already uncompetitive US nuclear power industry to prop up an uncompetitive US uranium mining industry was not a viable solution, the Working Group recommended the US government, specifically the Department of Defense, instead buy uranium from US miners to build strategic stockpiles, thus satisfying the "national security" concern.

It is presumed the price the US government would have to pay would not only exceed that of cheaper imports, but be sufficient to keep the US uranium mining industry afloat, providing for shuttered or new production to come on line.

President Trump is yet to respond to the Working Group's recommendations, and no deadline has been set for him to do so.

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