Uranium Week: Prices Continue To Slide

Weekly Reports | Aug 25 2020

Uranium mining could be permitted in New South Wales for the first time since 1986, while the spot price for U3O8 has declined nearly five percent during August.

-Uranium mining ban in New South Wales could be overturned
-Kazatomprom to Maintain Lower Production through 2022
-The weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator declined nearly one percent to US$31.15

By Mark Woodruff

A ban on uranium mining in the Australian state of New South Wales could be overturned in parliament after a compromise was reached in the state cabinet.

A bill presented by minor Australian political party One Nation, which is scheduled for a vote in the Upper House this week, calls for the repeal of laws that ban uranium mining and nuclear facilities in the state. Earlier this year, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the National Party would support One Nation’s proposal.

Last week the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s (ABC) website quoted Mr Barilaro as saying “The position of the National Party is a policy position — we do support nuclear energy.”
"We still need to fight that through Cabinet and see where the Government lands next week." As a compromise, the Coalition is expected to vote in favour of uranium mining but not nuclear power.

At present only the state of South Australia permits uranium mining, with total permitted mine numbers capped by the federal government. Mining is also permitted in the Northern Territory, although the only operating mine is currently processing only from stockpiles.

Uranium Pricing

The uranium spot price indicator has declined nearly -5% this month as transaction activity in the spot market slowed in the wake of mounting uncertainty regarding future production levels and supply availability, notes industry consultant TradeTech. End users, in particular, have brought their spot buying activity nearly to a halt, as questions remain including the pending expiration of the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA), precautionary reductions in workforce at certain uranium mines, and most recently, the evolving situation concerning the remaining US Iran sanction waiver.

TradeTech’s weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator declined -US25c to US$31.15/lb U3O8 equivalent on nine transactions totaling 1mlbs this week. The weekly spot price has trended downward since reaching a year-high of US$34.25 in May. Since then, the price has declined over -9%.

The average weekly uranium spot price for 2020 is US$29.59/lb, US$3.75 above the 2019 average.

TradeTech's term price indicators remain at US$36.50/lb (mid) and US$39.00/lb (long).

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