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Uranium Week: Rally Stalls

Weekly Reports | Mar 22 2022

This story features BOSS ENERGY LIMITED, and other companies. For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: BOE

After a month-long surge on speculative buying, the spot uranium price pulled back last week.

-U3O8 spot price falls -5%
-US senators move to ban Russian uranium
-Honeymooning in South Australia

By Greg Peel

US Republican senator from Wyoming, John Barrasso, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was joined by three more Republican senators from Wyoming, Kansas and North Dakota last week in introducing legislation to ban US imports of Russian uranium.

"The time is now to permanently remove all Russian energy from the American marketplace," said Barrasso. "While banning imports of Russian oil, gas, and coal is an important step, it cannot be the last. Banning Russian uranium imports will further defund Russia's war machine, help revive American uranium production, and increase our national security."

The bill refers to uranium ores, natural uranium, enriched uranium and thorium imported from Russia.

The possibility of such legislation had industry consultant TradeTech’s weekly spot uranium price indicator jumping 16% the week before on heavy volume. Yet last week, on increased expectation, the indicator fell -US$2.75 to US$55.75/lb – the first drop in price since early February.

Volume was still solid, at 900,000lbs U3O8 equivalent across nine transactions, and the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust was still in there buying, to the tune of 300,000lbs. But having jumped 35% in the month to the week before and 114% in the year, the spot price was perhaps due a breather. TradeTech reports the spot price floated around in a US$2.00/lb range last week.

Utilities were absent from the spot market, and nor were any term market transactions reported last week, although several utilities are currently assessing supply offers.

TradeTech’s term price indicators remain in backwardation at US$47.00/lb (mid) and US$45.25/lb (long).

Who’s the Boss?

Australian-listed Boss Energy ((BOE)) last week completed a two-tranche $120m capital raising for the purpose of restarting the Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia.

Honeymoon was last century one of only five uranium mines permitted to operate by the then Australian federal government – two of which are now closed or in the process of.

BHP Group’s ((BHP)) Olympic Dam and the privately-owned Beverley mine, both also in South Australia, remain, with the support of the South Australian state government. Developments are underway in Western Australia, although new mines are banned under Western Australia’s current government.

Queensland boasts significant uranium deposits, but any attempt by a state premier to lift a ban on uranium mining has to date been shot down by the state’s coal industry.

A restart of Honeymoon is thus not insignificant.

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