Amidst a global move towards net zero carbon emissions combined with a growing energy crisis in Europe, nuclear power and uranium have made a surprising comeback in 2022, looking to only continue the momentum into the new year.
Currently sitting at USD$48.85/Lbs (6:37 am UTC +800) and posting a year-on-year increase of 11.62 per cent, uranium hit its highest price in over 10 years in April, reaching above USD$60/Lbs.
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This growth is also forecasted to continue, expected to grow to around USD$49/Lbs in six months’ time, before climbing even further to above USD$52/Lbs this time next year.
A greener alternative to traditional energy sources and more reliable than other energy sources, nuclear power offers a way for countries to meet climate targets while maintaining energy security.
Plans for new reactors worldwide are increasingly steadily with the UK planning to construct up to 30 new nuclear plants and Japan opting to fire its own nuclear plants back up to ease concerns surrounding oil and gas supply due to the war in Ukraine.
With nuclear energy being on the verge of a renaissance, all eyes are on junior uranium explorers to find the supply for this re-emerging industry.
In September, Malcolm Day, managing director of uranium-focused Moab Minerals, said “world leaders, including President Biden, have recognised that they need nuclear power to be able to achieve their very ambitions targets for decarbonisation, which puts uranium at the fore.”
Previously known as Delecta Minerals, Moab Minerals (MOM) changed its name to represent a shift in focus towards uranium, with its flagship REX Uranium-Vanadium Project, returning grades up to 5280 parts per million U3O8, 130 kilometres from the namesake town of Moab in Colorado.
“With nuclear energy continuing to gain significant momentum as the global shift towards carbon-free power accelerates, Moab is strongly positioned with the REX Uranium-Vanadium Project,” Moab managing director Malcolm Day said.
One such explorer is London-listed Power Metal Resources (LON: POW), which has been turning heads as of late with its series of uranium projects in Canada’s world-class Athabasca basin, returning uranium grades up to 4.7 per cent and gaining access to the Wilan project in South Australia following its recent merger.
“We view the uranium portfolio of Power Metal to be a key part of our company, seeing us uniquely well positioned for what we expect to be a significant increase in the level of interest in junior resource companies offering uranium exposure,” said Power Metals chief executive Paul Johnson.
Also chasing Canada’s uranium promise is Australian explorer Valor Resources (ASX: VAL), releasing a stream of exciting news from its Suprise Creek Project in Canada’s Beaverlodge uranium district, recently extending its strike length by 500 metres with rock chip results up to 7.98% U3O8.
“The known deposits in this part of the Beaverlodge district produced about 57 million pounds of uranium historically, highlighting the potential of this area to yield very significant uranium deposits,” Valor managing director George Bauk said.
Consolidated Uranium (TSXV: CUR) is another explorer aiming to benefit from uranium’s rebound, boasting an impressive portfolio spanning the globe, including the recently acquired Yarrana Uranium Project in South Australia, a noted uranium-friendly jurisdiction home to the 71.6 Mlb U3O8 JORC resource estimate Honeymoon Project.
As more countries turn towards nuclear power, it will be exciting to see what comes from these promising companies on their hunt for the radioactive rock over the next twelve months.