1. Kazatomprom, the world’s biggest uranium producer, plans to increase output this year to 23,400 tU, up from 22,800 tU in 2014
2. Three US uranium producers say they are poised to ratchet up production quickly if prices swing higher after a four-year slump.
Colorado-based Ur-Energy looks to produce 750 000 lbs to 850 000 lbs this year at Lost Creek, Wyoming, most of which it would sell under eight utility contracts. If the spot price climbs to $50/lb from $38.75 currently, Ur-Energy would push production to Lost Creek’s one-million pounds capacity, CEO Wayne Heili told Reuters at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto.
“The $50 mark is probably where we would say, if we can get more on the spot market than from our contracts, that’s what we’ll do: produce additionally for the spot market,” he said.
Uranium Energy, which has operations in Texas, placed producing assets on standby in late 2013. A spot price around $45 would lead it to raise production from minimal levels, CEO Amir Adnani said.
Cameco is aiming for production of six-million to eight-million pounds (3000-4000 tons) at its new Cigar Lake, Saskatchewan, mine this year.
Uranium prices should start rising
Topping the list of catalysts for the uranium market is reactor restarts in Japan. With several reactors already given a green light from the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Cameco’s CEO expects to wait a few months before reactors are turned on, and even more time before stockpiled uranium starts to dwindle.
Another catalyst for clearing the excess supply is the return to long-term contracts. Fortunately, as previously mentioned, the market is already starting to see an improvement on the quantity of uranium being contracted. Next on the docket, of course, is continued nuclear reactor construction, particularly in China and India.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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