Talks of spot uranium price stability have proven false this week,
with the metal slipping another US$2 to US$57 a pound U3O8 as
lower-priced material entered the market and shooed away buyers. Price
publisher Tradetech reported a single transaction and warned that
demand remains extremely weak in the spot market.
Hopeful American uranium miners were disappointed this week at a House
committee declaration that ruled 20-2 that a million acres of public
land near Grand Canyon are off limits to new uranium mining for up to
three years. The action comes on the heels of a recent rush of mining
claims on the outskirts of Grand Canyon National Park, which,
according to US government data, jumped to more than 1,100 in January
2008 from 10 in January 2003.
Reuters reported most of those claims were to mine uranium.
Environmental opponents worried about the pollution of surrounding
drinking water and damage to the Grand Canyon mobilized quickly and
led the charge to stop mining in the area. The US Interior Department
is looking into matter, including the rarely used provision invoked to
stop the mining.
Britain is expected to sign a nuclear deal with Jordan this week, a
country struggling to find energy for the most basic of needs,
including electricity production and water desalination. Details of
the agreement are scarce, but the United Kingdom Atomic Energy
Authority is expected to pen a nuclear cooperation agreement with
Jordan this week. Jordan hopes to bring its first nuclear plant into
operation by 2015 to help lower its dependence on foreign power.
Also this week, Japanese electronics group Toshiba signed a deal with
Kazatomprom, the state-owned Kazakh nuclear company, to secure
supplies of rare metals such as beryllium and tantalum for its nuclear
power business. The Financial Times reported the agreement expands an
existing deal under which Kazatomprom supplies uranium for nuclear
plants built by Toshiba.
Over in Asia, the Group of Eight is getting ready to discuss North
Korea’s nuclear program at a two-day meeting in Kyoto in preparation
for the July G8 summit. The Canadian Press reported North Korea’s
long-overdo handover of a report on its nuclear programs is expected
to dominate the ministerial meeting. Denuclearization of North Korea
is high on the agenda of neighbouring Japan, but it would also open up
the poor country’s borders to foreign aid.
Earlier this week, Australia put its foot down in the ongoing saga of
uranium exports to India, saying it cannot provide uranium to a
country that is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation
treaty. India has been desperately seeking foreign uranium supplies to
power its nuclear power plants.
Finally, let’s have a look at Wednesday’s uranium activity on the TSX,
with all stock prices listed in Canadian dollars: U3O8 Corp jumped
nine cents, or 12.3 per cent, to 82 cents a share, after releasing
news of what the company feels are significant intercepts of uranium
mineralization from 16 drill holes on a property near the Roraima
basin in Guyana. The company expects a resource estimate of the area
to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Gold Canyon Resources Inc, a Canadian junior explorer in possession of
a uranium project in northwestern Ontario, gained 3.5 cents, or 13.7
per cent, to 29 cents, with no news to report. Earlier this month, the
company started its 2008 field exploration season at its Horseshoe
Island gold property. Continental Precious Minerals jumped 26 cents,
or 26.5 per cent, to $1.24, despite a curious lack of activity from
The slide of Western Uranium Corp. continued Wednesday, as the company
shed 17 cents, or 11 per cent, to $1.38 just one week after getting
provincial court approval for a planned lithium spinout in British
Columbia. Western has lost nearly one dollar since the start of June,
despite nods from analysts who felt the company presented a tremendous
buying opportunity thanks to its advance-stage projects and interest
from uranium juggernaut Cameco Corp.