Russia's Buyout Of Uranium One Positive Signal For Uranium Market
Denison plans to spin out a number of Fission's assets into a new company, including its 50-percent interest in the Athabasca Basin-based Patterson Lake South property. Alpha Minerals (TSXV:AMW) is the joint venture partner on the project. The move follows Energy Fuels' (TSX:EFR) acquisition of Denison's US-based assets, including the White Mesa mill in Utah.
US in dire need of strengthening its domestic uranium industry
Russia and Uranium One, whose Willow Creek mine in Wyoming began producing in 2012, have made assurances that no uranium produced at the mine will be exported to Russia “or any other country that may not share US interests,” The Casper Star-Tribune reported. However, the idea of the US' Cold War foe having full control of a uranium mine on US soil is bound to irk those concerned about the nation's national security and energy independence.
Uranium Investing News asked Katusa if the negative perception of Russian influence over US energy resources will benefit US-based uranium miners. “Yes. It is of great importance to national energy security for the US to increase domestic production of uranium. The US is completely dependant on Russian uranium, more so than on foreign oil,” he explained. “The US imports 90 percent of its total annual uranium consumption. Currently, 20 percent of base load electricity in the US is generated via nuclear energy and nearly half of that is generated from Russian uranium, meaning almost one in every 10 homes in the US uses Russian uranium to provide their electricity. This must change for the US not to be exposed to such a national energy security risk.”As Katusa pointed out, the US was once a world leader in uranium production, with approximately 1,000 uranium mines producing over 30 million pounds of U3O8. Today, the nation only has 11 operational mines, which together produce less than 3.5 million pounds annually; yet the country consumes about 55 million pounds of U3O8 each year.
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