The spot price of U3O8, according to TradeTech's latest report, stands at $45 per pound, up $1.50 from the previous week, the result of more buyers, including utilities, traders and financial entities, entering the marketplace.
Uranium market news was sluggish heading into the holidays, but signs that the world is moving toward increased reliance on nuclear power are evident across the globe. Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a nuclear cooperation agreement to share technology, equipment and nuclear material in an effort to help the Gulf nation meets its goal of acquiring 25 percent of its energy needs from nuclear power. The UAE has signed similar agreements with Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea and France. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is headed to the US House of Representatives and includes $150 million in funding for the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP). The plant, located in Piketon, Ohio, is an advanced uranium-enrichment facility that is being developed by USEC (NYSE:USU). The ACP's "capacity will be equal to about one-third of the fuel requirements for the commercial power reactors in the United States, which provide approximately 20% of the U.S. electricity supply today," according to USEC's website. The NDAA is expected to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by President Obama by the close of this year. Of course, no mining sector is without roadblocks. Following news that Australia's environment minister, Tony Burke, has delayed a final decision on environmental approval for Toro Energy's (ASX:TOE) Wiluna project in the state of Western Australia (WA), Australian Uranium Association chief executive Michael Angwin called for the regulatory process to be reformed. Specifically, Angwin is concerned about the “discriminatory treatment” of the uranium industry under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the doubling up of state and federal approval processes — prior to the delay, WA Environment Minister Bill Marmion had approved the Wiluna project.