George Glasier: Uranium Series Part 5: Changes Coming within the US Uranium Market
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George discusses the section 232 petition and why its important for U.S. uranium resource holders. Last year the U.S. produced a mere 2 million pounds while consuming over 50 million. The petition asks that 25% of U.S. commercial utility demand be filled by U.S. sourced uranium. That means 12+ million pounds may be required. The Department of Commerce is reviewing the petition and will make a recommendation next year to the President.
They discuss Trump’s executive order from earlier this year which names 35 strategic metals and includes uranium and vanadium. This order is important since the U.S. is not producing any vanadium.
Western’s project has one of the largest in the ground stores of uranium along with a much larger vanadium resource. Their resource is looking like a primary vanadium mine with a co-product of uranium.
Mr. Glasier outlines what is required for production to resume. It requires a new contract commitment for vanadium near current pricing. The big question with vanadium is what is the sustainable long-term price level. He notes that the price of uranium continues to move upwards due to production cutbacks.
They have a report on grades upcoming, and they plan to re-open the mine next year for some limited activity and to reassess their vanadium resource. He says, “At current pricing, they don’t need to use the ablation technology. Conventional production can start if they can secure the price.”