Palisade Announces Top 3 Uranium Stock Picks For 2017
Billionaires Mark Cuban and Robert Friedland have their chips stacked in the trade. Even Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing is making a bet that uranium prices are set for an epic comeback.
So what makes uranium so appealing? Let’s break it down into five main points.
#1 – It Does Not Get More Contrarian
Yet, uranium, which started the year at $32/lb, fell to nearly $18 per pound by November, 2016. This is despite the fact that demand for uranium is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years, with 60 reactors under construction and 160 in the planning stages.
As a contrarian investor, nothing is more exciting than buying something cheap that has every reason to go up. After all, the cure for low prices is low prices!
#2 – Scarcity
When it comes to deploying capital in uranium stocks, investors are limited in options. In the precious metals arena, investors have hundreds of companies to choose from. However, the uranium space is comprised of a select few, a situation further exacerbated by the destructive force of the bear market.
Mining is the most volatile sector in the public markets, and as a subset, uranium takes the crown. That is because uranium stocks are scarce – very, very scarce.
Currently, there are only about thirty companies for investors to choose from when looking to get exposure to uranium. Cameco is the lone billion-dollar producer, followed by companies like Paladin, Energy Fuels, Uranium Energy and Ur-Energy. Below the producers are the explorers, a truly volatile set of stocks that historically have risen by 100-fold and collapsed in value by 99% in the down-cycle!
So what happens when thousands of investors rush into a space that only contains about thirty names? Well, the entire sector will experience hundred percent returns in a very short time frame.
Just look at Energy Fuels, a company that went up by 45 times in 2006 alone! Imagine a $10,000 investment being worth $450,000 in just 12 months!
#3 – Price Sensitivity
Uranium is truly a peculiar commodity. Imagine if the price of oil went up 23-fold! You would probably be riding a bike around town. Or what if coal went up twenty three times? The heat in your house would be turned off.
But not nuclear…
The cost of fuel for a nuclear power plant is infinitesimal. In fact, it is estimated to be just 2% of the cost of operating a nuclear reactor. Building a reactor takes nearly a decade and billions of dollars in upfront capital investment. Once it is constructed, the cost to fuel it is next to zero.
There is no other commodity on the planet that has such a lack of price sensitivity. For investors in the uranium stocks, that means the upside is almost unlimited.
#4 – Mines Don’t Get Built Overnight
Uranium has a negative connotation surrounding it because of its use in nuclear bombs. Handled incorrectly, nuclear fuel could be put to nefarious use. Therefore permitting a uranium mine does not happen quickly.
In fact, the time from a production decision to production is almost a decade. Once uranium supply is in a deficit, production can take years to bring prices back down. That is why uranium bull markets last so long and never stop giving.
#5 – Uranium is #1!
When you ask any of the leading speculators about uranium, like clockwork, they will regale you with uranium war stories that include making a 1,225% return on International Uranium or seeing over a 10,000% return on Paladin Energy!
The reason why so many of the greatest mining investors love uranium is because they can attribute the majority of their wealth to it.
Follow the money…
There is a saying in the mining business that when in doubt, follow the smart money. The smart money is currently positioning into the best of the best uranium companies.
It is true that in a uranium bull market, all boats will rise. But how does a legendary speculator like Rick Rule make 10,000% on Paladin, when other market participants are stuck in the hundreds of percent? That takes proper selection – great assets, proper jurisdiction, and fantastic management. Luck should be added in there as well!
The train is leaving the station
On December 8, 2016, Palisade Research came out with a bold prediction – the bottom for uranium and uranium stocks was in. You can read about why here – http://palisade-research.com/the-bottom-for-uranium-stocks-is-in/
Since then, the spot price of uranium is up nearly 30% and the associated uranium stocks are on a tear! Many of the biggest names have already experienced 100% moves. Sure enough, many industry newsletters have followed suit on our call, confirming the call for the bottom.
We believe that this is just the beginning of a multi-year bull market in uranium stocks. And the best part is that many of the small junior uranium stocks have not moved much yet.
Historically, these junior uranium companies are where mining titans like Rick Rule and Robert Friedland have made much of their fortunes! That is why we have scoured through all the publicly listed uranium companies to find the most compelling.
We have identified three companies poised to be the darlings of the upcoming uranium bull market.
GoviEx Uranium (CVE:GXU, OTCMKTS:GVXXF, FRA:7GU) – The Billionaire Backed Junior Uranium Company
To recap, Western Uranium has a top-notch management team, controls over 100 million pounds of U308, holds significant vanadium credits, and is situated in a prime mining jurisdiction.
But what truly differentiates Western Uranium from the others is it is only $2 million away from commercial production!
Ablation Technology – Unlocking Major Value
Western Uranium owns the rights to game changing Ablation Mining Technology (AMT), a method of mining mineral deposits from host rock. AMT is able to disassociate, or mine, mineral coatings from sand grains in sandstone hosted uranium mineral deposits. That sounds really confusing, but in actually it is quite simple to understand.
Inside a mine, uranium hosted in sandstone is pulverized in a grinding machine. This is a very easy process – think of rubbing sandstone in between your fingers. Next the ground sandstone is mixed with water to form a slurry. Finally the slurry is fed into two hoses that blast the material at itself at high speed.
This allows the coarse sand grains to be released from the mineral fines (uranium and vanadium), resulting in cleaned sand grains and uranium/vanadium rich mineral ore fines. The cleaned sands are left inside the mine, while the uranium and vanadium bearing ore is brought to surface.
Thanks to ablation, the mineral ore is upgraded by 10-fold! That means a lot less ore to be shipped and processed.
So where will this technology be applied? Western Uranium’s flagship asset is the Sunday Complex, a past producing set of mines, which is fully permitted for production.
The Sunday Complex is in mint condition and can be re-started at anytime for just $2M. The company needs around $30/lb uranium prices to justify starting up. That is 50% less than the average cost of production, reported to be around $60/lb!
In the first year of production, we anticipate production of 200,000 to 300,000 pounds of uranium, ramping up to 1 million pounds in a year and half. WUC will process its ore at the White Mesa Mill, owned by Energy Fuels. But wait, there is more to the story!
Another reason that the price of production for WUC is so low is because of the company’s vanadium credits, a commodity that has increased 88% in 2016. While most uranium developers and producers have suffered from uranium’s 50% fall in 2016, Western Uranium has seen that decline offset in a major way by vanadium.
The Sunday Mine Complex is laden with vanadium and uranium veins. Because they are both hosted in sandstone, ablation technology works equally well for both!
On a side note, we expect vanadium to continue its torrid run. It appears the hype around vanadium redox batteries (VRBs) is real, and demand from the steel sector is expected to grow. This is accompanied by a limited feedstock.
In Summary – America’s Leading Uranium Company
Western Uranium is the purest/cleanest United States uranium optionality play in the market. It is undervalued compared to all exploration and development peers – and also comes with the ‘X’ factor in its Ablation Mining Technology and the increasing need for vanadium.
Legendary uranium CEO George Glasier is at the helm and he is dead set on bringing Western into commercial production.
Western has 100 million pounds of 43-101 compliant uranium resources, a very large number!
Add on that the new Trump administration, which is decidedly pro-nuclear and an emerging bull market in uranium, and we think the opportunity could not be more obvious.
Western Uranium recently completed a financing, meaning the coffers are full. Palisade Global Investments participated in the most recent financing. This is not the first time we have invested either.
We are positioning ourselves for the coming uranium bull, and Western Uranium is our largest investment thus far!
Appia Energy (CNSX:API, OTCMKTS:APAAF) – A Legendary Geologist Seeking His 4th Athabasca Discovery!
Today, Nexgen has a $1B market cap! The Arrow deposit at their Rook 1 property in the Athabasca Basin has been described as the “best uranium discovery of the past 25 years” by investment firm Raymond James.
That is because the sheer size is astounding and the grades are in the top one percent of the World. When compared to gold, the high-grade core of Nexgen’s deposit is comparable to 6 ounces per ton material!
The most recent resource estimate put out showed 200 Mlbs of U308 delineated. Some experts are estimating the deposit could reach 500 Mlbs.
The problem is that while Nexgen should perform well in the years ahead, much of the investor gains are behind it.
So we tracked down the guy responsible for making the discovery and we found out that this wasn’t any fluke.
In 2007, he played an integral role that led to the Wheeler River discoveries, a 106Mlbs behemoth that remains as Denison’s flagship asset.
Then in 2008 James moved over to Hathor, and helped to delineate another 100Mlbs of U3O8 at the Roughrider Deposit, which was bought by Rio Tinto for $654M!
In 2010, Fission Energy became the benefactor of James’ work when they lined their drill rigs up with Hathor’s deposits and discovered the J Zone. Fission’s deposit went on to have 13.0Mlbs and was acquired for $70 million by Denison Mines in 2013.
Then in May 2013, James began a job that would permanently place him on the walls of the mining hall of fame. Mega Uranium, a publicly listed company, sold their Athabasca assets into a little company called NexGen. James was given the lead role to manage the exploration efforts. What followed was the discovery of a lifetime! 200Mlbs later and the rest is history.
Enter Appia Energy Corp., a little known company that we believe has the potential to make waves in the business.
With just a $10M market cap, and little attention, Appia has the ability to fly. As an anchor, the company owns 100% of the Elliot Lake Uranium Project, a 200Mlbs low-grade uranium and rare earth deposit in historically producing uranium town of Elliot Lake.
We don’t see production coming from here for some time as the grades are low. However the size is massive, and in a rising price environment, investors will begin to give value to this asset again. Remember, size is key.
What has us truly excited is Appia’s Athabasca portfolio of projects. In all, the company has four projects in the Athabasca, hand selected by James Sykes. Currently the company is focused on the Loranger Project.
Having just recently secured $1.2M in financing, the company is preparing for a 15 hole drill program on Loranger. A discovery can’t be touted before it is made, but what we can say is this – James Sykes is excited!
James is convinced that all the ingredients are in place for a massive Athabasca uranium discovery to be made.
In fact, he is calling one target a triple threat:
1. A gravity low
2. Associated with a jog in a conductor
3. Contains cross-cutting N-S oriented Tabbernor Faults
Drill results could come in as early as PDAC, or the first week of March. But that depends on several variables, including the provincial government giving the OK for an ice road and when Appia gets the assays back.
However, if this target hits, the share price of Appia Energy is going to go ballistic! This is the underdog story of the bull market. A discovery is a long shot, but who better to bet on than an Athabasca rock star?