Energy Fuels is America’s premier uranium company. Energy Fuels' operations, employees, and properties are located in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico, and our operations are managed out of our Lakewood, Colorado office (near Denver). Energy Fuels is listed on the NYSE MKT under the trading symbol "UUUU" and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “EFR”.
Energy Fuels owns and controls the only operational conventional uranium processing facility in the United States, the White Mesa Mill located near Blanding, Utah. The White Mesa Mill has an operating capacity of 2,000 tons per day and the potential to process up to 8 million lbs. of uranium per year. The White Mesa Mill also has two separate circuits designed to (i) produce vanadium (as V2O5) from the uranium/vanadium mines on the Colorado/Utah border and (ii) to process low cost alternate feed materials for the production of uranium.
Since early 2011, uranium prices have dropped from $72.25 per pound to $22.75 per pound today, reaching a low of $17.75 on November 30, 2016. The cause for this huge price decline is simple – excess supply and weak demand. However since that November low, we have witnessed a few highly significant events – both on the supply and demand side – that we believe bode well for the uranium industry.
Reduction – or Elimination – of U.S. DOE Uranium Barters?
In his January 19, 2017 confirmation hearing, Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas), President Donald Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, was questioned by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) about the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) ongoing practice of bartering uranium for services. These barters have had the effect of placing 5 to 8 million pounds of uranium into the market each year. Not only is this practice believed by many to violate existing law, but it harms U.S. uranium producers, and it is a waste to fire-sale valuable government assets at today’s cheap prices. If confirmed, Governor Perry committed to meeting with America’s uranium producers to formulate a long-term management plan for the DOE’s excess uranium inventories before authorizing any additional uranium barters. Perry also publicly committed to “accomplish the goals of the DOE without violating the law and harming the domestic uranium industry.”
Kazakhstan Reducing 2017 Uranium Production by 10%
In an interview published by Ux Consulting Company on January 9, 2017, the Chairman of Kazatomprom, Askar Zhumagaliyev, announced that the nation of Kazakhstan will reduce 2017 uranium production by 10%. Kazakhstan is the World’s largest producer of uranium, and in 2015 U.S. utilities purchased 10.7 million pounds of Kazakh uranium. These anticipated production cuts mean that 5 to 6 million pounds of uranium would be removed from the global market. This is also highly significant, as Kazakhstan is widely believed to be the lowest-cost uranium producer in the World. These planned cuts are further confirmation of our belief that today’s uranium prices are unsustainably low.
The U.S. Saves Three Nuclear Reactors
On December 1, 2016, the Illinois Legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill that directs $235 million in annual ratepayer subsidies to save 3 nuclear reactors owned by Exelon. If the bill had failed, Exelon had announced that they would close the Clinton unit on June 1, 2017 and the two Quad Cities units in 2018. Thanks to this forward-thinking legislation, these units will continue producing clean energy for the foreseeable future, contrary to the forecasts of most nuclear analysts who had assumed that these plants would close in 2017 and 2018.
The Reality of Small Modular Reactors Is Increasing
With an eye toward the future of nuclear innovation, on January 12, 2017, NuScale Power announced that it had submitted a formal application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) to certify its small modular reactor (“SMR”) design. According to NuScale, this is the first-ever design certification application submitted to the NRC for an SMR. NuScale’s SMRs are designed to generate 50 megawatts of electricity, with the ability to scale-up to 600 megawatts of generation by combining up to 12 modules. These SMRs also provide passive safety and shutdown systems. NuScale “conservatively” predicts that approximately 55-75 gigawatts of electricity will be generated from SMRs by 2035.
At Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE MKT: UUUU; TSX: EFR), we believe these positive catalysts could energize the uranium market, and we look forward to working with the new administration in Washington to further advance the domestic nuclear and uranium sectors. These are indeed exciting times in our industry, and we continue to believe the best is yet to come Please feel free to reach out to us should you have any questions or comments.
Energy Fuels Inc.
VP – Marketing and Corporate Development
(303) 974-2140 or Toll free: (888) 864-2125