Energy Fuels CEO Mark Chalmers joined INN at PDAC to discuss the importance of domestic production for the US uranium industry.
Energy Fuels (TSX:EFR,NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU) CEO Mark Chalmers joined the Investing News Network at the 2020 Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference to discuss his company’s position in the US uranium industry.
Energy Fuels is the leading US producer of uranium with the largest in situ resource in the United States. With a portfolio of US uranium projects including the only conventional uranium mill in the US and two ISR facilities, Chalmers feels that the company is greatly positioned to serve domestic uranium needs. “It’s certainly a big differentiator for us as a company, whether one wants to focus on our proven track-record of low-cost production, our production capacity, or our resource portfolio,” said Chalmers. “Two of our facilities are currently operating, so we’ve got a first-mover advantage without a doubt and we’re very proud of that position.”
Chalmers believes that Energy Fuels should be considered the primary supplier as the United States moves towards the development of a national uranium stockpile. The company was instrumental in asking the US Federal Government to consider domestic sources of uranium over international sources, aligning with the administration’s preference to buy American products.
“Energy Fuels is a very unique company. I’m very proud of the efforts to get the US government to recognize US uranium that have been largely spearheaded by our company. It has been critical to get the United States government to understand that we need to have a sustainable and growing nuclear fuel industry in the United States once again,” said Chalmers. “This is a big push from the Trump administration. We think it was a direct result of our summer activities in Washington, DC. It is the first time the United States government has looked at buying uranium from American producers since 1983.”
While Chalmers is optimistic regarding the future of US uranium production, he believes there are still a number of hurdles for American companies to overcome. “It’s still very difficult to develop mining properties in the United States because of the permits and regulatory requirements. Conflicts between the various agencies over who has jurisdiction over what property can also be difficult.” As a uranium industry veteran since the 1970s, Chalmers has recognized the loss of talent in the industry as older labor pools move on. “We are losing a lot of skills. The skills for uranium mining processing are increasingly aging out and there are not a lot of young people in the business.”
Moving forward, Chalmers sees the competition for global uranium supply chain dominance heating up as government-owned corporations continue to increase market share. “The other challenge is the battle between state-owned enterprises and the Western world including the US, Canada and Australia. A lot of these state-owned enterprises are actively trying to take control of the global nuclear energy and nuclear fuel industries, particularly uranium with Russia and China. The Westerners are struggling, including companies like Cameco (TSX:CCO,NYSE:CCJ) that have historically been in a very strong position.”
Despite this increased competition and the ongoing global concerns regarding the coronavirus dampening stock prices and funding recently, Chalmers remains positive regarding his company’s position. “It’s too early to tell exactly how it’s going to impact the nuclear industry at this point in time. It has certainly impacted people that need to go out and raise money. We’re in a very strong financial position because we raised money two weeks ago. In this business, you always have to make sure you manage the upside and the downside.”
For a more comprehensive update from Energy Fuels CEO Mark Chalmers, watch the video above.
This interview is sponsored by Energy Fuels (TSX:EFR,NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Energy Fuels in order to help investors learn more about the company. Energy Fuels is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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