Q1 2018 brought little change in U3O8 prices, but optimism still remains high in the uranium sector.
Many market watchers remain bullish, including well-known commentators such as Rick Rule of Sprott US Holdings, Thom Calandra of the Calandra Report and Nick Hodge of the Outsider Report. All of these expert investors have high hopes for the uranium-mining space.
Overall, the general sentiment is that it isn’t a question of “if” the uranium market will improve, but “when.” Of course, that question remains difficult to answer, even for those in the know.
For now, the waiting game continues, and many uranium-focused companies have experienced share price declines as they wait on the market to improve. That said, a few stocks listed on the TSX and ASX have seen upticks year-to-date — they are listed below, with all figures accurate as of April 4.
If we missed a uranium mining or exploration company you think should be included, please let us know in the comments. All companies listed had market caps of at least $15 million at the time of publication.
1. Energy Metals (ASX:EME)
Current price: $0.10; year-to-date gain: 11.11 percent
Australia’s Energy Metals is a uranium-focused exploration company with eight projects spanning the Northern Territory and Western Australia. These include Bigrlyi, Ngalia Regional and Macallan in the Northern Territory, as well as Lakeside, Anketell, Mopoke Well, Manyingee and Lake Mason in Western Australia. All of these projects are 100 percent owned by Energy Metals, except for Bigrlyi, in which the firm has a 53-percent stake. Bigrlyi is jointly owned with Northern Territory Uranium and Southern Cross Exploration (ASX:SXX), although Energy Metals manages the project.
In its most recent quarterly announcement, Energy Metals reported using aerial electromagnetic and induced polarization to survey geophysical targets to uncover uranium mineralization. The final data will be “available for targeting and interpretive work in early 2018.”
2. Azarga Uranium (TSX:AZZ)
Current price: $0.23; year-to-date gain: 4.55 percent
Azarga Uranium’s goal is to become America’s next uranium developer. In 2014, the company’s lead asset, the South Dakota-based Dewey Burdock project, received its Nuclear Regulatory Commission license, and in 2017 the US Environmental Protection Agency approved draft Class III and Class V Underground Injection Control permits for the project.
The company is now awaiting the approval of other regulatory permits required to develop the asset. A preliminary economic assessment was completed for Dewey Burdock in 2015, and in February of this year Azarga announced the identification of a second area of mineralization at the project. Also in Q1, the company closed the final tranche of a private placement, raising a total of $753,750.
In addition to Dewey Burdock, Azarga also owns four other projects, three of which are in the US and one of which is in the Kyrgyz Republic.
3. Cameco (TSX:CCO, NYSE:CCJ)
Current price: $12.32; year-to-date gain: 1.73 percent
One of the top uranium-mining companies in the world, Cameco produces about 16 percent of the world’s uranium via its operations in Kazakhstan and Canada. Its exploration assets span 1 million hectares, and Cameco supplies nuclear reactors around the globe. The company’s share of proven and probable reserves across the various operations it is involved in comes to 458.2 million pounds of uranium.
The uranium-mining company’s 2017 financial results were released on February 9. The results show a net loss of $205 million with adjusted net earnings of $59 million. Cameco reported lower production than the previous year, and explained that its earnings were lower as well due to lower uranium prices.
Toward the end of 2017, Cameco announced plans to suspend production at its McArthur River mine and Key Lake milling operations by the end of January 2018. The move has helped to spur hope that improvements in U3O8 prices are in the cards.
What do you think about uranium-mining companies, prices and whether to invest now or later? Let us know in the comments below.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Azarga Uranium is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.