Uranium Prices: Spot Market Remains Quiet, But Nuclear Power Interest Continues to Grow

According to TradeTech, the spot uranium market remains quiet, with only four transactions taking place last week for a total sale of 500,000 lbs. U3O8 equivalent. Over the week, TradeTech’s spot price indicator declined by 5 cents to reach $22.45 per lb. The spot price indicator remains close to its near-term peak of $24.50 per lb. it reached in early January as spot prices recovered after bottoming in 2016.

Even though uranium prices have stalled since their lift-off earlier in the year, companies and countries are continuing to advance their nuclear power and uranium mining activities. While the usual suspects have been stepping up to the plate, now it seems everyone is warming up to nuclear power. According to Ghana news, authorities in Zambia have started reviewing regulations in the mining sector to take into consideration the discovery of uranium and other radioactive minerals.

The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development said it has commenced the process of reviewing the regulations governing the mining of uranium. The country’s last update was back in 2008. Now overdue, the ministry is updating the regulations on the mining and handling of uranium in hopes of allowing the country to use uranium to generate electricity. A study conducted by the ministry showed that the country was expected to start generation of power from uranium in the next 10 to 15 years.

Meanwhile, closer to home, a three-day hearing is underway for NB Power’s license for its Point Lepreau nuclear station. The license expires in June and NB Power has applied or a five-year license renewal. While much of the focus has been on Asia when it comes to nuclear power growth, North America remains a good market for nuclear power. The outcome of this hearing will be significant when it comes to the future of nuclear power in North America where there are many aging plants that require updates.

Leia Toovey has a B.Sc. in geology from Simon Fraser University, and her degree had a focus on resource economics. Out of school, she started working in the booming mining industry of Vancouver, Canada, covering junior mining stocks and commodities including potash, copper, nickel, oil and gold. Then she moved to New York and worked as a commodities analyst covering a breadth of commodities, from the Baltic Dry Index through the softs. As a geologist she has a greater understanding of the exploration and extraction side of commodities, and how changes in technology and the depletion of resources impact pricing. At Economic Calendar she covers a variety of commodities, providing daily technical and fundamental analysis and assessing major market developments.