Building on previous week rises, again overnight we saw the Nymex November futures move to $36.25P/Lb, building further upward momentum onto last weeks Uranium Spot of $35.35 The early Green shoots do seem to be evolving. *** Note this recent move is the highest since July 2013 ***
Black Range Minerals has agreed to buy the mothballed Shootaring Canyon uranium mill in Utah from Uranium One for $10 million.
The acquisition includes surface stockpiles of uranium ore, with a
historic mineral resource estimate of some 250,000 pounds U3O8 (97 tU)
at a grade of 0.13% U3O8. Black Range has also agreed to acquire Uranium
One's other "conventional mining assets" within the USA, the most
advanced being the previously mined Velvet-Wood deposit in Utah with
remaining NI43-101 estimated resources of 5.3 million pounds of U3O8
Black Range already owns the Hansen/Taylor Ranch uranium project in
Colorado. The company says that the cost of acquiring, refurbishing and
restarting the Shootaring Canyon mill is expected to be "significantly
less" than building a new processing facility at Hansen, and should
enable it to fast-track the development of its Colorado project while
avoiding costs from toll-milling at a third-party mill.
The company is expected to customise the mill so it can
preferentially receive high-grade concentrates from multiple projects
across the USA.
The purchase was described by Black Range as being
"transformational," noting that "ownership of the Shootaring Mill, one
of only three licenced mills in the USA, assures control of production
all the way from mining to finished yellowcake."
The Shootaring Canyon mill, located approximately 77 kilometers south
of Hanksville, Utah, is permitted to process up to 750 tonnes of ore
per day, but has a capacity to process 1000 tonnes per day. The mill -
the last conventional uranium mill to be built in the USA - was
commissioned and operated for just four months in 1982, before being
mothballed due to declining uranium prices. Black Range estimates it
would take about 18 months to acquire the necessary permits to bring the
mill back into action.
Uranium One acquired the Shootaring Canyon mill from US Energy Corp in April 2007. .
Jeb Handwerger, publisher of Gold Stock Trades newsletter, discusses his outlook on uranium.
Jeb points to toxic air pollution in China and the country's need for more power as the reason why China is leading the world in the construction of new nuclear power plants.
India and Russia are building nuclear power plants. Even oil rich countries like United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are investing in nuclear to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Australia and Greenland have recently lifted bans on uranium mining. Volumes moving into uranium stocks are rising and last week, Cameco shocked markets by posting a profit, even with uranium at 8 year lows. M&A in the uranium sector has been exceptional over the past year, particularly in the Athabasca Basin.