WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leading U.S. uranium mining companies say they are prepared to quickly ramp up production if President Donald Trump approves their request for curbs on imports this week.
Trump is expected to decide as soon as Friday on the petitions from Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc (UUUU.A) and Wyoming-based Ur-Energy Inc (URG.A) – which seek quotas requiring 25% of the U.S. uranium market be sourced domestically – after reviewing recommendations from the Commerce Department in April.
Two sources familiar with the matter said the White House was weighing three options, including taking no action, delaying a decision for six months, and requiring utilities to purchase 5% of their uranium from domestic mines each year – rising 5 points per year until it reaches 25%.
The United States sourced just 7% of its uranium domestically in 2017, with most of the rest coming from Canada, Australia and Russia, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“If we get a positive determination out of the president, our company is going to start doing things immediately,” said Mark Chalmers, president of Energy Fuels, in an interview this week.