‘Stunning reversal’: Nuclear power has gone from pariah to saviour and Canada could reap the benefits – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – April 18, 2024)


Canada’s top uranium producer, used to being overlooked at global climate forums, got front-row billing last year in Dubai. But will this nuclear renaissance stick?

Tim Gitzel was accustomed to being overlooked by the organizers of the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, a.k.a. COP. The meeting attracts a who’s who of the decarbonize-by-2050-or-else crowd to a different city each year, and they bat around big ideas, make lofty pronouncements, set emissions targets and try to hammer out a framework to achieve them.

But Gitzel was never invited to join in the fun. The longtime chief executive of Cameco Corp., the Saskatoon-based mining giant that supplies about 20 per cent of the uranium used to fuel zero-emissions nuclear reactors worldwide, joked that the only way he could get close to COP was to sit in the “McDonald’s across the street” from the meeting. “Nobody wanted to talk to us,” he said. “Nuclear just wasn’t on the agenda.”

Read more

Hundreds attended nuclear event in Ignace – by Mike Stimpson (NWO Newswatch – April 15, 2024)


“Words alone cannot explain the excitement and joy we had as a township to host one of the most important nuclear learning events that this community has ever witnessed.”

IGNACE — More than 500 people checked out the Northwest Nuclear Exploration Event last Friday and Saturday at the Ignace Recreation Centre, according to the township. “Words alone cannot explain the excitement and joy we had as a township to host one of the most important nuclear learning events that this community has ever witnessed,” Mayor Kim Baigrie said in a news release.

Giving thanks to all who made the event a success, she made particular mention of Daila Delescaille and Andi Davenport for their Saturday afternoon presentation as Ignace “youth representatives.”

Read more

‘Enough hot air, we want fresh air’: How a wildcat miners’ strike helped change Ontario labour law – by Jamie Bradburn (TVO Today – April 18, 2024)


Fifty years ago, uranium miners in Elliot Lake hit the picket line, triggering a series of events that led to protections for all workers in the province

“Silicosis is an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death. Silicosis is the result of the body’s response to the presence of silica particles in the lung. Silica particles are very small in size and can reach deep into the lungs (into the alveoli), where they are removed by white blood cells.

Free crystalline silica causes the white blood cells to break open, which forms scar-like patches on the surface of the alveolus. When a large number of these “scars” form, the alveolar surfaces become less elastic. Over time, this damage reduces the transfer of gases, which can lead to shortness of breath.” — Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website

Read more

Federal minister says nuclear power is key part of renewable energy expansion – by Chuck Chiang (Canadian Press/City News Ottawa – April 6, 2024)


VANCOUVER — The federal minister responsible for innovation and industry says Canada could be at risk of losing out on attracting green industries if it doesn’t consider all options for renewable electricity, which he says include nuclear power.

François-Philippe Champagne said in an interview with The Canadian Press that he considers nuclear power part of the renewable energy portfolio that needs to grow to support the country’s lean into “the economy of the 21st century.”

Read more

A Nuclear Power Revival Is Sparking a Surge in Uranium Mining – by Jim Robbins (Yale Environment 360 – April 4, 2024)


A push for nuclear power is fueling demand for uranium, spurring the opening of new mines. The industry says new technologies will eliminate pollution from uranium mining, but its toxic legacy, particularly in the U.S. Southwest, leaves many wary of an incipient mining boom.

After sitting dormant since the 1980s, the Pinyon Plain uranium mine began operating in January on the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona, about seven miles south of the Grand Canyon. Thanks to new interest in expanding nuclear power, the price of uranium is on a tear, making undeveloped and long-shuttered mines viable. Pinyon Plain, which has some of the highest-grade uranium ore in the country, is one of the first uranium mines to open in the United States in eight years.

It will not be the last. In the U.S. and around the world, uranium mining is experiencing a revival. At least five producers in the U.S. are reactivating mines in Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and Arizona, all of which closed after the 2011 disaster at Fukushima sent the price of uranium plummeting. Other projects are underway internationally, including new mines planned in Canada, India, and Mongolia.

Read more

Uranium mined near Grand Canyon as prices soar, US pushes more nuclear power – by Susan Montoya Bryan (Associated Press/Arizona Capital Times – March 31, 2024)

Arizona Capitol Times

The largest uranium producer in the United States is ramping up work just south of Grand Canyon National Park on a long-contested project that largely has sat dormant since the 1980s. The work is unfolding as global instability and growing demand drive uranium prices higher.

The Biden administration and dozens of other countries have pledged to triple the capacity of nuclear power worldwide in their battle against climate change, ensuring uranium will remain a key commodity for decades as the government offers incentives for developing the next generation of nuclear reactors and new policies take aim at Russia’s influence over the supply chain.

Read more

Ignace and nuclear waste organization ink ‘historic’ agreement – by Mike Stimpson (Northern Ontario Business – March 21, 2024)


The 80-page agreement restates the township’s commitment to a “willingness process” to determine whether Ignace supports being host to a repository for nuclear waste

IGNACE — The northwestern Ontario township on the shortlist for hosting nuclear waste storage has signed what it calls a “historic” agreement with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). A news release from Ignace stated, however, that the pact “in no way either guarantees that the Township will host a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel or that a decision on willingness has been made.”

Mayor Kim Baigrie said Tuesday the people of Ignace “should be excited” about the agreement but added that whether the community should welcome the proposed repository in their area is “everyone’s choice.”

Read more

Barrick shuts down water supply after uranium found at copper mine in Zambia – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2024)


Barrick Gold says it has found uranium in the drinking water of an open section of its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, forcing it to halt the water supply and switch to other water sources for its workers in the section.

The Zambian mine has become increasingly important to Barrick’s future. The Toronto-based company has announced plans for a US$2-billion expansion at Lumwana to create one of the world’s biggest copper mines, with construction to begin late this year and production from the project expected by 2028.

Read more

Global Atomic plunges as Niger’s junta expels US troops – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – March 19, 2024)


Shares in Global Atomic (TSX: GLO) have dropped nearly a third since the military rulers of Niger, where the company is developing its Dasa uranium project, vowed on the weekend to kick out United States troops that have been there more than a decade.

By Tuesday afternoon, stock in the Toronto-based company had fallen 29% since Friday to $2.21 apiece, valuing Global Atomic at $462.7 million. It was as low as $2.03 on Tuesday and has traded in a 52-week range of $1.28 to $3.91.

Read more

US uranium miners resurrected by nuclear revival and Ukraine war – by Jamie Smyth and Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – March 10, 2024)


Surging prices for ore and concerns over Russian imports lead to mothballed mines being restarted

Over a 40-year career, Scott Melbye watched the US uranium industry fall from its position as the world’s leading producer of the radioactive ore that powers nuclear reactors to an also-ran with negligible production.

Now, the president of the Uranium Producers of America is leading an industry charge to revive mothballed mines and invest in new production to capitalise on soaring prices and policies aimed at reducing the US’s dependence on Russian imports.

Read more

Uranium Firms Revive Forgotten Mines as Price of Nuclear Fuel Soars – by Jacob Lorinc and Maria Clara Cobo (Bloomberg News – March 3, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — Across the US and allied countries, owners of left-for-dead uranium mines are restarting operations to capitalize on rising demand for the nuclear fuel.

At least five US producers are reviving mines in states including Wyoming, Texas, Arizona and Utah, where production flourished until governments soured on the radioactive element following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Read more

France’s $1.6 Billion Uranium Deal With Mongolia Faces Delays – by Ilya Arkhipov, Samy Adghirni and Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – February 22, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — A $1.6 billion uranium mining deal between France and Mongolia that is part of French efforts to diversify supplies to power its fleet of nuclear reactors is running into political hurdles.

A debate about protecting strategic resources in Mongolia risks delaying the finalization of the agreement until after elections in June, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. Progress has also been hampered after the Asian country’s chief negotiator stepped down, a third person said, meaning the deal had to be redrafted.

Read more

Thousand Bagger in Uranium Mining – by Tom Humphreys (The Big Score – February 24, 2024)


Stephen B. Roman led Denison Mines from 8.5 cents to $87 per share in 13 years, tussled with prime ministers, and dominated the INSANE 20th century uranium business. This is his story.

Rage filled Stephen Roman’s stout frame as he stormed Canadian prime minister Lester Pearson’s office in 1965. Exploding over a ruined $700 million uranium contract, Roman hurled “son of a bitch” at Pearson, who would later quip that Roman was a relic, lagging “fifty years behind the apes.”

It wouldn’t be Roman’s last battle with a prime minister. His improbable rise from tomato picker to mining king is a tale of grit and the dramatic turns in 20th century uranium mining. Pope John Paul II even blessed Roman’s sprawling Toronto estate. Merging business, politics, and the biggest uranium mine, this is how Stephen Roman built an empire.

Read more

How an 1872 law is being exploited to mine uranium near the Grand Canyon (Fast Company.com – February 20, 2024)


It’s just one of multiple sites where companies are allowed to mine on public land—without paying a dime of royalties to the U.S. Treasury.

When Congress opened U.S. public lands for mining in 1872, the nation was less than a century old. Miners used picks, shovels, and pressurized water hoses to pry loose valuable minerals like gold and silver.

Today, mining is a high-technology industry, but it’s still governed by the Mining Law of 1872. As was true 150 years ago, companies can mine valuable mineral deposits from federal lands without paying any royalties to the U.S. Treasury.

Read more

Uranium Prices Are Warming. Now Consider the Bear Case: Lithium. – by Jack Hough (Barrons – February 9, 2024)


Uranium dipped in price this past week after hitting its highest level in 16 years. Is it about to get lithium-ed? Lithium, the lightest metal, multiplied more than five times in price in less than a year after CME Group launched a futures contract in 2021. Then it collapsed, and now it’s lower than it started.

Uranium, one of the heaviest metals, doubled in price since summer to a recent $106 per pound before dipping to just below $100. Two niche exchange-traded funds, Global X Uranium and Sprott Uranium Miners, together took in more than $1 billion in fresh investor cash over the past year, as assets under management swelled to a combined $5 billion.

Read more