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Uranium Week: Closing In On Russia

Weekly Reports | May 23 2023

The US, UK and G7 have moved to further turn the screws on Russia, including a timeframe towards banning uranium imports in the US.

-US looking to wean itself off Russian uranium
-G7, UK announce further sanctions on Russia
-Spot market remains quiet

By Greg Peel

A bill banning Russian uranium imports to the US passed a House of Representatives subcommittee on May 16, advancing the draft legislation closer to a vote. However, the ban would not begin until 2028.

The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act also contains a provision for waivers, which would allow the import of low-enriched uranium from Russia if the US Secretary of Energy determines there is no alternative source available for operation of a commercial nuclear reactor or US nuclear energy company, or if the shipments are of national interest.

A similar bill has been referred to the Energy Committee in the US Senate.

The US is clearly in no rush to ban Russian imports as the nuclear energy industry remains reliant on Russian enriched uranium at this stage. The challenge is for the industry to wean itself off that reliance.

Hence, a Senate committee is considering legislation including a Nuclear Fuel Security Act which would establish a nuclear fuel program with the purpose of "onshoring nuclear fuel production”.

The aim is to "to ensure we can meet the domestic demand of our current and future nuclear fleet, while also sanctioning Russian entities to ensure the market is not undercut by state-subsidised Russian fuel."

Greetings from Hiroshima

On the subject of sanctions, the G7 met in Japan on the weekend and announced further sanctions on Russia, restricting any exports of industrial machinery, tools, and technology useful to Russia’s war effort and to stop "sanctions-busting".

The UK also announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia that affect 86 individuals and entities "connected to Russia’s capacity to fund and wage the war”.

The sanctions include companies connected to Russia's state-controlled nuclear energy group Rosatom, as well as directors of state-controlled energy providers, and other Russian sectors including metals production, transport services, defence companies, and banks.

Still Quiet

While uranium markets have been on edge over possible sanctions on Russian uranium imports, a bill which still needs to pass through the legislative pipeline and does not come into effect until 2028 is not spot market-moving news.

Industry consultant TradeTech reports five transactions in the spot market last week totalling 500,000lbs U3O8. Disparity of pricing continues between Europe and North American delivery but the preferred yet more expensive Canadian delivery location won out last week, taking TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator up US35c to US$53.75/lb.

There were no transactions reported in term markets.

TradeTech’s term price indicators remain at US$54.00/lb for both mid- and long-term contracts.

Uranium companies listed on the ASX:

AGE 19/05/2023 0.0300 – 5.56% $0.08 $0.03
BKY 19/05/2023 0.3800 2.67% $0.46 $0.25
BMN 1.3700 0.00% $2.49 $0.21
BOE 19/05/2023 2.7900 2.92% $3.03 $1.61 $3.310 18.6%
DYL 19/05/2023 0.6200 4.17% $1.25 $0.48 $1.040 67.7%
EL8 19/05/2023 0.3200 -16.22% $0.64 $0.30
ERA 19/05/2023 0.0300 – 9.09% $0.31 $0.03
LOT 19/05/2023 0.1900 – 5.00% $0.30 $0.15 $0.350 84.2%
NXG 19/05/2023 5.9300 – 3.13% $7.51 $0.00
PDN 19/05/2023 0.6700 3.05% $0.96 $0.53 -19.9 $1.097 63.7%
PEN 19/05/2023 0.1600 3.23% $0.22 $0.12 $0.340 112.5%
SLX 19/05/2023 4.0800 13.57% $5.32 $1.22 $5.000 22.5%

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