Canadian Mining Journal


NORTHERN MINER: Kazatomprom’s cuts and uranium’s rebound

What a difference a month makes. After an absolutely desultory past few years for uranium oxide prices – which saw the spot price of yellowcake hit 11-year lows of only US$18 per lb in December 2016 – by Jan. 16 the price was back up to US$22.50 per lb (a 25% rise from the low), after four straight weeks of advances.

On a wider scale, the price chart for uranium looks like it may have reversed its downward trend since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, which prompted Japan to take all its reactors offline and made countries such as Germany forsake peaceful nuclear power altogether.

One catalyst for the strengthened uranium price was the surprise decision on Jan. 10 by Kazakhstani state-owned Kazatomprom to lower its 2017 uranium production 10% – equating to 5.2 million lb U3O8, or 3% of global mine supply.

More conservative commentators are at least conceding that Kazatomprom’s move puts a US$18 per lb floor on the uranium spot price, with Kazatomprom selling most of its output at spot prices. This US$18 level is a 75% decline from pre-Fukushima price levels.

Read the entire story at The Northern Miner.

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