Protests in Kazakhstan, which began last week, have caused a surge in the price of uranium, with data released by UxC showing that the price of the radioactive metal increased to $45.20. Kazakhstan is the biggest producer of uranium globally, producing more than 40% of the world’s uranium.
The Central Asian country restricted some travel and interrupted communication networks in an attempt to thwart the unrest. Additionally, the Kremlin stated that Russia and its Collective Security Treaty Organization allies would send peacekeeping forces to the country after the nation’s leader, President Kassym-JomartTokayev, called for assistance.
The protects could increase reliance on suppliers outside the country, which would result in a significant increase in share prices of uranium companies in Australia and North America, including the shares of Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR).
Jonathan Hinze, president of UxC LLC, stated that the country’s role as the biggest supplier of uranium was what individuals were trading on as the turmoil had the potential to create a massive shortage. UxC is a leading nuclear fuel market research and analysis company.
The radioactive metal made a remarkable comeback in September, with its prices rising by more than 20%. This new record made September the nuclear fuel’s best monthly performance since 2008. Investors are hopeful that the nuclear power renaissance is here to stay as more governments around the globe shift from using fossil fuels in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and meet their net zero targets.
Despite the surge in prices due to news of Kazakhstan’s unrest and possible disruptions in the metal’s supply, there are no reports of shutdowns of nuclear power plants or uranium shortages. This is because, unlike facilities that run on natural gas or oil, nuclear power plants have amassed stockpiles over the last couple of years, which means that they can continue their operations even if shipments are disrupted.
Additionally, even with the unrest, some mining operations haven’t been affected. For instance, Katco activity is continuing because the mine site isn’t located near the tension areas. Katco is a uranium mining joint venture between Orano SA, a French energy company, and NAC Kazatomprom JSC, the national operator of Kazakhstan’s uranium imports and export.
However, Kazatomprom’s shares have declined by 10% over the last couple of days while other uranium companies in North America have recorded gains. Those gains may have partly been caused by a decision by the Eurpean Union to advance with its plan to label various nuclear projects as sustainable.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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