Uranium bounce predicted
The deep slump in uranium pricing could soon turn around, according to Bannerman Resources director Brandon Munro.
Speaking at the AfricaDownUnder conference in Perth, Munro said the historically low prices for uranium were unsustainable.
“The uranium spot price is languishing at a decade low price of $US20 per pound,” Munro said.
“While all commodity markets are cyclical – and it is said that the best remedy for low prices is low prices – uranium has unique dynamics that point to an abrupt return to higher prices when its time comes.
“Due to the long-term nature of nuclear power plants and the accompanying buying timeframes, uranium cycles are longer than most other commodities.
“The recovery in the sector – bolstered by nuclear power’s clean, base load attributes – has been coming since 2006, although the global financial crisis and then the Fukushima accident stalled the recovery,” Munro said.
“Because of the magnitude and depth of this bear market gestation period, we expect the next bull to be born large and to grow quickly.”
Bannerman owns the Etango project in Namibia - one of the largest undeveloped uranium prospects in the world.
Etango is rare as a uranium project, as it has a completed definitive feasibility study (DFS) and environmental permits. Once developed, it is expected to be one of the top 10 uranium producers.
According to the DFS, production is expected to be 7-9 million pounds of U3O8 per year for the first five years and 6-8 million pounds U3O8 per year thereafter.
The mine will have a minimum life of 16 years with significant expansion potential.
“The Etango project has all its environmental and social licences in place,” Mr Munro said.
“It also has all the necessary infrastructure on its doorstep making if effectively shovel ready when the sector turns around,” he said.
“During the last structurally driven bull market in the 1970s the real uranium spot price spent four years above $US140 a pound – and with the extent of supply constraints, I don’t see that being a totally unrealistic aspiration for the sector.”