Uranium Prices Underscore Renewed Demand
By Dave Brown – Exclusive to Uranium Investing News
With a dramatic ending to the month of July, TradeTech’s spot price increased by $3.50 to its current value $45.25 per pound of uranium, representing an increase of over 8 percent from the June 30 value. Uranium trade consultantsUxC’s spot price for uranium also ended the month very strongly, indicating spot prices trading at the level of $46.00 per pound of uranium. A total of 22 transactions were concluded in July, with prices increasing steeply during the second half of the month.
Fission Energy Corp (CVE:FIS) is a Canadian based uranium exploration company that is currently focused on a discovery at its Waterbury Lake Property in the eastern portion of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin with additional exploration properties held in Quebec and Peru. The company began its summer drilling program last week, and announced on August 3 that the first vertical step-out drill hole had identified “off-scale” radioactivity. The bullish results identified three intercepts totalling 4.5m of “off-scale” radioactivity within a 10 metre intersection of highly radioactive mineralization at the unconformity. The announcement noted that of particular significance is the intensity of alteration and exceptional width of mineralization in the hole which further demonstrates the continuity and strength of the unconformity mineralization. Since the company announced the funding of this 3-year drilling project earlier this month, the market has responded strongly sending the share price from 50 cents to over 70 cents before settling in the 68 cent range, representing a share price appreciation of 37 percent.
India to Reprocess US-obligated Nuclear Material
An agreement on arrangements and procedures for reprocessing was finally signedand announced last Friday in Washington after a year of negotiations. Once it enters into force, it will signify that India will be able to reprocess US-obligated nuclear materials at a new national facility dedicated to the reprocessing of material under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)safeguards.
As China and Pakistan have been involved in nuclear program discussions, a disruption of India’s nuclear program has raised international misgivings and revived apprehension last month while competition for diminishing energy resources in South Asia continually mounts. Although Russia, France and Britain have strongly backed nuclear transfers to India, several countries such as Australia, Ireland, Austria and New Zealand demonstrated protest against any special treatment.
The US State Department was keen to suggest that this reprocessing agreement was negotiated and concluded under the administration of President Obama; however, it follows on from the US-India nuclear cooperation agreement fulfilled during the previous US administration. The accord traces back to a 2008 civilian nuclear energy pact between the countries, terminating a 34-year embargo on nuclear trade despite New Delhi’s longstanding weapons program. The agreement is a prerequisite for US nuclear fuel suppliers to carry out trade with India, which has a flourishing nuclear power program but only modest domestic uranium resources. The US, which currently does not carry out reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, has previously only extended similar consent to European Union countries and to Japan.
India has a comprehensive safeguards agreement in place with the IAEA, plus an Additional Protocol agreed to by the IAEA in March 2009, although it is not a signatory to the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Another important milestone for overseas cooperation in India’s nuclear program will be the country’s proposed law on nuclear civil liability, currently before the Indian government but continuing to be the subject of much contention between Indian politicians.
President Obama is scheduled to visit India this November, and both countries hope that the process of implementation of the nuclear deal can commence before his arrival. Other than minor details that remain to be resolved, one key component will be the passage of the nuclear liability legislation in Parliament. Legislation to limit nuclear firms’ liability in the case of industrial accidents has stalled in the Indian parliament, though it has been cleared by the cabinet. U.S. firms are reluctant to do business in India without legislation that underwrites their compensation liability in the case of industrial accidents. Opposition parties seek to put a maximum liability of about $450 million on the state-run reactor operator without placing any compensation burden on private suppliers and contractors.
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