Uranium investors await price rally to revive Namibia projects


Namibia’s finance minister said uranium miners are waiting for a price correction before reviving projects at Africa’s biggest ore producer, which is essential for nuclear power in a world moving away from fossil fuels. According to Finance Minister Ipumbu Shimi, the semi-arid Southwest African country is investing in water facilities and plans for a second desalination plant to supply mines in the arid Erongo region in anticipation of high uranium prices that will attract investors. is making. 

“Many uranium projects are in the pipeline, waiting for a price correction,” Xiaomi said in an interview with Davos on Thursday. “If the price reaches $65-70 a pound, that would trigger further investments in uranium.”

There has been a revival in demand for nuclear power since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as nations scramble to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. This prompted a rally in uranium, whose prices more than tripled from 2016 lows to $63.75 a pound in April. 

The UK plans to triple its installed nuclear power capacity by 2050, and Belgium is in talks to keep two reactors open. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol plans to make nuclear power the focus of the country’s climate goals. California, the birthplace of America’s anti-nuclear movement, is reconsidering plans to shut down its remaining reactors.

ohn Ciampaglia, chief executive officer of Sprott Asset Management, which launched the world’s first uranium physical trust last year, said in a presentation on May 17, “The rising uranium price has encouraged uranium miners to ramp up exploration and production. ” “Worldwide, 57 new nuclear plants are under construction and 97 are planned, but current uranium production is failing to meet demand.

For now, only two of Namibia’s three mines are producing nuclear fuel – the Rossing Uranium Mine and Husab Uranium – controlled by Chinese investors. Australia’s Paladin Energy Ltd plans to resume commercial production at its Langer Heinrich mine by 2024. 

According to the Namibian Uranium Association, there are five mining areas under exploration in the country. Among the projects:

Deep Yellow Ltd expects to complete its feasibility study of the Tumas area by the end of the year and said it has found “potential targets” in the Omahola area. Bannerman Resources Limited has appointed Wood plc to lead a feasibility study in its Atango-8 project. Elevate Uranium Limited reported an initial resource estimate of £20.3 million in its Koppies project on 4 May.

Uranium prices, which touched a record in 2007, have been down for almost a decade.

“BNEF anticipates both – Russia’s war on Ukraine and the rush for clean energy – will generate more interest in nuclear and uranium,” said Chris Gadomsky, a nuclear industry analyst at Bloomberg NEF. “We are already seeing increased production in Canada, Namibia and Niger.”

green hydrogen

The recent rally in prices of other metals has also helped Namibia improve its trade balance, Shimi said.

The country’s next focus is on exporting energy to neighboring South Africa. In November, it selected Hyphen Hydrogen Energy for a $9.4 billion project that is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually. The country also has significant wind and solar resources. 

Other plans by Namibia to woo investors:

Issuing requests for proposals in the dairy and crop industries Sell agricultural assets Establish a sovereign wealth fund to use up part of your expected energy revenues.

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