The opening day of a recent three-day mining industry event ahead of the 2022 PDAC (Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) meeting featured keynote speeches and company presentations.
In one headliner talk, Anna Bryndza, executive vice president of UxC — which is a firm that publishes data, research, and analysis on the global nuclear fuel cycle markets — discussed a handful of events happening in the world that will affect nuclear power and uranium in the near and longer-term future.
The one certainty, Bryndza said, is that investments in green energy will continue to boost demand for nuclear energy. As an example, she cited the European Union possibly mandating €50 billion in industry funding by 2030.
Less clear are the impacts of events related to current conflicts in Eastern Europe and Asia, Bryndza said. Russia's attacks on Ukraine could affect the quantity, diversification, and security of Russia's uranium supply, which is significant because the country produces much of the world's nuclear power. As such, its war with Ukraine could change the worldwide market's fundamentals and, potentially, the overall role of nuclear power.
For instance, penalties on trade agreements could ultimately increase the uranium price.
"Furthermore, recent efforts by France, the United Kingdom, Poland, and others in building nuclear reactors could spur geopolitical tensions and ultimately reshape the world and the nuclear fuel markets," Bryndza added.
Given most global uranium producers have ties to Kazakhstan, the current political unrest and related governmental changes happening there could negatively affect the overall uranium market.
Finally, elections in South Korea on March 9 and in France on April 10 will dictate which direction these two countries go in terms of nuclear power, fostering or impeding its growth.
Also on the uranium theme at this pre-PDAC event, some U3O8 explorers and developers presented their companies:
President, CEO and Director Jordan Trimble noted Skyharbour employs a prospect generator model and its portfolio encompasses interests in 14 uranium exploration projects in the Athabasca, nine of which are ready to be drilled.
Right now 2,500m of drilling are in progress at the Moore project, in the Maverick, and Maverick East zones, and a resource estimate on Moore is expected later in 2022.
Skyharbour has work plans for South Falcon this year as well.
CEO and Director James Sykes relayed that Baselode discovers near-surface, basement-hosted, high-grade uranium ore bodies outside of the traditional deposits of Canada's Athabasca Basin, and it owns three such projects: Catharsis, Hook, and Shadow.
A 10,000 meter (10,000m) diamond drill campaign is underway at Hook, where the company discovered the Ackio zone last year, and results to date are encouraging. Other work Baselode has lined up for this year includes an airborne VTEM, or versatile time domain electromagnetic, survey of and drilling at Catharsis, and an airborne gravity survey of Shadow.
Executive Vice President and CEO Cory Belyk indicated CanAlaska, an explorer and project generator focused on uranium and nickel discoveries, owns large land packages in the Athabasca Basin and in the Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba.
In 2021, the company made three new uranium discoveries on three different properties.
Potential upcoming catalysts include results of drilling from Waterbury South, at West McArthur, in Thompson, and more, along with mergers and acquisitions deals. CanAlaska is well-funded with CA$15 million in cash, has a tight share structure, and is headed by an experienced team.
CEO and Director Jon Bey said Davidson River is the flagship project of this explorer and developer of uranium properties in Canada. The company plans to drill this never-before-drilled property in Q2/22 and Q3/22.
It is currently advancing four other projects in the Athabasca, including Sundog, where maiden drilling is slated to start next week, and East Basin, where drilling is scheduled for later in 2022.
Don't miss coverage of day 2 of the event and other featured pre-PDAC firms.
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