Uranium industry ‘s bullish claims are not backed by investors
Uranium miners still waiting on that rebound, TIM KILADZE, Globe and Mail , January 24, 2012 When stocks of uranium miners plummeted after last March’s traumatizing Japanese earthquake, some people expected a rebound once the market’s initial shocks and fears subsided.
They’re still waiting.
Close to a year after the earthquake, shares of Cameco Corp. (CCO-T23.54-0.25-1.05%) are still down 40 per cent and smaller rivals are faring just as badly, with Denison Mines (DML-T1.89-0.12-5.97%) down about 50 per cent. The death knell apparently came when Germany declared a retreat from nuclear energy.
Are these miners doomed for good? Depends on who you ask. Investors are clearly too scared to go near the industry, considering the stocks have moved very little since their initial free fall. (Check out a stock chart for the past year.
Quite scary.) But the companies themselves keep saying that everyone has it wrong.
Cameco chief financial officer Grant Isaac repeated this view when he sat down at CIBC World Market’s Whistler conference last week….. there’s still a major problem. Even if Cameco is bullish over the next decade, its consumers, particularly utilities, like to secure long-term supply contracts, and Cameco can’t talk long-term contracts when they would have to lock-in at today’s prices.
So for now, Cameco is touting plans to increase production. Mr. Isaac said Cameco is sitting on 1 billion pounds of reserves and resources, and the firm wants to bump production from 2 per cent of this a year to 4 per cent.
On this front, investors are cautious. Much of this growth centres on developing the second shaft of Cameco’s Cigar Lake project in northern Saskatchewan, and it’s been plagued with problems…..
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