a bowl of U3O8 yellowcake

What are the largest ASX uranium stocks? Here's a brief look at the biggest uranium companies by market cap in 2022.

2020 and 2021 were breakout years for uranium. Between January and September 2021, prices jumped from US$29.63 per pound to US$50.63 and they have remained above US$40 since then.

In the first quarter of 2022, sentiment surrounding the energy fuel was still holding strong. After uranium's two consecutive years of growth amid the pandemic, investors and companies alike are optimistic about the future.

Below the Investing News Network has listed the biggest uranium stocks on the ASX by market cap. Data for this list was obtained on April 14, 2022, using TradingView's stock screener.


1. Paladin Energy

Market cap: AU$2.69 billion; current share price: AU$0.96

Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) is an independent uranium production company based out of Western Australia whose goal is to be a reliable supplier of clean energy for the future.

The company currently has one mine in operation: the Langer Henrich uranium operation in Namibia. While work was paused in 2018 due to continued low uranium prices, the asset is now back up and running.

2. Energy Resources of Australia

Market cap: AU$1.34 billion; current share price: AU$0.36

Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA) has been one of the longest continually operating uranium oxide producers worldwide for over 40 years. The company bills itself as a reliable source of fuel for the global nuclear power industry. Located in Australia's Northern Territory, its Ranger mine covers 79 square kilometres.

3. Boss Energy

Market cap: AU$954.23 million; current share price: AU$2.98

According to Boss Energy (ASX:BOE), its Honeymoon project in South Australia is set to be the country's next uranium producer. The project is licenced and permitted for the production, storage and export of uranium; it also has a strategically designed processing plant and a small footprint.

Since it acquired Honeymoon in December 2015, Boss has developed its worldwide JORC resource from 16.6 million pounds to 71.6 million pounds. Global mining company First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,OTC Pink:FQVLF) recently entered an agreement to fund base and precious metals exploration at Honeymoon as well.

4. Lotus Resources

Market cap: AU$481.96 million; current share price: AU$0.39

Lotus Resources (ASX:LOT) is a uranium development company. Its work is centred on the Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, Africa, which was shut down due to prolonged low uranium prices.

In early 2022, Lotus increased the mineral resource estimate for Kayelekera by 23 percent from the previous amount; it now sits at 46.3 million pounds at 500 parts per million U3O8. The company is focused on restarting and recommissioning the mine by mid-2022, and will likely begin production shortly after.

5. Deep Yellow

Market cap: AU$435.19 million; current share price: AU$1.13

Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) is committed to becoming a high-output, cost-effective, tier one uranium company. Its project portfolio in Namibia consists of three different assets over a total of 1,685 square kilometres: the Reptile project, the Nova joint venture and the Yellow Dune joint venture.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I Marlee John, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Featured
Global News
the word "uranium" beside a green arrow pointing up
Pavel Ignatov / Shutterstock

With oil and gas prices soaring, inflation hitting record levels and questions around supply chain security, uranium is garnering new attention.

After breaking out of a price rut that had constrained values below US$30 per pound since late 2016, the U3O8 spot price broke through that threshold in April 2020 and has been steadily gaining ever since.

Following years of rangebound movement largely attributed to oversupply following the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, the uranium market has spent the last two years making large gains — the commodity jumped 164 percent from US$24.70 on January 1, 2020, to US$64.51 on April 13, 2022.

When values hit a five year high in mid-April, it marked a 255 percent price uptick since 2017.

read more Show less
mining equipment in action

With emerging projects such as TerraPower's US$4 billion nuclear reactor, Wyoming is the energy capital of the US — and potentially for eco-friendly uranium mining and exploration, as well.

As we approach the 2030 "point of no return" for climate change, clean energy initiatives are more crucial than they've ever been.

Nuclear power has proved incredibly compelling in this regard. And as demand for nuclear energy steadily increases, so too does demand for uranium — a material essential for nuclear power generation.

At the time of writing, there were 438 operable reactors worldwide, their combined output up 8 percent from 2019. And with 55 reactors currently under construction worldwide, the outlook for the nuclear energy sector is a positive one. The most promising of these projects is arguably the Bill Gates-founded TerraPower's US$4 billion advanced reactor in Kemmer, Wyoming.


Constructed near a retiring coal plant, the Natrium reactor may well offer a window into Wyoming's future. For decades, Wyoming was the largest net energy provider in the US, while also producing over 40 percent of the nation's coal. Unfortunately, the global pivot to sustainable power has not been kind to Wyoming's coal sector — the past several years have been some of the most dismal in recent history for the mineral.

And that, in turn, threatens Wyoming's position as a major energy supplier. Or it would, if not for one small detail. Wyoming already has the potential to pivot to nuclear power. Since the late 1950s, it has been responsible for more than 80 percent of the country's uranium production.

Factor in that Wyoming also has the largest-known uranium reserves of any state in the country, and it's well positioned to be a national — possibly even international — leader in uranium production.

Rich history, rich deposits

To truly understand Wyoming's potential as a producer of uranium, one must first examine its history.

Commercial mining of uranium in Wyoming began in the 1950s, though it was first discovered in the tailings of an abandoned silver mine in 1918. At the time, there was no market for the material. It wasn't until 1948 that the fuel source truly came into its own.

At that time, the US Atomic Energy Commission — an agency founded in 1946 to oversee the development of atomic science and technology — issued a series of proclamations around procurement, pricing, discovery and incentives around uranium mining.

During the ensuing uranium rush, prospector Neil McNeice found abundant stores of the mineral in the Gas Hills region of Central Wyoming. For the next decade, Wyoming's uranium production was almost entirely centred in this region and the nearby Shirley Basin. Then, in the 1970s, massive deposits of the mineral were discovered — almost fittingly — in the Powder River Basin, at that time the heart of the state's coal production.

Over the course of its history, Wyoming's uranium mining has produced the equivalent of 5.9 billion barrels of oil in energy.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Wyoming's uranium sector from here. Just as the state's coal industry is being hammered by the shift to green energy, uranium production saw a massive downturn in 1980 due to uranium's massive drop in price. Jeffrey City, at the time a uranium-mining boom town, even lost 95 percent of its population in just three years.

The market has never fully recovered from that plummet in price. However, experts remain optimistic about Wyoming's future as a uranium producer — and not solely because of the rallying spot price.

"I think Wyoming will stand to regain its leading position in uranium production going forward and I think all that's going to take is a little bit [of] improvement in uranium price," Scott Melbye, executive vice president of Uranium Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:UEC), and president of the Uranium Producers of America, explained in a recent interview. "We're now in the $40-$50 per pound price range for uranium concentrates, but to be economical, we need about $50 a pound, certainly as a minimum or higher. I'm pretty confident we’re going to get back into that price range where we see uranium development again in the US."

The price of uranium remains at a high rate, even rising to over $63 per pound in April 2022.

The right infrastructure, the right place, the right time

Currently, Wyoming's governmental and economic climate is ranked second in the world by the Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies. It's also the eighth most attractive mining jurisdiction in the country in terms of investment potential. The long history of the mining sector has clearly resulted in an incredibly favourable climate for discovery, exploration and production alike.

Yet there's another factor that plays just as much of a part in the region's potential. Given that much of Wyoming's uranium can be found in and around the sites of former coal mines, uranium projects have access to readily available infrastructure rather than having to construct it upfront. Projects such as TerraPower's plant will only further drive investment into Wyoming's uranium sector.

Currently, Wyoming is home to a number of major uranium operations, with seven facilities currently operable and two others licensed for construction. Examples of operating or operable facilities include Ur-Energy’s (NYSE:URG,TSX:URE) Lost Creek in-situ recovery (ISR) facility and Smith Ranch-Highland, owned and operated by Cameco (TSX:CCO,NYSE:CCJ).

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) holds several major deposits at Green Mountain and at its Sweetwater mill site in the Great Divide Basin, and Energy Fuels (TSX:EFR,NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU) owns both Nichols Ranch, a mine and plant in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, and Sheep Mountain, a mine and plant at Wyoming's Green Mountain/Crooks Gap.

Uranium Energy also recently acquired the Wyoming uranium exploration and production assets of Uranium One. The assets acquired include the Irigaray, Christensen Ranch, Moore Ranch, Reno Creek, Ludeman, Allemand-Ross, Barge and the Jab/West Jab project areas. Total measured and indicated resources across all of these assets total 61,956,200 pounds of triuranium octoxide (U3O8).

There are multitudes of significant deposits and projects in various stages of discovery and development, with no fewer than seven sites throughout the state.

GTI Resources (ASX:GTR) is one of the major players in that regard, having recently commenced drilling at its flagship Thor uranium project just a few miles away from Ur-Energy’s Lost Creek injected-solution mining plant. Ur-Energy claims that Lost Creek is the lowest-cost uranium producer in the world outside of Kazakhstan.

GTI currently holds approximately 8,900 hectares of underexplored mineral lode claims and two state leases prospective for sandstone-hosted uranium. GTI also recently announced that it’s agreed to acquire 13,800 additional acres of claims at Green Mountain, adjacent to its existing Great Divide Basin projects. The Green Mountain project contains a number of uranium-mineralised roll fronts hosted in the Battle Springs Formation. It lies close to several major deposits held by Rio Tinto, Energy Fuels and Uranium Energy.

Peninsula Energy (ASX:PEN) represents another promising investment opportunity. The company is uniquely placed in that it owns the Lance uranium projects, a major historic production facility in operation since 2015. The company is currently transitioning the facility to restart production using a new ISR method, an initiative slated to be completed prior to 2030.

In-situ recovery

The majority, if not all, current operable and licensed uranium projects in Wyoming employ the ISR method, and for good reason. ISR is a proven approach — in fact, it was first used in the Gas Hills and Shirley Basin uranium districts in the early 1960s.

ISR mining results in minimal waste, as the typically alkaline solution used is non-toxic. It also has a minimal carbon footprint. More importantly, ISR requires a considerably lower upfront capital investment — the technology utilized in ISR mining costs significantly less than even a modest open-pit operation.

ISR mining injects either an alkaline or acidic solution into the deposit being mined. In Wyoming, the solution is most commonly alkaline. Once the solution has leached the uranium out of the surrounding rock, it’s pumped to the surface. This method is significantly cleaner, and has a lower environmental impact when compared to both open-pit and underground mining.

GTI's Thor uranium project is Wyoming’s newest potential ISR project. The company commenced its maiden drilling program in December 2022, aimed at confirming the grade and tenor of uranium mineralisation, and ultimately to support the future definition of an economic ISR uranium resource.

Results announced in late March 2022 from the maiden drill program exceeded expectations for economic ISR uranium recovery. GTI Executive Director Bruce Lane said, "I'm excited by the fact that this first, wide spaced, drill program covered less than 20 percent of GTI's total land holding in the Great Divide Basin with most of our ground still to be tested."

Takeaway

ISR mining is a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly option for uranium production, and Wyoming may well be the perfect region for the technique. Its mining-friendly government, extensive pre-existing infrastructure and massive uranium deposits make it a promising investment target. And together, they may secure the state's position in a nuclear energy-focused future.

This INNSpired article is sponsored by GTI Resources (ASX:GTR). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by GTI Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. GTI Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.

This INNSpired article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with GTI Resources and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

GTR:AU
nuclear reactors against water
hxdyl / Shutterstock

It might feel like uranium's bull story has gotten long in the tooth, said Justin Huhn of Uranium Insider — but major firms haven't even entered the market yet.

- YouTube youtu.be

Uranium prices faced headwinds last week, falling below the US$60 per pound level, but Justin Huhn, founder and publisher of Uranium Insider, believes the market still has plenty of room to run.

"From a retail investor perspective, it's easy to look at weekly charts of some of the uranium stocks and be like, 'Oh my gosh, we're up so much in the past three years, this rally has got to be close to over,'" he said.

"And then you talk to somebody like John (Ciampaglia) at Sprott, and he's telling you, 'Yeah, the big money can't even position yet because the market's not large enough — and they will when it (is)."

read more Show less
a bowl of U3O8 yellow cake

Australia is the second largest producer of uranium in the world. Here's a look at the mines that are producing today, and the significant ones that are being developed.

Despite sitting on the largest known recoverable resources of uranium worldwide — 1.69 million metric tonnes in 2019 — Australia uses no part of it for energy. Instead, Australia exports the valuable resource, which accounts for one-quarter of its energy exports.

In fact, Australia was the second largest producer of uranium in 2020, producing 6,203 metric tonnes. It was only beaten by Kazakhstan, which produced nearly 20,000 metric tonnes that year.

Australian uranium production has centred around three mines in recent years — Olympic Dam, Beverly Four Mile and Ranger — until the Ranger mine ceased operations in 2021.

Main mines in the country

Here's a closer at these mines and the companies that own them:

1. Olympic Dam owned by BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP)

The Olympic Dam complex is built upon one of the world's most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium. In fact, it's the world's largest known uranium deposit. It has both underground and surface operations and it has a fully integrated processing facility, which means it is capable of extracting, refining and processing mined commodities.

In 2020, BHP Billiton produced 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium oxide (U3O8), which is nearly half of Australia's output and 6 percent of the world's production. In 2021, their uranium segment accounted for US$249 million in revenue.

Although the company produces a significant amount of global uranium, its production of copper, iron ore, coal and petroleum dwarfs its uranium production by a wide margin.

2. Beverly and Four Mile owned by private company Heathgate Resources

Australia's first in-situ recovery mine at Beverly sits on a uranium deposit about 520 kilometres from Adelaide. Owned by Heathgate Resources, a subsidiary of US-based General Atomics, the Beverly mine itself has all been mined out and production exclusively occurs at the nearby Four Mile mine (owned by Quasar, a subsidiary of Heathgate).

In 2020, Heathgate Resources mined 2,130 tonnes of uranium oxide from Four Mile, accounting for 4 percent of the world's uranium production.

3. Ranger Uranium Mine owned by Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA)

Ranger was the longest serving uranium production mine in Australia at 35 years, located 8 km east of the town of Jabiru. The mine officially stopped processing operations in January 2021 after traditional owners of the land did not support extending the Energy Resources of Australia's (ERA) authority in the area. The company had already stopped mining operations back in 2012 and had been processing stockpiled ore since then.

The ERA, whose parent company is Rio Tinto, produced 1,574 tonnes of uranium oxide for 2020 — accounting for 2 percent of the world's uranium production — before shutting the mine down.

According to their 2020 annual report, continuing mining at Ranger in the future is also unviable. A change in legislation would be required and the company states that monitoring the mine in the gap between ceasing and resuming operations would simply add to its cost burden.

While ERA still holds the lease on the nearby Jabiluka orebody, it has been firm that it will not develop the site without the consent of the Mirrar Aboriginal people, and so the Jabiluka development has been indefinitely deferred.

Future mines in Australia

Australia accounts for almost one-third of the world's uranium deposits and there are several future exploration and expansion uranium projects brewing in the country. With 31 known deposits for uranium including the three discussed above, the list for potential new mines or mines being brought back online is long. Here are a few noteworthy ones.

1. Honeymoon

The deposit was discovered in the 1970s, and in 2015 Boss Energy (ASX:BOE) bought Uranium One Australia and acquired the mine as part of the deal. The project is permitted to export up to 3.3 million pounds (1,496 tonnes) per annum and production is expected soon.

2. Mulga Rock

This polymetallic deposit was first discovered by PNC Exploration in 1979 and is now owned by Vimy Resources (ASX:VMY), formerly Energy & Minerals Australia. The deposit is divided into Mulga Rock East and West, and also hosts scandium, nickel and cobalt.

With approvals from both state and federal governments in 2016 and 2017 respectively, the mine can produce up to 1,300 tonnes of U3O8 per year. Vimy Resources intends to start on the Ambassador deposit with open-pit mining with an 85 percent recovery rate.

3. Angela / Bigrlyi / Obagooma / Thatcher Soak

Elevate Uranium (ASX:EL8), formerly known as Marenica Energy, has acquired or bought stakes in several mining projects in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. While there is no clear timeline on start of operations for any project, managing director and CEO Murray Hill was quoted saying that he expects the price of uranium to increase over the next decade, meaning the company would be well-leveraged as it bought assets at a reduced price.

Hill also expects modular reactor technology to improve in the next decade, allowing nuclear energy to be used across the landscape in rural areas and not just the bigger cities.

Market Outlook

After suffering low prices after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the nuclear energy market is expected to pick up, with generation growing nearly 3 percent annually by 2040, according to the World Nuclear Association's Nuclear Report. As the world continues to pivot to net-zero emissions, nuclear energy will find increasing favour from countries looking to shift their energy generation to cleaner sources.

The report states that uranium production will remain stable until the end of the 2020s and then decrease by nearly half from 2030 to 2040, highlighting the need for increased exploration and production in the space to avoid future supply disruptions.

Many projects are at advanced development stages and are only waiting for improved prices from the market.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Pallavi Rao, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

cooling tower of heavy industry factory in beijing
06photo / Shutterstock

David Talbot of Red Cloud discusses current events in the uranium space, including Sprott trust buying and the impact of Russia/Ukraine events.

David Talbot: Uranium Supply, Demand and Prices — What to Watch in 2022 youtu.be

Attention is shifting to the uranium market, with prices creeping up as supply concerns mount.

David Talbot, managing director and head of research at Red Cloud, gave his thoughts on what's going on, focusing on the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (TSX:U.UN) and the impact of the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

"It does seem apparent that many investors believes this Russia/Ukraine situation will lead to higher uranium prices," he told the Investing News Network. "That said, I don't think there is a lot of risk premium built into the current spot price. The price appreciation looks to be more a response to Sprott buying."

read more Show less
GTI Resources Company



GTI Resources Ltd (GTI or Company) advises that the approvals process is underway for approximately 40,000 feet of follow-up drilling at the Company’s Thor ISR uranium project area and circa 60,000 feet of maiden drilling at the Wicket, Teebo, Odin and Loki projects (Figures 1 & 2).

The drill program is expected to commence starting at the Thor ISR project during July with the drill permitting and bonding process well underway for the drilling campaign.