URÁN – zopár typov pre investovanie

Sedem silných firiem kontroluje 78% svetovej produkcie uránu. Zbytok je v rukách malých firiem tzv. “juniors”, ktoré pri pozitívnom trende ceny uránu ako aj výkonnosti firmy môžu pre investorov zabezpečiť lepší percentuálny výnos . V našom zornom poli sú US firmy URZ, URME a EMU.

Uranium spot prices have rebounded from $7 to $72 per pound since 2000. As recently as a year ago, uranium spot prices were $45 per pound. As a result, uranium exploration is more attractive and highly viable, especially on land adjacent or nearby to known uranium deposits.


DEMAND/SUPPLY IMBALANCE

Worldwide production for uranium is in the 90 million pound range, while annual consumption runs in the 160 to 180 million pound ranges. Uranium's primary use is to fuel nuclear power plants. One kilogram of uranium produces 12 times the amount of electricity produced from coal, oil or natural gas.


Natural uranium has less than 1% of the unstable isotope U-235, which must be concentrated to a level of 4% to 5% to make fuel for nuclear power plants. (The concentration required to make nuclear weapons is closer to 90%).


The seven old-line organizations listed below are unlikely to garner all of the new production that is required to bridge the highly visible supply gap, as the world adds more nuclear power facilities to generate electricity


OLD LINE SUPPLY SOURCES

Seven old line organizations control 78% of worldwide uranium production. The four large public companies are Canadian-based Cameco Corp. (CCJ:NYSE), the world's largest publicly traded uranium company and a growing gold producer; Rio Tinto plc (RTP:NYSE), exploration, mining, and processing of mineral resources; BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP:NYSE), mining, drilling, and processing mineral resources; Areva (Eurodollar investment certificate, AREVA IC), nuclear power generation and electricity transmission and distribution.. The other three uranium producing organizations are in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: KazAtomProm, TVEL, and Navoi Mining & Metallurgical Combine.


An accident in October, 2006 flooded the Cigar Lake Development Project in Canada, which was scheduled to be the world's largest uranium mine and is operated by Cameco (CCJ:NYSE). That nudged prices for uranium oxide. Cameco says the mishap will delay completion for as long as three years. The mine could eventually supply 17% of the world's uranium demand, Cameco says.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR JUNIORS

Many junior mining companies are more nimble and quick reacting than the old line majors, especially regarding staking and developing claims nearby or adjacent to currently producing uranium mines. And a number of exploration companies which formerly concentrated on gold exploration and development are now also focusing on uranium exploration and development.


Exploration techniques and geological understanding have continued to improve, so exploration can now be more precisely directed to prospective areas, and is therefore likely to be more productive than in the past.


Six of the larger juniors, with 2006 year-end market capitalizations, include Energy Metals (EMC.TO; also NYSE:EMU), *$832mm; Laramide Resources (LAM.TO), *$440mm; Uranium Resources (URRE.OB), 300mm; Uranerz Energy Corp. (URZ), $140mm; Uranium Energy Corp. (URME.OB), $100mm; Titan Uranium (TUE.V), *$97.

*Canadian dollars


Seven of the more junior uranium exploration and development companies include Mesa Uranium (MZU.V), Pacific Ridge (PEX.V), Tonogold Resources (TNGL.PK), Trigon Uranium (TEL.V), UREX Energy (URXE.OB), Western Uranium (WUC.V), Xemplar Energy (XE.V)


There is even a merchant banking firm getting in on the action: Pinetree Capital Corp. (PNP Toronto) (PNPFF Other OTC), a diversified investment and merchant banking firm focused on the small cap market, with investments primarily in the resources sector including uranium, oil and gas, precious metals, and base metals.


Other leading Uranium companies include: Laramide Resources LTD (Toronto:LAM.TO), First Uranium Corp. (Toronto:FIU.TO), Ur-Energy Inc (TSX: URE), Energy Metals Corp. (NYSEArca:EMU), and Urasia Energy LTD (UUU:TSX-V).


Source: SmallCap

03.02.2007

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