Two Colorado uranium companies are jointly asking President Trump to help the U.S. uranium mining industry.
In a joint letter yesterday to the U.S. Commerce Dept., Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE: UUUU) of Lakewood and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSE: URG) of Littleton said that they want protection from “imports of uranium products that threaten national security.”
The companies said they’re worried that the U.S. currently gets 40 percent of its uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan and only 5 percent from domestic production, with additional foreign imports from Russia and China expected in the future.
“A healthy uranium mining industry is vital to U.S. national security, because it supplies fuel for nuclear power plants that are a key component of the nation’s critical energy infrastructure and essential defense needs,” the two companies wrote, adding that they supplied more than half of the U.S.’s 2017 domestic uranium production.
The companies said they want a quota on uranium imports, and want at least 25 percent of the U.S. nuclear market reserved for U.S. uranium companies.
“Greater diversification will lessen the exposure of the U.S. government, U.S. utilities and their customers to the policies of nations like Russia, Kazakhstan, and China. … A strong domestic uranium mining industry will be able to reliably supply the required domestic uranium that is critical to our national defense programs,” they wrote in the letter to the Commerce Dept. They’re asking the Department of Commerce to investigate their concerns and forward them to President Trump for action.
However, not everyone’s happy with mining companies expanding U.S. uranium production.
In December, the Washington Post reported that Energy Fuels “launched a concerted lobbying campaign to scale back Bears Ears National Monument (in Utah), saying such action would give it easier access to the area’s uranium deposits and help it operate a nearby processing mill.” Energy Fuels fired back at the Post later in the month.
And on Jan. 13, the New York Times reported that Energy Fuels’ campaign to expand U.S. uranium production “is part of a wider effort by the long-ailing uranium industry to make a comeback.”
Source: Denver Business Journal