July 17, 2018 (Source) — Paper Ignores Data Presented to U.S. Department of Commerce
Demonstrating That Industry Can Meet Increased Production Requirements
A utility-sponsored paper released yesterday misses the mark in its analysis of the remedies that Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU; TSX: EFR) (“Energy Fuels”) and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSE American: URG; TSX: URE) (“Ur-Energy”) proposed in their Section 232 petition to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). For decades, the U.S. has increased its dependence on uranium from state-sponsored enterprises subject to neither environmental nor worker safety standards.
Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy welcome all interested parties, including utilities, to carefully analyze the economic impacts of the proposed remedies. We believe the remedies are sound and will result in minimal impacts to the U.S. nuclear utility industry and consumers of electricity, while also bolstering U.S. national security. However, the utilities’ analysis misses the mark on several fronts.
Most critically, the paper ignores evidence that Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy included in their petition for relief under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 demonstrating that the industry has sufficient licensed capacity and resources – and all at a cost consistent with the unsubsidized global standard – to meet U.S. production requirements if the quotas recommended in the petition are imposed. The U.S. uranium industry has produced at well over those levels in the past, and the proposed remedies would allow the industry to get back to those production levels at minimal cost to the nuclear utility industry.
The paper also fails to address the serious threat to U.S. national security caused by our dependence on Russia and its allies for a significant portion of our uranium supply. Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe prove its willingness to use energy exports as a geopolitical weapon.
Finally, the authors at The NorthBridge Group did not consider or fully understand a number of exhibits the companies included in their petition for relief. The most relevant include:
- Exhibit 17 of the petition shows that during a period of uranium price increases between 2007 and 2012, domestic uranium mining companies endeavored to bring considerable new production capacity online. Unfortunately, state and federal permitting delays forced U.S. companies to miss the price hike. Since that period, the industry has increased its licensed capacity by 74 percent, with additional capacity expected in the near term.
- Exhibit 23 of the petition shows that the mining operations necessary to reach the required production rate are already in place and ready to resume production. In addition, the number of required facilities is relatively small and spread over several states – meaning that the industry can meet labor and other capacity needs.
In addition, the authors vastly overstate the costs to expand production to the level needed to support the quota, while ignoring the effect of direct and indirect subsidies received by state-sponsored enterprises in Russia, Kazakhstan, Chinaand elsewhere. Domestic industry costs for current operating and near-term production are consistent with the worldwide, all-in production costs cited in Exhibit 3 of the petition.
Above all, the U.S. cannot and should not put a price on our national security. We must not surrender the entire front end of our nuclear fuel supply chain because of an addiction to government-subsidized uranium from Russia and its allies.
Energy Fuels’ and Ur-Energy’s January press releases provide further details on the background and legal basis for the petition. Additional information regarding the trade action, including the petition and its exhibits, can also be readily found on the companies’ websites (Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy).
In any governmental investigation, there can be no certainty of the outcome. The purpose of this investigation is to shine a light on the facts and discover the truth about the national security impact of uranium imports from state-sponsored enterprises in adversarial nations.
About Energy Fuels: Energy Fuels is a leading integrated U.S. uranium mining company, supplying U3O8 to major nuclear utilities. Its corporate offices are in Denver, Colorado, and all of its assets and employees are in the westernUnited States. Energy Fuels holds three of America’s key uranium production centers, the White Mesa Mill in Utah, the Nichols Ranch Processing Facility in Wyoming, and the Alta Mesa Project in Texas. The White Mesa Mill is the only conventional uranium mill operating in the U.S. today and has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of U3O8per year. The Nichols Ranch Processing Facility is an in-situ recovery production center with a licensed capacity of 2 million pounds of U3O8 per year. Alta Mesa is an in-situ recovery production center with a licensed capacity of 1.5 million pounds of U3O8 per year, which is currently on care and maintenance due to low uranium prices. Energy Fuels also has the largest uranium resource portfolio in the U.S. among producers, and uranium mining projects located in a number of Western U.S. states, including one producing in-situ recovery project, mines on standby, and mineral properties in various stages of permitting and development. Energy Fuels also produces vanadium as a by-product of its uranium production from certain of its mines on the Colorado Plateau, as market conditions warrant. The primary trading market for Energy Fuels’ common shares is the NYSE American under the trading symbol “UUUU,” and the Company’s common shares are also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “EFR.” Energy Fuels’ website is www.energyfuels.com.
About Ur-Energy: Ur-Energy is a U.S. uranium mining company with corporate and operations offices in Denver, Colorado, and Casper, Wyoming, respectively. Ur-Energy operates the Lost Creek in-situ recovery uranium facility in south-central Wyoming. Ur-Energy has produced, packaged and shipped more than 2 million pounds from Lost Creek since the commencement of operations. Applications are under review by various agencies to incorporate Ur-Energy’s LC East project area into the Lost Creek permits, and the company has begun to submit applications for permits and licenses to construct and operate its Shirley Basin Project. Ur-Energy is engaged in uranium mining, recovery and processing activities in the United States, including the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of uranium mineral properties. The primary trading market for Ur-Energy’s common shares is the NYSE American under the trading symbol “URG;” Ur-Energy’s common shares also trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “URE.” Ur-Energy’s website is www.ur-energy.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain information contained in this news release, including any information relating to: the status of current or expected licensed U.S. production capacity and whether the industry has or will have sufficient licensed capacity to meet increased U.S. production requirements; expected costs of U.S. production and whether they will be consistent with world production costs; the status of construction of facilities; whether or not the industry can meet labor capacity needs; the economic impacts of the proposed remedies on nuclear utility industry requirements; threats to U.S. national security; the outcome of the Department of Commerce Section 232 investigation, including whether or not the Secretary of Commerce will make a recommendation to the President and the nature of the recommendation; whether or not the President will act on the recommendation and, if so, the nature of the action and remedy; and any other statements regarding Energy Fuels’ or Ur-Energy’s future expectations, beliefs, goals or prospects; constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). All statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “expects,” “does not expect,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “does not anticipate,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “potential,” “scheduled,” “forecast,” “budget” and similar expressions) should be considered forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements are subject to important risk factors and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Energy Fuels’ and Ur-Energy’s ability to control or predict. A number of important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated or implied by such forward-looking statements, including without limitation factors relating to the status of current or expected licensed U.S. production capacity and whether the industry has or will have sufficient licensed capacity to meet increased U.S. production requirements; expected costs of U.S. production and whether they will be consistent with world production costs; the status of construction of facilities; whether or not the industry can meet labor capacity needs; the economic impacts of the proposed remedies on nuclear utility industry requirements; threats to U.S. national security; the outcome of the Department of Commerce Section 232 investigation, including whether or not the Secretary of Commerce will make a recommendation to the President and the nature of the recommendation; whether or not the President will act on the recommendation and, if so, the nature of the action and remedy; and other risk factors as described in each of Energy Fuels’ and Ur-Energy’s most recent annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly financial reports. Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy assume no obligation to update the information in this communication, except as otherwise required by law. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in Energy Fuels’ and Ur-Energy’s respective filings with the various securities commissions which are available online at www.sec.gov and www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about the current expectations, beliefs and plans of the management of Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Readers are also cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, that speak only as of the date hereof.