With uranium for energy production and vanadium for energy storage, WSTRF’s focus is in their 100% owned Sunday Mine Complex in Colorado

US uranium miners look set to prosper in 2021 if President Biden can successfully legislate his plan for 100% carbon free electricity by 2035. That is because the US currently gets about 55% of its carbon-free electricity from nuclear power which relies on uranium as its feed source. 100% carbon free US electricity will mean a massive boost towards solar, wind, and nuclear energy. Another boost for US uranium producers will be the US$150M pa proposed for the next 10 years to build a US uranium reserve. Combine all this with a global deficit of uranium (constrained supply and growing demand) and we get the perfect tailwind for US uranium miners in 2021.

Clearly, the market is already seeing this with leading US uranium miners such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU | TSX: EFR) (+471%) and Ur‐Energy Inc. (NYSE American: URG | TSX: URE) (+238%) seeing massive stock price gains the past year. The good news is that a lesser known uranium miner is still trading on a very low market cap and is, in my opinion, yet to be fully appreciated by the market.

That company is Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF). The stock is up 162% in the past year but from a very low base, still with a market cap of a mere C$44M. The reason for the low market cap is mostly because the Company is not currently producing.

Now here comes the good news! Western Uranium and Vanadium has great US uranium and vanadium assets and is “production-ready“. The Company has been waiting for stronger uranium and vanadium prices before re-starting production. Given the uranium deficit and rising uranium prices, we may not have to wait too much longer.

Uranium is now in a global structural deficit which usually leads to stronger uranium prices

Source: Western Uranium & Vanadium company presentation

In a recent market update announced on Jan. 13, 2021, Western Uranium & Vanadium stated:

“Western is excited about our competitive position, market opportunities, and the prospects for nuclear energy and uranium mining. Western’s Sunday Mine Complex project during 2019/2020 established the mines are in “ready-to-produce” status. These permitted and developed conventional mines can be restarted with minimal capital expenditure. The first uranium/vanadium ore production was stockpiled underground and remains ready for delivery when COVID-19 and market conditions permit.”

Another aspect of the Biden green infrastructure plan which is soon to be the focus of US attention is the need for the USA to move towards smart nuclear. This means advanced nuclear power reactors, small modular reactors, microreactors and so on. This has the potential to lead to a renaissance in the nuclear sector in the USA as a way of achieving base load power and reducing carbon emissions.

Western stated:

“Globally there are about 50 large-scale nuclear reactors under construction with 15 projected to be put into service in 2021. Most are being built using Russian or Chinese technology. Many are in countries with an urgent need for de-carbonization to improve air quality. China currently has an operating fleet of about 50 nuclear reactors and is targeting the construction of 6 to 8 new large scale reactors each year.”

More about Western Uranium & Vanadium

As their name suggests Western Uranium & Vanadium has both uranium and vanadium. Uranium is the key to large scale base load energy production and vanadium may hold the key to large scale energy storage (using grid scale Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs)).

Western Uranium & Vanadium’s flagship asset is their Sunday Mine Complex in Colorado USA which contains good grade uranium and vanadium as a valuable by-product. The Company also owns several other uranium & vanadium projects in both Colorado and Utah, USA as well as the Bullen Oil & Gas Property royalty, in Colorado, USA.

Western Uranium & Vanadium has good grade uranium and valuable vanadium at their 100% owned Sunday Mine Complex in Colorado USA

Source: Western Uranium & Vanadium company presentation

Closing remarks

The U.S. List of 35 critical minerals includes both uranium and vanadium as they are both seen as critical to support key industries in the USA in the decades ahead. Western Uranium and Vanadium has both, in the USA, and ready to produce!

Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. on a market cap of only C$44M is a hidden gem waiting to be found. Don’t miss this one.




The DoE’s plan to rebuild the uranium sector and “pull America’s nuclear industrial base back from the brink of collapse…”

The United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group (NFWG), via the US Department of Energy, released its report yesterday which gave glowing recommendations to rebuild the US uranium and nuclear energy sector. This is great news for the entire US uranium and nuclear sector, and particularly for US uranium miners. The title and contents of the report show the US Government’s strong commitment to rebuild the sector and make ‘it great again’.

US Dept. of Energy – “Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage”

The report summary states:

“As an initial and important step, the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request for the Department of Energy includes $150 million to stand up a domestic Uranium Reserve. It will begin with the purchase of uranium from U.S. mines and of U.S. conversion services.”

The full NFWG report states:

  • “First, the U.S. Government will take bold action to revive and strengthen the uranium mining industry, support uranium conversion services, end reliance on foreign uranium enrichment capabilities, and sustain the current fleet, removing strategic vulnerabilities across the nuclear fuel cycle and restoring a world-class workforce to provide benefits to the U.S. and to compete in the international market.
  • Next, the U.S. Government will leverage American technological innovation and advanced nuclear Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) investments to accelerate technical advances and regain American nuclear energy leadership.
  • Finally, the U.S. Government will move into markets currently dominated by Russian and Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOE) and recover our position as the world leader in exporting best-in-class nuclear energy technology, and with it, strong non-proliferation standards. We will restore American nuclear credibility and demonstrate American commitment to competing in contested markets and repositioning America as the responsible nuclear energy partner of choice.”

It is within our power to pull America’s nuclear industrial base back from the brink of collapse and restore our place as the global leader in nuclear technology – ensuring a strong national security position and buttressing our economic strength for generations.”

The report recommends to “provide immediate action to support US uranium mining”

Quoted from the full NFWG report:

  • “The Administration supports actions associated with the timeline that will provide funding for a competitive procurement for U.S. uranium mining, conversion services, in the very near term, as reflected in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 President’s Budget, and will also consider enrichment needs after first addressing the existing pressure on the uranium mining sector. The Department of Energy believes that a 10-year timeline reflects a responsible approach to addressing the challenges facing the front-end of the fuel cycle……
  • As included in the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request, during the first year, it is expected that the reserve would directly support the operation of at least two U.S. uranium mines and the reestablishment of active domestic conversion capabilities……
  • Support Department of Commerce (DOC) efforts to extend the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA) to protect against future uranium dumping in the U.S. market. Since 1992 DOC has upheld the need for a Suspension Agreement that establishes a maximum cap for imports of Russian uranium to 20% of the U.S. market to reduce the impact of Russia’s unfair trade practices. DOC is again reviewing the RSA for possible extension upon the expiration of the current agreement in 2020. The Working Group supports the extension of the RSA beyond 2020 and the consideration of further lowering the cap on Russian imports under future RSA terms.
  • Enable Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to deny imports of nuclear fuel fabricated in Russia or China for national security purposes.”

Potential expansion of the currently proposed uranium reserve

The full NFWG report also states:

“A decision to expand the currently proposed uranium reserve will be made based on a variety of factors, including cost, impact, need, and on-the-ground conditions. The ultimate goal of the Administration’s actions is to create an appropriate safeguard for the United States and our allies against unfair market intervention by foreign states or other disruption and provide a source of unobligated uranium for strategic purposes in a manner that is in the best interest of the taxpayer. Any potential expansion of the currently proposed uranium reserve to include enriched uranium or an expansion of the AAFS (American Assured Fuel Supply) could require the procurement of the equivalent of about 24 additional large light-water reactor reloads of enriched uranium, with the following estimated scale of services to be procured and commencement dates:

  • Mined and milled uranium estimated between 17 and 19 million pounds in the form of U3O8, beginning in 2020;
  • Domestic conversion services resulting in about 6,000 to 7,500 tons of UF6, beginning no later than 2022; and
  • Domestic enrichment services beginning possibly in the 2023 timeframe, of which 25% would be unobligated. However, no commitment has been made to take action beyond the Uranium Reserve proposed in the FY21 Budget, which addresses the sectors most imminently at risk.”

The US uranium sector is set to rise again

Closing remarks

The NFWG/Department of Energy’s report officially confirms some of what was previously reported, with the title saying it all – “Restoring America’s Competitive Nuclear Energy Advantage.”

For the US uranium miners the US$150 million US uranium reserve was confirmed to “directly support the operation of at least two U.S. uranium mines and the reestablishment of active domestic conversion capabilities.” The US uranium sector should get a significant boost from this great news.

Looking at the main US uranium miners Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE: UUUU | TSX: EFR) and UR-Energy Inc. (NYSE: URG | TSX:URE), they stand to be the major beneficiaries, especially given they started the whole S232 petition back in January 2018. Others in the sector may also do well, include Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF) and Fission Uranium Corp. (TSX: FCU | OTCQX: FCUUF).




Uranium prices surged 35% higher in the past month, just as Western Uranium & Vanadium is ready to begin production

Uranium prices have surged higher, up 35% in the last month, making uranium the best performing major commodity so far in 2020. Uranium demand has remained steady but supply has fallen sharply due to mine shutdowns in Kazakhstan and Canada by Kazatomprom and Cameco respectively. Bloomberg quotes cantor Fitzgerald stating: “Shutdowns wiped out about 46 million pounds, or about 35%, of annual global uranium output, over three weeks.”

After a decade long bear market in uranium prices, uranium inventories are now low as is global uranium production. This spells out the possible beginning of a new uranium bull market, which should be positive for those uranium miners that can bring on new production relatively quickly.

Uranium prices are up 35% in the past month to $32.50

Source

Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE:WUC | OTCQX:WSTRF) is a uranium and vanadium ‘production ready’ miner from their fully permitted mines in western Colorado and eastern Utah. The Company’s Projects cover both vanadium and uranium. Their flagship project is the Sunday Mine Complex that covers 5 mines located in western San Miguel County, Colorado, USA. The Company was wise to purchase previously producing mines achieving a lower CapEx, good infrastructure and project permits.

Western Uranium & Vanadium is one of the largest U.S. Uranium and Vanadium in-situ resource holders. Grades are good with historic resources (formerly JORC) and NI 43-101 of:

  • Total uranium resource ~53,000,000 lbs.
  • Total vanadium resource ~35,000,000 lbs.

Western Uranium & Vanadium Sunday Complex has high grades of uranium and vanadium

The Sunday Mine Complex is now ready to produce and ship uranium with ore stockpiled

In a March 10, 2020 interview with InvestorIntel, CEO George Glasier stated regarding uranium production from their Sunday Mine Complex:

“We opened the mines and got them ready this summer. We are ready to go into production. As soon as the market turns a little bit we will be in production.”

With regards to the US$150 million US reserve and possible contracts, CEO Glasier stated: “We will be one of the suppliers.”

The Sunday Mine complex was re-opened in 2019 and successful mine development of the underground workings during 2019 has brought the Sunday Mine Complex into production-ready status. Mined ore is currently being stockpiled and the ore pads have been built to facilitate the ore on the outside, which will then be shipped to buyers for further processing.

Next steps for Western Uranium & Vanadium

  • Further production of uranium and vanadium ore.
  • Shipping uranium/vanadium ore to potential customers and processors.

Closing remarks

The uranium price move is quite likely the start of a new uranium bull market. Higher uranium prices are required to incentivize new production needed to meet future global nuclear reactor requirements. A positive for the US uranium sector is that in the US, starting in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, there will be a $150 million uranium reserve each year for the next decade.

Western Uranium & Vanadium is well positioned to quickly bring on a new uranium supply. The stock is priced at C$0.88 with plenty of upside potential should the uranium rally hold or continue.




George Glasier on Western Uranium & Vanadium’s Sunday Mine Complex and Trump’s $1.5 billion plan to establish a U.S. uranium reserve

In an InvestorIntel interview during PDAC last week, Tracy Weslosky secures an interview update with George Glasier on Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF), a Colorado based uranium and vanadium conventional mining company focused on low cost near-term production of uranium and vanadium in the western United States, and development and application of kinetic separation.

George started by saying that Western Uranium & Vanadium’s Sunday Mine Complex is ready to go into production. The complex has five permitted uranium mines and the company has just finished building ore pads at the complex to move ore. George also spoke on recent news on how “the US Government has just released its FY2021 budget document to go forward for approval to the US Congress. It appears that the Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s (NFWG) recommendations to support the US uranium industry have been supported, at least to the tune of a US uranium reserve per annum of US$150 million over 10 years: a $1.5 billion plan to establish a U.S. uranium reserve.”

With the industry awaiting further recommendations from the NFWG, George comments that he is optimistic on this update.

To access the complete interview, click here




Trump allocates $150 million per annum to establish U.S. uranium reserve

In breaking news the US Government has just released its FY2021 budget document to go forward for approval to the US Congress.

It appears that the Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s (NFWG) recommendations to support the US uranium industry have been supported, at least to the tune of a US uranium reserve per annum of US$150 million over 10 years: a $1.5 billion plan to establish a U.S. uranium reserve.

Some key points from the FY2021 US budget document are quoted below from pages 45-47:

  • “Nuclear energy is also critical to the Nation’s energy mix and the Budget supports an array of programs to advance nuclear energy technologies. This portfolio promotes revitalization of the domestic industry and the ability of domestic technologies to compete abroad. The Budget provides $1.2 billion for R&D and other important nuclear energy programs, including nearly $300 million for the construction of the Versatile Test reactor—a first of its kind fast reactor that would help the private sector develop and demonstrate new technologies.
  • Supports Nuclear Fuel Cycle Capabilities. On July 12, 2019, the President determined that “…the United States uranium industry faces significant challenges in producing uranium domestically and that this is an issue of national security.” The Budget establishes a Uranium reserve for the United States to provide additional assurances of availability of uranium in the event of a market disruption.”

Furthermore, the uranium reserve amounts are shown below, with US$150 million pa allocated for a “uranium reserve” for “purchase of uranium” each year from 2021 to 2030, as well as other discretionary funds.

Source: Page 127

Detailed view for FY 2021 US uranium reserve funding budget

Source: Page 397

A response from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy to the uranium reserve proposal

The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) stated:

“NE is asking for $150 million to set up a uranium reserve to further protect the nation’s energy security interests. The new program will help to reestablish the nation’s nuclear fuel supply chain through the domestic production and conversion of uranium. The reserve is expected to support the operation of at least two U.S. uranium mines and will ensure there is a backup supply of uranium in the event of a significant market disruption that prevents entities from acquiring fuel. NE would begin the procurement process for the reserve in FY21.”

The “at least two US uranium mines” would suggest the two that brought forward the original Section 232 petitionEnergy Fuels Inc. (TSX: EFR | NYSE American: UUUU) and Ur‐Energy Inc. (NYSE: URG | TSX: URE).

Ur-Energy Inc.’s Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Klenda added: “After years of sounding the alarm, Ur-Energy is pleased the Trump Administration has recognized the national security implications of ceding the nuclear fuel cycle to our geopolitical rivals and is now taking definitive action to shore up the domestic industry by establishing a national uranium reserve that will be supplied by domestically-mined uranium. The President’s proposed budget includes up to $150M per year from 2021 through 2030 to purchase domestic uranium. According to today’s issue of The Energy Daily DOE Undersecretary Mark Menezes commented on Monday that, “This is the beginning of a long process” to address the nuclear fuel cycle. “It won’t stop with the creation of the uranium reserve.”

Curtis Moore, VP Marketing and Corp Development from Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU | TSX: EFR) commented: “Now that we’ve had a day or so to digest yesterday’s budget news, we are increasingly optimistic about what it all means for Energy Fuels.  The Office of Nuclear Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy stated that this money is ‘expected to support the operation of at least two U.S. uranium mines …’ There are currently only three or four uranium facilities operating in the U.S. right now, that have the current capability to supply a U.S. uranium reserve, including Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill in Utah and our Nichols Ranch ISR Facility in Wyoming.  So, at the very least, we think this money should go toward supporting these existing, proven, low-cost facilities and saving existing jobs and expertise.

In addition, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and others have stated that the Nuclear Fuel Working Group will announce more recommendations in the coming weeks. It is our belief that yesterday’s announcement will support sustainable domestic uranium production of about 2-2.5 million pounds per year.  However, if the U.S. wants to have an industry capable of supplying 5-10 million pounds per year, additional actions are required. The U.S. consumes about 48 million of uranium per year, not including military requirements. So, 2-2.5 million pounds only represents a tiny fraction of total U.S. demand; even 5-10 million pounds isn’t much. So, we are interested to see what else the government has in mind.  Indeed, government officials, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who has been a staunch defender of President Trump, are calling for the government to do more. And, as an American, I’d like to see the government do more.

Finally, yesterday’s announcements clearly indicate that nuclear fuel has become a major priority for the U.S. government. It is our belief that no matter which political party leads the U.S. government, this program alone has the strong potential provide Energy Fuels and perhaps a couple of other companies with a nice baseline of production and revenue, enabling us to save jobs and uranium production capacity. The alternative is to become massively dependent on Russian uranium and nuclear fuel, which nobody in the U.S. wants to see.

There’s still more work to do – in particular, how to implement this program to ensure its success. However, we believe yesterday’s announcement was a huge step in the right direction.”

Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp.’s (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF) Founder and CEO George Glasier commented: “We are very pleased that President Trump provided for a national uranium reserve and acknowledged that the domestic production of uranium is a national security issue in his Fiscal Year 2021 – A Budget for America’s Future. The multi-year efforts of the President, Nuclear Fuel Working Group, and Department of Commerce were ground-breaking for addressing domestic critical and strategic mineral requirements and initializing the rebuilding of America’s nuclear fuel cycle. We look forward to the release of additional recommendations from the Nuclear Fuel Working Group report. In the short-term supporting domestic mining will reinvigorate hardworking mining communities, but in the end the result will be the advancement of national defense, nuclear infrastructure, and energy independence goals.”

Closing comments

The budget document is a positive response by the Trump administration to the NFWG’s recommendations to support the domestic uranium industry. At this stage it is still too early to know any details on terms – what price will the uranium be bought etc., we will provide updates as we secure them.




Hello Uranium, Colorado’s Sunday Mine Complex is now in ‘production-ready status’

Uranium is an essential material for the US to be able to run its electricity grid and to run its nuclear powered military. Of course, like rare earths the US does not produce enough uranium to supply its core needs. Nearly half of the US uranium needs are supplied from Russia or other former Soviet Union states, whose state-owned companies have been flooding the global market and driving free-market companies out of business, virtually killing the US uranium market.

The Nimitz class is a class of ten nuclear-powered US aircraft carriers

The Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s findings

Based on a recent Bloomberg report we know that the Nuclear Fuel Working Group’s findings were:

  • President Donald Trump to direct the Federal Government to buy more uranium from domestic producers. This would primarily be purchases of uranium by the U.S. Defense Department.
  • US uranium purchases to boost the national uranium stockpile.

Note: There is no mandated time period for the US President to consider the Working Groups content; and he may, or may not, choose to follow the recommendations.

One of the best-placed US uranium miners to benefit from these findings (if implemented) is Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF).

Western Uranium & Vanadium is a uranium and vanadium ‘production-ready’ miner from their mines in western Colorado and eastern Utah. The Company’s Projects cover both vanadium and uranium. Their flagship project is The Sunday Mine Complex that covers 5 mines located in western San Miguel County, Colorado, USA.

Western Uranium & Vanadium projects summary

In August 2014, the Company acquired uranium and vanadium mineral assets from Energy Fuels Inc., and in September 2015 they acquired additional uranium properties and ablation technology through the acquisition of Black Range Minerals Limited. The Company has a total uranium resource of ~70,000,000 lbs, and a vanadium resource of ~35,000,000 lbs. Grades are solid at the Sunday Mine Complex with U3O8 (~0.25% to 0.36%) and V2O5 (~1.49% to 2.16%).

A uranium-vanadium seam at the Sunday Mine Complex

Western Uranium & Vanadium’s strategy

Western Uranium & Vanadium’s strategy is to focus on previously producing mines for low CapEx projects with existing infrastructure and permitting in place. For lower cost processing of ore, the Company has a proprietary process (Ablation Mining Technology (AMT)) that improves efficiency and reduces costs for sandstone-hosted deposits.

The Sunday Mine Complex is now at a production-ready status with first ore shipments expected by February 2020

The Sunday Mine Complex was re-opened in 2019 and successful mine development of the underground workings during 2019 has brought the Sunday Mine Complex into production-ready status. Mined ore is currently being stockpiled underground. Colorado safety requirements are in process of being met, so that ore samples can then be sent to prospective buyers. These steps should be completed in January and February 2020 respectively.

Given the NFWG is reported to recommend the US start ‘to buy more uranium from domestic producers’, the timing should be great for Western Uranium & Vanadium. I assume the US military would pay a uranium premium price that allows US producers to be profitable.

Western Uranium & Vanadium’s head office is located in Nucla, Colorado; and has a market cap of C$ 28 million. Analyst’s target price is $4.80 representing a huge upside.




Glasier on Western Uranium & Vanadium’s processing technology and high-grade Sunday Mine

“All of our assets are in North America. In Western United States. We have got the highest grade vanadium probably in the world. That is why we have got a competitive advantage. Grades are everything no matter what commodity you are in. If you have the grades you have the low cost. That’s what we have certainly in vanadium. With Uranium we have got the technology which makes us the low cost producer. So again it’s the issue of your grades and your technology that drive your cost to the lower percentage of your competitors.” States George Glasier, President, CEO and Director of Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (CSE: WUC | OTCQX: WSTRF), in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky.

Tracy Weslosky: You are one of the few stocks that actually made people money last year. Can you tell us what made Western Uranium & Vanadium different from many of your competitors?

George Glasier: Obviously it’s our vanadium content. Vanadium was the hottest commodity last year. It went from $10 to over $30 and we have got a large high-grade vanadium resource. I credit most of it to the fact that we were in the right commodity at the right time.

Tracy Weslosky: Many of our readers have been following the Sunday Mine Complex. We are very excited about the progress towards production. Can you tell us what’s happening?

George Glasier: We had an announcement late last year that we are going to open the mine primarily to sample and sent samples to a number of vanadium customers. We are still on track to do that. The best time to open the mine is in the spring. We are working on that. I would say that within the next several months we will see the opening and the beginning of the process, first to sample and then to define the high-grade vanadium resource that was left, without mining the uranium.

Tracy Weslosky: Would you mind giving our audience kind of an overview about your competitiveness and include how you are based in North America.

George Glasier: All of our assets are in North America. In Western United States. We have got the highest grade vanadium probably in the world. That is why we have got a competitive advantage. Grades are everything no matter what commodity you are in. If you have the grades you have the low cost. That’s what we have got certainly in vanadium. With Uranium we have the technology which makes us the low cost producer. So again it’s the issue of your grades and your technology that drive your cost to the lower percentage of your competitors. That’s where we are…to access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.