This Junior Uranium Miner Is Poised to Capitalize on A Demand Surge
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
With uranium prices rising to their highest in a decade, mine developers are considering re-starting mothballed projects or getting out the excavators to develop new ones. Projects in Namibia and Australia have been in the headlines of investment publications like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal recently highlighting the opportunity with the anticipation of continued rising prices for uranium, which is needed to fuel nuclear power plants as part of a transition to energies cleaner than fossil fuels.
Uranium companies turned off production years ago due to low prices and a near oligopoly of control headed up by Russia and its allies Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The uranium market has unique opportunities across its supply chain. For starters, mine output is going to have to increase on a global level. There are about 440 nuclear power reactors in operations currently, supplying about 10% of the world’s electricity. Another 507 are either under construction, planned, or proposed as countries seek carbon-free power.
There is currently an annual shortfall of 83 million pounds of uranium produced, which is overcome through using stockpiles. That’s not to say that there isn’t enough uranium in the ground to power reactors for decades (along with nuclear submarines and other uranium applications). There is, according to most experts. But it needs to be brought to surface, processed into a powder called yellowcake, turned into the gas uranium hexafluoride, enriched, and then converted into a fuel for a nuclear reactor. This process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years, so it is best to have stockpiles on hand.
In addition to simply needing more uranium, one must question the supply chain considering the animosity building against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. has a real problem with a dearth of domestic production, so it will have to turn to friendly trade partners, including its neighbor Canada where the prolific Athabasca region is home to some of the world’s richest uranium mines.
Atomic Minerals Corp.
is a startup that has taken a large position in the region, controlling the 6,600-hectare Lloyd Lake project located near the village of La Loche and 90 kilometers southeast of Fission Uranium's (TSX Venture: ATOM) (OTCQX: FCUUF) Patterson Lake project. Patterson Lake is Fission’s flagship project and foundation for a nearly C$500 million market capitalization as its high grade and shallow depth gives it the potential to be one of the lowest cost uranium mines in the world. (TSX: FCU)
Atomic Minerals may be earlier stage, but that is reflected in the company’s C$2.2 million market cap.
Much is known about the Lloyd Lake project thanks to an extensive dataset amassed by extensive exploration conducted by the Western Athabasca Syndicate as part of the Preston Property in 2013. Work by the syndicate involved airborne EM-magnetic and radiometric surveys followed by preliminary prospecting of areas identified in historical assessment reports.
Phase 2 and 3 work included lake-bottom sediment sampling, lake-bottom water sampling, in-soil surveys, and prospecting and mapping traverses following radiometric anomalies to generate a geological map of the property. Veratile time-domain electromagnetic (VTEM plus), an aeromagnetic survey, and an airborne radiometric-VLF-EM were also completed to provide additional details.
The work points to an 8.5-kilometer northeast trending zone with magnetic qualities similar to other uranium projects in the region. Anomalous radon gas (a byproduct of uranium decay), as well as anomalous uranium and gold values in lake sediments also lie within ATOM’s target zone.
contracted KBM Resources Group in April to complete a high-resolution Airborne Magnetic Survey at its uranium project in preparation for a summer drilling program.
It is also worth mentioning that Atomic Minerals has made it clear that they are actively looking to stake uranium projects in the western U.S. Atomic Minerals
CEO Clive Massey commented last month that the company is “very pleased to be expanding our property portfolio,” but stopped short of providing too many details until “the staking is complete.”
Once staked, the new property will join Lloyd Lake and the Gravity Jack copper-iron skarn project in British Columbia in the ATOM portfolio and help Atomic Minerals grow value as a leading domestic uranium play.
Atomic Minerals Corp. (TSX Venture: ATOM) Full Corporate Write-Up:
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