PDAC-After Fukushima fallout, future brightens for uranium juniors

Tue Mar 5, 2013 1:10pm EST
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* End of Russia weapons recycling program will cut supply

* New reactors seen boosting demand by 2022

* Some investors waiting to see uranium price recovery

By Rod Nickel

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - After two years of mostly falling stock prices in the uranium sector, triggered by the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan, junior miners have become attractive acquisition targets as investors eye more bullish conditions ahead.

The tsunami-triggered meltdown led to reactors being shut in Japan and Germany, and uranium prices tumbled as demand shrank. Uranium is now around $42 a pound, well off the 2011 high of nearly $73, according to producer Cameco Corp.

Some of the uranium sector's dominant players, including Cameco and Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton PLC, added to the gloom by shelving projects.

Still, the uranium sector, well represented at this week's Prospectors & Developers Association Canadian mining convention in Toronto, has seen a dozen deals in the last two years, as depressed valuations create buying opportunities, said Rob Chang, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

That is more than double that in the previous three-year period.   Continued...