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Cos. See Opportunities as US Finalizes Russian Uranium Ban

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President Joe Biden has signed a ban on American imports of Russian uranium, shaking up the market and opening up opportunities for companies exploring for the mineral important to the energy transition.

President Joe Biden has signed a ban on American imports of Russian uranium, a measure that has already shaken up the market and opened up new opportunities for several companies exploring for the mineral important to the energy transition.

And the power from nuclear plants is not just needed to feed electric vehicles (EVs) and our homes. According to Zacks Research, artificial intelligence's (AI) hunger for data center capacity is also helping drive a surge in power consumption.

Spot prices per ounce went up nearly 7% from March and were up to US$91.55 on Monday.

"Our nation's clean energy future will not rely on Russian imports," said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "We are making investments to build out a secure nuclear fuel supply chain here in the United States. That means American jobs supporting the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to a clean, safe, and secure energy economy."

"Replacing uranium and, even more importantly, enrichment services will become a challenge for the Americans. It will likely have long-lasting impacts and likely drive prices higher," David Talbot of Red Cloud Securities said. 

Several exploration companies working to unlock deposits of the important mineral could benefit from the decision, including Tisdale Clean Energy Corp., Skyharbour Resources Ltd., Cameco Corp., and Blue Sky Uranium Corp.

Red Cloud Securities analyst David Talbot said in a recent webcast interview with Tisdale Chief Executive Officer Alex Klenman that the move was "big news" since Russia provides about 24% of the enriched uranium used by U.S. reactors.

"Replacing uranium and, even more importantly, enrichment services will become a challenge for the Americans," Talbot said. "It will likely have long-lasting impacts and likely drive prices higher."

Talbot said the news will likely bring more attention to the sector and new investors.

"If you believe in the sector, and there's a lot to believe in, that's even more positive news for the explorers, the producers, and all of us in the space," Klenman told Talbot.

The Catalyst: 'A Transformative Time' for Nuclear Energy

Coal, oil, and natural gas imports from Russia were banned after its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, but the U.S. continues to spend about US$1 billion a year on nuclear fuel from Russia, MarketWatch reported.

The ban is set to shake up the nuclear power market, a key component of the energy transition, Jonathan Hinze, president at UxC, a nuclear-fuel market information and analysis firm, told MarketWatch.

"The Russia ban is a big deal," he said. "It will shape the nuclear fuel market for many years to come."

It takes effect in August, and the Department of Energy is allowed to issue waivers in case of emergency supply concerns.

"This is truly a transformative time for nuclear energy," Dr. Michael Goff, acting assistant secretary for the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy, wrote on the DOE website. "The passage of this ban unlocks the (US)$2.72 billion Congress recently appropriated to increase production of LEU (low-enriched uranium) and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) to support existing and new advanced nuclear reactors."

Tisdale Clean Energy Corp.

Among the companies that could benefit is Vancouver-based Tisdale Clean Energy Corp. (TCEC:CSE; TCEFF:OTCQB; T1KC:SE), which is exploring and developing the Fraser Lakes B uranium deposit at the South Falcon East project outside the edge of the Athabasca Basin.

Tisdale recently announced the completion of the first two drill holes into the deposit.

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*

Tisdale Clean Energy Corp. (TCEC:CSE; TCEFF:OTCQB; T1KC:SE)

*Share Structure as of 5/7/2024

The company entered into an option agreement with Skyharbour Resources in 2022 that enables it to earn up to a 75% interest in the property by exploring and developing it. Initial drilling this year is scheduled to complete up to 1,500 meters of drilling in two phases as the company looks to confirm existing mineralization.

The Fraser Lakes B deposit contains an Inferred resource of 6,960,000 pounds (6.96 Mlb) of 0.03% U308 at a cutoff grade of 0.01%, according to an estimate prepared in 2012, not including results from earlier drilling by Skyharbour.*

"The fact of the matter is there are pounds in the ground," Klenman said. "If anybody else out there can get that in the next couple of years, they're going to be named a successful exploration company. But we can start life with the ability to develop that deposit."

Klenman said the company's share price is "vastly discounted" and noted that at Tisdale's market cap, "you're not going to find another exploration company with the ability to develop" a similar uranium deposit.

Technical Analyst Clive Maund wrote in a January report that Tisdale's stock was at a favorable entry point and offered great upside potential, in large part because its float is low. 

He explained, "The bullish volume pattern and continuing uptrend in the accumulation line are most auspicious and suggest that a breakout into a major new bull market is incubating."

Tisdale looked attractive and "worth going overweight on while it is still at a low price," he wrote. At the time, the stock was trading at about CA$0.17 per share; it is trading even lower now.

Tisdale provided a breakdown of the company's ownership and share structure, where CEO Alex Klenman owns 4.43% of the company with 1.396 million shares.

Planet Ventures Inc. owns approximately 12% of the company, with 3.88 million shares, while Skyharbour Resources owns approximately 3.5%, with 1.11 million.

There are 31.5 million shares outstanding, while the company has a market cap of CA$1.65 million and trades in the 52-week period between CA$0.09 and CA$0.57.

Skyharbour Resources Ltd.

Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (SYH:TSX.V; SYHBF:OTCQX; SC1P:FSE) has an extensive portfolio of uranium exploration projects in Canada's Athabasca Basin, with 29 projects, 10 of which are drill-ready, covering over 587,000 hectares of mineral claims.

In addition to being a high-grade uranium exploration company, Skyharbour utilizes a prospect generator strategy by bringing in partner companies to advance its secondary assets. Most recently, two earn-in option agreements have been signed with Tisdale to option the South Falcon East project, as well as North Shore Uranium Ltd. (NSU:TSX) to option the Falcon project, bringing the total partner companies to seven.

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*

Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (SYH:TSX.V; SYHBF:OTCQX; SC1P:FSE)

*Share Structure as of 4/4/2024

The company has an additional 20 100%-owned projects that it is actively seeking to option out to potential new partners in the future to add to its growing prospect generator business.

Many analysts and newsletter writers were optimistic about Skyharbour's future.

"Any kind of exploration success in the Athabasca Basin will be met with voluminous demand, so the upside leverage is potentially explosive," Michael Ballanger of GGM Advisory Inc. wrote about the company in January.

In February, Gwen Preston of The Maven Letter wrote, "My rationale for buying Skyharbour Resources Ltd. is both for its particular appeal (near-term discovery potential, close working relationship with Denison) and its position as a larger but still small uranium company. I think this segment will be the next to go."

Also in January, Maund posted on his site Skyharbour "looks like an excellent point to buy or add to positions ahead of renewed advance."

Management, insiders, and close business associates own approximately 5% of the company.

According to Reuters, President and CEO Jordan Trimble owns 1.54%, and Director David Cates owns 0.70%.

Institutional, corporate, and strategic investors own approximately 55% of the company. Extract Advisors LLC owns 11.06%, Alps Advisors Inc. owns 9.91%, Mirae Asset Global Investments (U.S.A) L.L.C. owns 6.29%, Sprott Asset Management L.P. owns 1.5%, and Incrementum AG owns 1.18%, Reuters reported.

There are 182.53 million shares outstanding with 177.73 million free float traded shares, while the company has a market cap of CA$83.96 million and trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.33 and CA$0.64.

Cameco Corp.

Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Cameco Corp. (CCO:TSX; CCJ:NYSE) is one of the world's largest producers of uranium concentrate, BMO Capital Markets analyst Alexander Pearce noted in a December 2023 research report.

In Canada, Cameco operates two mines and owns uranium refining and conversion facilities. It has a 40% interest in the Inkai project in Kazakhstan. Last November, Cameco purchased 49% of Westinghouse, the original equipment manufacturer/technology provider for about half of the world's nuclear reactors.

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*

Cameco Corp. (CCO:TSX; CCJ:NYSE)

*Share Structure as of 5/21/2024

Today, added Pearce, Cameco boasts "advantageous geographical exposure and vertical integration" as well as "the largest and most liquid uranium stock."

The company also is a 2024 Top Pick of Scotia Capital Analyst Orest Wowkodaw, StockWatch reported. Wowkodaw rated the company Sector Outperform based on "improving fundamentals driven by the dual Western world agendas of decarbonization and energy independence."

Eight Capital maintained its Buy rating on Cameco, wrote Analyst Ralph Profiti in a January report, StockWatch noted.

"We believe Cameco remains well-positioned for improved financial performance driven by our forecasts of rising uranium prices, exposure to market-related contract terms, improved cost structure as Cigar Lake and McArthur River reach steady-state production rates, and the benefits of revenue opportunities amid vertical integration in the uranium and fuel services businesses through a 49% stake in Westinghouse Electric," Profiti wrote.

According to Reuters, insiders own 0.44% of Cameco, and institutional investors own 74.91%.

The Top 5 are Fidelity Management and Research Co. with 9.09%, The Vanguard Group Inc. with 3.62%, Capital World Investors with 3.15%, Mirae Asset Global Investments with 3.09%, and Fidelity Investments Canada ULC with 2.82%.

Strategic and retail investors own the remaining 24.65%.

Cameco has 434.64 million shares outstanding and 432.7 million free float shares. Its market cap is CA$32.53 billion, and its 52-week trading range is CA$35.65−72.60 per share.

Blue Sky Uranium Corp.

Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (BSK:TSX.V; BKUCF:OTC; MAL2:FSE) is a uranium discovery company located in Argentina. The company's flagship Amarillo Grande Project was an in-house discovery of a new district that hosts the largest NI 43-101 uranium resource in the country with a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) this year that moved about 80% of its resources to the Indicated category.

"With Blue Sky, it's not a typical exploration company; it's different," President and Chief Executive Officer Nikolaos Cacos has said. "Because we don't have a single piece of property with a single deposit that we're looking to develop. Instead, we uncovered an entire new uranium district. It's an enormous district, almost 150 kilometers long by 50 kilometers wide, with 300,000 hectares of property contained in that. So, it's absolutely gigantic by any measurement."

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*

Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (BSK:TSX.V; BKUCF:OTC; MAL2:FSE)

*Share Structure as of 5/21/2024

Many investors don't know the potential for uranium production in the country, where there is the potential for multiple deposit discoveries. "These are some of the large and lowest cost-producing uranium districts in the world," Cacos said.

Argentina has been in the nuclear business for a while, with its first commercial nuclear reactor beginning operations in 1974. Cacos believes this is key to Blue Sky's success. 

"It makes it easy to work there because all the rules and regulations for handling uranium or potentially radioactive materials are in place," he said. "And with Argentina being a nuclear country, they have a need for uranium to supply their nuclear reactors."

That possibility of bringing production online quicker was one of the things that attracted Chris Temple, editor and publisher of The National Investor, to the stock to recommend it in March.

"There is a path for Blue Sky's flagship Ivana Deposit in Argentina to be in production in just the next two to three years if all goes according to plan, whereas other juniors will be waiting a decade or longer to bring their uranium to market," wrote Temple.

Management owns about 6% of the company. According to Reuters, that includes Director and Chairman of the Board Joseph Grosso with 3.48%, Cacos with 1.08%, Director David Terry with 0.39%, and Vice President of Exploration and Development Guillermo Pensado with 0.24%.

Less than 1% of the company is held by institutions, including DWS Investment GmbH with 0.39%, Reuters reported. The rest is retail.

Blue Sky Uranium has a market cap of CA$15.58 million and 199.69 million shares outstanding. It trades in the 52-week range between CA$0.05 and CA$0.10.

*The historical resource is described in a technical report on the Falcon Point uranium project, Northern Saskatchewan, dated March 20, 2015, and filed on SEDAR by Skyharbour Resources Ltd. Tisdale is not treating the resource as current and has not completed sufficient work to classify the resource as a current mineral resource. While Tisdale is not treating the historical resource as current, it does believe the work conducted is reliable, and the information may be of assistance to readers.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. Skyharbour Resources Ltd. and Tisdale Clean Energy Corp. are billboard sponsors of Streetwise Reports and pay SWR a monthly sponsorship fee between US$4,000 and US$5,000. In addition, Tisdale Clean Energy Corp. and North Shore Uranium have a consulting relationship with an affiliate of Streetwise Reports, and pay a monthly consulting fee between US$8,000 and US$20,000.
  2. As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of Skyharbour Resources Ltd., Tisdale Clean Energy Corp., North Shore Uranum and Cameco Corp.
  3. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  4.  This article does not constitute investment advice and is not a solicitation for any investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her personal financial adviser and perform their own comprehensive investment research. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company. 

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Contributing Author Disclosures

  1. Author Certification and Compensation: [Clive Maund of] is being compensated as an independent contractor by Street Smart, an affiliate of Streetwise Reports, for writing this article. Maund received his UK Technical Analysts’ Diploma in 1989.  The recommendations and opinions expressed in this content accurately reflect the personal, independent, and objective views of the author regarding any and all of the designated securities discussed. No part of the compensation received by the author was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views expressed Disclosures

The above represents the opinion and analysis of Mr. Maund, based on data available to him, at the time of writing. Mr. Maund's opinions are his own, and are not a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell securities. As trading and investing in any financial markets may involve serious risk of loss, Mr. Maund recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction and do your own due diligence and research when making any kind of a transaction with financial ramifications. Although a qualified and experienced stock market analyst, Clive Maund is not a Registered Securities Advisor. Therefore Mr. Maund's opinions on the market and stocks cannot be  only be construed as a recommendation or solicitation to buy and sell securities.

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