Here are a few interesting bits & pieces that we have seen the week of June 18-24, 2012.
- Rio Tinto Plc's (RIO) Rössing Uranium mine reported decline in output by 31% to 2,148 metric tons in 2011 from a year earlier, missing its production and profit targets. In the past two years, the worlds third largest and longest running open pit uranium mine has recorded losses ascribed to a combination of lower prices, input prices increases, higher operating costs, adverse weather conditions and industrial action. Rio believes that 2012 might be a challenging year as well, although it was off to a good start with production at Rössing for 1Q12 up 59% q/q to 1,078,000lbs compared to 679,000lbs in 4Q11 (learn more)
- French President François Hollande's Socialist party won an absolute majority of seats at the second round of parliamentary elections on June 17th. The result is slightly positive for the nuclear sector as the win frees Hollande from dependence on the Greens and has a potential of putting nuclear phase-out debate on a backburner (learn more)
- Paladin Energy (PALAF.PK) now expects to announce as many as three deals within three or four months to sell minority stakes in some of its projects under development. The company continues to forecast increase in uranium prices later this year. This makes us wonder why sell stakes in three of your projects now if you truly believe that prices about to move up? (learn more)
- Denison Mines (DNN) announced that it will only start developing its planned uranium mine in Zambia when prices for uranium rise to levels above US$65 per lb (learn more)
- German power giant RWE (RWEOY.PK) will build no more nuclear power stations - not only in Germany, where nuclear power is to be phased out by 2022 - but anywhere in the world (learn more)
- Spot uranium slipped slightly to $50.75/lb from a week before. Term price indicator remains the same at 61.50 (UxC) / $61(Tradetech).
- Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR) and Russell Indices completed their quarterly rebalancings on Friday (June 22). No additions or deletions were made for NLR. Russell removed Uranium Resources (URRE), Ur-Energy (URG) and USEC (USU) from their indices. Funds that tracked Russell indices and held companies above included iShares Funds (IWC, IWM, IWZ, IWO) and Vanguard Funds (VTHR, VTWG).
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.