Paladin Resources: A Bet on Western Australia’s Uranium Mines

Aug.24.08 | About: Paladin Energy (PALAF)

Let me start by saying this is a long-shot investment. It’s contingent on an election, and we all know how fickle the voting population can be.

With that out of the way, I’d like you to take a look at Western Australia (the state, not the geographical area, although they’re both basically the same.). State elections are coming up, and the polls are giving  hope to the Liberal Party. I don’t pretend to understand Australian politics, but it looks like the Liberal Party in Australia is more like the Republican Party (small government, low taxes) here in the States. Go figure.

The current party in office (the Labor Party) saw the words "radioactive metal" and flinched itself into a ban on all uranium mining, to the detriment of the state economy. Nearly 40% of the world’s known uranium reserves are in Australia, but very little of that is accessible to miners because of the "eeek! radioactive!" bans in various places across the country.

Even after 60 years of human experience with the mining of radioactive metals, the Labor Party refuses to consider lifting its ban. But the Liberal Party is open to discussions on the subject. And if the party can keep gaining in popularity, we could see a lift on the uranium mining ban in Western Australia in coming months (on the chance that the Labor Party doesn’t have to form one of those coalition governments with other parties to take office… I don’t get it, either.).

While digging around for a profit opportunity on this event, I found Paladin Resources (OTCPK:PALAF). The company holds partial ownership in three uranium mines in other Australian states [one with Cameco (NYSE:CCJ), the world's largest publicly traded uranium miner], 100% of two African uranium mines (in Malawi and Namibia) and 100% of two uranium mines in Western Australia that the government won’t let it work.

If I’m doing my math right, Paladin’s Mayingee and Oobagooma Western Australian mines represent about 27% of the company’s reserves. Together the mines have about 46 million pounds of uranium, according to Paladin’s last look at them. That’s a nice boost in production, without a lot of the time and expense that usually goes into opening a new mine.

So now would be the time to discover an interest in Australian state politics. If the Liberal Party gets into office, watch for a change in the uranium policy and consider a buy on Paladin Resources to catch the new Western Australia uranium boom.

Disclosure: none