In this episode, Marcelo López spoke to Brandon Munro, CEO of Bannerman Resources, a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, ASX, focused on uranium mining and development in Namibia. Brandon, who has participated in L2 Capital Podcasts #05 and #14, served on two working groups at the 2019 WNA (World Nuclear Association), Demand (as Chair) and Uranium Supply and Secondary Supply.
Munro starts discussing the impact that last weekend’s attack on Saudi Arabia could have on the energy market, particularly in relation to uranium and nuclear power as alternatives. He analyses the situation with short and long-term considerations, highlights the potential effects on investors and equity traders, and ponders the repercussions that these attacks could have on Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium producer and also an oil producer, and the local currency, the Tenge.
Brandon then comments on the relevance of the WNA Symposium, held this year on September 11th/12th in London, for the industry and the release of the Nuclear Fuel Report. This publication, which is released every two years and has different industry participants in its preparation, analyses every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium exploration (U3O8), conversion to UF6, enrichment, fuel fabrication, and secondary sources.
This report, which draws projections for the period from 2019 to 2040, has three scenarios, a reference one, one optimistic and the other pessimistic. Brandon discusses what the assumptions are for each of these scenarios and points out that in all scenarios there is a growth in demand, reaching 3.5% per year in the optimistic projections.
In addition to assessing the likelihood that the optimistic scenario will materialize, he also comments on government policy initiatives that may be even more positive than previously estimated, citing, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Munro, who has been attending the WNA Symposium since 2010, talks about his perception of the mood and feeling of the different participants in contrast to those of previous editions. Although the report does not discuss price-related aspects, discussions pointed to a consensus on both sides, from buyers and sellers, that prices need to rise to adjust to the reality of growing demand.
Brandon also comments on the possible outcome of the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, currently under way in the US and the start of a new contracting cycle, events that may be significant for the industry. He also discusses Cameco’s need for purchasing at least 10M lbs in the spot market and the prospects for the price of uranium going forward.
Munro also brings to us some news about Bannerman Resources, such as the listing of the company’s shares on the US OTC market, which will be traded under the ticker BNNLF.