SOURCE: Resource Capital Research

Resource Capital Research

October 17, 2006 02:00 ET

Major Equity Research Report on Global Uranium Companies

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - October 17, 2006) - Resource Capital Research ("RCR"), an equity research company which focuses on small resource companies, today launched a major quarterly research report covering 25 global uranium exploration and development companies with a focus on UK, Australia, Canada, and USA listed securities. Over 170 junior and mid cap explorers, development and production companies are identified.

The report reviews companies active in established uranium districts globally, including Australia, Canada, USA, Argentina, Peru, Mongolia, Zambia, Tanzania and Namibia. The following AIM and Frankfurt Stock Exchange traded companies: Albidon Limited (ALD) (ALB), UrAsia Energy Ltd. (UUU), Buffalo Gold Ltd. (B4K) (BUF/U) (BYBUF), CanAlaska Ventures Ltd. (DH7) (CVV) (CVVLF) and Tournigan Gold Corp. (TGP) (TVC), are covered in the report.

To access the free summary report, go to http://www.rcresearch.com.au/documents-info. To purchase the complete 74 page detailed report titled "Uranium Sector Review" please email johnwilson@rcresearch.com.au.

Uranium market highlights:

--  The spot uranium price is US$53.25/lb, an increase of 33% compared
    with 3 months ago.
--  The uranium price is forecast to reach US$65/lb by mid 2007, an
    increase of 22% over the current spot price and US$88/lb by late 2008, an
    increase of 65% over the current spot price.
--  The near end of the "forward" curve, i.e. US$65/lb, appears to be
    priced into shares that have current or near term production potential
    (next 3 years) and where sales contracts allow spot market participation.
--  180 new nuclear power reactors are currently proposed or planned world-
    wide, which compares with 441 nuclear power reactors currently in
    operation.
    
Uranium Companies highlights:
--  The market valuation of our selection of 69 Australian uranium juniors
    is down 1% in the past month, up 25% over 3 months and up 47% over the past
    year.
--  By comparison, the market valuation of 93 selected Canadian uranium
    juniors is down 6% in the past month, up 9% over the past 3 months and up
    85% over the past year.
--  Following the April 2006 agreement between Australia and China that
    clears the way for uranium sales to China -- Chinese investment in
    Australian uranium juniors looks set to continue.
--  Development of Australia's fourth uranium mine, Honeymoon (SA, SXR) is
    proceeding.
--  A number of junior uranium companies are expected to announce
    decisions to develop uranium projects in 2007.
    
Equity Market Performance

The market valuation of our selection of Australian uranium juniors (67 companies) is down 1% over the past month, up 25% over the past 3 months, and up 47% over the past year. This compares with a selection of 93 Canadian uranium juniors, down 6% over the past month, up 9% over the past 3 months, and up 85% over the past year.

In the past 3 months the majors have had a mixed performance: Cameco (CCO) is down 7%, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is unchanged and Paladin (PDN) is up 12%.

Uranium Price Outlook

The spot uranium price is US$53.25/lb, an increase of 33% from US$40.00/lb 3 months ago.

Forward indicators suggest the uranium price will reach US$65/lb by May 2007, an increase of 22% from the current spot price; and US$88/lb by September 2008, an increase of 65% over the current spot price.

These price levels are revised up from our June uranium quarterly which indicated a uranium price of US$54/lb (+ 11%) in 2006 and US$60/lb (+8%) by May 2007.

RCR has increased its market forecasts for the long term price of uranium from US$30/lb to US$35/lb. This reflects the higher capital and operating cost environment in the industry in general, which in turn is driven by higher labour, material and energy input costs.

Company Activity

A number of juniors have made strong progress in reviewing and advancing historic development projects and some companies have already committed to new project development. Others are expected to be in a position to announce decisions to develop uranium projects in 2007. Companies include Equinox Minerals, Omega Corp, IUC, UrAsia Energy, Ur-Energy and Paladin (Kayelekera).

Near term producers are typically discounting a high "forward" uranium price in the range of US$60/lb to US$70/lb U3O8.

Strategic uranium investment on the increase

Following the April 2006 agreement between Australia and China that clears the way for uranium sales to China -- Chinese investment in Australian uranium juniors looks set to continue.

Recent announcements include:

--  China's Sinosteel announced a A$30m (60% interest) investment in
    Pepinnini's (PNN) advanced exploration Croker Well Uranium Project.
--  China's CNNC has taken an indirect interest in the float of early
    stage explorer Uranium SA and appointed a Director to the board.
    
Other announcements by strategic investors include:
--  Japan's Mitsubishi Development (MDG) has taken a 50% interest in
    CanAlaska's (CVV) early stage West McArthur Project in the Athabasca Basin.
--  Teck Cominco Ltd confirms strategic acquisition interest in uranium.
    
Companies with compliant resources will likely remain of strategic interest to power utilities, not only from China, but globally, including Japan, Europe and North America. Interestingly, strategic investors are also investing in earlier stage exploration (Uranium SA, CanAlaska).

Consolidation in the exploration sector continues

Recent acquisitions announced include:

--  Mega Uranium (MGA) offer for Redport (RPT): Scrip, value A$98m.
--  Paladin (PDN) offer for Valhalla (VUL); Scrip, value A$196m.
--  Crosby Capital Partners Inc. offer for Marathon (MRL); Cash, value
    A$33m.
--  Energy Metals Corp (EMC) offer for High Plains Uranium (HPU); Scrip,
    value C$54m.
--  Denison Mines (DEN) merger with International Uranium Corporation
    (IUC), value C$527m.
    
Events of the past 3 months include:
--  The UK Government released the Energy Review Report recommending that
    new nuclear power stations be built. A streamlined regulatory framework is
    to be developed by Dec. 2006.
--  The Federal leader of Australia's Labor Party (ALP) announced the
    intention to repeal the Three Mines Policy at the ALP National Conference
    in April 2007.
--  SXR Uranium One has commenced development of the Honeymoon ISL uranium
    mine in SA -- Australia's fourth uranium mine.
--  PDN commenced commissioning Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine (Namibia).
--  Investor interest in physical uranium continues with launch of new
    physical uranium fund in UK -- Nufcor Uranium and the closing of a C$100m
    financing by Uranium Participation Corp.
--  Listing of Nufcor Uranium Limited (NU) -- a company which will make
    long term investments in physical uranium.
--  ERA 1H06 production 1,988t U3O8, down 27% y-o-y from 1H05 production
    of 2,714t. Result negatively impacted by tropical cyclone and difficulties
    with the acid plant.
    
"The recent interest shown by strategic investors in the junior end of the uranium market is likely to continue. Companies with compliant resources are expected to continue to attract interest with security of supply remaining the dominant driver and cost a secondary issue," John Wilson, Managing Director of RCR, noted.

About Resource Capital Research

Resource Capital Research ("RCR") www.rcresearch.com.au was founded in 2004 and is based in Sydney. RCR provides investors with in-depth reports on current investment opportunities in the mining sector both in Australia and globally. We focus on small resource companies, ranging from exploration stage, through development and production. John Wilson, the principal of the firm and analyst, has nine years' experience analysing mining companies in Sydney and on Wall Street for major investment banks.

The report is available at www.rcresearch.com.au. The next Uranium Sector Review will be published in the December Quarter, 2006.

Uranium Company Comparative Charts: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/frame_multimedia?prid=173229&attachid=350126

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:
    John Wilson
    Analyst
    Resource Capital Research
    Phone: (+61- 2) 9252 9405
    Email: Email Contact