Peninsula buys uranium for sales contracts

ASX-listed Peninsula Energy has signed a binding purchase agreement with UG USA over 400 000 lb of uranium oxide for delivery in 2021. Peninsula currently has 450 000 lb of uranium oxide already committed for sale in 2021, with the company on Tuesday telling shareholders that the latest purchase agreement underpin a forecast net cash margin of between $6-million and $8-million on uranium sales for the next year, based on the difference between the purchase pricing and the sales price.

Maintenance costs cut at Kayelekera

ASX-listed Lotus Resources has reduced the care-and-maintenance cost at its recently acquired Kayelekera uranium project, in Malawi, by some 75%, as the company advances certain restart activities. Lotus on Thursday told shareholders that care and maintenance costs for the mine have been reduced from $5-million set aside in 2019, to $1.2-million, with the number of full-time employees on-site reduced from 116 to 16.

GoviEx to appeal termination of Chirundu mining licence

Dual-listed GoviEx Uranium has received a letter from the Mining Cadastre Department of Zambia notifying the company that it had terminated the Chirundu mining licence.  Under the Zambian Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2015, GoviEx has been given 30 days to appeal this decision, which the company says it has every intention to do.

Era sees production fall in June quarter

Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia (Era) has reported a 10% decline in uranium oxide production from its Ranger mine, in the Northern Territory, for the quarter ended June. Era on Wednesday reported that 377 t of uranium oxide was produced in the June quarter, down 10% on the previous quarter, while production in the six months to June reached 798 t, down 15% on the previous corresponding period.

Baselode Energy acquires second uranium property in Athabasca region

Uranium exploration company Baselode Energy has acquired the Hook uranium property, in the Athabasca basin area of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, in line with its Athabasca 2.0 exploration thesis, which is set to target basement hosted uranium near surface deposits. Hook, which covers around 30 000 ha within the basement rocks adjacent to the southeast edge of the Athabasca basin, is Baselode’s second recent uranium property acquisition in the region.

Kazatomprom delays production for another month

Uranium major Kazatomprom is delaying the resumption of higher production volumes by another month, saying that pandemic-related risks remain too high for a full return of production employees to its sites. The company in April reduced its uranium production volumes as it implemented physical distancing measures, reducing the number of employees on site to a minimum. Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov says the company plans to gradually increase mine site staff levels at the beginning of August, if it is deemed safe to do so.

Gold anomalies identified at GoviEx’s Mali uranium project

A recent gold geochemical sampling programme at TSX-V-listed GoviEx Uranium’s Falea uranium/copper/silver project, in Mali, has highlighted significant gold in soil anomalies that show the potential extensions of the Sirabaya West and the Siribaya-Bambadinka gold trends through, and potentially intersecting within, the Falea project. The presence of these gold in soil anomalies occurring along similar structural trends with the Falea project, positively signals the mineral potential of the Falea project, GoviEx said on July 7.

Langer Heinrich restart gets priced

The Langer Heinrich uranium project, in Namibia, can be brought back online at a capital cost of $81-million, a mine restart plan has found. ASX-listed Paladin Energy on Tuesday noted that a $34-million investment would be required to mobilise the workforce, undertake maintenance and provide working capital requirements to restart production, while a further $7-million in discretionary capital will be required to improve process plant availability and reliability, and to lift production capacity by more than 10%.

Court of Appeal upholds Tax Court ruling in Cameco-CRA dispute

The Federal Court of appeal has upheld the Tax Court of Canada’s 2018 decision that found in favour of uranium major Cameco in its tax dispute with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The dispute centres on reassessments that CRA issued for the 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years. “Four judges have now found that Cameco complied with both the letter and intent of the law. We followed the rules, yet this 12-year dispute has caused significant uncertainty for our company and our stakeholders at a time when we have been navigating through some of the most challenging global market and economic conditions we have ever faced,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel.

New scientific findings suggest radiation risks are exaggerated

London – An important new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that low-level nuclear radiation might be much less dangerous than previously thought.

According to authors, Professor Edward Calabrese and Dr Mikko Paunio, recent reviews of seminal research conducted in the decades after the Second World War has uncovered serious flaws in the “linear no-threshold” assumption – the idea that nuclear radiation is dangerous even at very low exposures.

According to Professor Calabrese, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts, these claims are now known to be based on scientific studies that were deceptive, flawed, or even fraudulent:

“The key work that was done in the US after the war was fatally flawed. But influential scientists managed to suppress the evidence and ensure that the linear no-threshold assumption survived.”

And Professor Calabrese’s position is confirmed by a review of recent findings from Japan, which have been reviewed by Dr Paunio, a former chairman of the Finnish Radiological Protection Board. According to Dr Paunio, key support for the linear no-threshold assumption came from a major study that followed the life histories of the Hibakusha – the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs.

“Their error was extraordinary,” says Dr Paunio. “They failed to account for the effects of secondary radiation exposures and fallout. This means that the rather low numbers of cancers observed in the hibakusha in the decades after the war were actually caused by quite high exposures to radiation.”

The implication of these reviews is that nuclear radiation seems to be relatively harmless at low levels. If correct, it means that the nuclear energy industry is being grossly over-regulated for no reason at all.

According to GWPF director Benny Peiser, there is now a need for government to act.

“Over the weekend, it was reported that the government might finally kick the small modular nuclear programme into action. If so, then it’s a welcome development, but there remains a real risk that the programme will be sunk by the environmental bureaucracy.”
“If the extremely costly regulatory burden is really as pointless as these new findings suggest, there is an important opportunity for the country. It’s time for a major review of the new radiation science.”

Edward J. Calabrese is Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Amherst. Dr Calabrese has researched extensively in the area of host factors affecting susceptibility to pollutants, and is the author of over 900 papers in scholarly journals, as well as more than ten books. He was awarded the 2009 Marie Curie Prize for his body of work on hormesis. He was the recipient of the International Society for Cell Communication and Signaling-Springer award for 2010. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from McMaster University in 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the Petr Beckmann Award from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.

Mikko Paunio MD, MHS is adjunct professor in epidemiology at the University of Helsinki. From 2009–2019, he was the chairman of the Radiation Safety Advisory Board set up by the Council of State of Finland.