TORONTO (miningweekly) – While the Japanese nuclear disaster delivered the uranium sector “a spectacular kick in the teeth”, Paladin Energy CEO John Borshoff said on Wednesday the overall impact on the industry will be minimal over the longer term.
“It now appears the sector has been oversold, but the market remains cautious,” he said on a webcast.
Borshoff reiterated his view that the Japanese quake and tsunami could paradoxically curb uranium supplies, as juniors found it more difficult to raise funding to build mines in an environment of volatile prices.
Uranium spot prices ticked up by $1,25 this week to $57,75/lb, according to US consultancy Ux Consulting.
Paladin earlier this month reported a 47% increase in production for the March quarter, with abnormal rainfall curbing output at its Namibian Langer Heinrich mine and a diesel shortage curtailing production at the Kayelekera mine in Malawi.
The Japanese disaster wiped billions off uranium miners’ market values, with some companies’ share prices plunging by more than 50% in the week following the crisis.
Borshoff said this had created opportunities for acquisitions, and Paladin was keeping its eyes open for potential targets.
Last year, the company bought Canadian junior Aurora Energy.