Amir Adnani, founder, president, and CEO of Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC), is back on the podcast to discuss the bull market in commodities.
Uranium prices are surging as the Russian-Ukraine war continues. Amir gives his take on the changing landscape for energy markets… why uranium is critical to our national security… and how UEC is positioned to benefit from higher uranium prices. [0:30]
Speaking of which… Uranium prices are currently around $50 per pound… But Amir explains why we could quickly see this number reach $100 or higher… and the effects of higher uranium prices vs. higher oil prices on the economy. [15:05]
U.S. utility companies are lobbying for sanction waivers to continue business with Russia… Amir is fired up and calls them out. [20:30]
Turning to his company, Amir shares why UEC is in a position to become a global powerhouse in uranium production. [25:40]
Finally, he breaks down why uranium is critical for industries like the military and space travel… and why we need to get back to our ’70s roots when it comes to uranium production. [30:10]
- Amir Adnani explains why uranium is critical for national security [0:30]
- Russia is a huge player in uranium [4:15]
- The story of Uranium One—and how UEC benefitted [6:00]
- UEC will profit from higher uranium prices [11:25]
- Why uranium prices could quickly double [15:05]
- Amir calls out U.S. utility companies [20:30]
- UEC is ready to become a global leader in uranium production [25:40]
- Why we need to get back to our ’70s roots with uranium [30:10]
Wall Street Unplugged | 866
We need to produce more uranium—for the sake of our national security
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews with breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on main street.
Frank Curzio: How it’s going out there? It’s Thursday March 10th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged podcast, where I break down the headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets. Guys, I have a great interview set up here. Good friend, buddy, Amir Adnani, President, CEO, co-founder Uranium Energy, Chairman/Director of Uranium Royalty, one of the smartest guys I know in uranium. A lot going on in that industry, especially Ukraine, especially prices going a lot higher in Russia. So, who better to break it down than someone from the inside? Amir, thanks so much for joining us. How’s it going, buddy?
Amir Adnani: Hey, Frank. I’m good. It’s crazy. We have eventually breaking news here. There’s so much going on, and it’s great to connect with you. This is certainly timely and topical.
Frank Curzio: No, absolutely. And thank you for coming on such short notice. I usually book my guests a couple days before to make it time-sensitive and relevant. I don’t think it’s more relevant what’s going on with uranium commodities in general. I know you have an explosion of gold but I want to start with uranium. You’ve seen prices go higher. We’ve seen a massive crisis with oil and this energy independence and everybody wants to go off of fossil fuels. And one of the solutions has always been uranium, which is one of the safest, 24-hour, base lode powered, cheapest… It’s been shining us such a long time. But now, I’m seeing Europe actually get into coal again. I don’t know if you saw that. But you’re also seeing the push where they’re talking about uranium. What are you hearing out there? Is this a possibility that they start turning this back on and what impact will that have, especially now we’re seeing so much of the nuclear talks with the Russia war with Ukraine going on. But what are some of the things you’re hearing in the market?
Amir Adnani: Well, we entered the year with issue around reducing emissions and carbon neutrality being top of mind and really the most powerful force moving decisions around what the energy mix should look like moving forward. And for that reason, we kicked off the year with the news that majority of European member states in the EU were looking to include nuclear power in the European taxonomy. The one member state that was really against it, Germany, now due to another situation which is the Russian invasion of Ukraine and energy and national security being top of mind, in the last couple of weeks there was potentially debates taking place in Germany about extending the life of reactors in Germany that were scheduled to be retired this year.
Amir Adnani: And so, the backdrop, really, and the events that have sequenced so far this year, initially around net-zero pledges being made by corporations and by really the world, meant that nuclear power had a very strong new place right alongside renewable energy sources. And now, with the geopolitical events that have unfolded, energy and national security is the other reason why nuclear power is gaining a lot of chatter. And look, the bottom line is, with nuclear power, you control your own destiny. I mean a reactor sits on your own soil. You get your energy and the electricity that it generates without as much reliance on fuel from other sources. Because a nuclear power plant has the ability to run on a very small amount of fuel. Fuel makes up less than five percent of the cost of a nuclear reactor and compared to coal-fired plants and gas-fired plants that are much more sensitive to the input, the commodity, and don’t run on a 12 to 18-month cycle off of one reload the way nuclear power does, the nuclear has some very key advantages and strategic benefits that are now also in the fold.
Amir Adnani: But the other thing is, dependency on Russian uranium. This is the big topic. As we speak, there was breaking news that the US government was going to ban US imports of Russian oil and other energy commodities. Uranium specifically wasn’t named, but it may be coming up in other bills and efforts that we’re hearing about in the Senate and in the House. So, whether it’s the White House or other segments of the government that might put a ban on Russian uranium… And if it’s not a ban, it might just be voluntary. The Sweden nuclear company, Vattenfall, made a voluntary announcement that they were not going to buy more uranium from Russia, and they were going to cancel their uranium supply contracts.
Amir Adnani: And the reason why uranium and Russia are so intertwined is the world’s largest producer of uranium, Kazakhstan, which is 42% of primary production or supply in the world. All the uranium that leaves Kazakhstan or is mined in Kazakhstan, ends up logistically at the Port of St. Petersburg in Russia and has to go through Russia to get out to the rest of the world. And it really makes Russia the key supplier of uranium to the world market, including the US market where 50% of uranium imports last year into the US market were either of Russian origin or Kazak and Uzbek origin. Both are from mined uranium in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, but it ends up in Russia before it gets either converted or enriched before it’s sold to the US or just it’s shipped out in the form of natural uranium. So many, many dynamics are, I feel, interlaced on top of each other here, Frank.
Frank Curzio: Wow. I mean so much said there, but I have a million questions for you, which is cool. So first things first, what does that mean for Uranium One? I mean, there was a story a while ago, years ago. So was it ROSATOM, Russian state acquired Canadian uranium mining company, Uranium One, and Russia was able to own about 20% of the US uranium production capacity. Since through that deal, they actually have assets in the US. Does that impact anything? Should we be worried about that? Has that come to the surface at all? If you tell us a little bit about that story, then I want to follow up with some more questions on what you just said.
Amir Adnani: Yeah. As people may or may not know, Uranium One is a company that for many years, under the ownership of the Russian government, was able to assemble, build, and operate some of the largest and most important uranium deposits and infrastructure in the US, primarily in Wyoming and always received quite a bit of political pushback. And I think just common sense from people that would look at that and say, why is a foreign government owning strategic assets on US soil? And especially when the opposite wouldn’t be legal. You and I couldn’t legally, or a US company, government-owned or private sector, couldn’t go and own uranium assets in Russia. And so, this was always viewed perhaps with skepticism or with pushback. Nonetheless, it carried on.
Amir Adnani: And it wasn’t until late last year in December that after a long process that took almost two to three years, the Russian government ran a process and did in fact sell Uranium One. And as you know, the successful bidder and winner of those assets was Uranium Energy, my company that I’m the CEO of. And so, our timing to close that transaction in December was in hindsight, very important and to have brought those assets, and it’s ownership of uranium back to a US company and a US entity at a time where we mine no uranium in the US and are completely dependent on Russia. And if President Biden or the US government puts any bans on Russian uranium imports as they just announced with oil, this could be very important now that Uranium One assets and Uranium One as a company is back and in control of the US entity, Uranium Energy and we would be able to immediately advance and push forward with ability to restart mines and get into production and be in control of the destiny of Uranium One.
Amir Adnani: So, fascinating timing and as an entrepreneur and CEO, I always felt that it made no sense for the US to be so dependent on foreign imports. We built a business at UEC that look to create an entity and a platform that could be the leading US uranium mining company. But the acquisition of Uranium One is absolutely transformational and key to our mandate and our focus to really be the top dog, the company in the US. Now, it’s about the uranium price. Now, it’s about US utilities really deciding how much longer they want to support the war in Ukraine by buying uranium from Russia.
Amir Adnani: And I suggest, you should reach out to the CEO of some of the US utility companies like Exelon or Duke. Or if you’re in electricity, if you get your electricity in Illinois or other parts of the US from these US utility companies, you should ask them why are they still buying uranium from Russia and financing Putin’s war in Ukraine? Why is no one talking about this? Why are US utilities not even voluntarily stepping up and saying, just like Sweden did, just like Vattenfall stepped up without any government restrictions and said we will not buy Russian uranium and they announced that weeks ago. They were ahead of the curve. I think the US utilities need to show leadership and need to come out and show that their ESG… This is what ESG means, right? Frank, everyone’s talking about ESG, ESG. Well, this is the moment to shine from an ESG point of view. You, as a company, can decide on where to get your sources of raw material, via fuel or via how you source labor and how you conduct your community relations. And this is the issue right now, that we need Biden administration to put a ban on Russian uranium or do we need US utilities to step and say, “We’ll cancel this idea that we’re importing 50% of our uranium from Russia. We’ll support domestic industry. We’ll buy local. Let’s get off of that dependency, and let’s become energy and uranium independent.”
Frank Curzio: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So, let’s take it a step further. What happens if that does happen? Russia uranium is banned which is, I think, a very strong chance of happening considering even shoved it in our face and apologized and said, “Okay, we’re done, we’re not going to buy any Russian…” It was big, it was public, it was sorry. So, you see anyone dealing with Russia, especially if it’s American utilities, could see the same thing. That’s an easy story to tell and say, why the hell are you doing this? So, say if that happens, what does that mean for UEC? Is there a certain price where you guys can get going? How quick? And I visited a Hobson Plant and I know a lot of this, but I want to get everyone involved. But what does it mean for UEC, if say you just found out right now, hey, you know what? The utility companies were no longer buying any uranium from Russia.
Amir Adnani: Well first of all, we’re the only American company that has eight fully permitted uranium mines and not one, but two fully built processing plants. Our processing plant in Wyoming, the one we acquired from Uranium One, is currently operational. Four of the first production areas at a mine called Christensen Ranch in Wyoming which was previously owned and mined by the Russian government under Uranium One, is on standby and ready to go. We have the personnel and team in place that can do this. No other company in the US is in the position that we’re in. I’ve spent 17 years of my life to be in a position for this exact moment in time.
Amir Adnani: You always and often maybe made fun of me by saying, “You know you could have been in any other industry, Amir. Why’d you pick uranium? This is a really crappy industry.” But you know, Frank, it’s because in no other industry did I think I can actually make such an impact, that I could actually be in a position where we are the number one player now, and we are ready for exactly this moment. For 17 years, we’ve been saying, and I’ve been saying, this dependency on foreign uranium, which really meant Russian uranium because that’s where the US since the end of the Cold War, has been getting its uranium from. First, there was dismantled Soviet era warheads. Then it became dependency on uranium from Russia via Kazakhstan. I’ve been pounding the table for 17 years saying this is crazy. But I’ve built a company after 17 years that today, could not at $50, not at $55 dollars, today the uranium prices are $52. But at $60 and better, and we’re almost there, we could certainly in a position to commit to a restart of our operations which are the most advanced, the most production ready, and the largest compared to any other American uranium company.
Amir Adnani: And it’s exciting for my shareholders, and I think it’s necessary for energy and national security. Let’s get off of Russian uranium. Enough is enough. And really, for US utilities to continue to support this idea that they want the cheapest pound because it happens to be Russian pounds and that they’re willing to finance this ridiculous atrocity of the war and not come to just some sense and say, “You know what? Uranium makes up less than five percent of our cost in a nuclear power plant. It doesn’t make a difference to the rate-payers if they pay me, a US company, $100 a pound versus the Russians at $50 a pound.” It makes no difference to the rate-payer. It’s less than five percent of the cost. So why not make the right decision? Why not be on the right side of history?
Frank Curzio: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. And it’s funny, because to put in perspective, I do make fun of you only because we’ve known each other for a very long time.
Frank Curzio: There’s not too many people that work harder than you, and you’re on the road all the time. The context that you have even in high places in Washington, you’ll see these people on the boards of your companies. And for me, I always felt bad because I’m like, man, if just half the CEOs that have been put in just a little bit more effort… But if you were just in another industry because uranium’s been so bad since Fukushima and gold as well, I was like, holy cow. But now, you’re seeing all this hard work pay off and being in this position. Where do you see prices going in uranium? How high could they go? And I heard that argument too with someone else that I had on last week, Kuppy, saying now with that price causes not a real big deal in terms of it’s such a small amount where the utility companies are not going to hurt. Where do you see uranium prices going? You were saying, $60, about $60 makes sense. Now, you turn on the faucet and start producing. But where do you see this going? Because if this does happen with Russia, talk about the impact and maybe the numbers behind it because for me, I see sky’s the limit here. I think we go past Fukushima, whatever that was when we were 30. Am I being too optimistic at 50 here?
Amir Adnani: I think it’s actually all about numbers. I don’t think it’s about just making a wild card. I go back to, let’s talk about math and numbers. Uranium has gone through contracting cycles. Contracting cycles are when utilities step up and just fill their boots with uranium on their long-term contracts and long-term deliveries. Those are the moments in time, in the past, where we can get a real good sense of price discovery, where we know that suppliers were able to commit to big volumes at what price.
Amir Adnani: Today’s $50 price is not a price at which you can go and fill your boots and sign big volumes of uranium because no one is building a new uranium mine at $50. And so, that right there is your answer. If today, there’s incremental, marginal material available, if you step into the market today and buy 200,000 pounds and the entire US fleet requires 15 million pounds. But if you were to just go and buy 200,000 pounds, you would move the market up a couple of dollars. And so the reality is, this is not the price at which we’re going to see major volume transact.
Amir Adnani: So, if we go back in time and say, what were the points in time where big contracts were signed? From a price discovery point of view, it tells you where buyers and sellers were able to make their businesses work. In 2010, we had a $75 uranium price and that price in 2010 was adequate to see a lot of contracting take place. If you adjust $75 in 2010 for today, adjusted for inflation, we should be seeing $100 a pound uranium. If we go back to 2007 when the uranium price got to $140 a pound and it was another contracting cycle in ’06, ’07, adjusted for inflation, we should be at $200 a pound.
Amir Adnani: And so the reality is, there’s a big, big wild card here in this uranium gold market that is upon us which is where does the uranium price land adjusted for COVID-related supply side, supply chain disruptions, COVID-related historical stimulus that has put us at a decade high inflation that seems to be not only not under control, but eventually getting further out of control, and at very tight labor market. What does all of this actually mean to go and build uranium mines? Which based on research that has been done show uranium mines have more fly-in and fly-out operations than any other commodity that gets mined on the planet. Which means uranium mines are in remote areas. Not every company has their uranium mine in Texas and Wyoming where my operations for UEC are. We’re rare in the sense that we’re near incredible amount of infrastructure and our company has built facilities. But we’re only going to be at this point six and a half to seven million pounds of annual production. The US consumes 50 million pounds. The world consumes 200 million pounds. And six and a half, seven million of it could be my company with the best infrastructure and the lowest cost and fully permitted. Well, where’s the rest of it going to come from?
Amir Adnani: There isn’t a single new uranium mine under construction in the world today. All the uranium mines operating are from the last cycle and have 10 years left under their mine life. And what that means is new mines need to be built. But show me one company that’s announced that they’ve broken ground to build a new uranium mine? Show me a project that’s become fully permitted other than the eight that I have that were de-risked over the last decade.
Amir Adnani: So the reality is, you add all of that up and this uranium price can go well north of $100 a pound, well north of that. And you still couldn’t get meaningful, significant volumes locked up. The good news is, unlike oil, oil at $120 a barrel is crippling the economy. Uranium at $120 a pound will not cripple anyone. It’s less than five percent of cost. And the last time it was at $140 a pound, it didn’t cripple any power plants. They happily paid that price and kept going and no one read any articles about their electricity bill going through the roof because uranium was at $120 a pound. That’s the big difference. And so, the uranium price truly has room to run and I think it has to keep going until we find that level where incentive is triggered. But more importantly, where a meaningful amount of new mines can be developed.
Frank Curzio: Really great stuff there, by the way. That was awesome. So, let’s get into the utility companies. So, are you hearing from them how come at this level with the potential, right? I mean there’s a good potential. You’re not asking for something that’s crazy. You’re asking for something where nobody’s doing business with Russia across the board. Why isn’t uranium on that list? I mean it just hasn’t been in the spotlight. When it does and that happens, how come the utility companies right now are not looking to buy uranium hand over fist at this price? Again, I know it’s a low cost in their price but still, you walk in lower prices than higher prices. Are you hearing utility companies? That was the big thing for me. When it came to uranium, everybody’s been bullish for such a long time. I’m like, you’d like to see the utility companies come out and start buying. And we haven’t seen that. Do you see or are you hearing out there that they’re close? Because now, with all these conflicts, it seems now would probably be a really, really good time to just start getting that done.
Amir Adnani: The answer is that, and Frank, this is… Frank, I shouldn’t be saying this because these are potentially and are in fact our future customers. But it pains me not to say this because it is the wrong morally not to say this. Instead of stepping up and instead of saying let’s secure supply in our own backyard, let’s get off of Russian uranium dependency, the US utilities have been lobbying and insisting that there should be no restrictions placed on Russian uranium coming into the US. They are addicted to Russian uranium like crack cocaine. I mean, it is ridiculous how bad this is. They were glad and happy that they got a sanction waiver two weeks ago to be able to continue buying and importing Russian uranium.
Amir Adnani: I believe their strategy is that, hey, as long as we can lobby and pull our weight with the government in the US and the White House and keep the flow of Russian uranium coming, that’s the solution. That the solution isn’t to go and try to contract and really become self-sufficient by supporting domestic industry because we don’t want to pay a dime above what is the cheapest price in the market.
Amir Adnani: And not only is that short-sighted, not only in my opinion is that totally wrong, I actually think if there was broader awareness about this in the general public, they would agree with you and I. They would agree that, hey… I think that most people don’t recognize that one in every five home in America is powered by nuclear energy. And that half of those one in every five homes are getting their uranium from Russia. They’re financing this war in Ukraine and that these utility companies are making decisions on behalf of rate-payers that the rate-payers I bet you would not agree with. They would say, “You know what? I’m okay if my electricity bill goes up by five cents.” Some very nominal amount which wouldn’t even happen, and we made a statement and said we’re getting off of Russian uranium. You and I are paying the price at the pump rate now when we go to fill up our car with gas. But that impact wouldn’t even be felt in electricity rates because of, again, the dynamics with uranium.
Amir Adnani: And so, look, maybe someone at a US utility will be mad at me for saying this, but I think enough is enough and I really wish and I really encourage you, to invite some of these utility company chief nuclear officers or CEOs on the show and say, “American people deserve to know why are you not getting us off of Russian uranium? Something should be done.”
Amir Adnani: And now, to be fair, some of the… There are a number of utilities out there and I understand some of the utilities are now saying this is wrong and we should get off of Russian uranium, and I think there’s the vision inside the camp of US utilities of those that want to continue relying on Russian imports in a big way and those that are saying, this is wrong, we’re on the wrong side of history, this is unethical, this is not good for EUC and our rate-payers wouldn’t want this. Enough is enough. And so there is a camp and I think it’s a divided camp and to answer your question, once that camp, being the US utilities which are the biggest nuclear fleet operators in the world, come to consensus and say this is the direction we’re going, whatever that direction is, that’s when you’re going to see major breakthrough as well for the uranium market.
Amir Adnani: And Frank, here’s the irony of it. Maybe it’s a decision that the utilities make, maybe it’s the decision the White House makes for them. Maybe it’s a decision that Putin makes for them. If he decides tomorrow, you know what, guys? I’m not going to sell uranium to them. The same way he’s doing that with gas with Germany and with Europe. It’s not just up to the US to decide that they want to buy Russian uranium at all costs and keep getting sanction waivers. There is the risk that this escalates to the point where Putin turns around and says, “We won’t ship uranium to the US anymore.” There’s a point at which where shipping companies might say, “We will not ship anymore. We will not show up at the Port of St. Petersburg and put uranium and class-7 license that we need to do that and bring it over to the US.” This is where this is so short-sighted by the US utilities. There’s so much risk embedded in this situation that goes above and beyond what their desired preference for whether uranium comes from is as well. And I just think that’s irresponsible.
Frank Curzio: No, I hear you. I hear you. And well said. I agree with all of these. So, I want to get to UEC. Because UEC, you’ve seen your stock go up. Pulled back a little bit from the tide. It was pretty close to Fukushima highs. What do you plan to say? I mean you have to be in place right now, what you did with Uranium One and those assets and position. But do you feel like you’re going to be in an even bigger position? Are you looking to acquire? What are you guys looking to do right now in terms of being even better positioned if everything that you said in terms of Russia, Ukraine, shutting off that supplies coming into the US, if all that stuff comes to fruition, what’s the plan for UEC? It seems like if you just sit here, you’re going to be fine. But I know you, and I figure that there’s got to be something maybe that you can tell me or you can’t talk about in terms of really, really being even better positioned.
Amir Adnani: Frank, this is not about how we’re positioned. I am so excited. I am full of energy like never before. I am excited and incredibly driven for the fact that I see now so clearly that we’ve spent 17 years building a company that isn’t just in a good position. We are in a leadership position. I set out to build the top US uranium company, and we’ve not only done that, but we are going to turn this into an absolute global leader. We will turn this company into a global leader because to me, it’s not just about meeting the needs of US dependency on Russian uranium. We want to demonstrate that the US has world-class potential for uranium deposits, for first in class, best in class uranium mining. We are working on ways of making sure that our uranium mines can be carbon neutral. These will be the first net-zero uranium mines on the planet. We don’t want to just do well. We want to lead. And it’s the leadership that excites me, that I’m so driven by.
Amir Adnani: And Frank, look man, I was in my late 20s. I was young when I started Uranium Energy. I’m 44 today. I’ve been at this for 17 years. It’s almost like half of my life is this company and this concept and this business. And I’m not in my twilight years. We are… My team and myself and everyone involved, as you know, we’ve got the former US energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, who’s the chair of our company. Scott Melbye who’s got 37 years in the business and the president of the Uranium Producers of America. When the White House wants to get an opinion or an expert testimony on uranium, we’re the ones that get a call. Scott is the one that gives the expert testimony on behalf of our industry to the Senate, to the House, to the White House. This is the team that we’ve assembled that is hungry for leadership, for building this company into a true global powerhouse. And we really have been able to position exactly to be able to do that.
Amir Adnani: As we speak, Frank, we’re drilling with four rigs down in South Texas. No one else is drilling to build a new uranium mine right now. We’re drilling our Burke Hollow Project. This is the largest uranium wealth field being developed in the United States today. The acquisition of Uranium One, that was the largest emanate transaction in the uranium sector in the last decade. We put our money where our mouth is. That was 120 million dollar cash acquisition. No one else has spent 100 million dollars cash buying into uranium assets. We are putting our money where our mouth is. We’re drilling projects, we’re buying assets. Heck Frank, last year, when the uranium price was at $27, I stepped in and bought physical uranium. We’ve doubled our money on that. We’ve got an 80 million dollar unrealized gig because last year, we said this is ridiculous. Uranium prices are at $27. It’s below our all-in cost of mining which is $30. We’re going to buy uranium. We bought and contracted for over four million pounds of uranium at an average price of $30. Today, uranium is at $52, in one year.
Amir Adnani: So, we already demonstrated, we don’t just talk about the fact that we think uranium is in a bull market or going to be in a bull market. We’re doing things that you don’t see any other company do. Buy physical uranium, put big bets down and make big investments in acquiring more assets and be able to pull these transactions off. You think it was easy trying to get a transaction done with the Russian government? These are complicated, sophisticated things that we’ve executed as a company and finally, UEC has the ability and the benefit of say that we’ve been there, done that. We mined uranium. We’re a proven producer. We produced uranium. You were there, you’ve seen the plant from 2010 to 2014 before being forced to shut it because of the collapsing uranium prices post Fukushima.
Amir Adnani: But unlike 99% of juniors in the world that have never mined uranium, we’re in the 1% club. There’s a handful of companies on this planet today that can say, “Oh yeah, we’ve actually mined uranium before.” And we have that credibility, and we have the experience and know-how that is truly demonstrated in our history as a company. We’re really in that position as well. So, you add it all up and I think it’s… This is truly an exciting time and like I said, I want to put…
Amir Adnani: I don’t want to make just the US, Frank, go from no uranium mining to some uranium mining. I believe the same thing that happened in the 70s and 80s can happen. In the 70s and 80s, the United States was the world’s number one uranium producer. And I believe we are heading back in that direction with the US government wanting to buy physical uranium, with the issues overseas and in Russia and early this year, Kazakhstan where there was social unrest and practically a revolution in that country that we quickly forgot about because Russia invaded Ukraine. I believe that we are heading back to the position where the US will be a significant player in the global uranium mining business and that is the mantle that we’re going for, and we’re going to lead that charge as a company.
Frank Curzio: All right. I found it, as you’re talking about it, which is nuts and I don’t know why I did this for, but here you go. So, you can explain that picture for everybody if you want. So that is-
Amir Adnani: That’s our laboratory at South Texas in our Hobson Processing Plant. One of a handful of processing plants in the country. I joke, when you picked up that photo, I said, “Hey, Frank, that’s the best yellow cake you’re going to get it because it’s from Texas.” And the yellow cake from Texas is a special shade of yellow. But that’s… There’s some made in America yellow cake for you, right there, that you’re holding. Naturally occurring uranium, and I’m proud of it, man. I’m proud of our team. I’ve got incredible, dedicated group of folks that have been with the company this whole time. I have multi-decade track record. They’re a rare breed. They used to be 35,000 people employed in US uranium mining. Today, it’s 300. The human capital is thin. We better hurry up and get this industry going otherwise you’d lose the skillset, the know-how. But it’s there, and we literally are employing a good chunk of the remaining human capital and the human resources that are left in the industry.
Frank Curzio: Nah, that’s great. I remember even with that picture, too, when I went to visit your plant. When I went to give it back, you’re like, “I’m not touching that.” He didn’t say that but I was, “Why, you’re really…” It never occurred to me. I thought this picture would be really cool until… Yeah, I didn’t grow a tail or anything so I think it went okay, but-
Amir Adnani: No. As you remember… Were you there when we… I wasn’t supposed to do this, but I put my hand right in the barrel with the yellow cake in it just to demonstrate that oh yeah, you forgot that part. If I could quickly put up a photo of that, I would do that. But no man, actually is you worry more about toxicity with it than radiation. And so, this is not enriched uranium. Naturally occurring uranium is the most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust and really as an energy source, we have 45-year track record. This is by far the most powerful way to generate electricity without emissions. Elon Musk is using it to fly to Mars.
Amir Adnani: Micro-reactors are being used for space travel. NASA is behind micro-reactors. Bill Gates is building the first small modular reactor in the state of Wyoming. Small modular reactors are going to truly change the world because they’ll be one-tenth the size of a big reactor but you can deploy them in remote areas. You look at any advanced theory, whether it’s space travel or whether it’s the nuclear Navy. Aircraft carriers, submarines all run on nuclear power. They run on micro-reactors. This is cutting-edge technology. This is not a dinosaur in the street. Nuclear power is going to truly power the future and advancement and progress. I believe in that and more importantly, we’ve got the best consensus around support for nuclear power today than any time in modern history. Global support, polls in the US show public opinion results in polls are at all-time high in terms of favor of nuclear power. And look, it’s an exciting time, Frank. It’s a long, long time in the making. We had a decade-long bare market in the nuclear winter, but I think it’s coming out of that and it’s ferocious.
Frank Curzio: No, I’m really proud of you. Again, I’m someone who knows you for a very long time and sees you behind the scenes, being able to interview Spencer Abraham on this podcast because of you and meet him in person. I’m glad a lot of this is coming to fruition, and yeah, it’s nice to see where you are and where you’re positioned, man. I’m really proud of you, buddy.
Frank Curzio: So, really good stuff. If anyone wants more information, UEC or you, how could they do that?
Amir Adnani: Uraniumenergy.com. I’m on Twitter @amiradnani. I tweet a lot about uranium these days. The uranium price which is hard to get. I kind of apply on that as well. And I get your stuff, Frank, all the time too. So, I’m a humble follower and subscriber to your platform and love the work you do and your podcast. And it’s a real honor for me to be on it, as well. You’ve always delivered wonderful, timely content, and I think this discussion may go down as being one of the most timely interviews we’ve done because of the backdrop of everything going on that we talked about. And it could be a lot of news coming out in the next few weeks, and I just want you to promise me one thing.
Frank Curzio: Mm-hmm.
Amir Adnani: Reach out to some of those US utilities and ask them to come on the-
Frank Curzio: You got it.
Amir Adnani: Explain their position. I think that would be a Blockbuster interview. No one’s calling them out. It’s honesty, it’s transparency, it’s the truth. That’s how we’re supposed to operate, by us companies in the West. And they should come out and explain to you on your podcast why their position on insisting to buy Russian uranium. I’d love to hear that.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. And I am. I am going to reach out and see if they’ll come on. I bet you they won’t, but I am going to reach out because that is a very good question-
Amir Adnani: Reach out. Put it on Twitter and let’s apply some pressure. Why shouldn’t they show up? They should be accountable. They shouldn’t hide. They should come out and just… Just come out and explain the position. You want to continue buying Russian uranium? You don’t want to take a voluntary position on halting those steps or restrictions, just come and tell us your view on that. We just want to know.
Frank Curzio: No, great stuff. Well listen, Amir, thank you. Just to show, Amir, I know how busy you are, but just to show everyone out there, I literally asked Amir yesterday if he could come on because it was so timely. He said, “Yep, absolutely.” And I just really appreciate it. I know listeners appreciate it. You always give clarity, detail about everything and I really appreciate it, bud. So hopefully, we can get together soon, as soon as your borders open up a little bit more. I know it’s still a little COVID crazy there but yeah, I miss hanging out. I miss seeing you guys in Vancouver, so hopefully, we’ll see each other face to face pretty soon.
Amir Adnani: Look forward to it, buddy. Thank you.
Frank Curzio: All right, guys. So look, that’s it for me. Great interview there. Questions, comments, email at frankcurzioresearch.com. That’s email@example.com. Really appreciate all the support, and we’ll see you guys next week. Take care.
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.
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