Lots of talk again at the Diggers & Dealers bash in Kalgoorlie about the “green” metals needed in the global decarbonisation effort.

Metals that used to be just metals – like nickel, cobalt, manganese, lithium, copper and so on – are now promoted as critical to decarbonisation.

Fair enough, remakes of an industry as big as the auto industry using lithium-ion batteries only come along once in a century or so. And then there is growth for the battery metals that is stepping up in a big way for the storage of renewable energy.

But if the world is fair dinkum about tackling climate change, it is carbon emissions free uranium-fuelled nuclear power that stands ready to be a big part of the solution.

The reasons behind nuclear power’s renaissance and what it means for the uranium market has been covered in depth by Stockhead previously.

Anyone wanting an update on the thematic need go no further than the D & D presentations by the two restart uranium producers on the ASX, Paladin (ASX:PDN) and Boss (ASX:BOE).

Both have hit the restart button on their projects, with the encouragement to do so coming from the near 50% increase in spot and contract uranium prices in the last 12 months to $US50.50/lb and $US53/lb respectively.

Then there is the consensus that prices are headed higher still to the $US60-$65/lb levels needed to incentivise new mine developments to bridge the growing gap between supply and demand, and to reduce exposure to former Soviet Union supplies.

Garimpeiro took in what Paladin and Boss had to say at D & D and notes that Macquarie in a July 29 research note had a share price target on Paladin of 80c, and $2.60 on Boss. They were trading midweek at 74c and $2.42 respectively.

Next year the pair will back at D & D talking about closing in on first production from their restart projects. Good on them.

Baby boomers

Garimpeiro’s stomping ground though is the junior sector. There’s lot of them out there too. And to be honest, many will miss the boat. Here are two that Garimpeiro reckons have the projects, the management and the cash to ride the coming uranium boom.

DEVEX (ASX:DEV): The explorer’s share price has been warming up of late thanks to the July 13 start to a drilling campaign at the group’s Nabarlek project in the Northern Territory.

Just starting the drill campaign saw DevEx shares pop higher to 30c from 21c, demonstrating just how switched on investors are to uranium thematic, particularly when the potential is for high-grade stuff.
DevEx’s project area surrounds the historic and high-grade Nabarlek mine which produced 24 million pounds of uranium at an off the charts grade of 1.8% uranium oxide.

A number of high priority targets are being tested and judging by DevEx’s move to 34c on Wednesday, bets are being laid that there is more high-grade uranium to be found in the region.

The broader region is known as the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province (ARUP) region, one of the world’s leading sources of high-grade uranium, including ERA’s now mined-out Ranger mine.

DeVex has rolled up a second drill rig to the project so there is going to be a strong newsflow for the rest of the quarter.

DevEx is also known for its exploration effort in WA for the next Julimar nickel and platinum group metals discovery in the emerging West Yilgarn province, and for its gold-copper hunt in NSW’s Lachlan Foldbelt.
It is owned 18% by Tim Goyder. Goyder picked up the coveted GJ Stokes Memorial Award at Diggers & Dealers during the week.

No surprise in that as he is also the long-time backer of two “overnight’’ successes in Chalice (Julimar discovery) and Liontown (Kathleen Valley lithium discovery).

Can he strike for a third time in uranium? We’ll have to wait for an update from DevEx on the Nabarlek hunt. It can’t be far off now.

ALLIGATOR ENERGY (ASX:AGE): As its name suggests, high-grade uranium in the ARUP is a big part of the Alligator story. It was trading mid-week at 5.7c for a market cap of $188m.

It has secured approval from Traditional Owners for an airborne gravity survey which will identify targets for follow up drilling at its Nabarlek North project, 7km from the historic Nabarlek mine.

The company is also active in ISR-style uranium projects to the south of Whyalla in the friendliest of states for uranium exploration and development, South Australia.

A scoping study at the advanced Samphire project is in the works and the company is well-funded to advance the project, and expand the resource base through exploration. At last count it was holding $27m in cash.
It also has interests in a nickel-cobalt project in northwest Italy.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interviews in this article are solely those of the interviewees and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead does not provide, endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.