Bill Gates' Nuclear Bet: Why North American Uranium Projects Are Key to Powering AI and Homes




USA News Group – One of the world’s wealthiest people, Bill Gates, is betting heavily on a nuclear power resurgence, with the intention of powering AI and homes in the USA. However, there could be a problem with Gates’ TerraPower project that has already broken ground in Wyoming, in that there’s no guarantee it’ll have fuel. After the US Government announced an import ban on Russian uranium, now the market is looking towards North American domestic uranium projects to help bridge the gap. Time is of the essence, as experts are predicting that US data center electricity demand could double by 2030. As public opinion warms back up to the potential of nuclear power, there’s plenty of attention being given to tomorrow’s uranium supply coming from ambitious miners, including Panther Minerals Inc. (CSE: PURR) (OTCPK: GLIOF), enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU), Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE-A: UEC), Cameco Corporation (NYSE: CCJ) (TSX: CCO), and NexGen Energy Ltd. (NYSE: NXE) (TSX: NXE).

Following a recent successful financing that replenished its war chest for further development, Panther Minerals Inc. (CSE: PURR) (OTCPK: GLIOF) continues to advance its large-scale uranium exploration and development project in Alaska, aimed at bolstering US domestic uranium supplies. Having secured its new flagship Boulder Creek asset, Panther also followed up by entering a non-binding LOI to acquire the Huber Heights Uranium property in northern Elko County, Nevada, comprised of 35 unpatented mineral claims (700 acres, 283 ha).

At the core of Panther’s developing uranium story is still the Boulder Creek, which brings with it a historical estimate (note: not 43-101 compliant) of 1 million pounds of U3O8 at 0.27%, and having over $3.5 million already invested on the property in exploration. Much like the recent Huber Heights announcement, Panther Minerals wasted no time in significantly expanding its land position for the Boulder Creek Uranium Property, staking an additional 140 State of Alaska mining claims, bringing the asset’s total footprint to 22,400 acres or 9,065 hectares (90.65km2).

Through acquiring this additional land, Panther’s staking campaign aimed to replicate the area previously held by Triex Mineral Corp, which in 2006 conducted 1,155 line-km of airborne radiometric surveying over the newly-staked claims.

The Fireweed Prospect, where Triex discovered uranium, includes the newly acquired claims. Four samples were taken, one of which returned 0.82% U3O8 (6,950 ppm U). In 2007, Triex revisited the Fireweed Showing, conducting 22 line-km of ground magnetic susceptibility and radiometric surveying, rock and soil sampling, and prospecting. In its Q1 2007 fiscal report, Triex reported 21 rock samples from three main areas, confirming the 0.82% U3O8 value obtained from the previous sample collection.

“We are excited to provide additional information relating to the Fireweed prospect on our Boulder Creek project” said Rob Birmingham, President and CEO of Panther Minerals. “Through our recent property expansion, adding in this portion of the project was crucial, as the previous discovery of mineralization offers a significant opportunity to add value to Panther.”

In Texas, enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU) recently commenced uranium production at its South Texas projects, the Alta Mesa Uranium Central Processing Plant, and Wellfield aka Alta Mesa Project. The production commencement is especially significant, as enCore Energy is now the only uranium producer in the United States with multiple production facilities in operation. Inside the announcement which came out in the middle of June, enCore was reportedly anticipating its first shipment of yellowcake (uranium) from the Alta Mesa Project to occur within approximately 60-90 days.

“The enCore team has advanced the Alta Mesa Project from acquisition in February 2023, to completion of upgrades, wellfield installation and production in fifteen months’ time,” said Paul Goranson, CEO of enCore. “We are very pleased with our initial early production providing enCore with a second revenue source as we continue to build out the Alta Mesa Project.”

Also in South Texas, Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE-A: UEC) recently announced it had advanced its South Texas portfolio by increasing its Burke Hollow Project’s Measured and Indicated (M&I) resources by 165% from 2,324,000 lbs U3O8 to 6,155,000 lbs, with another 4,883,000 lbs U3O8 Inferred resource attached.

“Since the initial discovery at Burke Hollow, we’ve continued to increase resources with every drilling campaign and update,” said Andy Kurrus, UEC’s V.P. of Resource Development, Texas. “We have identified several mineralized trends and horizons for potential resource growth and nearly half of the ~20,000 acre Burke Hollow property remains under-explored. Burke Hollow is the largest ISR uranium discovery in the United States in the past decade and will be an exciting satellite project as part of our hub-and-spoke strategy.”

UEC’s Burke Hollow in-situ recovery Project continues to expand with three Production Areas defined to date, and ongoing exploration and delineation drilling along mineralized trends for additional resource growth.

Up in Canada, one of the world’s largest uranium fuel suppliers, Cameco Corporation (NYSE: CCJ), (TSX: CCO) recently signed a MOU with Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SaskPower), and Westinghouse Electric Company (Westinghouse) to evaluate the potential of Westinghouse’s nuclear reactor technology and the associated nuclear fuel supply chain required for Saskatchewan’s future clean power needs.

Cameco has a proud history and a significant presence in Saskatchewan, from our world-class uranium operations to our large and growing provincial workforce to our long-standing partnerships with northern Indigenous communities,” said Tim Gitzel, President and CEO of Cameco. “We look forward to assessing the potential role Cameco and Westinghouse could play in decarbonizing Saskatchewan’s power grid, an ambitious and important goal for the province’s future.”

recently completed a previously announced private placement consisting of $500 million. This came shortly after Cameco shared its solid outlook and Q1 2024 results, which already included a strong cash position. Now according to CEO Timothy Gitzel, projected demand from data centers powering tech like generative AI will likely boost prospects for nuclear energy.

The framework of the partnership encompasses an evaluation of a Saskatchewan-based nuclear supply chain to support nuclear energy projects, including fuel. It also highlights opportunities for collaboration on nuclear research, development, and workforce training in partnership with Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions.

Also making progress in Saskatchewan is NexGen Energy Ltd. (NYSE: NXE) (TSX: NXE), which recently announced the conclusion of a 30-day completeness check by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) of NexGen’s responses to the remaining 49 technical review comments and revised Federal Environmental Impact Statement for the company’s 100%-owned Rook I Project. The technical review by the CNSC has now commenced through the Federal-Indigenous Review Team, and upon confirmation that all technical review comments have been resolved after its prescribed 60-day review, the CNSC will then be able to deem the EIS final.

“The Company continues to successfully advance through the Federal EA process which formally initiated in April 2019,” said Leigh Curyer, CEO of NexGen. “We look forward to the conclusion of the technical review process, for the Federal EIS to be deemed final, and the establishment of a Federal Commission Hearing date for the Rook I Project in order to deliver the significant generational benefits to the local Indigenous Nations, communities, the Province and Canada.”

NexGen’s flagship Rook I Project is being optimally developed into the largest low-cost producing uranium mine globally, and is supported by a NI 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study which outlines the elite environmental performance and industry leading economics.

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