By Will Horner
Shares of uranium mining companies are surging as retail traders from Reddit’s Wall Street Bets forum focus their energies on the sharply rallying radioactive metal.
Companies tied to uranium in Australia and the U.K. powered higher Monday, while U.S. listed companies rose in premarket trading.
Sydney-listed uranium miners Peninsula Energy Ltd., Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., and Bannerman Energy Ltd. all closed more than 25% higher. U.K.-listed miner Aura Energy Ltd. jumped more than 35% while Yellow Cake PLC, a company that acts as an exchange-traded fund for uranium, rose 13%.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Cameco Corp. has become the third most discussed company on Wall Street Bets after tech giants Apple Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., according to SwaggyStocks, a website that tracks mentions of a company’s ticker symbol on the trading forum.
New York-traded shares of the uranium miner rose more than 4% in premarket trading. Uranium Royalty Corp. also jumped 13% ahead of the opening bell.
Recent posts on Wall Street Bets have put forward bullish arguments in favor of uranium prices and uranium mining stocks, complete with the forum’s typical mix of uranium-related memes and humor.
One post on the site last week pondered whether there was “A GME Like Opportunity In Uranium?,” using the ticker symbol for GameStop, the original meme stock.
Wall Street Bets’ focus follows a sharp price spike for the physical metal used largely to fuel nuclear power plants. New York-traded Uranium futures have surged over 30% so far this quarter to $42.40 a pound.
Huge purchases of the metal by the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, a newly created fund that gives investors direct exposure to the metal, have been a significant driver of the rally and have helped to tighten an already tight market.
The fund has amassed almost 25 million pounds of the metal since it was first launched in July and bought 850,000 pounds on one day alone last week, according to Sprott. The total mined supply of uranium was roughly 120 million pounds in 2019, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Investors are also betting that demand for the metal–a source of fuel that doesn’t directly produce carbon emissions–will rise amid a global shift towards greener sources of energy. Governments including the U.S. and China see a role for nuclear power in global efforts to mitigate climate change.
One popular post on Wall Street Bets first published at the start of the month called “Uranium: Start of a Commodity Supercycle” draws attention to the metal’s currently tight market as well as the moves by Sprott to purchase and stockpile large quantities of uranium.
A separate page on Reddit called UraniumSqueeze has attracted over 13,000 members since it was created in February. It describes itself as “dedicated to all the investors and traders passionate about the uranium market.”
The companies mentioned in this article didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Write to Will Horner at email@example.com