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The Military Coup in Niger has Raised Fears of a Future Uranium Supply Crunch

Retail investors are buying into uranium-linked funds, amid fears about the coup in Niger, a key producer, hitting supplies and wider expectations of a global increase in demand. Energy companies are taking a renewed interest in nuclear power because of the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on gas supplies and the pressures to cut fossil fuel use and reduce carbon emissions. The coup in Niger risks disrupting the supply of uranium, which is managed locally by the majority-state owned French company Orano. Niger has approximately 5 per cent of the world’s reserves, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The market is already tight: global demand for the heavy metal outstripped yearly supply from 2018 to 2022. Shares in Cameco, the Canadian company which is the world’s largest publicly held uranium miner, are at an all-time high of C$48.63 per share, up 122 per cent from August 2021.