Shares of exploration-stage and mining company Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:UEC) gained nearly 14% as of 3:01 p.m. EST today, after President Trump made several moves that indicated his protectionist policy ideas on the campaign trail weren't empty promises. In fact, most stocks connected to uranium mining performed well today, as did several other mining companies that have had ambitious resource-extraction plans stalled or thwarted by regulators in recent years.
President Trump signed an executive order that supported the development of two controversial pipelines, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access. Although previous judicial decisions cannot be overturned by a simple executive order, it signals that the new administration may be serious about making the most of American energy resources.
More specific to mining companies, Northern Dynasty Minerals (NYSEMKT:NAK) announced today that the Trump Administration "has the desire to permit" its Pebble Project in Alaska, which is one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper and gold. Development was sidelined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 due to the project's proximity to the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.
Investors are taking that as a sign of good things to come for Uranium Energy Corp., which has mineral rights to numerous projects in several states. However, while the company has had certain projects delayed due to environmental studies in the past, the current headwind is not the EPA (which sided with the company previously), but weak uranium prices. Challenging market conditions have forced the company to reduce operations since September 2013. That has resulted in just $3 million in total revenue in the last 39 months.
Even if regulations become weaker and more favorable to domestic resource extraction -- a process that will take years -- they shouldn't really help Uranium Energy Corp. in a significant way. The company's current predicament is due to market conditions, not overbearing regulations.