What happened

Shares of uranium mining specialist Energy Fuels (UUUU 2.17%) are down 12% as of 2:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday, and it's not hard to figure out why the stock is struggling.

So what

According to the experts at MiningReview.com, uranium prices need to rise to about $60 a pound in order to become profitable enough to "incentivize" uranium miners to increase production. Anything less, and it's better to just minimize the losses.

Now, thanks to significant buying by the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (SRUU.F 5.85%), uranium prices nearly doubled between mid-August and mid-September, and seemed to be heading in the general direction of $60. They didn't quite get there, however, before Sprott itself stepped forward on Sept. 24 and killed the rally, telling The Financial Times that it had no intention of trying to "corner the market" on uranium. (If it did intend to corner the market, the thinking went, then rising demand plus limited supply might cause uranium prices to spike well above $60.)  

And ever since Sprott made its intentions known, uranium prices have been in free fall, dropping about 18% from their September peak to close at $41.65 per pound last night.

White arrow declining sharply atop a stock tickertape display bathed in red

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Which brings us to today. Now, we have uranium priced at less than 70% of the magic $60-a-pound number, and the chances for Energy Fuels stock turning profitable again look increasingly dim.

This company hasn't earned a profit since 2012 (and even then, just barely). Unless uranium prices do a U-turn and start spiking higher again, odds are good that Energy Fuels shares will continue to fall.