August 6, 1945: The Enola Gay, an American Air Force Boeing B-29 opens its bomb bay doors and lets Little Boy, a 15 kiloton atomic bomb, float down to its detonation point 580 metres above Hiroshima. The act is repeated two days later with a larger bomb, the Fat Man, over Nagasaki.

August 6, 2007: Australian uranium mining stocks plunge, even with the federal government spruiking a full-blown uranium industry. Here is an edited version of a table published by showing yesterday’s stock performance of active exploration and development companies on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing:




OmegaCorp Limited



Nova Energy Limited



Toro Energy Limited



Curnamona Energy Ltd



Arafura Resource Ltd



Extract Resources



Uranium Equities



Compass Resources NL



Energy Metals Ltd



Berkeley Resources



Golden West Resource



Wildhorse Energy



Energy Resources



Bannerman Resources



Paladin Resources



Black Range Min.



Prairie Downs Metals



Summit Resources



Giralia Resources NL



Thor Mining PLC



Alliance Resources



Peninsula Minerals



A-Cap Resources



Deep Yellow Limited



Marathon Resources



Memories of 62 years ago, or a uranium industry correction?

Dave Sweeney, a nuclear expert at the Australian Conservation Foundation, says that it’s easy to draw a line between Hiroshima Day and the fortunes of Australia’s uranium miners, but it’s more likely related to a continuing devaluation of yellowcake.

“Six years ago, yellowcake went for $US10 a pound, and it went up to $US140, and now it is dropping back to around $115 a pound. I thinking it’s still got a fair way to drop. What we are seeing now is the gap between the prospectus and the performance,” Sweeney told Crikey.

“This is a trend we’ve seen pretty much throughout July. We’ve seen a steady erosion in both the price of uranium and the market value of these companies. We’ve hit the top price for this material and it’s starting to come. We are never going to return to what it was six years ago, but there will continue to be a reality check about the difficulties, both operational and political, facing this sector.”

Not to mention a yearly reminder of what uranium can do when used in anger.