The Untold Story of the Clintons, Uranium, and Corruption

by Marin Katusa, Katusa Research:

In early 2015, I received a telephone call from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker. She was working on a front-page article for the New York Times.

Jo was researching the uranium market and the Clinton family. Specifically, she was looking into how one Russian-controlled company came to own some U.S.-based uranium mines… and what role, if any, Bill and Hillary Clinton had played in the story.

I spent over an hour walking Jo through the uranium market. I explained how the U.S. got 20% of its electricity at the time from uranium-fueled nuclear power, yet produced less than 10% of its annual needs domestically. It made up its vast supply shortfall mostly by importing uranium from Russia or Russian-influenced countries. This made the U.S. energy supply vulnerable to the dangerous geopolitical chess master Vladimir Putin.

Becker’s article blew the lid off a scandal that has plagued the Clintons for years now. The mainstream media’s general story goes like this: Uranium is a strategic resource the U.S. should safeguard at all costs. Yet, in 2010, the Russian company in question, Rosatom, was able to purchase and control strategic U.S. uranium mines (through a company called Uranium One). Bill and Hillary Clinton helped Rosatom’s backers pull off the deal because they made massive donations to the Clinton Foundation. The press called it “pay to play.”

The idea that Bill and Hillary Clinton sold out America’s strategic interests harmed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. I’m sure the Clintons hoped that the damage stopped right there. Yet over the past few weeks, the story has been given new life. In today’s rabid U.S. political climate, Clinton enemies want to see corruption charges filed.

Yet again, the Clinton/Uranium deal has become a huge front-page story.  It’s all over the big talk shows. And that’s why once again, I have reporters from big-name media companies calling and emailing me to talk about uranium and the Clintons.

I have quite a bit of experience with reporters. While there are some very good journalists out there (Jo Becker being one of them), I’ve never been satisfied with their efforts to accurately quote me or explain the full stories as I see them. Many other folks I know who have given interviews feel the same.

So, rather than talk to a reporter who will filter it through their own mind and write their own version of how I see things, I’m going to personally share with you the “inside story” as I see it. Here are some big things the mainstream media has wrong about Clintons, uranium, and corruption.

One: The uranium project the Russians acquired – Willow Creek – isn’t anything special.

It’s not a critical part of the U.S. uranium supply. It’s absolutely not key to U.S. “strategic interests.” In 2016, Willow Creek produced 100,000 pounds of uranium. This represented just 3.64%% of total U.S. production of 2.7 million pounds.

Willow Creek currently has 16.9 million pounds of uranium reserves and resources. This is just 1.14% of total U.S. uranium reserves and resources.

At current uranium prices, Willow Creek isn’t even economical. The uranium price is down 55% since the Uranium One deal. In fact, since the deal was done for Willow Creek, the Russians have cut production at the mine by over 50%. In 2011, Willow Creek produced 214,000 pounds of uranium. The Russians ramped production to over 900,000 pounds in 2013, only to cut back production every year for the next three years.  

The massive price decline makes Willow Creek a losing investment. The Russians would love to sell the project and focus on their bigger, better assets. However, by selling now in the currently depressed uranium market, they’d take a huge loss. My hunch is that the Russians are holding the asset in hopes the uranium market will get stronger. Then, they will sell it.

I’m not making a political statement by pointing out this fact. It’s just something anyone with any knowledge about the uranium market knows. Nobody sold out a key part of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians at a discount. They just sold a small, unimportant, relatively high-cost uranium mine at a huge premium to its current value.

Two: The real reason the Russians bought Uranium One was for its exceptional assets in Kazakhstan.

Most citizens only know the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan by the hit 2006 movie Borat. The title character is a caricature of a Kazakh television reporter. What most people don’t know is that Kazakhstan has become a huge player in one of the world’s most important energy markets.

In 2016, the world got 40% of its uranium from Kazakhstan. Put another way, Kazakhstan is four times more important to the global nuclear market than Saudi Arabia is to the global oil market. Kazakhstan is more important to the uranium sector than the world’s five largest oil producers (Russia, Saudi Arabia, U.S., China, and Canada) are to the oil sector combined.

Twenty years ago, Kazakhstan produced virtually no uranium. Fast forward to today and it’s now the world’s largest producer. It’s one of the fastest ascents to the top of a resource market’s food chain in modern history.

Kazakhstan took the uranium heavyweight title of the world thanks to a production method called “in situ recovery,” or ISR, which by the way was invented and perfect in the 1960’s in the U.S.

All of Kazakhstan’s uranium production comes from ISR. It’s the cheapest way to produce uranium. This is because ISR involves no blasting, digging, hauling, or crushing of rock. It involves no conventional open pit mine or underground mines.

ISR pumps the equivalent of soda water into porous rock that hosts elevated uranium concentrates. The water becomes “impregnated” with uranium and is then pumped out of the rock. An ISR operation is more like a water processing facility than a mine.

Kazakhstan has the lowest uranium production costs in the world. That is why Rosatom purchased Uranium One, not to get control of a small, relatively-high cost mine in the U.S.

I love a good conspiracy theory. Some theories actually turn out to be true. However, any claim that the Russians bought Willow Creek in a sneaky attempt to control the U.S. power supply is just nuts. Russia’s decision to buy Uranium One was simply a matter of money. It was a matter of owning some of the world’s best uranium assets.

Three: Russia didn’t need to buy Willow Creek to get the U.S. over a barrel. It already had that.

To most people, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a movie-quality villain. He’s a former KGB officer. He meddles in presidential elections. People that speak out against him tend to disappear.  

That’s why most Americans would be astonished and angry to learn how U.S political leaders have put America in a vulnerable situation… and dependent on Russian uranium to keep its lights on.

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