Exploring for Uranium in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin
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Fission 3.0 Corp (TSXV:FUU) is a uranium project generator and property bank focused primarily on the Athabasca region in Saskatchewan, Canada. Within the region—known for being the largest producing district of high-grade uranium in the world and for hosting numerous current and past-producing uranium deposits—Fission 3.0 owns 20 properties with high-grade uranium potential. These strategically-located properties are at various stages of exploration and are distributed across the border of the basin.
Fission 3.0 has conducted an exploration program across seven of its Athabasca basin properties which included airborne and ground geophysical surveys. Results from this program have proven positive in identifying EM conductors on the properties, which will aid in determining target areas for the planned drill program in the 2017 to 2018 winter. EM conductors are prospective for hosting high-grade uranium in the Athabasca Basin and on one particular project—the Midas property in the Beaverlodge area—uranium samples taken from boulders returned assays of up to 11.9 percent U3O8.
In addition to its Athabasca land package, Fission 3.0 owns a highly-prospective property in the emerging uranium district of Macusani, in Peru. The district is located in a mining-friendly jurisdiction and hosts a number of uranium and lithium land deposits. The Fission team were amongst the first to stake land for uranium exploration in the region and, in 2017, the company conducted three separate exploration programs including a sixteen-hole drilling program across two target areas. Thirteen of the holes intersected uranium near and at surface. The drill program also encountered lithium. Fission 3.0’s Macusani project is on trend with Plateau Uranium’s shallow-depth uranium and lithium deposits.
Fission 3.0 emerged following Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) acquisition of Alpha Minerals’ 50 percent stake in the Patterson Lake South (PLS) project, which hosts the Triple R deposit. Once the agreement was finalized, Fission Uranium divested its interests in its remaining Athabasca basin properties and in the Macusani project and formed a separate company, Fission 3.0, to manage them.
The company is led by the same management and geological experts as Fission Uranium – the most awarded uranium explorer in the world. The executive team has experience raising large amounts of funding and bringing in high-profile, strategic partners such as China’s CGN Mining. Meanwhile, the technical team has made two major, high-grade discoveries in the Athabasca Basin within four years.
Like the rest of the uranium sector, Fission 3.0 is anticipating an upturn in the uranium market following recent announcements from Cameco (TSX:COO) and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom that they will be reducing their production levels so as to help address market oversupply. This includes Cameco shutting down McArthur River – the World’s largest high-grade uranium mine. This comes with anticipated rises in demand in 2018, which results, in part, from Japan’s plans to restart up to a dozen reactors in the next twelve months. Jointly, these two movements could lead to growth in the uranium market that will be beneficial to Fission 3.0.
- Highly prospective property portfolio in Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan
- Properties nearby uranium deposits including McArthur River and Triple R (PLS)
- Excellent management and technical team with proven experience developing the PLS project as part of Fission Uranium
- Uranium project in Peru’s Macusani district, which hosts Plateau Uranium concessions scheduled to be producing in 2019
- 40 percent of shares held institutionally, inclusively by JP Morgan
- Anticipated upturn in uranium market following reduction in supply and expected rise in demand
Strategic Positioning in Athabasca Basin
The Athabasca basin is the world’s highest-grade uranium district located in northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. Supplying 16 percent of the world’s uranium, the region has seen over 60 years of mining and, as such, is surrounded by established infrastructure including power grids, highway access and nearby processing mills. Projects in the area are also supported by a mining-friendly government that provides a straightforward permitting process.
Fission 3.0 has a strong portfolio of 20 highly-prospective uranium properties in the Athabasca basin, where the company’s management and technical teams have proven experience from having discovered the Triple R deposit at PLS under Fission Uranium and the J-Zone at Waterbury Lake under Fission Energy. Half of the properties are distributed across three major areas: the PLS, Key Lake Road and Beaverlodge areas. The remainder of the properties are distributed across the basin and two of these are on the Albertan side of the border.
During its summer exploration program, Fission 3.0 conducted an exploration program across seven of its projects: the Wales, Karpinka Lake, Hobo Lake, Millson Lake, Midas, Thompson Lake and Cree Bay properties. Results from this program have been positive, and the company expects to launch follow-up programs based on these results.
“This work program has delivered some very positive results on several of our most prospective top-tier projects,” said Fission 3.0 COO Ross McElroy. “These include identifying areas containing high-grade boulders, as well as areas of enhanced conductivity that will be prime targets for follow-up drilling.”
The company has three properties that sit in the southwestern region of the Athabasca basin nearby Fission Uranium’s Triple R deposit, which was discovered by the same team now managing Fission 3.0’s portfolio. These include the Patterson Lake North (PLN), Clearwater West and Wales Lake project, which collectively make up 59,995 hectares with the potential to host near-surface, high-grade uranium.
The PLN project is a 27,400-hectare property on the same structural corridor as the PLS property. The project is being operated under a joint venture agreement with Azincourt Uranium Inc, under which Azincourt has a 10 percent interest in the project.
The PLN project has seen exploration activity since 2007 which has all pointed towards the prospectivity of the conductive systems on the property. In the 2007 to 2008 winter season, a six-hole, 2,796-meter drill program was completed. Subsequently, between 2012 and 2014, the property underwent electromagnetic and resistivity surveys, sampling programs, geophysical surveys and two additional drilling programs in 2014 totalling 13 holes and 4,118 meters. Results from the final drill program included 0.047 percent U3O8 over 0.5 meters.
The Clearwater West project consists of three contiguous claims that sit on the same magnetic low corridor that hosts the PLS discovery. Between 2013 and 2015, the property underwent exploration programs that included airborne magnetic surveys, sampling programs and a three-hole drill program which encountered favorable geological environments.
The Wales Lake project covers 21 mineral claims located on the border of the basin and 25 kilometers southwest of the Fission Uranium’s Triple R deposit. As part of the summer exploration program, Fission 3.0 conducted airborne geophysical Versatile Time-Domain Electromagnetic (VTEM) surveys on the Wales Lake property
Key Lake Road Area
In the Key Lake Road area is on the southeastern tip of the Athabasca basin and is known for hosting a high-grade shallow-depth deposit with historic production of 208 million bounds of U3O8. The area also includes the Key Lake mill, which is currently processing McArthur River ore.
Fission 3.0’s three properties in the area—Karpinka Lake, Hobo Lake and Millson Lake—make up 12,673 hectares and are easily accessed by nearby roads that link them to power grids and mills. All three properties include historic work that outlines the presence of uranium within them.
The Karpinka Lake property consists of nine mineral claims situated on the Wollaston-Mudjatic transition zone (WMTZ), which hosts major deposits including the McArthur River uranium mine and the Cigar Lake uranium mine. The property also has two historic mineralized drill-holes with results that included 0.166 percent U3O8 over 1.0 meter.
The Hobo Lake property is made up by 10 mineral claims located 40 kilometers south of Karpinka Lake, also situated on the WMTZ. Historical lake sediment samples taken on the property returned anomalous uranium concentrations of 117 ppm uranium.
The Millson Lake property consists of six mineral claims and is located between the Hobo Lake and Karpinka Lake properties. Prior drilling on the property returned up to 313 ppm uranium over 0.3 meters.
During the company’s summer exploration program, Fission 3.0 conducted airborne geophysical VTEM surveys on the Karpinka Lake and Hobo Lake properties with the goal of identifying potential drill targets on the properties.
The Beaverlodge area is an underexplored uranium-producing region that hosted 52 mines and 12 open-pit mines in the 1950s and 1960s. In the district, Fission 3.0 has five properties—Midas, Thompson Lake, Beaver Lake, King Lake and Run Lake—that cover 58,119 hectares. Select samples from the region assayed up to 1.77 percent U3O8 across 0.9 meters. Within the Beaverlodge area, both the Midas and the Thompson Lake properties were part of the focus of the 2017 summer exploration program.
The Midas property consists of 3 mineral claims that are located along the prospective Black Bay Shear zone and within 10 kilometers of at least 20 past-producing uranium deposits. The past-producing St. Michael uranium mine sits within the property, which produced 250 tons at 0.15 percent U3O8 before production funds ran out. As part of the summer exploration program, Fission 3.0 conducted a field program of property-wide mapping and prospecting to better prioritize drilling targets on the property. Results from this program included the identification of high-grade uranium in boulders proximal to the St. Michael mine with up to 11.9 percent U3O8.
The Thompson Lake property is made up of thirteen mineral claims also located along the Black Bay Shear zone and within one kilometer of the Gunnar Uranium mine, which produced 19.3 million pounds U3O8. Fission 3.0’s most recent exploration on the property included a field program of geophysical surveys and property-wide mapping that followed the most prospective conductors on the property.
The Beaver River project consists of 12 mineral claims that are underlain by the Beaverlodge Domain and located 40 kilometers to the east of Uranium City. Samples collected in 2007 by a previous owner, Bayswater Uranium Corp, showed results of 3.66 percent U3O8, 3.37 percent U3O8 and 2.93 percent U3O8. In 2013, Fission 3.0 conducted an airborne high-resolution magnetic/radiometric survey followed by a helicopter VTEM Plus survey. These were instrumental in defining 258 kilometers of conductive packages on the project that will require further groundwork to establish drill targets.
The King Lake project is a single mineral land claim that sits 20 kilometers away from the northwest border of the Athabasca basin, on the Zemlak geological domain. The project has seen at least 15 uranium occurrences, of which one returned average assays of 1.75 percent U3O8 across 0.3 meters.
The Run Lake project comprises 14 mineral claims that are located just beyond the northwestern border of the basin. The property hosts a number of uranium and base metal mineral showings and trench samples have returned up to 5.43 percent copper and 6.36 percent U3O8. Historic drilling on the property also showed 1.24 percent U3O8 over 6.7 meters.
Across the Athabasca basin, Fission 3.0 has nine other properties at various stages of exploration. These are the American Lake, Black Birch, Cree Bay, Dixon Island, Kendel Island, Manitou Falls, Minor Bay, Perron Lake and North Shore projects.
Macusani District in Peru
Beyond the Athabasca basin land package, Fission 3.0 also owns a project in Peru’s mining-friendly Macusani district, which hosts multiple large-scale, near-surface uranium and lithium deposits. The 5,100-hectare property was originally staked by Fission Energy and became part of Fission 3.0’s portfolio in December 2013. The property is easily accessible through a number of paved roads and is surrounded by Plateau Uranium (TSXV:PLU) concessions with a measured and indicated resource of 32.8 million pounds U3O8 and an inferred resource of 12 million pounds U3O8. Plateau Uranium plans to begin production in 2019 and would have a processing plant within one kilometer of the Macusani property. Recent drilling hit mineralization near and at surface in thirteen of sixteen holes.
Since taking ownership in 2013, Fission 3.0 has conducted three exploration programs on the property between 2014 and 2016. In 2014, the company ran an exploration program that identified seven mineralized trends through scintillometer survey. Additionally, the company also gathered 21 rock samples that assayed between 5.2 percent and 19.12 percent uranium and completed 20 meter trenches over mineralized trends with confirmed mineralization up to two meters in depth. During the spring of 2015, the company conducted further prospecting work focused on six target areas, one of which presented a 1.5-kilometer mineralized trend with assays of up to 20.76 percent uranium.
In 2016, Fission 3.0 conducted a 16-hole drill program across two priority target areas located on the same trend as the Plateau Uranium Corachapi and Corani deposits: Llama North and Llama South. Drilling showed mineralization in 13 of the 16 holes and produced results of up to 12,151 ppm U3O8 at 16 meters from the surface and 533 ppm lithium over 0.5 meters.
Dev is an experienced CEO and has a wealth of experience in growing resource, mining exploration and energy companies. Northern Miner Magazine named him ‘Mining Person of the Year 2013’ and Finance Monthly awarded him with their ‘Deal Maker of the Year 2013’ award. As part of the Fission team, he has won the Mining Journal Excellence Award 2015 for Exploration. He is currently CEO of Fission 3.0 Corp and Fission Uranium Corp which made the shallow depth, high-grade uranium discovery at PLS.
Randhawa founded Strathmore Minerals Corp in 1996 and remained CEO until September 2008. In 2007, he spun Fission Energy Corp out of Strathmore to focus on uranium exploration in Saskatchewan. He remained as CEO and Chairman until the company sold its Waterbury Lake discovery and a large selection of its assets to Denison Mines in 2013. Fission Uranium Corp was created and utilized the remaining Fission Energy assets as part of the agreement with Denison. Most recently, he negotiated a subscription and offtake agreement with CGN Mining that, in January 2016, resulted in CGN Mining investing $82 million in Fission at a premium to the stock price. Randhawa received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with honors from Trinity Western College of Langley, British Columbia in 1983 and received his Master in Business Administration from the University of British Columbia in 1985.
Ross McElroy, PGeol—COO
Ross McElroy is an award-winning, professional geologist with 30 years of experience in the mining industry. He has comprehensive experience with working and managing many types of mineral projects from grassroots exploration to feasibility and production. He has held positions with both major and junior mining companies, which include BHP Billiton, Cogema Canada (now AREVA), and Cameco. He was a member of the early-stage discovery team of the MacArthur River uranium deposit.
McElroy is COO and Chief Geologist of Fission 3.0 Corp and is President, COO and Chief Geologist of the hugely successful Fission Uranium Corp team. He headed up the technical group that made the discovery at Waterbury Lake, SK and at Patterson Lake South (PLS), SK. He is the winner of the PDAC “Bill Dennis” award for exploration success, The Northern Miner’s “Mining Person of the Year” and EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year (finalist). He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with a Specialization in Geology from the University of Alberta in 1987 and is a registered professional geologist in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nunavut/Northwest Territories.
Phil Morehouse, MBA—President
Phil Morehouse is the former Executive Vice-President for Sernova Corp., as well as the JV manager for Fission Energy Corp. prior to the sale of the company to Denison Mines in 2013. He founded his own consulting company in 1990 and, for nearly 25 years, has provided leadership and management services to a wide range of public companies. Mr. Morehouse was a consultant to Fission Uranium Corp., prior to his appointment as President of Fission 3.0 Corp.
Paul Charlish has nearly 30 years of finance experience, including audit and tax in public practice and financial reporting and tax for public companies. He specializes in the mining sector and is well versed in the requirements of complex regulatory environments. He has extensive knowledge in the areas of financial reporting in accordance with IFRS, risk management, international tax, ICFR/SOX and internal controls, as well as experience in public equity offerings in Canada. Due to his detailed understanding of running public company finances, he has also overseen the implementation of new accounting systems and IT services.
During the course of his career, Charlish has also played an instrumental role in a number of mergers, acquisitions, spin outs and divestments for mining companies, including Fission Energy and Fission Uranium.
William Marsh previously worked on domestic and international drilling programs for Chevron for 15 years both in Canada and internationally. He was a director of Pacific Asia China Energy until its sale to Green Dragon Gas wholly owned subsidiary, Greka China Ltd, for 35.18 million in 2008. He was also a director of Predator Capital Corp and Wolf Capital Corp and is currently on the board of Ballyliffin Capital Corp. He has also provided consulting services to a number of resource exploration and production companies, both public and private, operating in Canada and internationally.
Frank Estergaard, CA—Director
Frank Estergaard is a professional Chartered Accountant who retired as a Partner with KPMG in 2001. His career with KPMG spanned 38 years, providing audit, taxation and business advice to clients in Vancouver, Vernon, Ottawa and Kelowna. He served a wide variety of corporations in the forestry, mining, real estate and land development, high technology, manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries. These companies ranged from start-ups to mature enterprises with both domestic and world-wide operations. In addition, he served on the Management Committee and Partnership Board of KPMG.
Following his retirement from KPMG, Estergaard has served as a Director and Chairman of the audit committee for QHR Technologies Inc, CFO for Metalex Ventures Ltd and CFO and/or Director for several private entities, including Okanagan Capital Fund (VCC) Inc, Rackforce Networks Inc, Wear Air Oxygen Inc and Wear Air Industrial Inc.
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