Developing the High-Grade Triple R Uranium Deposit in the Athabasca Basin
This Fission Uranium profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
The world’s energy requirements are increasing, and this energy growth is set to continue over the coming decades, as is the global movement to decarbonize power generation.
Along with renewable energy, nuclear energy is a front runner for the decarbonization of electricity, thanks to its minimal carbon footprint and low operating costs. In fact, positive uranium demands positioned this metal as one of the best-performing commodities of 2020, climbing by up to 37 percent at its peak. The most recent World Nuclear Association’s Fuel Report showed a 26 percent increase in uranium demand over the next decade, thanks to new reactors coming online and it’s important to note that there are a limited number of suppliers to fill that demand. This all means that uranium resource companies are an important part of a carbon-free energy future.
Fission Uranium (TSX:FCU,OTCQX:FCUUF) is developing the high-grade Triple R uranium deposit in Saskatchewan’s renowned Athabasca Basin uranium district. The Triple R uranium deposit, which is part of the Patterson Lake South (PLS) project, is located in a safe, stable jurisdiction with a long history, beginning in 1949 history of uranium mining. Saskatchewan is consistently ranked amongst the top mining investment jurisdictions on the world. Significantly, the company’s prefeasibility study shows the potential for the Triple R to be one of the lowest cost operating uranium mines in the world.
In 2019, Canada supplied 13.2 percent of the world’s uranium. The country is known for uranium grades reported at 10 to 20 times the global average, and its mining-friendly government and rich uranium deposits make the Athabasca Basin one of the most prospective mineral basins. Operating out of this unique position places Fission Uranium as a competitive player in the green future.
The flagship PLS uranium project is the Basin’s only high-grade, undeveloped project where the high grade starts near surface. According to the company’s underground mine plan, construction time hovers around three years with bottom quartile OPEX costs of US$7.18 per pound of uranium. With straightforward permitting processes and a skilled management and operations team, the project is currently advancing towards feasibility.
In September 2020, Fission Uranium appointed Ross McElroy as Chief Executive Officer of the company. McElroy is an award-winning geologist with over 30 years of experience in the mining industry. His appointment opens an exciting new chapter for the company and its PLS uranium project. This change in management has primed the company for the effective development of what could potentially be one of the premier uranium mines in the world.
Fission Uranium’s team includes dedicated and specialized professionals with years of experience in uranium exploration, project development and mining and capital markets. Likewise, its broad shareholder portfolio spans retail companies, major utilities CGN, and a number of institutions. Alongside Ross McElroy, fellow leadership has primed the company for success and feasibility moving forward.
Going into 2021, Fission Uranium is in an advantageous position to deliver on its development goals. It is firmly committed to sustainability and environmental leadership, using mining best practices and cooperating closely with rights holders and stakeholders Indeed, the management and operations teams have relationships with the local communities stretching back more than 30 years. The company offers investors an entry opportunity that takes advantage of the potentially bullish uranium market and demand for nuclear energy.
Fission Uranium’s Company Highlights
- Fission Uranium is a Canadian uranium development company focused on developing the advanced-stage Triple R uranium deposit hosted by its PLS project in the world-class Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan.
- A 2019 pre-feasibility study focusing on underground mining only, outlines the potential for robust economics, emphasizing the opportunity for some of the lowest operating costs in the world, high-grade yield, fast payback and highly attractive IRR and NPV.
- The PLS uranium project is 100 percent owned by Fission Uranium.
- The Athabasca Basin is home to the highest grade uranium deposits in the world and constitutes all of Canada’s uranium production industry. Fission’s adjacent neighbour, NexGen (TSX:NXE,NYSE:NXE), is also advancing a major uranium deposit to feasibility.
- Fission Uranium has a clear plan to advance Triple R and, in doing so, to leverage the growing demand for uranium, which is expected to grow by 26 percent by the end of 2030.
- Company management and key members of the operations team have a long history and strong connections with northern Indigenous First Nation and Metis groups and local communities. Collaboration with local rightsholders and stakeholders and is a major focus as the company moves forward. In addition, Fission has pursued a robust approach to the environment from the start and will continue to do so.
- Recent financings attracted substantial institutional interest, and the company has a major strategic shareholder in the form of CGN Mining — part of the giant power utility CGN — which has to date invested approximately $82 million in Fission.
- Management is headed up by award winning geologist and uranium veteran Ross McElroy. The broader team includes Mark Wittrup, who is one of the foremost experts on permitting and ESG in the uranium sector, as well as Gary Haywood, who has joined Fission as VP Project Development and previously worked for Cameco as General Manager at the McArthur River and Senior Mine Engineer at the Eagle Point uranium mining operations in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The PLS Project
Fission Uranium’s 100 percent owned PLS property and its Triple R deposit are located in the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan, which hosts the world’s richest uranium mines. The Triple R deposit is known for its sizable high-grade uranium mineralization that is accessible at just 50 meters from surface. It is the only major, undeveloped deposit in the Basin at which the high-grade core begins close to surface.
The PLS property covers 31,039 hectares and includes 17 mineral claims. The project’s infrastructure is especially notable for its easy accessibility via the all-weather Highway 955 that connects to the past-producing Cluff Lake uranium mine.
A 2019 pre-feasibility study focusing on underground mining forecasted the potential for robust economics with low OPEX, strong IRR and high yield. Fission Uranium is currently moving forward with advancement of the deposit to feasibility status.
The PLS Triple R uranium project is positioned as potentially one of the world’s lowest OPEX uranium projects.
Fission Uranium’s Management Team, Operations Team and Directors
Ross McElroy, P. Geol., President, Director & CEO
Ross McElroy is a professional geologist with over 34 years of experience in the mining industry. He is the winner of the PDAC Bill Dennis award and the Northern Miner Mining Person of the Year. He has comprehensive experience working and managing many mineral projects from grassroots exploration to feasibility and production. McElroy has also held positions with major and junior mining companies, including BHP Billiton, Cogema Canada, and Cameco. During his time with Cameco, he was a member of the early-stage discovery team of the MacArthur River uranium deposit, the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposit. McElroy was a key part of the hugely successful Fission Energy Corp. team as President, COO and Chief Geologist. He headed up the technical team that discovered the J Zone deposit on the Waterbury Lake project in Saskatchewan. As President, COO and Chief Geologist at Fission Uranium Corp., he played a key role in the discovery of the Triple R deposit at the PLS property. He was promoted to CEO and President in September 2020. McElroy also operates as the company’s qualified person.
McElroy 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, British Columbia and Nunavut/Northwest Territories.
Gary Haywood, P. Eng., VP Project Development
Mr Haywood is a professional Mining Engineer licensed in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Yukon with over 35 years of mine engineering and operations experience in underground and surface mining, in commodities including gold, coal and uranium. He has extensive experience with underground uranium mining operations through his previous employment with Cameco Corp. at the Eagle Point and McArthur River operations in various capacities including Senior Mine Engineer, Mine Superintendent and General Manager. For the past three years, Mr Haywood has been providing mine engineering consulting services to the mineral resource industry and has been involved in prefeasibility studies, project management and mine operational readiness planning.
Mark Wittrup, MSc., P.Eng., P.Geo., CMC Fission special adviser on Environmental and permitting
Mr. Wittrup has 40 years of experience in the uranium sector and specializes in environmental and regulatory work. His background includes environmental and regulatory experience in Canada, the United States, Australia, Greenland and Kazakhstan, and was the project lead and lead author for the McArthur River EIS and licensing process. Mr. Wittrup has also worked as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection and Audit, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources and is currently VP Environmental and Regulatory Affairs with the Clifton Engineering Group. He is Fission’s special adviser on environmental matters to the Board and Management and is a Qualified Person on Environmental, Social and Governance “ESG” matters for mining and NI 43-101 reporting. Mark Wittrup is a key member of the team and is one of the uranium industry’s most respected environmental and regulatory experts.
Raymond Ashley, P.Geoph., VP Exploration
Raymond Ashley has worked in the mineral exploration industry for 35 years. From 1990 to 1996, he was employed with BHP-Billiton, first in gold and base metal exploration and later in diamonds. He was also a vital member of the discovery team of Ekati, Canada’s first diamond mine, and held the position of Exploration Manager Canada Diamonds. From 1996 to 2009, Ashley was Vice President of Exploration for Dia Met Minerals in exploration for diamonds internationally, COO of Trigon Exploration Ltd., a public company he co-founded, and Vice President of Exploration for Diamondex Resources Ltd. Since 2009, he has been an independent consulting geoscientist and was a member of the Fission Energy team responsible for the high-grade uranium J Zone discovery at Waterbury Lake.
Ryan Cheung, CFO & Corporate Secretary
Ryan Cheung provides accounting, management, securities and regulatory compliance services to private and public-listed companies. Cheung also serves as an officer and director of several public-listed companies.
Cheung holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.
Darian Yip, Chairman of the Board
Darian Yip has over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry and has been focused on the metals and mining sector for the past 13 years. In 2014, he co-founded and was a partner and Managing Director for a publicly listed Canadian investment bank’s operations in Asia and was responsible for setting up their Beijing and Hong Kong offices. Before this, he assisted another Canadian investment bank in growing their Asian mining franchise. For the past eight years, Yip has focused on cross-border transactions between Chinese and Canadian companies in the natural resources sector.
Rob Chang, Director
Rob Chang has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry and is a sought after expert in uranium markets among the mainstream media. He most recently served as the Managing Director and Head of Metals & Mining at a global investment bank. He provided research coverage in uranium, precious metals, base metals and lithium. He was recognized by Bloomberg as the Best Precious Metals Analyst in Q1 2016. Chang is frequently quoted and a regular guest of several media outlets, including Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.
Chang has previously served as a Director of Research and Portfolio Manager at a Canadian investment firm that managed C$3 billion in assets. He was also on a five-person multi-strategy hedge fund team where he specialized in equity and derivative investments. Chang completed his MBA at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Fei He, Director
Fei He has extensive working experience in the global nuclear power industry and corporate management field. He currently serves as the vice president of CGN Mining, the vice general manager of CGNPC-URC and the director of China Uranium Development, CGN Global and CGNM UK Ltd. Before his current role, he held senior positions in the Nuclear Power Plant’s production and technology department and international cooperation department and was appointed to the French Atomic Energy Commission.
He holds a B.E. of arts in English from the International Relations College and a master’s degree of law in civil and commercial law from the Renmin University of China.
Shiming Ma, Director
Shiming Ma is the director in charge of overseas M&A for CGN Mining. He started his professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor in the energy group. His clients included energy giants such as China Coal, China Datang Corporation and China Huaneng Power International Inc. He subsequently joined CGN Uranium Resources Co., Ltd., the mother company of CGN Mining, in 2010. His role was to secure the nuclear fuel supply for CGN’s growing nuclear fleet. He has procured more than 80 million pounds of natural uranium concentrates from Cameco, Areva, Paladin, Kazatomprom, Nukem and others. During this time, he accumulated a wealth of experience in natural uranium concentrate trading.
Ma holds a Bachelor of Economics and a MEcons from the Renmin University of China.
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 worldwide operations. Additionally, 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 Director for several private entities, including Okanagan Capital Fund (VCC) Inc., Rackforce Networks Inc., Wear Air Oxygen Inc. and Wear Air Industrial Inc.
William V. Marsh, Director
Mr. Marsh previously worked on domestic and international drilling programs for Chevron for 15 years both in Canada and Internationally. Mr. Marsh was a former 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 former director of Predator Capital Corp. and Wolf Capital Corp. Mr. Marsh has provided consulting services to a number of resource exploration and production companies, both public and private, operating in Canada and internationally.
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