Fission Uranium the catalyst of the Athabasca uranium exploration ‘boom’
Fission Uranium Corp (‘Fission’, TSXV: FCU | OTCQX: FCUUF) is a mineral exploration company focused on developing its Patterson Lake South (PLS) uranium property, located in Saskatchewan’s uranium rich Athabasca Basin. At the end of May, Fission announced the assay results from 10 holes (nine in zone R780 and one in zone R00E) at PLS. One of the holes was especially promising as it yielded high-grade intercepts as high as 14.74% U3O8 over 10 meters at 4.44% U3O8. Meanwhile, all ten holes showed uranium mineralization while six of these presented significant high grade assay results at shallow depth (50 meters), following other promising results from the winter drilling programs as outlined in press releases on February 19, 2014 and April 22, 2014. The mineralization uncovered so far at PLS remains stretches along a strike from west to east. The Athabasca Valley may well be the world’s richest source of high quality uranium and a number of uranium majors, and minors, are working in the area.
PLS is accessible by road and enjoys a year-round highway access from Highway 955, which runs north of the former Cluff Lake mine and discovery runs about 50 miles north through the nearby UEX-Areva Shea Creek, which is currently being actively explored and developed. Fission’s management team under CEO and Chairman Dev Randhawa and COO Ross McElroy, President and Chief Geologist, is the same group that made “Fission Energy” into one of the leading uranium exploration companies in Canada. Fission Energy was sold in April 2013 the majority of their assets, including the discovery at Waterbury Lake, as well as interests in all other properties in the eastern part of the Athabasca Basin, Quebec and Nunavut and two joint ventures in Namibia to Denison Mines (TSX: DML | NYSE MKT: DNN).
Fission Uranium was spun out from the 2013 merger of ‘Fission Energy’ and Denison Mines and the PLS property is one of the Company’s main assets. Fission acquired PLS when it merged with Alpha Minerals last November. This is the sort of experience that suggests Fission’s management understands the concept of ‘closeology’ very well. And the fact that Fission’s PLS is in the Athabasca basin is its main strength and strategy to hedge against the low uranium prices. Athabasca has seen the start of an actual uranium exploration ‘boom’ (no pun intended), because its deposits are among the most desirable in the world. Some analysts suggest that when uranium demand gets under way – and it will, given the number of uranium reactors that are being planned for construction until 2020 – the Athabasca properties will be among the ones to benefit first and most. Athabasca is home to such large and uranium rich properties as McArthur River and Cigar Lake. While most uranium mines produce at grades of 0.15% or less, Athabasca (and see above the PLS has already shown grades of about 15%). This means Athabasca produces grades that are better than the average by a factor of 100 or above. In addition, many uranium plays are in less politically or regulatory stable jurisdictions, while Athabasca uranium is in Saskatchewan one of the most mining friendly provinces of one of the most mining friendly countries in the world and one with ready and efficient infrastructure. Finally there is a purely geological reason.
Uranium has been mined in the Athabasca Basin for more than 60 years, which has allowed geologists and engineers to gather plenty of data about the geological formation of uranium enrichment and the area’s unique formations, allowing for the use of much more sophisticated exploration methods than in lesser known areas. Fission Uranium Corp. has already used this technology to its advantage and the results of its winter exploration program and related updates have proven their effectiveness.