Mr. Craig Parry reports
CORPORATE UPDATE: GROWING LAND PACKAGE AND DISCOVERY OF HIGH-GRADE URANIUM AS URANIUM BULL MARKET CONDITIONS EMERGE
IsoEnergy Ltd. has provided the market with a corporate update.
Building on a portfolio of high-impact uranium projects in the Athabasca basin
IsoEnergy was founded by chairman Leigh Curyer, chief executive officer Craig Parry and the board of NexGen Energy Ltd. in 2016 to advance and build on NexGen's highly prospective projects in the eastern Athabasca basin, Saskatchewan, Canada. With the support of NexGen, its board and team, IsoEnergy has continued to expand its land position and actively explore its properties in the region.
Since its inception IsoEnergy has rapidly executed on its strategy of acquisition and exploration of highly prospective projects with a strong focus on the eastern Athabasca, home to the largest and highest-grade uranium mines in the world. Starting with five properties covering 6,067 hectares acquired from NexGen the company has either acquired at low cost or staked a further eight properties and expanded the land package more than tenfold to 70,800 hectares. Where the company continues to see value, it intends to continue to grow the land package.
The focus continues to be on the eastern Athabasca basin in Saskatchewan. IsoEnergy takes the view that Saskatchewan is one of the best regions in the world to explore, develop and operate a mine, and the Athabasca basin is the best place in the world for uranium production. Saskatchewan consistently ranks first or second globally in the Fraser Institute survey of mining and exploration jurisdictions. The Athabasca basin plays host to the largest and highest-grade uranium mines in the world. The typical grade of the uranium mines in the Athabasca basin is orders of magnitude greater than those elsewhere in the world.
Apart from size and grade of the deposits there, the other key benefit of exploring in the Athabasca basin is that the region has all of the key needs for exploration, development and mining in place and is readily accessible. This includes all key infrastructure such as mills, roads, power lines and, most importantly, people with a wealth of experience in mining. Moreover, the government of Saskatchewan is supportive of uranium mining.
IsoEnergy will continue its successful program of corporate development adding to its portfolio of prospective properties in the eastern Athabasca at bottom-of-market prices.
IsoEnergy follows the same approach and principles to exploration as NexGen which led to great success in the discovery of the world-class Arrow uranium deposit. It has a team primarily made up of exploration geologists with a record in exploration success. All full-time staff at IsoEnergy: Mr. Parry, vice-president, exploration, Steve Blower, senior geologist Andy Carmichael and geologist Justin Rodko are exploration geologists with strong experience in uranium exploration.
This team is focused on identifying, acquiring and exploring uranium projects in the eastern Athabasca -- home to the greatest concentration of high-grade uranium mineralization on the planet. In IsoEnergy's first months of existence the company undertook an Athabasca basin-wide targeting program which ranked and prioritized all of the more than 700 properties over the eastern part of the basin on geological, exploration and commercial criteria. This resulted in the development of a comprehensive prioritized target list and a short list of 20 key targets.
The company has since that time worked to acquire the properties on that list with the highest rank and priority. The company has been successful in this endeavour; however, there is more work to be done and additional properties to be secured. The current portfolio of properties is characterized by the presence of large strike extents of conductive rock units that typically host high-grade uranium deposits. Many of the properties are characterized by the presence of historic drill holes that have intersected mineralization that has never been effectively followed up by more drilling.
This has given the company many walk-up drill targets where much of the early and costly exploration work has been done and where the highest-impact work can be quickly undertaken -- that is, drilling. This also allows IsoEnergy to direct the bulk of its investors' money into drilling which gives the greatest probability of discovery.
Crucially the team at IsoEnergy has a strong background in exploring for and drilling high-grade basement-hosted mineralization such as that at NexGen's Arrow deposit and Denison Mines' Gryphon deposit. IsoEnergy believes that much of the eastern Athabasca has never been effectively explored for this basement-hosted style of mineralization and as NexGen's Arrow deposit is fast demonstrating, these deposits are the best uranium deposit styles to discover and develop. The vast majority of the past drilling done in the eastern Athabasca stopped at shallow depths below the sub-Athabasca unconformity and so most of the eastern Athabasca remains untested for basement-hosted deposits and IsoEnergy is employing this model in its efforts to find the Arrow of the eastern Athabasca uranium district.
High-grade uranium discovery at Larocque East
IsoEnergy's approach to business development and exploration is exemplified by its Larocque East project. The property was acquired from Cameco for $20,000 cash and $300,000 in IsoEnergy shares in May, 2018. Upon closing of the transaction, a drill rig was immediately mobilized to test the company's highest-priority target. The company met with immediate success, discovering a zone of high-grade uranium mineralization. A broad, 8.5-metre-long interval of highly elevated radioactivity (see news release dated July 25, 2018), averages 1.26 per cent triuranium octoxide (U3O8) (above a cut-off of 0.1 per cent U3O8) and includes a higher-grade subinterval of 3.58 per cent U3O8 over 2.5 metres. Within the higher-grade subinterval is a zone of off-scale radioactivity (greater than 15,000 counts per second on an SRAT SPP2 scintillometer) that averages 6.45 per cent U3O8 over 1.0 metre. This new zone of mineralization, named the Hurricane zone sits six kilometres along strike from Cameco's Larocque zone of mineralization where it has previously drilled 29.9 per cent U3O8 over 7.0 metres.
The setting for this high-grade intercept -- at and over the geological unconformity beneath the Athabasca sandstone -- and the nature of the target there has similarities to those found in the world's highest-grade deposits and largest mines including MacArthur River and Cigar Lake. The company has now defined a series of high-priority targets and areas that warrant testing at Hurricane and the company is presently working on preparation for a drill program to follow up these promising results.
The company continues to receive strong support from NexGen. NexGen has over $140-million in the bank and participated in IsoEnergy's last financing. NexGen owns 59 per cent of the company. In addition to this key shareholder, IsoEnergy counts Cameco Corp. which owns 7 per cent of the company and Orano Canada Inc. as significant shareholders.
What the company provides to these companies and all its shareholders is exposure to highly prospective projects, managed and explored by a team with a record of uranium exploration success. The company's access to deals, capital and its aggressive approach to acquisitions and exploration are what sets the company up as a major beneficiary of a return to strong uranium market conditions.
Qualified person statement
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release was prepared by Steve Blower, PGeo, IsoEnergy's vice-president, exploration, who is a qualified person (as defined in National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). Mr. Blower has verified the data disclosed.
This news release refers to properties other than those in which the company has an interest. Mineralization on those other properties is not necessarily indicative of mineralization on the company's properties.
As drill hole LE18-01A was drilled steeply at minus 70 degrees and the mineralization is interpreted to be horizontal, the true thickness is expected to be approximately 90 per cent of the cored intervals.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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