Worldwide efforts to achieve net-zero goals are ongoing, and many nations are beginning to recognize the critical role nuclear energy plays in this race. One of the cleanest forms of power generation is nuclear energy because it doesn’t cause carbon emissions or climate change. In fact, the International Energy Agency estimates that the nuclear sector will need to double in size over the next two decades in order to achieve the global net-zero emissions goals (IEA). In fact, the demand for new, optimized nuclear reactors will require more than $1 trillion in global investment.
Add to that the energy crisis taking place in Europe and it’s easy to see why interest in uranium is gaining momentum. Several countries are already making changes to their nuclear energy policies to extend the life of power plants, creating a potential boom for the uranium market.
The US government approved a $700 million package to support its nuclear energy industry, while several European countries have announced plans to extend the life of power plants and expand fleets. At the same time, Japanese support for a nuclear restart is now over 60%, the highest it’s been since the 2011 Fukushima incident.
The nuclear resurgence is great news for the uranium market, which is finally pulling out of a 10-year downturn that led to mine shutdowns, delays in development projects and bankruptcy for many exploration companies. A significant decline in current global stockpiles, lack of production in the near future, and the possibility of a supply shortage means utility companies around the world are scrambling to secure supply to meet their energy goals. This scramble has been all the more intense because financial players have been aggressively acquiring the bulk of product available on the spot market.
Uranium prices are now rising and some mine restarts have been announced to meet demand but new production will be needed to cover the steady, long term growth forecast by analysts like UxC. In addition, the Ukraine conflict means nuclear fuel buyers are wary of major suppliers such as Russia and its neighbor, Kazakhstan. . As a result, uranium projects in countries like Canada could play an essential role in the nuclear resurgence.
Canada is the second-largest producer of uranium on the planet, accounting for roughly 13% of total global output, and has the world’s richest uranium deposits.
However, uranium projects take a long time to move from discovery to production, which means that among the uranium companies active in Canada, only a few are advanced enough to enter production this cycle. These few are well positioned to take advantage of the uptick in uranium and they include Fission Uranium Corp. (TSX:FCU) (OTCQX:FCUUF), a uranium development company advancing the high-grade, near-surface Triple R uranium deposit in Canada’s Athabasca Basin towards production.
The Right Project in the Right Place at the Right Time
During the uranium downturn, while many other uranium companies were struggling to survive, Fission Uranium Corp. (TSX:FCU) (OTCQX:FCUUF) was able to raise the money it need to maintain progress at its multiple-award-winning Patterson Lake South (PLS) uranium property. PLS hosts the only major, high-grade deposit in the area found at shallow depth, which is part of the largest mineralized trend in the entire region.
Fission Uranium is currently approaching the completion of its feasibility study. The results are highly anticipated because the company’s in-depth, pre-feasibility study indicated the potential for some of the world’s lowest operating costs in the uranium mining sector.
In September of this year, Fission Uranium announced that it had increased its total indicated tonnes by 21.3% to 2.69 Mt at an average grade of 1.94% totaling 114.9 Mlb U3O8, as well as updated its Inferred resource to 0.64 Mt at an average grade of 1.10% U3O8 totaling 15.4 Mlb. The new, larger resource at PLS was mainly due to successful infill drilling programs from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to further improve the economics being examined by the Feasibility Study, which is currently underway and expected to be completed by early 2023.
Fission Uranium recently announced assay results from the summer 2021 metallurgical and geotechnical test work drilling on the R840W zone at PLS. Three geotechnical holes and four metallurgical holes were dug as part of the field work for Phase 1 of the feasibility study. Assays show that all seven holes hit wide intervals of mineralization, and six of the holes hit strong high-grade intervals. Hole PLS21-MET-004 (line 615W) is the most notable, hitting a continuous interval that was 34.0m long with a grade of 19.12% U3O8, including 26.0m at 24.59% U3O8. With a total composite grade x thickness value of 650.7, this hole is one of the strongest ones drilled at the PLS project so far.
“These assays are a reminder of the incredible strength of mineralization we have here at PLS – with numbers that place the Triple R in an elite group of deposits worldwide,” said Fission Uraniun’s President and CEO Ross McElroy. “We have now received all outstanding drill assay results from holes drilled as part of our feasibility study (FS), which remains on track for completion at the end of 2022 to early 2023.”
For more information on Fission Uranium Corp. (TSX:FCU) (OTCQX:FCUUF) and its projects, please visit this link.
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