The Athabasca Basin in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada supplies just over 19% of the world’s uranium. It’s also the leading district for high grade uranium with an average grade ten times above that found elsewhere in the world. Three of the majors have a presence there and in 2011 Rio Tinto spent $654 million taking over Hathor just to get a toehold in the Basin. Yes, the Basin is that important.
It’s also home to PLN the highly prospective property that we have recently become a part of via a joint with Fission Uranium. Apart from incredible grades, what else makes the Athabasca the place to be?
Government: The government of Canada and the provincial Saskatchewan government are pro-mining. When it comes to long-term, successful mining activity you cannot put a high enough value on a stable government mining-friendly political attitude. With support at a local, provincial and national level there are low political and permitting risks.
Infrastructure: The region has a 40+ year history of unconformity uranium discoveries and has benefited from massive infrastructure investment over the years. There are several high-capacity mills including some just a few KMs from the airport and provincial highway.
There is also a highly experienced workforce that includes third generation professional miners. Having access to the right skillsets helps to lower discovery and production costs.
As a junior, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you’re exploring where the majors want to be. With its huge grades, government and community support and well-developed infrastructure, if you’re looking for uranium then the Athabasca Basin is the best place to be.
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Ted O’Connor, Azincourt Uranium CEO