Maurice Jackson: Joining us for a conversation is Ross McElroy, the COO and chief geologist for Fission 3.0 Corp. (FUU:TSX.V; FISOF:OTC.MKTS), a uranium project generator and property bank.
Glad to have Fission 3.0 on the program. We brought you on today to discuss Fission 3.0's latest press release, focused on the Cree Bay property in the Athabasca. But before we begin, Mr. McElroy, please introduce us to Fission 3.0 and the opportunity you present to the market.
Ross McElroy: Fission 3.0 is essentially a grassroots uranium explorer, and we're focused primarily in Canada's Athabasca Basin, which people probably recognize as home of the world's highest-grade uranium deposits, and many consider to be the best jurisdiction in the world for mineral investment. We also consider Fission 3 as a project generator. We have 18 projects located in strategic uranium districts. Essentially, in our model as a project generator, we use our brains and other people's money to deliver positive results.
Maurice Jackson: If I may interject, we just completed an exclusive interview with Rick Rule of Sprott USA, and we encourage everyone to visit that discussion. In that interview, Mr. Rule referenced the deep value discounts Sprott USA sees both in uranium and project generators, of which Fission 3.0 merits both of those value propositions as one company.
Ross McElroy: Yeah. And we certainly agree with Rick Rule's comments. He's been a great supporter and a bold uranium person. His thesis makes a lot of sense, and it's why we're dedicated to doing what we do.
Maurice Jackson: Ross, take us to the northeast portion of the Athabasca Basin to the Cree Bay property, which is only one of 18 projects in the Fission 3.0 property bank. Your team just started a drill program there. Within the Cree Bay property, where are your target areas?
Ross McElroy: Our target on Cree Bay is along a major structural zone called the Virgin River shear zone. This is a big geological feature that cuts right across the Athabasca Basin from north to south. Athabasca-found uranium deposits are often associated with these major features, such as the Virgin River shear zone. And, in fact, along that shear zone there's the path-producing Nisto mine, which delivered high-grade uranium. And that old mine is located just seven kilometers along strike to the north of the Cree Bay project. So, we do know that this is a known feature that does produce high-grade uranium, and Cree Bay is situated right across the Virgin River shear zone.
Maurice Jackson: Now, based on your research and analysis, why did you select these three targets?
Ross McElroy: Being at or near the major Virgin River shear zone, we believe, is probably the most important targets to focus our effort along there. Fission 3.0 has done some detailed geophysics to fine-tune where we think the most prospective areas are along this trend. Therefore, we are drilling features that give localized geophysical signatures that are typical of alteration and fluid activity. These are features that are important for hosting high-grade uranium deposits. We have all those elements—big structural plane plus the localized nuances—that have the signatures of where deposits could be.
Maurice Jackson: How deep will Fission 3.0 be drilling?
Ross McElroy: This is a new area. We've not drilled in this area. The nearest holes are a few kilometers away. It's virgin territory for us, but we'll probably be testing about 400 to 600 meters depth in these holes. We expect to hit the unconformity at around 400 to 550 meters depth.
Allow me to briefly explain this unconformity. It's the interface between the overlying Athabasca sandstone and the underlying basement rocks. And a number of deposits in the Athabasca Basin are located right at that interface. So that's what we're targeting at depth. And, as I said, we expect, on this property, to hit it somewhere between 400 to 550 meters depth.
Maurice Jackson: How long will the drill program last, and when should we expect results?
Ross McElroy: We think the program [will] take anywhere between two to three weeks. We will be releasing drill results soon after the drilling is complete. We do test for radioactivity, which we can measure right away as we drill. We can send a probe down at the end of the hole plus we have hand instruments that measure radioactivity. If there's mineralization there, we'll know it right away. But we also test for geochemistry. In other words, we systematically sample the sandstone and the basin rock for geochemistry because if there's no mineralization directly near the hole, the geochemistry plume may help us vector into where a deposit might hiding. So we'll see anomalous chemistry and uranium, cobalt, moly, and boron to help us figure out where the deposit may be—both radioactivity and geochemistry.
Maurice Jackson: Looking at expenditures, how much capital will be allocated to this drill program?
Ross McElroy: Well, the Cree Bay drill program is budgeted at half a million dollars and that's Canadian. So, half a million, and as I said, about two to three weeks to do the program.
Maurice Jackson: And will Fission 3.0 revisit the Cree Bay property again this year?
Ross McElroy: This is our first pass at drilling on the property and, you know, we've just started the first hole. If we find mineralization, we'll absolutely be there testing follow-up. And if it's anomalous, and has the right signatures that tell us that this is a project that we want to focus on, we'll absolutely be back there. I think you can expect to see multiple drill programs on this project over the course of the near future.
Maurice Jackson: Ross, we focused our discussion today on the Cree Bay property, can you share if there's any work being conducted on the remaining 18 projects in the Fission 3.0 property bank?
Ross McElroy: We will be doing some work on our Hearty Bay property, and that's in the Beaverlodge, Uranium City area. Hearty Bay is north of the basin, more on the western side of the basin. Beaverlodge, Uranium City, is where uranium mining first kicked off in Saskatchewan. That's where the first mines were developed. In fact, in that area, there were about 52 operating mines back in the 1950s and 1960s. And so, we've got some key properties right in that area with known mineralization. Hearty Bay is one of them.
On Hearty Bay, we will be conducting a lake-bottom radiometric survey later this summer. That's somewhere where we can detect radioactivity on the lake bottom. That gives us a great tool! It's something that we developed and used at the PLS [Patterson Lake South] project to discover mineralization below the water surface.
Why is that important? Because lake coverage is about 40% of the land area up in northern Canada. So, you know, if you don't have a tool like that, you're excluding almost half of the area that you could be prospecting. For us, it allows us to prospect both on ground in the traditional ways, but also underneath lakes.
Fission 3.0 will also be back into the PLS area, down in the southwest side of the basin, near Fission Uranium Corp.'s (FCU:TSX; FCUUF:OTCQX; 2FU:FSE) PLS Project and NexGen Energy Ltd.'s (NXE:TSX; NXE:NYSE.MKT) Arrow Deposit. [This] is the home of some very exciting, large, high-grade uranium deposits that recently have been discovered and delineated. We hope to be drilling on our PLN [Patterson Lake North] project, and also do some more work at the Wales Lake. So we will focus on the properties that surround both to the north and to the south of Fission Uranium's PLS Project.
Maurice Jackson: Busy summer for Fission 3.0. Mr. McElroy, we have discussed the Fission 3.0 property bank, but I think sometimes speculators forget the property bank extends down to Peru. Let's visit Peru, and share the potential that is before us there.
Ross McElroy: The Macusani project, which is in southern Peru, was the first project to actually be part of the Fission 3.0 portfolio. We've had it since the mid-'90s. The Macusani Plateau, the geologic feature, is not only famous for the numerous near-surface uranium deposits, but now high-grade lithium has been discovered and drilled up in that area. We have brought in a partner that'll option into our Macusani Project by spending several million dollars over the next few years, and primarily looking for lithium on that project. The project has both uranium potential and high-grade lithium.
Our work is in the planning stages at this point, but it's truly interesting part of the world. Not only does Macusani have the potential for near-surface uranium deposits, but the high-grade lithium is a real sweetener in the area. So, we want to be busy down there as well.
Maurice Jackson: Switching gears, let's get into some numbers. Please update us on the Fission 3.0 capital structure.
Ross McElroy: Based on February's numbers, Fission 3.0 has a market cap of about 16.3 million dollars. We currently have $5.5 million in the treasury. We trade about 240,000 shares a day. We have 142 million shares outstanding and 227 million fully diluted shares. I think the important thing people want to take away from that is that Fission 3.0 has a significant amount of capital in the treasury. That allows us to do what we do best, which is to explore on our properties and hopefully make discoveries.
Maurice Jackson: Multilayered question: What is the next unanswered question for Fission 3.0, when can we expect response, and what determines success?
Ross McElroy: I believe that people appreciate the team and the management that has delivered spectacular results in the past. We have a track record of discovery, we've been able to grow deposits and develop strategic business arrangements through direct sales of our projects or bringing in strategic partners to help invest on these. People invest in us with the belief that we'll repeat this process. As I mentioned earlier, we're very well financed, and we have the properties and the team to be successful. Success for me is making discoveries.
Maurice Jackson: Sir, what keeps you up at night that we don't know about?
Ross McElroy: I'll just say the uranium sector as a whole is probably the thing that keeps us up at night the most. None of us have been particularly very good about predicting the near-term health of the sector. The price of the commodity is presently low—it has been climbing, but it's low. I think, more importantly, is we know that the demand is strong and growing. There are more reactors operating now and being built than in any time in history. Certainly, you know, Fukushima was a major event several years ago, but we're well beyond that, and there's more build-outs happening now than in any other time. Fission 3.0 is confident in the successful rebound in the sector, and we believe it'll be sooner rather than later. But that's probably the biggest concerns, you know, that we have and is something that's really out of our control.
Maurice Jackson: Ross, last question. What did I forget to ask?
Ross McElroy: I don't know about questions, but maybe the last statement I would make here is that I think investors need to have faith in the nuclear sector. Rick Rule has publicly said that the highest returns he's made in investing in the natural resource sector have been his investments in uranium companies during the last cycle boom in 2004 to 2008. I think the note to investors and potential investors is that you need to be positioned in your favorite companies before the turn in the sector. Often we recognize that the spectacular gains to share prices happen very quickly and without warning.
We're excited about the future of the uranium sector. It's had an interesting past, and I think with the global demand and growth, it's really time to look at your position in uranium stocks.
Maurice Jackson: True words of wisdom. Mr. McElroy, if someone listening wants to get more information about Fission 3.0, please share the website address.
Ross McElroy: www.fission3corp.com.
Maurice Jackson: For direct inquiries, please email fission3corp.com, or you may call (778) 484-8030. Fission 3.0 trades on the TSX.V:FUU and on the OTC:FISOF. For our audience, we have been proud shareholders of Fission 3.0 over three years.
And last but not least, please visit provenandprobable.com for mining insights and bullion sales.
Maurice Jackson is the founder of Proven and Probable, a site that aims to enrich its subscribers through education in precious metals and junior mining companies that will enrich the world.[NLINSERT]
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