UEX Corporation announced on 22 April that it had signed a definitive purchase agreement with Overseas Uranium Resources Development Co Ltd (OURD) to acquire 100% ownership of OURD’s wholly-owned subsidiary, JCU (Canada) Exploration Company, Limited (JCU). OURD is a private Japanese company with 29 shareholders comprised of some of the major companies in Japan.
JCU has a long history in the Canadian uranium exploration and development sector dating back to 2000, when it acquired a portfolio of Canadian uranium exploration and development assets from PNC Exploration (Canada) Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC). JCU’s key exploration projects cover an area of 139,346 ha and include a 10% ownership position in the Wheeler River Project (Denison Mines Corp 90%), a 30.099% ownership stake in Cameco Corporation’s Millennium Project (Cameco 69.901%), a 33.8123% ownership in the Kiggavik Project (Orano Canada 66.1877%), and a 34.4508% interest in UEX’s Christie Lake Project. JCU also owns a minority equity stake in eight other grassroots and mid-stage exploration projects within the Athabasca Basin.
The combination of UEX and JCU will create a compelling mid-size uranium development company with exposure to near-term uranium production with a solid pipeline of advanced resource and mid-stage exploration projects, UEX said.
By acquiring JCU’s mineral property portfolio comprising an indicated historic resource of approximately 79 million lbs of U3O8, and an inferred historic resource of approximately 18mn lbs of U3O8, the combined companies will make UEX the second largest junior uranium resource owner in Canada. UEX said these are historic resource estimates and sufficient work has not done to be able to classify them as current mineral resources.
“The combination of JCU and UEX will be transformational, forming a unique Canadian focused uranium development and exploration company, said UEX President & CEO Roger Lemaitre. The resulting portfolio will have a significant resource base, and ownership interests in two Tier 1 Athabasca uranium development projects, Wheeler River and Millennium, both of which have production visibility within the next uranium upswing. Shea Creek, Kiggavik, Horseshoe-Raven and Christie Lake will provide the Company with a range of solid future development projects and UEX shareholders will continue to have exposure to resource growth through our portfolio of mid-stage and resource exploration projects.”