Track Record of Mine Discoveries
by: Sunjay Mathuria
A Canadian-based energy company specializing in uranium projects, Forum Uranium Corp. has reason to look forward to 2013. President, CEO and Director Rick Mazur explains: “The market is poised for a major comeback. The supply/demand situation is ready to see an uptake in prices for a number of reasons.” While the tsunami in Japan dampened the uranium market for the past two years, Japanese reactors are beginning to come back on line, which is bringing the demand up to historical levels.
A black and white metallic chemical that is 70% denser than lead, uranium is primarily needed for nuclear reactor stations to produce nuclear energy. An emerging use is for nuclear medicine, which is used for the treatment of many illnesses such as cancer. Chinese and Indian demands for nuclear power grow everyday, keeping the world’s major uranium suppliers, Kazakhstan, Australia and Canada on their toes.
Enter: Forum Uranium. With strategic land claims in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan and the Thelon Basin in Nunavut, Forum Uranium has “assembled a highly experienced team of exploration professionals with a track record of mine discoveries for unconformity-style uranium deposits in Canada.”
Forum really got going in 2005 once they acquired a land position in the Athabasca region very early on in the uranium cycle.
“We’ve been in the business for about 9 years and we’re fully committed to successful exploration with the property positions we’ve built up over the past few years,” says Mazur.
Mazur himself has worked in the Canadian uranium business since the 1970’s and chose the Athabasca Basin because it is “the best place to look for uranium in the world.”
“This is my opinion because the quality of the deposits is quite high, so we have been exploring for quite some time and basically brought all of our projects up to a stage where they are all at the drill stage,” explains Mazur. In particular, they’ve been making great strides in the Athabasca Basin, as they have just completed a drill program in their northwest Athabasca joint venture. As the operator of the joint venture, Forum entered into an option agreement with Cameco Corporation, where Forum and Nexgen Ltd. jointly earn 60% interest in the 98-square kilometer project, which includes the historical 1.5 million pound Maurice Bay uranium deposit. Forum just announced they have hit “off scale” at zone A, and 40 metres of radioactivity at Otis. The next project to be undertaken in the Athabasca for Forum is the Clearwater project which is adjacent and on trend of the new Fission and Alpha discovery.
Another one of Forum’s hidden gems is a strategic land position on the Thelon Basin. “We’ve been exploring there since 2006 when we acquired our claims in the vicinity of the Kiggavik mine development project, which is being developed by Areva (a large French nuclear corporation),” says Mazur. Areva has completed a feasibility study and they are now permitting for a 8 million pound per year uranium mine and they are currently going through an environment review process with the Nunavut government that should be finalized by the end of this year. The advantage for Forum is that they have a very strategic land position adjacent to Aveda’s mine development project. “The proposed road through the Kiggavik project runs right through our property,” says Mazur. He explains that Forum is in good company and that once Areva makes a decision to put the Kiggavik project into production, people will recognize the quality of the land position that Forum has around that mining development.
“I think it’s a huge catalyst. This is the kind of sleeper asset that we have that has underlying value to the company,” says Mazur.
Forum stands out from other mining companies in many ways. Their strategies alone set them apart.
“Our express business model from the start of the company was the search for shallow deposits. That is an important criteria that we adhere to. The second part of our strategy was to acquire a strong management team and technical management,” says Mazur. For example, the VP of exploration and the chief geologist have worked in the Athabasca Basin for the entireties of their careers. Between the two, they’ve discovered over 300 million pounds of uranium.
“We have a top technical team and probably have as many experts in the field of uranium exploration as any other major uranium mining company in the Athabasca Basin,” says Mazur.
“We feel like we have our own skill set to achieve our goals,” Mazur goes on. “Obviously, a strategy for us has been to partner with good partners, to minimize the risk of exploration but we have always had a strategy retained operatorship of our projects, so that’s actually a key element of our business strategy.”
The next few years for Forum Uranium look promising, especially as interest in the uranium field picks up again. Mazur says he hopes Forum will continue to make economic mineral discoveries of uranium deposits in the coming years. “As the uranium market picks up, I believe we’re going to be seeing a strength in the uranium market later this year, and we’re going to see more investor interest in the uranium sector into 2014. I think that will create an opportunity for Forum to advance its exploration projects further with the view to making a significant uranium discovery,” he says.