Blue Sky Uranium (TSX-V: BSK) CEO Niko Cacos on Continued Expansion of the Distract Scale Amarillo Grande Uranium-Vanadium Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is President and CEO of Blue Sky Uranium (TSX-V: BSK)(OTC: BKUCF), Mr. Niko Cacos. Niko, how are you?
Niko Cacos: I'm well, Gerardo. Pleased to be back on your show with you again.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you for the opportunity. The last time that we spoke we talked about the district scale land package and potential of the Amarillo Grande Uranium-Vanadium Project in Argentina. You recently had news just two days ago showing the expansion of the Ivana discovery and I really would like for you to provide some context as to the scale of the land package. There's a reason why majors were interested in the past and explored it. I've heard whispers of them making phone calls and sniffing around once again. What do you think is intriguing them and what is it that you like so much about this massive land package that you've been able to put together?
Niko Cacos: Well I think from the very beginning when we got involved into looking at uranium, we recognized that the potential in southern Argentina, in Patagonia for enormous district wide discovery. What that means is to have multiple discoveries over a large area and our land package is 140 kilometers and 50 kilometers wide. It encompasses an enormous zone and we've focused on evaluating that land and have made significant discoveries.
The most significant one right now is at the Ivana where we're getting nice high-grade uranium over very significant widths. It seems to be going on over kilometers and kilometers. Initially, we thought it was a two-kilometer-long zone, now it seems to be with the latest news that we've put out, we've extended it up to four-kilometers-long and it looks like it still has extension potential.
This is exactly the kind of deposit that's going to attract large multinationals like AREVA and so forth.
Gerardo Del Real: I couldn't agree more. Now this phase two program, if I'm not mistaken, consists of RC drilling. Is that correct, Niko?
Niko Cacos: That's correct, yes. Our focus has been to test the extension of the size of this deposit and then right now we're getting ready to go back in there and do infill drilling and to put a resource calculation on this, which we hope to have available in the first quarter of 2018.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. I imagine that you're also undertaking metallurgical test work, which of course is important, right? It doesn't matter if you can get the uranium out if you can't recover it.
Niko Cacos: No, absolutely. Metallurgical test work is currently underway and as we get results back we will be making them available for our investors.
Gerardo Del Real: Great, great. Now obviously uranium is in a tough market right now. I've been pretty consistent in saying for the past two years that I didn't believe it was ready for a turn around. I actually believe 2018 is going to present several catalysts that will put uranium back in the spotlight. But a market that's important for Blue Sky Uranium and that is surging right now is the vanadium market. Can you explain the importance of that? The strategic importance for Blue Sky and for yourself with the project?
Niko Cacos: Well you're right. Uranium is in a difficult market, but there are three things that go with that statement that you made. Number one, the uranium deposit, these sandstone type deposits that we're looking at in Argentina are very similar to other deposits in Africa and in Australia that make money now. We're looking at deposits that potentially are economic even in this environment and what we've been finding is that the uranium that we're uncovering in Argentina also occurs with vanadium.
At Ivana we seem to have a one-to-one ratio of uranium to vanadium and in other areas, like Anit, there seems to be up to a four-to-one ratio of vanadium to uranium and what's significant about that is we've known this for some time but in the past, price of vanadium has been around two to three dollars a pound. It's been a nice contributor to the potential economics, but nothing of primary importance. Now we've seen that price surge in the last while up to $12 dollars and this is causing us to have a relook at some of these drilling that we've done in the past and to classify some of these zones as vanadium rich deposits with credits of uranium.
The reason for the rise of vanadium is that it’s used in battery metals. It's one of these battery metals and it's also being use as a steel hardener and China has recently mandated that all its steel factories increase the amount of vanadium in it to make its steel harder. This is causing a scramble internationally to source vanadium. It's difficult to find, but we're fortunate enough to have it occurring here and this is another area that we're currently investigating and we hope to have an announcement soon that highlights the occurrence of significant vanadium in our land package.
Gerardo Del Real: Niko, with the district scale land package that you have and the market cap which is tiny relative to the upside. I believe right now it's currently approximately sub-$10 million dollars Canadian. I've got to believe that there has to be some consideration given to possibly joint venturing a part of this, again, district scale massive land package. Is that something that the board or yourself has considered?
Niko Cacos: That's something that we keep in the back of our mind as an option. I think our primary goal right now is to get out there, identify a resource calculation for Ivana, highlight and indicate the amount of vanadium there is at both Ivana and now in the Anit, and then do an economic assessment study. I think by being able to demonstrate that this deposit can be economic even in this current environment, I think that will be very important to A) translate the interest into the investment market and B) be able to attract more readily sophisticated uranium conglomerates like AREVA and Cameco and so forth.
Gerardo Del Real: Great, now the Grasso Group obviously is known for pioneering mining in Argentina. Can you speak a bit about the land package and when it was staked, because you literally had the pick of the litter.
Niko Cacos: We had the pick of the litter is absolutely correct. We acquired this land package back in 2006 at a time when in the province of Rio Negro in southern Argentina where there was no mining. In fact, the government was completely against any kind of mining at that time. After having a discussion with the government, we struck a strategic alliance with the government and showed that with respect for the government, respect for the local, any impacted community, that we can work together. We've done that and that's when we acquired this land package when there was nobody else there so we did have the first movers advantage. Now we're beginning to reap some of the fruits of our labor. We're very excited with our latest news release and the next few news releases I think are going to highlight in a more advanced way as to how big and significant this discovery is.
Gerardo Del Real: Well hopefully you'll come back on and share those details as they become available, Niko. I want to thank you very much for your time today and again, open door policy for you. I'm looking forward to the news.
Niko Cacos: Well thank you. A please be to be talking with you.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks again.
Niko Cacos: Thank you.