Fission 3.0 (TSX-V: FUU) Chief Geologist Ross McElroy: “We Have the Money and the Team to Get Busy and Make New Discoveries”
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is COO and Chief Geologist for Fission 3.0 (TSX-V: FUU)(OTC: FISOF), Mr. Ross McElroy. Ross, how are ya?
Ross McElroy: Doing well, Gerardo. Thank you very much.
Gerardo Del Real: It's been a bit since we caught up on Fission 3.0. There's been several behind the scenes changes share structure wise, financing wise that really positioned the company well moving forward. I want to start there and then I want to talk about the news release from earlier this morning. You found some smoke, not quite fire, but one usually leads to the other and you got a pretty good track record of getting to the fire. So let's start with just a brief corporate overview of Fission 3.0 for those not familiar or those that need to get caught up.
Ross McElroy: Sure, yeah. We're very happy that in 2018 we were able to raise a significant amount of money in Fission 3. In fact, we raised around $8 million and so that's really energized us. In the meantime, we'd already built a pretty impressive portfolio of properties. So really the only ingredient missing in this equation was some money. So now that we're financed, we've got the technical team, we've got a great portfolio of properties, and so we're ready to go to work and we've already started that.
We began back in December doing a little bit of work on a property called Wales around the PLS area. Recently, as you just mentioned, we completed our work up at PLN for the winter and we're moving on to the Key Lake area. So we're going to be busy throughout the year now that we're well financed. Fission 3 will be quite busy throughout this entire 2019 and I think that for me, that's where we want to be, particularly now that the uranium market's starting to look a lot better. People are interested in exploration companies and I think we've got some of the best properties out there.
Gerardo Del Real: Can you talk a bit about that extensive portfolio and the work that it took to put that together? Because it's not like it's a better uranium market and now all of a sudden you went out and staked a bunch of projects. These are projects that you've vetted and are there for a reason.
Ross McElroy: Yeah. Really the uranium sector's been in the doldrums for several years and I think we're starting to come out of it, which is where we want to be. But when it was really quite quiet, we were assembling a package of properties in and around the Athabasca Basin. There was very little competition at that time. There were very, very few players and even the players that are there, the Camecos, the Oranos, some of the bigger players, they were going the opposite way. They were letting land lapse, but we were in a position where we were starting from very few properties in Fission 3. So we were able to assemble a nice package and we assembled them quite inexpensively because we did our own staking. So these are not ground that we optioned from anybody, but stuff that we've had our eye on for a while and been able to put together.
One of the common themes in the Fission 3 Athabasca properties is that we're always focused on shallow uranium mineralization, which means that a number of the properties are around the edge of the Athabasca Basin. Some are within the basin, some are just outside it. But they're all relatively shallow deposits because it's my firm belief, and I think it's proven by the history there, that the shallow deposits are the first to be mined in any district. There are deeper deposits out there, but they're more expensive to look for and the chance of putting them into production is unlikely the deeper they are.
So we think the potential is there for shallow. We built a good package in order to be able to explore and make that discovery, and we've kept the same technical team that's let us do two major discoveries over the last several years and this is the group that I think will propel us forward. I think we're hitting on all cylinders here.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. First thing's first. 9 holes at Key Lake South, I believe, later this month. Is that correct?
Ross McElroy: Yeah. In fact, if it goes to plan we should be able to start drilling hopefully by this weekend, certainly by early next week. So we're looking at 9 holes. The Key Lake area's pretty important. I mean, Key Lake was pretty much the first deposit found in the Athabasca Basin that really kicked off the discovery and the search for more high-grade mineralization. So Key Lake was one of the first ones that was a big deposit, around 200 million pounds at close to 2%. It was open pit.
It was right on the edge of the basin, but the basement rocks that control why that deposit is there in the first place, continues in a north-south linear package called the Key Lake Shear Zone and that package runs down through our properties that we've assembled in what we call the Key Lake South Project. So there's a Karpinka and Hobo. We have over 50 kilometers of that respective structural corridor on those properties and that's where we intend to put the 9 holes in. Hopefully make a discovery south of Key Lake.
For me, the analogy is not too dissimilar to what we had at PLS. We're outside of the basin margin, we're looking for basement-hosted shallow mineralization. That's the setting that led to success at PLS and that's the same setting that we have over in the Key Lake side, and that's where we'll be starting to grow by say next week.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. How's the share structure and cash position in light of the restructuring here in 2018?
Ross McElroy: Well, we're doing well. We did the consolidation back in 2018 to bring the number of shares down, but I think importantly was the financing that brought us in $8 million in 2018. There was certainly a lot of appetite to put money into Fission 3, a lot of belief in this management team and the technical team in order to put that work to use. We're doing well. I think we have over $7 million in the bank right now in the treasury and we've already done a little bit of work so far this winter.
We're going to continue working. Key Lake is the next step. We'll have other work that we do throughout the winter here in 2019 and we'll also be quite busy in the summer months as well. So it'll be, I think, a busy year for Fission 3 and with the improvement in the uranium market, I think we're going to be in the right place at the right time.
Gerardo Del Real: I got to believe that with the quality of properties in the portfolio and the fact that it looks like uranium, frankly, has to go higher and we're going to get a better market this year, I got to believe that your phone's likely ringing for potential joint ventures. Are you open to that?
Ross McElroy: We are. In fact, that's often been one of our preferred ways to advance projects is to have joint venture partnerships. It's desirable to be able to share the risk, bring in other people's money, put that to work, use our brains to stake the ground, use other people's money to advance the work. That's been a model that's worked for us well in the past.
It's certainly something that we are very open to and I think in a market where the uranium market's improving, there's probably more potential people to partner in on this ground then say there was a year or two ago. So I think those opportunities should show themselves to be more present in 2019. We also have the money to be able to go it alone and advance projects, too. But we're very much open to partnership arrangements as they become available.
Gerardo Del Real: Flexibility is good. Ross, thank you so much for the thorough update. I appreciate it.
Ross McElroy: Yeah. Thank you very much, Gerardo. We're very pleased and we like the way things are happening right now. I'm really quite encouraged with the uranium market. I think we are in a turnaround. I think 2019 will certainly be a lot better than the last couple of years and hopefully this trend continues to improve. We've got the money and the team to get busy and make new discoveries.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. Chat soon. Thanks, Ross.
Ross McElroy: Thank you very much.