Skyharbour Resources (TSX-V: SYH) CEO Jordan Trimble on $8 Million Deal with AREVA at Preston Uranium Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is Skyharbour (TSX-V: SYH) (OTC: SYHBF) President and CEO, Mr. Jordan Trimble. Jordan, thanks for coming on again.
Jordan Trimble: Thanks for having me again.
Gerardo Del Real: The last couple of times we spoke we talked about drilling commencing, and we also talked about the option on the Preston Uranium Project. What was a mystery at the time was who that partner was, and we now have news, and we now know, so could you share the details on that? It's pretty exciting stuff.
Jordan Trimble: Absolutely. As you know, we did sign a binding term sheet back in December, disclosing the terms of the deal. It's a significant deal for a small cap company like a Skyharbour. $8 million earn-in for, as we now know with the news out today, AREVA, over a six year period. Most of that being in exploration and drilling, 7.3 million committed to exploration to earn-in that 70%, and then 700,000 in cash payments. This is at our Preston Project over in the west side of the basin, by Fission and NexGen. And, obviously, some news out this week with NexGen's new resource estimate, so things continue to heat up in that part of the basin.
This is a strategic partnership for us. AREVA is a very large company, one of the largest producers of uranium globally, they employ thousands of people around the world. They've been around for many, many decades, are headquartered in Paris, France, as we know, but have operations all around the world. We've been working on this deal for some time now. It took a little while to get everything finalized, but very excited to finally have the news out on who it is.
We couldn't be happier having an industry leader in our space coming in on a project that we believe there is still a lot of upside potential, but we just, as you know, as a smaller company have limited financial resources to go and explore it. So they'll be covering that, they'll be funding the exploration. We get some cash payments as well, which we can now use to subsidize and pay for some of the drilling at our flagship Moore Lake project.
Like I said, 7.3 million exploration, 700,000 in cash payments over a six year period. They can also exercise an option initially to earn a 51% stake by spending 3 million. So it's an excellent deal. I encourage anyone to go to our website and take a look for the full details on the news release.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now you know what I found interesting in the news release? I understand that the Preston Uranium Project, the entire project consists of a little over 121,000 hectares. This portion of it, AREVA's portion that they can earn-in to the 70%, totals just shy of 50,000 hectares, so Skyharbour and Clean Commodities actually retains 100% ownership of the balance of that land package. Is that accurate?
Jordan Trimble: That's a key point as well. The project is a very large property, it covers about 121,000 hectares. They are going to be earning in to just a portion of that, as you said, about just under 50,000 hectares of the 121,000 hectares, so we will maintain our interest in those surrounding claims. We will also maintain a minority interest in the core 50,000 hectares that AREVA will be earning in to.
That's important because, as the prospect generator model goes, you still want to have some upside exposure if a discovery is made. Well, 7.3 million in exploration is a lot of work. We are confident that with that kind of investment in the project, into exploration and drilling, that there very well could yield a discovery at that project, and we will benefit from that with our minority interest in the core area, as well as our interest in the periphery claims as well.
Now something else that could pop up, and I think will likely pop up, are additional deals being done on those periphery claims. Right? So we can now look to bring in other partner companies, if we want, to come in and earn-in on those periphery claims. Again, them spending the exploration dollars, we get some cash and stock payments, that can help pay for exploration at our other properties. I think with AREVA's name, the stamp of approval that that puts on the project, I think you'll see other companies taking an interest to some of these surrounding claims as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. We talked last time about the ongoing drilling program right now. How is that coming along, Jordan?
Jordan Trimble: Very well. We saw, last week, we had our first five holes announced, including the first hole, which intersected a 1.5 meter zone of 21% U308 was the final geochemical result, so excellent high grade mineralization early on in the program. The discovery of a new high grade lens in the fourth hole, which had just over 2% radiometric equivalent grades, still waiting for the final geochem assays, but just over 2% eU308 over about 6.5 meters in a new zone.
The Moore Lake project, as you know, is our flagship. That's where you'll see a lot of news flow and drilling news coming out over the coming months. We bumped up the program from 3,500 to 4,500 meters. We're just over half way through that, and we're very, very impressed with what we're seeing thus far. We're going back into zones that we had some smoke at, but an anomalous mineralization we're finding with the re-analysis, in particular, of the geochem from the historical drilling, we're having a lot of success, and adding to the known high-grade mineralization there.
So we've done some bigger step-outs as well, again, results forthcoming. But this project is really, I think, the key to unlocking the big upside potential for the company. And now, with some of these other deals that we're doing, using that prospect generator model, we are able to, again, help fund the core drilling at the main drilling at the Moore Lake project going forward, without having to dilute and raise a lot of capital through equity issuance in the market.
So, very happy with what we're seeing, that drilling will continue, news flow will continue. We're already looking forward to a summer drill program, given the results that we saw early on in the first few holes. It has prompted us to start planning a summer drill program. So again, you'll see lots of news flow and catalyst for the company coming up, with that drilling, over the course of the remainder of the year.
But you also now will see news flow once AREVA starts working the Preston Project over on the west. Any of the exploration and drill programs that they carry out, obviously, we'll benefit from the news flow from that as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. So an exploration company that's actually exploring. Jordan, I love it.
Jordan Trimble: Exactly right.
Gerardo Del Real: Now listen, you just got back from PDAC. How was the sentiment there? I understand you had a lot of conversations, and spoke with a lot of analysts regarding the uranium space. What was the feeling?
Jordan Trimble: The uranium sector, as we talked about, I really do believe has seen a trend reversal. There was renewed optimism at this PDAC, certainly compared to last year, when we were really at the bottom of the market, the whole mining market. Uranium, in particular, there was certainly a buzz. You know, again, when we're looking at the commodity right now, we're still trading at $25 a pound uranium, well below the global average all in cost of production, and well, well below the price needed to incentivize new mine supply to come online globally. I think the market now, and this is what I saw at PDAC, is starting to wake up to that.
Now speaking with a number of the analysts that cover uranium, in particular in Toronto, one of the interesting things that I'm hearing is that this initial move up, leg up, that we've seen with the commodity, and certainly with the equities, a lot of it's actually been driven by retail buying, not necessarily institutional buying, which is very, very interesting. What that indicates to me is that there's still a lot of capital and institutional money on the sidelines that's now, uranium's back on the radar screen, but the capital hasn't been deployed yet.
That could very well drive the next leg up. If we see additional catalyst, whether it be macro news, supply cutbacks or disruptions, or the price, obviously, the commodity increasing, and you see now institutional money coming in in a meaningful way, that will drive the very few equities in companies that are left in this sector, that'll drive their share prices much higher.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Jordan, anything you'd like to add?
Jordan Trimble: No, I think that covers it all. As I mentioned, big news today. Obviously partnering up with an industry leader like AREVA, big stamp of approval on that project. Lots of news flow coming out from Moore Lake over the next 12 months. And again, I think with the macro picture really starting to shape up well for uranium, I think we could see a lot of upside with the $25 uranium price. I see it going much higher over the coming years.
You've got a new contracting cycle that we know, in the next five or six years, you have 80% of the current contracts supplying nuclear reactors expiring. You have significant new growth in nuclear reactors globally, in places like China and India. And they are moving forward with that, they're expediting that, so we will see these reactors come online. And we just do not have the supply that we need, ultimately, to meet that growing demand. So it's exciting times, it's still early days, and I think that covers everything.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. You mentioned it's still early days. Can you remind everybody, because you have a lot of news flow coming up, can you remind everybody where the market cap stands right now? Because it's still tiny.
Jordan Trimble: Absolutely. Look, we're still a sub-30 million Canadian market cap, so just hovering around that 20 million US market cap. And that's an important point, because if you look at valuations in previous good uranium markets, I mean, they're trading at multiples. Right? An equivalent company, a good example, is JNR, which was my head geologist’s company.
And it's a good comparison because two of their main projects, Moore Lake and Falcon Point, which we now, we have 100% of Falcon Point in there earning in, 100% of Moore Lake. Well those two projects, and I'll note just 25% of Moore Lake, JNR only had owned 25% of Moore Lake, was the basis for a $400 million market cap valuation for JNR back in 2006, 2007, mind you in a much better uranium market, but that just shows you what these kinds of cycles generate. Right?
We've gone through a real tough bear market over a number of years now. I think we've seen the bottoming, we're starting to see the tide rise a little bit. There was a big flushing out, you just do not have a lot of uranium companies that will survive, certainly not small cap exploration companies. And so what will happen, again, when you see this money flow back in and wanting to get exposure to the sector and to the commodity, there's really only one way to play it, and that's through buying the mining stocks. Again, there's only so much to go around, given that most of the companies that were present 10 years ago are no longer around, or are doing something else.
So at a 25, 30 million market cap, there's still a lot of upside potential to be realized, and what we're looking to do is to create that new value through the drilling at Moore Lake, and through additional deals being done on some of our other projects, the prospect generator model.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Jordan, I want to thank you so much. I encourage everybody to go to the website, skyharbourltd.com. Skyharbour Resources President and CEO, Mr. Jordan Trimble, thank you again.
Jordan Trimble: Thank you.