Strateco Edges Closer to Uranium Production
By Claire O'Connor and James West
Friday, April 9, 2010Strateco Resources Inc. (TSX:RSC) is on the brink of realizing their Uranium licensing dreams. Having spent the last 2 years in the licensing process, the company expects to attain what will be the first Uranium production license issued in Canada in 25 years, by summer 2010 from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
The company’s main focus at the moment is The Matoush Uranium Project, as CEO Guy Hebert explains; “We’re really focused on one project, it’s called the Matoush project. It’s a uranium project located in Quebec, and we consider it the most advanced exploration project in Canada.”
The Matoush Project
The company's 100% owned Matoush Project is the focus of a continuing 60,000 metre drill program designed to meet the company's target of minimum 40 million pounds of Uranium Oxide resources before going into production by the end of 2013 they anticipate.
Located 275 kilometres north of Chibougamau in the Otish Mountains, Matoush is considered one of the highest-grade uranium projects in the world. The project consists of the Matoush, Matoush Extension, Eclat and Pacific Bay properties and extends over 23 km on its north-south axis. It presently covers 590 claims for a total area of 31,213 hectares.
The property is accessible by air and in winter by the Eastmain winter road, which runs about seven kilometres west of the property. In total, 175,000 metres (415 drillholes) were drilled on the Matoush Project since the beginning of exploration in 2006. The drillholes realized to date, clearly demonstrate the high grade potential of this sector.
Matoush Resources – Past and Present
The most recent corroboration of these high grade claims was in an updated NI 43- 101 uranium resource estimate completed by Scott Wilson, RPA in September 2009. Wilson used drill hole data available as of September 1, 2009. At a cut-off grade of 0.10% U3O8, indicated mineral resources are estimated to total 436,000 tonnes grading 0.78% U3O8 containing 7.46 million pounds U3O8. Inferred mineral resources are estimated to total 1.16 million tonnes grading 0.50% U3O8 containing 12.78 million pounds U3O8. The Mineral Resources are contained within three zones: AM-15, MT-22 and MT-34.
A scoping study conducted in September 2009 read as follows:
Strateco recently upgraded this study with new resources, and although results won’t be published until mid April, Hebert speaks confidently of the strong economics of the project in a press release issued on February 24th 2010:
"Regardless of the significant inflation in operating costs in the mining industry, our Matoush project indicates stronger economics, compared to the initial scoping study. Despite a possible price decrease, it is still possible to see our economics improve. We continue to evaluate different engineering alternatives to enhance the project's economics, such as the use of windmills to produce electricity. Closure costs were kept to $30 Million, work will be done to reduce this important cost," says Mr Guy Hebert, President and CEO. "We continue to expand mineral resources with an aggressive drilling program of 120,000 meters over the next 24 months," continues Mr. Hebert.
Another interesting piece of news flow filtering in from the Strateco camp is that of the appointment of a new Director at the company; Robert Marchand. As part of the private placement, completed on January 27th, 2010 with Sentient Executive GP III, Limited – an independent private equity fund that manages over US $1.3 billion invested in the natural resources sector – Strateco's management agreed to recommend the appointment of a Sentient representative to Strateco's Board of Directors.
"We are very pleased that Mr. Marchand joins Strateco's Board of Directors," says Guy Hebert. "Mr. Marchand is a mining engineer with a long experience in mining development and production. His participation adds depth to our Board of Directors and occurs at the appropriate time for the development of our Matoush project."
Marchand joins Strateco with 28 years experience in mining operations and project evaluations in the field of precious metals, base metals and industrial minerals. Prior to joining Sentient as investment manager, he was Vice-President Operations with MinQuest Capital, a mining fund based in Montreal. He also spent over 20 years with Cambior inc. and then Iamgold Corporation as Chief Engineer, Mine Engineering Manager, and business development General Manager.
Combined with Hebert already highly skilled and experienced team, Marchand experience should prove invaluable to Strateco, especially coming within months of Matoush finally going into production.
Strateco Resources aspires to become the first company in Quebec and the first so-called junior company in Canada, during the present cycle, to advance a uranium exploration project involving underground exploration operations. With an experienced and expanding management team, updated scoping study results due in 2 weeks and only months to go until Strateco gets the license for the underground exploration program of their world class uranium project; They might just realise those aspirations.
Follow the company’s progress online at www.stratecoinc.com.
DISCLOSURE: A fee has been paid for the production and dissemination of this article and as such should be viewed in the context of advertising.