The Roughrider Project (“the Project”) is an exploration-stage conventional uranium project located in the eastern Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The Project is located approximately 13 km west of Orano’s McClean Lake Mill and covers an area of approximately 598 hectares. The Project is near UEC’s other existing eastern Athabasca Basin properties in the McClean Lake/Rabbit Lake area. The Roughrider Project was the flagship asset of Hathor Exploration Ltd., which Rio Tinto acquired for US$550 million. On October 17, 2022, UEC completed the acquisition of 100% of the project from a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc for a total acquisition cost of $150M US dollars in cash and shares. (1)
The Roughrider Project was first explored by Hathor in 2007. Following the discovery of Roughrider in 2008, Hathor drilled approximately 143,414 m of drilling in 389 holes before filing a PEA Technical Report in October of 2011 that included the Roughrider East Zone and Roughrider West Zone. After acquiring the Roughrider Project, Rio Tinto continued to advance the project, completing substantial pre-development and environmental baseline work including dedicated geotechnical drilling, shaft vs. decline modelling, the establishment of hydrogeological monitor wells, terrestrial and aquatic environmental assessments, heritage assessments, species at risk, and a conceptual reclamation plan. In July of 2013, Rio Tinto submitted an Advanced Exploration Program (“ADEX”) proposal for consideration to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. The program was intended to initiate EIS review of the project, with the project intended to provide direct data related to the ore and mine development design. The application was partially through the EIS review process, but no official determination was completed. (2)
There are over 20 uranium deposits, four current and historically producing mines, and two uranium mills within 100 km of Roughrider, providing excellent infrastructure for future development, including all-weather road infrastructure, an all-weather airstrip within six km, and robust electrical grid access, primarily generated from renewable hydroelectric sources. (3)
Shortly after acquisition, UEC worked with SRK (UK) to complete an updated Initial Assessment Technical Report Summary for the Roughrider project. SRK was chosen due to their existing knowledge of the deposit, as well as the technical expertise of the SRK team. The technical report is accessible below, as well as under UEC’s filings on EDGAR and as a material document on UEC’s profile on SEDAR.
With the completion of the updated Roughrider resource, the next step is the completion of an Initial Assessment Economic Study of the project to help determine the path forward for future development.
1 News release dated October 17, 2022, available under UEC’s filings on EDGAR and SEDAR.
2 Saskatchewan Environment Publication 2013-014, “Rio Tinto – Roughrider Advanced Exploration Program”, accessible at https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/#/categories/115
3 Cameco Corporation 2021 ESG Report, SaskPower System Map accessible at https://www.saskpower.com
The Roughrider deposit is an unconformity‐associated deposit characterized by pitchblende veins and semi‐massive replacements occurring in three zones, the West (“RRW”), East (“RRE”), and Far East (“RRFE”). The deposit is associated with the basal unconformity contact between Proterozoic sandstone of the Athabasca Group and basement rocks of the Wollaston Group. The basement rocks associated with Roughrider Project are interpreted as the basal part of the Wollaston Group, with garnet‐ and cordierite‐bearing pelitic gneiss, minor graphitic pelitic gneiss, psammopelitic to psammitic gneiss, and rare garnetite. The Wollaston Group rocks are interfingered with Archean felsic gneiss and later Proterozoic intrusive rocks. The unconformity is approximately 240 m below the surface in the Project area.
The focus of the Roughrider Project is the three mineralized areas, the RRW, RRE and RRFE. The Roughrider West Zone was discovered in February 2008, with uranium mineralization that grades 5.29% U3O8 over 11.9 m in drill hole MWNE‐08‐12. The RRE zone was discovered in September 2009 with the best intersection on the property that grades 7.75% U3O8 over 63.5 metres. The RRFE zone was discovered in February 2011 with mineralization in MWNE‐11‐698 with an average grade of 3.26% U3O8 over 42.8 metres.
The zones of uranium mineralization at the Project vary in size and depth below the unconformity:
- RRW - is 200 m long and up to 50 m wide, and occurs at the unconformity down to approximately 50 m below the unconformity;
- RRE - is 100 m long and up to 50 m wide, and occurs from 20 m below the unconformity down to approximately 120 m below the unconformity; and
- RRFE - is 75 m long and up to 50 m wide, and occurs from 100 m below the unconformity down to approximately 220 m below the unconformity.
Uranium mineralization at Roughrider is mono‐metallic and occurs as stacked parallel lenses separated by intervals of barren or weakly mineralized host rock (less than 0.5% U3O8), it has a moderate plunge to the north‐east in the basement rocks. The mineralization is highly variable in thickness and style, with high grade mineralization occurring as medium‐ to coarse‐grained, semi-massive to massive pitchblende.
The following mineral resource is stated in stated in the S-K 1300 technical report summary titled “Technical Report Summary: Roughrider Uranium Project, Saskatchewan, Canada”, with an issue date of 25th of April, 2023, and prepared for UEC by SRK (UK).
The mineral resources are based on over 665 diamond drillholes already completed. A uranium price of $56.00 was utilized to determine the reasonable assumption of economic extraction. A variable density model was utilized using grade and alteration intensity as the criteria to determine density for blocks that do not have a density measurement. The mineral resources are split into different categories based on the mining scenario anticipated to be utilized. The methods include Cut & Fill (“C&F”) and Long Hole Open Stoping (“LHOS”).
The 2023 mineral resource estimate for the three Property deposits, West, East, and Far East, at a cut-off grade (”COG”) of 0.45% U3O8, total:
- 27.8 million lb of U3O8 in the indicated mineral resource category comprising 12,629,000 tonnes grading 3.25% U3O8. All pounds are attributable to UEC; and
- 36.0 million lb of U3O8 in the inferred mineral resource category comprising 16,349,000 tonnes grading 4.55% U3O8. All pounds are attributable to UEC.
Table 1 – Roughrider Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate
|Mining Scenario||Deposit||Classification||Tonnage (Kt)||Grade U3O8 (%)||Contained U3O8 Metal|
|Combined RRW, RRE, and RRFE|
1. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
2. Mineral resources are reported exclusive of mineral reserves. There are no mineral reserves for the Project
3. Mineral resources are reported on a 100% ownership basis.