The Roughrider Project (“the Project”) is an advanced exploration stage, conventional uranium project located in the eastern Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, one of world’s premier uranium mining jurisdictions. The Project is located approximately 13 km west of Orano’s McClean Lake Mill, near UEC’s existing Athabasca Basin properties and covers an area of approximately 598 hectares. 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 Canadian dollars in cash and shares. (1)
The Roughrider Project was first explored in 2008 by Hathor. Hathor initiated development activities at the Roughrider Project, filing a PEA Technical Report in October of 2011, which 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 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 seven km, and robust electrical grid access, primarily generated from renewable hydroelectric sources. (3)
UEC’s next steps for the Roughrider Project will be to first complete an updated S-K 1300 technical report summary based on over 650 diamond drillholes already completed for about 225,000 meters of drilling on the Project.
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 http://www.environment.gov.sk.ca/2013-014EISMainDoc
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, East, and Far East. The deposit is associated with the basal unconformity contact between Proterozoic red‐bed sediments of the Athabasca Group and metamorphosed basement rocks of the Wollaston Group. The metasedimentary basement rocks associated with Roughrider Project are interpreted to belong to the basal part of the Wollaston Group, represented by garnet‐ and cordierite‐bearing pelitic gneiss with minor graphitic pelitic gneiss and psammopelitic to psammitic gneiss, and rare garnetite. The Wollaston Group rocks are commonly interfingered with Archean felsic gneisses and later Proterozoic granitic to tonalitic orthogneisses, leucogranites, and pegmatites. The unconformity is approximately 200 m below the surface in the Project area.
The focus of the Roughrider Project is the three mineralized areas, the Roughrider West, East and Far East Zones. The Roughrider West Zone was discovered in February 2008, defined by uranium mineralization grading 5.29% U3O8 over 11.9 m in drill hole MWNE‐08‐12. The Roughrider East Zone was discovered in September 2009 with the best intersection on the property that grades 7.75% U3O8 over 63.5 metres. Roughrider Far East Zone was discovered in February 2011 with mineralization in MWNE‐11‐698 with an average grade of 3.26% U3O8 over 42.8 metres.
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.