Saturday 24th October 2020

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Uranium’s strategic alliance

Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka to team up on PLS-area’s largest land package

by Greg Klein

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If only for the especially high grades found near surface, Patterson Lake South’s uranium discovery was bound to provoke excitement. It didn’t hurt that joint venture partners Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continually release impressive news during a time of optimistic supply, demand and price forecasts. But finding such a discovery in such an underexplored area naturally pulled other companies into the region in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Now four of them propose to join forces to explore what would be by far the area’s largest land package.

Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka to team up on PLS-area’s largest package

The map shows Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake property in orange. Skyharbour’s PLS-area claims (in dark blue) consist of West Patterson, South Patterson and Draco, all adjacent to Preston Lake. North Patterson and RY sit north of PLS. Skyharbour’s South Basin property is to the east of PLS, just off the map. The package will also include Skyharbour’s eastern Basin Wheeler property.

That was the news announced June 24 by Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY. Under a memorandum of understanding, Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear plan to combine their properties into one package, with all four companies funding exploration.

The package would comprise Skyharbour’s six PLS-area properties totalling just under 150,000 hectares and Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake property. Also included would be a seventh Skyharbour property on the Basin’s eastside, the 11,769-hectare Wheeler project.

“It’s a creative deal for all the companies for a number of different reasons,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells “We’ll have four technical teams working in unison to improve our chances of making a discovery and four groups marketing. The biggest benefit in my opinion is the ability to raise funds and finance the program with four companies as opposed to one. This is the lowest-risk way of going about this large, aggressive exploration program with a minimal amount of future equity dilution for Skyharbour. Skyharbour’s only responsible for $1 million out of $6 million in funding over two years.”

The deal would expand on an existing arrangement in which Noka and Lucky Strike each hold 25% earn-ins on Skyharbour’s current package. Under the MOU, Athabasca Nuclear would also get a 25% option on the same package while the other three companies would each get 25% options on Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake. A $6-million two-year work program would be funded by $1 million each per year by Lucky Strike and Noka, and $500,00 each per year by Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. The companies would then form a four-way JV.

An exchange of cash and shares further intertwines the companies. Noka and Lucky Strike would each pay $100,000 and issue $100,000 in shares to each of Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear would issue each other $100,000 in shares.

The four parties hope to sign a definitive agreement by June 30.

“From a logistic and tenure management standpoint, it makes a lot of sense,” says Trimble. Preston Lake, 26 kilometres southeast of the PLS discovery, would link Skyharbour’s adjacent South Patterson, Draco and West Patterson properties into “one big land mass.” Three other Skyharbour properties, South Basin, RY and North Patterson, lie east and north of PLS.

The strategic alliance would be Athabasca Nuclear’s focus too. “One thing we like about the deal is it gives us exposure to the alliance but we have six other projects that we control 100%,” Athabasca Nuclear president/CEO Chuck Downie tells “So we can still work on those or look for partners on them. But the majority of the funding for the foreseeable future will go into the alliance.”

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