Consolidation continues throughout the uranium space
by Greg Klein
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(Update: On September 24 Rockgate terminated its proposed merger with Mega. Read more.)
To hell with uranium’s low price. Another flurry of M&A activity demonstrates keen interest in projects at just about every stage. Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW moved closer to completion with a definitive agreement announced September 18. The previous day, and more dramatically, Denison Mines TSX:DML suddenly barged into the proposed merger of Mega Uranium TSX:MGA and Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT. The Fission/Alpha deal, if completed, would put the Athabasca Basin’s most celebrated exploration project under one owner, thereby making it a more attractive takeover target itself. Should Denison succeed in muscling aside Mega, it would gain Rockgate’s more advanced project in Mali. In that case, Denison says, it would spin out its African assets to concentrate on the Athabasca.
For the most part the Fission/Alpha agreement confirmed details of the proposal in which the former would issue the latter 5.725 Fission shares, plus $0.0001, for each Alpha share. As a result, Fission would get sole control of Patterson Lake South, currently a 50/50 joint venture. The other assets of each company would spin out to two separate companies, each held separately by either former Fission or former Alpha shareholders.
That would make PLS a neat-and-tidy takeover target, even though it lacks a resource estimate. The JV partners haven’t even stated when a resource might be released. Project operator Fission has sunk at least 27 holes totalling 8,488 metres in the current $6.95-million campaign, but the JV has released assays for just one hole this season. For the most part the market’s been following scintillometer readings, which so far have been published for 18 summer holes.
- a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% for 4.29 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)
- an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 25.29 million pounds
- an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% for 15.69 million pounds
Pre-feasibility’s slated for January. While work was delayed by the Mali military coup and resulting unrest, those events left the project “entirely unaffected,” Rockgate has stated.
A merger with Mega would bring Down Under resources totalling 34.6 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 4.8 million pounds inferred, although the proposed sale of Mega’s Lake Maitland project to ASX-listed Toro Energy would unload 20.7 million pounds indicated and 1.6 million pounds inferred (calculated at average grades of 0.05% and 0.04% respectively). The Megagate MergeCo would start off with about $22 million cash and a $55-million market cap, the two companies state. Mega also holds significant positions in other companies, including 25.2% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE and 10.5% of European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU.
But on September 17, more than three months after the merger was publicly proposed and just eight days before the shareholders’ vote, Denison stormed in with its offer. At 0.192 of a Denison share for each Rockgate share, Denison valued the proposal at about $26.7 million, representing a 38% premium over the Mega offer, based on September 16 closing prices.
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