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International Consolidated Uranium Acquires the Laguna Salada Uranium and Vanadium Project in Argentina

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International Consolidated Uranium Acquires the Laguna Salada Uranium and Vanadium Project in Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

International Consolidated Uranium Inc. (TSX-V: CUR) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an option agreement with U3O8 Corp. (TSX-V: UWE.H) providing CUR with the option to acquire a 100%, undivided interest, in the Laguna Salada Project located in Chubut Province, Argentina.

 

Key Points:

 

  • Advanced Stage Project – A preliminary economic assessment, published in September 2014, established an annual production of 0.6m lbs of U3O8 and 1m lbs of V2O5 at cash cost of production US$21.63 per pound of U3O8, net of a vanadium by-product credit
  • Uranium and Vanadium Resources with Growth Potential – An initial resource estimate for uranium and vanadium was published in May 2011 with exploration in other areas showing potential for expansion
  • Nuclear Friendly Country – According to the World Nuclear Association, Argentina currently generates 5% of its electricity from three nuclear reactors and has in country uranium conversion and enrichment capabilities
  • Building to Critical Mass – the Company now has agreements to acquire five uranium projects in Australia, Canada and Argentina
  • Familiar Project and Jurisdiction – Management and advisors to the company have hands on experience with the project and operating in-country
  • Attractive Acquisition Structure – Lower upfront consideration with additional payments over time and contingent on, high uranium prices

 

Philip Williams, CEO commented “The acquisition of Laguna Salada wraps up a busy year for CUR. We now have exposure to five uranium projects in three countries each with attractive characteristics for advancement. We consider Laguna Salada to be one of the more advanced projects in our portfolio with a PEA completed and substantial mining and processing work done by the previous owners. We are also attracted to the project for its vanadium by-product, the exploration potential beyond the known resources and the jurisdiction due to its pro-nuclear stance. As we close out an active and successful year, we are encouraged by renewed market interest in the uranium sector and are excited for our prospects next year.”

 

Terms of the Option Agreement

 

Pursuant to the Option Agreement, CUR will secure the option to acquire a 100% interest in the Laguna Salada Project in consideration for the issuance of $125,000 of common shares in the capital of the Company, priced at the 5-day volume weighted average price one business day prior to the date that the TSX Venture Exchange provides conditional approval of the Option Agreement and a cash payment of $225,000 to UWE by CUR of which $50,000 is to be utilized for property expenditures.

 

The Option is exercisable at CUR’s election on or before the second anniversary of the Effective Date, for additional consideration of $1,500,000 in Common Shares or cash, at CURs election. If the Option remains unexercised on the six-month anniversary of the Effective Date, the Vendor is entitled to and additional $50,000 in cash also to be utilized for property expenditures.

 

If CUR elects to exercise the Option, UWE will be entitled to receive the following spot price contingency Payments:

 

Uranium Spot Price (USD) Vendor Payment (Cash or Shares)
$50 $505,000
$75 $758,000
$100 $1,010,000

 

Within five business days of the uranium spot price reaching USD$50 UWE will have the option to receive $250,000, in cash or shares, at CURs election, in lieu of each of the USD$75 and USD$100 spot price contingent payments. The spot price contingent payments will expire 10 years following the date the option is exercised.

 

Further UWE has the one-time right, exercisable on either the date that is six  months or twelve months following the Effective date of the Option Agreement, to force CUR to exercise the option and satisfy the remaining portion of the purchase price by issuing such number of CUR shares to UWE that results in UWE, together with the CUR shares already owned by UWE, owning an aggregate number of CUR shares equal to 9.9% of the total number of issued and outstanding CUR Shares after giving effect to such issuance. Notwithstanding, subject to the 5 day volume weighted average closing price of CUR’s Shares equalling C$1.00 or greater, in the event that CUR can issue sufficient CUR Shares to UWE to satisfy the remain portion of the Purchase Price without UWE holding more than 9.9% of the issued and outstanding CUR Shares, then CUR shall issue such number of CUR Shares to UWE to satisfy that portion of the remaining Purchase Price.

 

All securities issued in connection with the Option Agreement are subject to a hold period expiring four months and one day from the date of issuance.

 

The Laguna Salada Uranium Project

 

The Laguna Salada Project is an advanced exploration project located in the central part of Chubut

 

Province, Argentina. The property is located about 270km southwest of the provincial capital, Rawson and approximately 230km from the main commercial port city of Comodoro Rivadavia. Reconnaissance work on Laguna Salada was first conducted in 2007 with the aim of confirming anomalies detected in a 1978 airborne radiometric survey undertaken by Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Argentina’s National Nuclear Authority (“CNEA”).

 

The CNEA recognized that the uranium mineralization is related to “caliches” – partial cementation of the host by calcium carbonates. “Caliche”- and “Calcrete”-type deposits are surficial uranium deposits found in semi-desert environments. Caliche-type deposits differ in that they typically occur in unconsolidated clastic sediments such as gravel, as opposed to cemented sediments in the case of Calcrete-type uranium deposits. Examples of surficial uranium deposits are Lake Maitland in Western Australia and Langer Heinrich in Namibia. Laguna Salada is similar to the free-digging Tubas Red Sand Deposit in Namibia.

 

Uranium-vanadium mineralisation at Laguna Salada is contained in flat-topped mesas that are approximately 10m higher than the surrounding plain, on the north bank of the Rio Chico, one of the principal rivers in the region that flows northeast into the Rio Chubut. Mineralisation at Laguna Salada occurs in a tabular, gently undulating layer that contains yellow-green uranium-vanadium minerals at shallow depth in unconsolidated, sandy gravel. The mineralised layer lies beneath shallow soil and typically a barren cap of gravel on the top of the mesas.

 

The entire uranium-vanadium resource at Laguna Salada lies within 3 metres of surface in unconsolidated material in the flat, gravel plain that extends from the foothills of the Andes to the Atlantic coast in southern Argentina.  The mining method modelled in the PEA involved cutting a long trench into the mineralized gravel, and mining the gravel from the one side of the trench, screening it to remove the fine-grained uranium-vanadium – bearing material and immediately replacing the gravel on the back side of the trench.  Desert shrubs from the leading edge of the trench would immediately be replanted on the back side of the trench, minimizing the environmental impact of the mining operation.  The mineralized, fine-grained component of the gravel would be agitated into a slurry and pumped to a central processing facility where it would be leached with an alkaline solution. 

 

The PEA was conducted early in the life of the project, shortly after the first resource was estimated, to ensure that the deposit had low-cost production potential.  Having met that hurdle, the concept is to expand the resource into areas in which exploration had shown significant mineralization potential.  That potential was not realized by previous operators due to the protracted downturn in the uranium market.

 

Mineral Resources1

 

The Laguna Salada* PEA is based on the below initial resource prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 by independent consulting company, Coffey Mining Pty Ltd. 2011 (Table 1).

 

Table 1 – Resource Estimate for the Laguna Salada Deposit

 

 

 
Summary of Resource for the Laguna Salada Project using recommended cut-off grades for
the Guanaco and Lago Seco areas
Category of
Resource
Lower cut-off
(ppm U3O8)
 Tonnes
(millions)
Average Grade Contained Metal
U3O8 (ppm) V2O5
(ppm)
U3O8
(Mlb)
V2O5
(Mlb)
Indicated Resources
Guanaco 25 44.6 55 530 5.5 52.0
Lago Seco 100 2.7 145 840 0.9 5.0
Total Indicated 47.3 60 550 6.3 57.1
Inferred Resources
Guanaco 25 19.4 80 555 3.4 23.7
Lago Seco 100 1.3 130 1,065 0.4 3.1
Total Inferred 20.8 85 590 3.8 26.9

 

The recommended cut-off grades for the two mineralized areas, taking into account their distinct beneficiation characteristics, are: 25ppm U3O8 for Guanaco and 100ppm U3O8 for Lago Seco.

 

* Removal of pebbles and coarse sand by screening results in uranium grades increasing by 11 times over the in-situ grade of gravel from the Guanaco area and seven times from the Lago Seco area. Vanadium grades increase 3.8 times through beneficiation of gravels from both areas.

 

(1) May 2011 technical report: “Laguna Salada Project, Chubut Province, Argentina: NI 43-101 Technical Report: Initial Resource Estimate”, which is available at www.u3o8corp.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

 

Qualified Person Statement

 

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release was prepared by Peter Mullens (FAusIMM), International Consolidated Uranium’s VP Business Development, who is a “Qualified Person” (as defined in NI 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects).  The Qualified Person has not completed sufficient work to verify the historic information on the Property, particularly the indicated and inferred resources; however given the quality of the historic work and the reputation of UWE the Company believes the historical resources estimates to be both relevant and reliable. The information provides an indication of the exploration potential of the Property but may not be representative of expected results.

 

About International Consolidated Uranium

 

International Consolidated Uranium Inc. (formally, NxGold Ltd.) is a Vancouver-based exploration and development company. The Company has entered option agreements to acquire five uranium projects in Australia, Canada and Argentina each with significant past expenditures and attractive characteristics for development;  with Mega Uranium Ltd. the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Ben Lomond and Georgetown uranium projects in Australia; with IsoEnergy Ltd. the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Mountain Lake uranium project in Nunavut, Canada; with a private individual the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Moran Lake uranium and vanadium project in Labrador, Canada; and with U3O8 Corp. the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Laguna Salada uranium and vanadium project in Argentina. The Company entered into the Mountain lake option agreement with IsoEnergy on July 16, 2020, and the transaction remains subject to regulatory approval, as does the transaction with U3O8 Corp. on the Laguna Salada Project. In addition, the Company owns 80% of the Mt. Roe gold project located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and has entered into an earn-in agreement with Meliadine Gold Ltd. to earn up to a 70% interest in the Kuulu Project (formerly known as the Peter Lake Gold Project) in Nunavut.

 

Posted December 14, 2020

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