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A look at the largest Canadian uranium resources that are majority owned by junior miners. Most are found in Saskatchewan's prolific Athabasca Basin.

Uranium market watchers have been waiting for a catalyst to move prices for years, and some experts believe that catalyst came a couple of weeks ago. 

On November 9, major miner Cameco (TSX:CCO,NYSE:CCJ) announced plans to suspend production at its McArthur River mine and Key Lake milling operations. McArthur River is located in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, and if it remains offline for 10 months as Cameco has outlined, global uranium production will be reduced by 15 million pounds.

“This is the type of supply side shock that is positive for the market, but negative for Cameco in the short term,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Rob Chang commented at the time. He also noted, “[t]hese are necessary moves that reduce losses and actively help fix the global supply situation.”

With investors now searching for companies that may benefit from a potential uranium price rise, we’ve put together a list of the top Canadian uranium resources held by juniors. All companies included are the majority owner of a Canadian uranium project with a NI 43-101 resource estimate, and are listed on the TSX or TSXV. If we’ve missed a company that fits those criteria, please let us know in the comments.

1. NexGen Energy (TSX:NXE,NYSEAMERICAN:NXE)

Exploration and development company NexGen Energy is focused on the Athabasca Basin, where it holds over 259,000 hectares of land. Its main asset is its 100-percent-owned Rook I uranium property, which hosts the Arrow, Harpoon, Bow and Cannon discoveries.

According to an updated resource estimate published in March 2016, Arrow has an indicated resource of 179.5 million pounds of U3O8 contained within 1.1 million tonnes grading 6.88 percent U3O8, including a high-grade core of 164.9 million pounds of U3O8 contained within 0.4 million tonnes grading 18.84 percent U3O8. The deposit’s inferred resource stands at 122.1 million pounds of U3O8contained within 4.25 million tonnes grading 1.3 percent U3O8.

2. Fission Uranium (TSX:FCU)

Fission Uranium owns 100 percent of the Athabasca Basin-based Paterson Lake South (PLS) uranium project, which hosts the Triple R deposit. PLS was discovered in 2012, and major new high-grade zones have been identified each year since that time.

The current resource estimate for Triple R, as detailed in a preliminary economic assessment filed in September 2015, shows an indicated resource of 2,011,000 tonnes at 1.83 percent U3O8 containing 81,111,000 pounds of U3O8; that includes the R780E high-grade zone, which holds an estimated 45,079,000 pounds of U3O8 at 18.22 percent U3O81.

Triple R’s inferred resource stands at 785,000 tonnes grading 1.57 percent U3O8 containing 27,157,000 pounds of U3O8; that also includes the R780E high-grade zone, which is estimated to contain 13,898,000 pounds of U3O8 at 25.06 percent U3O81.

3. Denison Mines (TSX:DML,NYSEAMERICA:DNN)

Denison Mines is another exploration and development company focused on the Athabasca Basin. Its main asset is its 60-percent-owned Wheeler River project, which hosts the high-grade Phoenix and Gryphon deposits. Denison is the operator of Wheeler River, and Cameco and JCU (Canada) Exploration Company own stakes of 30 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

For the Phoenix and Gryphon deposits combined, the indicated resource is 166,400 tonnes at an average grade of 19.14 percent U3O8 containing 70.2 million pounds of U3O8. The inferred resourcefor both deposits is 842,600 tonnes at an average grade of 2.37 percent U3O8 containing 44.1 million pounds of U3O8.

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