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Despite uranium prices at decade lows and three years of belt-tightening, Fission Uranium (TSX: FCU; US-OTC: FCUUF) has managed to increase the indicated resource at its Triple R deposit by 8% and the overall resource by 30%.

The updated resource estimate for Triple R was based on five zones, which extend 3 km in length on the company’s Patterson Lake South property in the Athabasca Basin. (By contrast, the previous resource estimate in September 2015 was based on just two zones.)

Triple R now contains an indicated resource of 2.19 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.82% U3Ofor 87.76 million pounds of U3O8. The indicated resource includes a high-grade zone of 119,000 tonnes grading 18.39% U3O8 for 48.25 million pounds of U3O8.

The new resource boosted inferred pounds by 95% and consists of 1.33 million tonnes grading 1.80% for 52.85 million pounds of U3O8, including 32,000 tonnes grading 20.85% U3O8 for 14.71 million pounds of U3O8.

“We were really happy,” about the resource update, Ross McElroy, Fission’s president, chief operating officer and chief geologist, tells The Northern Miner. “We were very mindful of the tough uranium market conditions that we’ve been in, so we tried to maximize what we could get done by spending less.”

In the last two years Fission spent $35 million on exploration and development activities at Patterson Lake South (PLS). It drilled 66,000 metres and 200 holes and made new discoveries on trend. “We stepped out to the east and found the R1620E zone and stepped out to the west and found the R840W, and more recently the R1515W. So those are all along one linear trend and that includes the main zone, R780E, the biggest zone of all.” (A fifth zone is called ROOE.)

The increase in the indicated resource is primarily due to infill drilling in R780E, while the increase in inferred resources was primarily due to the discovery and delineation of the R1620E, R840W and R1515W zones.

Dev Randhawa, Fission’s CEO and chairman, noted that while the market may not have been happy by the new resource numbers, the company’s management team has been adamant about not spending too much money on costly drill campaigns just to meet expectations on the street.

The upside is that Fission is debt-free and with the exception of an $82 million strategic investment by China’s CGN Mining at the end of 2015 (96.74 million shares at 85¢ per share), the company has not had to raise money and dilute shareholders over the last four years.

“At the end of the day we tried to listen to shareholders and looked at the market and thought, ‘we’re not going to get a lot of support blowing our brains out and drilling like a drunken sailor’,” Randhawa says. “We really tried to save our money. We have to grow the deposit but we have to find a balance, so I think you may get some people who think that the resource update numbers aren’t big enough, but we didn’t try too crazy hard because exploration is very, very expensive, and aggressive exploration is super expensive and we don’t have any debt and our competitors have debt.”

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