Gerardo Del Real of Resource Stock Digest sits down with Glenn Catchpole, CEO of URZ Energy, which recently completed its IPO and began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange, to discuss the company's uranium projects in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.
Gerardo Del Real: This Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is CEO of URZ Energy Corp. (URZ:TSX.V; URZZF:OTC), Mr. Glenn Catchpole. Glenn was a member of the board of directors and the Chief Executive Officer of Uranerz Energy Corp. from 2005 until 2015 when the company was sold to Energy Fuels for more than $150 million, creating the largest integrated uranium producer in the United States. URZ is a uranium exploration and development company that is primarily engaged in the evaluation, acquisition, and development of prospective ISR uranium properties in the United States. The company recently completed its IPO and commenced trading on July the 7th under the ticker symbol URZ on the TSX Venture Exchange. Glenn has been active in the uranium solution mining industry since 1978, the year I was born, holding various positions including well field engineer, project manager, general manager, and managing director of several uranium solution mining operations plus has served as a director on the Uranerz Energy Corporation and Energy Fuels board of directors. That's a mouthful there, Glenn. Thank you for hanging in there and thank you so much for your time today.
Glenn Catchpole: Well thank you very much, Gerardo. I really appreciate having this opportunity to join you today. Before I start responding to your questions, I want to point out that some of my responses may contain forward looking statements that may turn out over time not to be accurate.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. Thank you very much, it's important to get the technicalities out of the way. I touched on your extensive experience there very briefly. Could you share with us a bit more about your background? There's a lot there.
Glenn Catchpole: Sure, I'd be glad to. After I received a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in engineering, completing military service, and receiving my certification as a registered professional engineer, I went to work as a senior hydrologist in 1976 in the Wyoming state agency that regulates uranium mining. From there I had a succession of jobs in private industry in the in-situ recovery mining business with such companies as the original Uranerz USA, a German company, Cameco, Uranerz Energy Corporation, a U.S. corporation, and I'm now the CEO of URZ Energy Corp. Along the way I moved from senior positions in operations to senior management position. While working for Cameco, I was a general manager of the Inkai ISR uranium mine located in Kazakhstan. That mine is currently the largest uranium mine in the world. Good or bad, I now have 40 years of continuous employment in the ISR uranium mining industry.
Gerardo Del Real: Wow, over 40 years now. You're the last person I need to tell, Glenn, but obviously the resource space is a very cyclical one and there's no substitute for the kind of experience that you have. You've also put together a very experienced team here at URZ. Can you share with us some of the background of the team in place at URZ, being that it's such a new company?
Glenn Catchpole: You bet. At present senior management consists of myself as the CEO, Todd Hilditch as Executive Chairman, and Bryan McKenzie as our CFO. The three of us are also board members on the board of directors of URZ.
Mr. Hilditch has over 20 years of experience in the natural resource sector and has held the position of President, CEO, and Director of numerous TSX Venture listed companies included Salares Lithium Inc., which was merged with Talison Lithium to become the largest producing lithium company in a $340 million merger. Mr. Hilditch has been President and CEO of Terraco since inception in 1995 and manages all aspects of the day to day business of Terraco. Mr. Hilditch graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Management, majoring in finance.
Mr. McKenzie brings a broad and comprehensive knowledge of finance, accounting, auditing, tax, and public markets. Mr. McKenzie has held the position of Chief Financial Officer for numerous publicly listed companies including Salares Lithium Inc., which merged, as I mentioned before, with Talison to become one of the world's largest lithium production companies. Mr. McKenzie has been directly involved in corporate transactions which includes mergers, acquisitions, and financing in excess of half a billion dollars. That's with a B.
Gerardo Del Real: Wow.
Glenn Catchpole: Prior to that, he worked at a leading mid-sized accounting firm where he specialized in the mining and technology sectors. Mr. McKenzie is a Chartered Accountant. Todd Hilditch, Bryan McKenzie, and myself are also members of the board, as I mentioned earlier. And Sandra MacKay and Ben Leboe are independent URZ Energy directors. Sandra worked for Uranerz Energy Corporation as inside legal counsel and corporate secretary. And Ben was the Chief Financial Officer for Uranerz Energy Corporation. Uranerz Energy Corporation merged Energy Fuels in 2015 with the latter being the surviving entity.
Gerardo Del Real: You've obviously put a very successful band back together, the band being the Uranerz Energy Corp band, obviously. You were very successful there. I mentioned in the introduction that URZ recently completed its IPO. Many people, many of the smartest people in the business, I spoke with Jeff Phillips the other day who feels the same way, believes that we're coming out of the bottom of what's been a very tough uranium cycle and entering a new bull market for uranium, though obviously it's very, very early days. Why go public now, Glenn? Do you share a similar sentiment?
Glenn Catchpole: Well I do share a similar sentiment and URZ views this current depressed uranium market to be the optimum time to search for and acquire good uranium properties and even processing facilities with expectation that down the road the spot and term price will recover. This will allow us to develop our key properties and put them into production quickly. We also look for properties that have approved mining and licensing permits, allowing a short path to production.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. So you're also looking at facilities. Let's talk about the current assets in place and the strategy moving forward. The flagship as of now is the Gas Hills project, which is located in the Gas Hills uranium district in Wyoming, of course. Can we talk a bit about the Gas Hills project?
Glenn Catchpole: Sure. The Gas Hills uranium district in west central Wyoming was one of the most prolific uranium mining districts in the state during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s and on into the '80s. In excess of 100 million pounds of uranium have been mined from this district and there's a significant amount of uranium remaining to be extracted when the prices improve. The properties in the Gas Hills that we acquired from Energy Fuels in 2016 came with a large database of electronic logs, geologic maps, cross sections, core samples, technical reports, environmental studies, and environmental permitting documents. At one time a former owner of the Gas Hills properties prepared and obtained the regulatory permits needed for mining. These permits are no longer active but will serve as a good starting point for re-permitting the same properties.
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