Blue Sky Uranium (TSX-V: BSK)(OTC: BKUCF) CEO Niko Cacos on Rising Uranium Market & Next-Steps for Flagship Amarillo Grande Uranium-Vanadium Project, Argentina
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of Blue Sky Uranium — Mr. Niko Cacos. Niko, how are you today?
Niko Cacos: Doing very well, Gerardo. A real pleasure to be back on your program here.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you so much! We haven't spoken publicly in about a month and a half, and it feels like a completely different uranium market. I'm going to ask you in a second about drilling at Amarillo Grande, and I'm going to ask you about the test work because you had some news here recently on that front.
But I have to get your take on what looks like the beginning of a raging uranium bull market, which I think we all deserve given the past few years, right?
Niko Cacos: Oh, absolutely! I mean, these kinds of situations… uranium, like all metals, trade on a cyclical basis. And we are, I think, at the cusp of a rising uranium market that's just beginning now.
And if you look back at the last uranium cycle that was back in 2010, uranium reached crazy prices; $110, $130, $140 a pound. So from the $30 that we're at right now, this is a great space. And it creates a fabulous backdrop for us to be working in this type of optimistic environment.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed! With that being said, let's talk about your wholly-owned Amarillo Grande uranium-vanadium project in Rio Negro Province, Argentina. How are things coming along on that front?
Niko Cacos: Things are going extremely well. We announced, last month, a 4,500 meter drill program. And the drilling, from the latest reports that I've got, is proceeding according to schedule. We're drilling about a hole a day… so the program is ongoing. I think in the next couple of weeks, we'll have some drill results.
And remember that the key here is that Blue Sky controls 100% of the largest uranium-vanadium district in Argentina. It's an enormous district that has the potential to rank amongst the largest districts of uranium in the world with some of the lowest operating costs.
And our objective here is to demonstrate how quickly and easily it will be to be able to add additional pounds to our current resource.
Gerardo Del Real: You're drilling away, adding pounds — but you're also de-risking the project by doing some pretty detailed metallurgical work. And, of course, anyone that's familiar with the space knows you can have the best drill results and the prettiest looking deposit, and if you can't recover it, it doesn't mean a thing, right?
How is the met work coming along?
Niko Cacos: It's going really well. We've already had completed, a couple of years ago, a Preliminary Economic Analysis, which is a fancy way of saying an early scoping study. And we’d done met work at that time.
And now, as we're drilling to advance the project, simultaneously, we're advancing this project towards a pre-feasibility study, an engineering study, that will take approximately a year to complete. But it will be the very key for us to be able to make a production decision.
So we are refining the metallurgical numbers. I always like to think of metallurgy kind of like solving a Rubik's Cube. You just keep hacking away at it! You keep getting all of the same colors on every side and keep refining it because we already have some pretty good recovery but we feel that we can do better.
And coordinating all of this work is a gentleman, Chuck Edwards, who's probably the world's premier metallurgist. He was the chief metallurgist for Cameco for a number of years, based in Saskatchewan, a uranium center that's quite renowned in this work. And we have a lot of optimism and a lot of confidence in the work moving forward here.
Gerardo Del Real: Now, the work is being done at the Ivana uranium-vanadium deposit, which is within the Amarillo Grande project, right? And you mentioned, and I think it's important to note, that this is a district-scale project.
I have to believe, Niko, that you've received some calls about potential joint ventures or potential partnerships because there is a lot of ground to explore and a lot of value there to unlock. Have the phones been ringing?
Niko Cacos: The phones have been ringing. We do have interested parties from mid-sized and international-sized uranium companies that are basically knocking the door and having a look. Happy to show everybody what we're doing right now.
But I think the key is — until we complete our drill program and expand it and get going a bit on our feasibility study — I don't think we're looking to entertain anything because I personally believe that there's a lot more value that we can unlock with the work that we're doing before we start inviting others to come in. So that way, we can charge a premium.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I'm sure that's music to shareholders' ears. The stock has done well. I suspect it's just getting going. I'm looking forward to having you back when we get the drill results.
Anything else to add to that, Niko?
Niko Cacos: It's been a long time working away on this uranium project — nearly 15 years. Like I've said in previous times, the company is a Grosso Group managed company. Grosso Group is probably the foremost experts in the mineral industry for operating in Argentina.
It gives us a real competitive advantage.
It's one thing to have a really good project. But I think the team behind the project really counts for a lot. And I feel a sense of confidence and a sense of pride to lead an organization with such a well-talented team.
All I can say is… stay tuned! I think the next few weeks are going to be pivotal and are going to change the complexion of Blue Sky. And I really hope this is going to go the way we're hoping it's going to go — and that's up!
Gerardo Del Real: Well, a lot of pedigree with the team! Can't wait to have you back on to chat about it. Thanks again, Niko.
Niko Cacos: Great, thanks, Gerardo. It's a pleasure!
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, chat soon. Stay safe!