International Consolidated Uranium (TSX-V: CUR)(OTC: LBHRF) CEO Philip Williams on Accretive Acquisition to Global Uranium Portfolio & Closing of C$9 Million Financing
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of International Consolidated Uranium — Mr. Philip Williams. Philip, how are you today?
Philip Williams: I'm very well, Gerardo. How are you doing?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. Thank you for asking. I was joking off-air that the uranium space is a fascinating space. Nothing will happen but empty promises for a decade or so… and then everything happens — seemingly every day!
And as far as International Consolidated Uranium goes — getting specific to your catalysts — you've had a pretty busy week here. You announced a C$7.5 million bought deal, and you also acquired a pretty neat project that is very, very accretive. I'd love for you to provide some context on both of those announcements here.
Philip Williams: Sure. No, it has been a busy couple of days, and we're very excited with the response to the new acquisition. And really, the acquisition of the Matoush High-Grade Uranium Project in Quebec is really the next phase of our strategy, which — as we talked about the last time that we got together — is to consolidate uranium projects around the globe and build a diversified portfolio to give investors exposure to these projects that have been sort of long-forgotten.
And this project really fits that bill. Not only is it large, it's high-grade; there's big exploration potential, and it had a huge amount of money spent on it in the past. And we're picking it up for a fraction of those past expenditures.
Gerardo Del Real: Talk to me about the company's approach to the First Nations and the social license because for projects like these — it's critical, right? You're going to have pretty favorable economics if everything plays out in the uranium space the way we expect it to. But the social license has been something that's been important to this project in the past, and something that, of course, will be important moving forward.
Can you speak to that a bit?
Philip Williams: 100%... and you've really hit the nail on the head. This project — for those who know it or don't know it — was sort of stymied in the past. And we're talking almost a decade ago; they did not get social license.
They spent a tremendous amount of money drilling it, putting resource estimates on it, doing preliminary economic assessments, building up the infrastructure. But when push came to shove and they went to get an underground exploration license, the Quebec government denied them that license on the basis that they didn't have social acceptance.
Fast-forward 10 years… we've picked the asset up out of bankruptcy, and our first priority is to try to go and get that social license. And really, that's the story of engagement. It's a story of respect. It's a story of education.
We don't have any plans to do anything on the project until we get that social license. And we know that's going to take a lot of time, a lot of effort, particularly from myself and the senior members of the team over here. But we're very excited to sort of start on that path.
And, again, we know it's going to be a long path, and we need to be patient. But the upside potential — if we can get that acceptance — is huge for us. We're paying C$10 million for an asset that is clearly worth hundreds of millions of dollars if we can unlock that.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely! I look forward to updates on that front. I mentioned the C$7.5 million bought deal that you just announced. Again, you and I chatted, and you just presented to, I believe, at least 1,000 uranium speculators at an online conference, a virtual conference?
Philip Williams: Yeah, that's right. I was kind of blown away, and it's a great group up here in Toronto. They're called Red Cloud. They hosted a conference today. It was the who's-who of the uranium industry presenting.
Everybody from Cameco all the way down to companies our size. And I didn't actually realize how many people were going to be on the line until about five minutes before I started to present and the moderator said, "Oh, yeah, we have about 1,000 people registered for the conference."
But it's amazing! And it's really the way things have been going where you can't go to these in-person conferences. You can get a wide range of people from all over the world listening to you. And it's just really amazing to see that kind of interest coming back to the space.
And there's so many things happening in the market that are generating that interest. But you never know when you're in these businesses whether it's actually translating… that investors are picking it up and getting interested. But clearly, they are!
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! C$7.5 million… obviously, there's institutional interest all throughout the sector. Where's the C$7.5 million going, Philip?
Philip Williams: Well, why don't we talk about where it came from to start with because I think that's equally as important. And in fact, we'll end up closing on C$9 million. It was C$7.5 million plus an additional over-allotment, which will be fully subscribed.
But we've been very fortunate over the past year to attract some of the top investors in the sector. And I'll name two, specifically: Sachem Cove and Segra Capital. They're the thought leaders, for sure, in investing in uranium. And lots of your listeners will know those two. But behind them, there's a number of other institutions who have been on the register for a while that followed their money in.
And then, we're really happy to welcome some new investors to the register; guys who we've been talking to for a while who have been watching and seeing us execute on our strategy. And now, combined with what we've been able to do in terms of adding new projects like Matoush and what's happening in the market, they said, "Okay, now's the time. We're prepared to step up and write a big check."
So that's where the money came from. Where it's going? Well, we've got a C$5 million tax payment as part of the Matoush acquisition. But we're laser-focused on adding more projects to the portfolio. And that's almost entirely where the money is going to.
We keep our G&A low. We're not spending a lot of money on the projects that we do have. The idea is we can acquire resources on an accretive basis relative to our current valuation. And that's where we want to spend our cash.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. Anything else to add, Philip? Thorough update… I appreciate the time as always.
Philip Williams: Look, I just think we've got to do… our next job, on top of more acquisitions, is getting the story out there. And I think getting channels — such as yourself and the conference we did today — the Consolidated name will start to become part of the regular mainstream conversation around uranium.
And we look forward to executing on the strategy and getting in front of more investors over time.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, if you keep executing the way you have, you're not going to have too difficult a time achieving that. Thank you again.
Philip Williams: Thank you, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon.
Philip Williams: Take care. Bye.