Skyharbour Resources (TSX-V: SYH)(OTC: SYHBF) CEO Jordan Trimble on Drilling for New High Grade Uranium Discoveries at Russell Lake
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of Skyharbour Resources — Mr. Jordan Trimble. Jordan, how are you?
Jordan Trimble: I'm doing well. It's good to be back on. Looking forward to catching up.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. I was speaking to the VP of Exploration of a company that we're both very familiar with — Fission 3.0 — which appears to be onto a discovery. It definitely has the market excited.
And I’ve got to tell you, I personally am excited because, despite the fact that uranium continues to hover right in the high-US$40s to low-US$50s [per pound], the market really is rewarding what looks like a discovery for Fission 3.0.
We're still waiting on assays, and we're still waiting to see what the follow-up step-out drilling looks like… but that has to excite you as the CEO of a company that's about to carry out multiple phases of diamond drilling totalling roughly 10,000 meters at the Russell Lake Uranium Project. Any thoughts on that?
And then, let's talk about this program because that's why we do this… we do it for a discovery. And given how proximal you are to your strategic neighbor there, I think it can get fun really quick for Skyharbour shareholders.
Jordan Trimble: Yeah, absolutely. The discovery made by Fission 3.0 is exciting. It's showcasing that quick value creation and share price appreciation associated with these high-grade discoveries in the Athabasca Basin. Needless to say, I think everyone's waiting to see what the geochem assays come back with. But a major development for sure for a junior company and for an ExploreCo.
And as we've talked about many times, that's what we're here at Skyharbour looking to do. We're out there, in particular, over the next 10 to 12 months at our flagship Russell Lake project. We're out there looking to make a major high-grade discovery.
And so, the news that we had out this morning, the first of what will be several news releases detailing this upcoming drill campaign — 10,000 meters fully funded — it's a program that we've been waiting for internally, and I know a lot of shareholders have as well. Really, it’s the first major drill program at this project in a number of years.
For those that have been following the story, you'll know that Russell Lake, we've recently optioned it from Rio Tinto, bringing in Rio as a large shareholder and potentially a project partner going forward. We announced and completed this deal in the summer and raised some money to fund the program.
And this 10,000 meters will be carried out over multiple phases, which will bring us right through into the summer and fall of next year — looking at between 3,000 to 4,000 meters in each phase. Three phases over the course of the next 10 months; we'll be starting the first phase here shortly.
And as the news release highlights, we have a number of initial drill targets that we've picked out here. In particular, the Grayling Zone, which is a zone that's been previously drill-tested by several previous operators, including Hathor and Rio. Fairly widely-spaced drill holes, though, so that's really intriguing for us in that you see these drill holes that are in some cases hundreds of meters apart — and they're mineralized.
There's high-grade mineralization in several drill holes; multi-percent over skinny widths at relatively shallow depths between, call it, 330 to 360 meters, which is around where the unconformity lies at that zone.
The zones that we're going to be drilling at the Grayling Zone are along what is a 10-km-long conductive corridor called the Grayling M corridor, which stretches from our property onto Denison's Wheeler River project and then back onto the Russell Lake project further up to the northeast. So it's a fertile corridor.
There are several zones that have historical drill holes that have been put into them that have mineralization both on our side as well as on Denison's side. And in particular, these first few drill holes that we'll be drilling into the Grayling Zone — which I will note is right near the road and our camp — there's a forty-person exploration camp that we've inherited with the project, and there's power lines that traverse along the road.
So it's nearby infrastructure that services the McArthur River Mine to the north. But with these first few drill holes, we’ll be further testing zones that, again, have had some historical drilling but are along this conductive corridor and, in particular, within an 800 meter zone of discontinuous uranium mineralization across multiple drill fences. So there's a lot of smoke there. There's some historical high-grade hits in previous drill holes and widely-spaced drill fences.
There's also an offset in the unconformity, which can create these geological traps, which are really an ideal potential setting for high-grade uranium deposition. In fact, that's the case nearby at the Phoenix Deposit, at the Griffin Deposit, at the Wheeler River Project, and as well further over to the east at our Moore Lake project at the Maverick Zone.
So we're seeing all of the right geological indicators and features, and we're now going to be testing that with this major drill campaign that we'll be starting here shortly.
Gerardo Del Real: I’ve got to believe, Jordan — given the over 95,000 meters of drilling in over 230 drill holes, all of it, or most of it, which was done prior to 2010 — that the crunching of the data had to be a pretty strenuous exercise. And I’ve also got to believe that having a partner and the technical expertise of a group like Rio Tinto has been probably very beneficial to Skyharbour.
Jordan Trimble: That's a great point to bring up, and you're absolutely right. We've spent months now parsing through the data — the historical exploration and results at the project — which really is a big asset to have.
Having that kind of historical data and the previous work that's been done allows us to go in there much more confidently and drill these holes knowing that we are in fertile zones in corridors. This isn't grassroots early-stage exploration. This is an advanced-stage exploration asset where we feel that any of the next drill holes that are drilled there could be a major discovery — a high-grade discovery — and we're confident that we can deliver a new discovery here in the next 12 months.
And obviously, we're setting out to do that here with this drill program. And you're absolutely right, having Rio as a partner and, really, also having Denison’s flagship Wheeler River project adjacent to us.
As I mentioned, with this first corridor and these first few targets that we're testing, this is a conductive corridor that trends from the Wheeler River project onto Russell Lake. And so, Denison is a large shareholder of ours and a strategic partner. So yes, we are working with other companies and other groups to help with the targeting. And our team in Saskatoon has done a phenomenal job over the last few months really refining these targets at this initial target area.
One thing I will note too — and you talked about the extent of the work that's been carried out at this project over several decades now — is that it’s a big property. It’s over 73,000 hectares or more than double the size of our Moore Lake project. So this is a project that really has no lack of targets. There's just some that are a little more advanced than others.
In addition to drilling some of the higher priority initial targets, in the first few phases we're going to be looking at some of the regional targets, as well, in prioritizing those for future drill programs that we carry out.
So again, very excited to get to work. It's a major development for us to get started at Russell Lake. And as we've talked about in the past, this project has a very strategic location, wedged between the McArthur River Mine project, the Key Lake Mill to the south, Denison's Wheeler River project to the west, and our Moore Lake project to the east.
And we are planning, as I've mentioned previously, additional drilling and programs at Moore Lake. Having the infrastructure that we have at Russell Lake will bring the drill costs down, not just at Russell Lake but also at the adjacent Moore Lake project.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to results there. Of course, you have done a brilliant job of advancing and growing that prospect generator business model. You have several new partner companies that are coming in and funding exploration. So a lot of shots-on-goal! You want to touch on that briefly before I let you go, Jordan?
Jordan Trimble: Sure, we've announced, in the last several months, a couple of new option agreements being signed, most notably the one at our South Falcon East project with Tisdale Energy — really our largest option agreement in the way of commercial terms and valuation.
These two new option partners complement our existing five partner companies for a total of seven; two of those being joint venture partners, one with Orano at Preston and another with Azincourt at East Preston. Azincourt is commencing a 6,000 meter drill program here shortly at the East Preston project.
And then, the other five companies, as I mentioned, Tisdale Energy at South Falcon East, recently announced, as well as Yellow Rocks at Usam and Wallee. And then, the other three option partner companies that we've signed up with over the last several years: ASX-listed Valor, which is working at our Hook Lake project, earning-in at that property, as well as Basin Uranium Corporation at Mann Lake, and the Yurchison project is being earned-in currently by Medaro Mining.
Most of these companies are planning exploration and drill programs that they'll be funding the lion's share of over the next 12 months. In total, we now have signed option agreements that would see partner companies contributing to over C$70 million in combined exploration expenditures, cash payments coming into Skyharbour, and share issuances coming into Skyharbour as well.
So a significant amount of money potentially coming in… assuming these partner companies all earn-in at their respective projects. Like I say, we're really building the company to be a one-stop shop for high-grade exploration and discovery potential in the Athabasca Basin — across a diversified asset base throughout the Athabasca Basin — with funding coming predominantly from partner companies.
And so, as you said, multiple shots-on-goal. We're expecting somewhere in the ballpark of 30,000 to 35,000 meters of combined drilling between us and our partner companies over this 12-month period. By far, the most significant combined drill campaign ever carried out by us and our partner companies.
Needless to say, a lot of news flow… and hopefully going into a continued improving uranium market and, in particular, a reversal in the equities here. We've obviously seen some softness in the market along with the broader market. But as you pointed out, the commodity price has held in there. The metal price has stayed stable here; it's consolidated. And I do believe we'll be in for a very strong year in 2023.
Gerardo Del Real: I think 2023 is going to be an absolute blast! Jordan, thank you so much for your time. Let's catch up again soon.
Jordan Trimble: Sounds good. Thanks, Gerardo.