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MINING | NexGen Energy


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Advancing a major asset in the world’s best uranium deposit


MINING | NexGen Energy

NexGen Energy was formed to address a major structural risk that was forming in global energy markets during the 2000s. This was the fact that the world was seeing uranium production mostly concentrated from within non-OECD nations. NexGen was formed to discover the world’s next tier one uranium asset. What the company ended up finding was better than anything that has been seen in the sector and one that goes a long way to addressing these structural issues in the global energy mix. The company was founded in the 12 months following the Fukushima accident in Japan. The impact of the 2011 disaster was heavy-hitting to the uranium industry, however NexGen viewed the downturn as a rare and opportune moment to acquire 260,000 hectares of land in Canada’s Athabasca Basin – within what the company believes is the world’s best uranium jurisdiction: Saskatchewan. “We were able to acquire the land position for a very good price and if you wanted to do that today, you wouldn’t be able to,” claims Travis McPherson, vice-president, corporate development at NexGen.


Resource Global Network “We took advantage of the negative sentiment towards uranium at that time, knowing that nuclear is a critical, diversifying portion of any countries’ energy mix. “We were very confident in the fundamentals of that commodity and remain so. We have never been as constructive about the supplydemand fundamentals as we are today.  Nuclear energy has a very bright future especially as the world focuses on clean reliable energy sources.”  NexGen is the largest landholder in the Southwest part of the Athabasca Basin, which represents the future of Canada’s uranium industry according to McPherson and several leading pundits. Within the company’s vast landholding in the Athabasca Basin is its flagship Rook I project, which includes the 100%-owned Arrow Deposit – the jewel in NexGen’s Canadian crown. 

Follow the trend “The district is extremely well endowed; our deposit remains open in every direction and that is just one part of a 9 km known mineralised trend that we have on our property.”  As part of its ongoing exploration activity at Arrow, NexGen has poked holes in several areas around the strike and everywhere it has looked it has hit more uranium mineralisation. This explains why the company is so convinced that it is located in one of the most endowed mineral belts in the world, across any commodity. 


MINING | NexGen Energy

“For us to have the most dominant foothold

in the best uranium district in the world

in this area, straddling the edge of the

due to the professional and transparent

Athabasca Basin, is very strategic. Stradling

stance of the Saskatchewan and Canadian

the Basin boundary is where you want to be

governments, who have a long history and

because, theoretically, that’s where a deposit

deep understanding of uranium mining. “We

would be at its most economic, where the

wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else,”

Basin comes up from the depth and is shown

McPherson enthuses.  

at or near surface.” The most notable examples of the provincial NexGen also considers itself to be located

government’s experience in handling major


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uranium developments comes in the shape

compared to other uranium deposits in the

of Cameco’s McArthur River and Cigar Lake

province and across Canada, the unique

mega-mines, which are currently the world’s

thing about the Arrow Deposit is the fact that

largest and highest-grade uranium mines,

the resource is completely contained within

located in Northern Saskatchewan. According

basement rock with no surface water.

to McPherson, Arrow will potentially propel NexGen into the number one position

“That really is a massive differentiator from

globally.

everything else out there because it means the resource can be mined using traditional

However, McPherson stresses that when

underground methods.”


MINING | NexGen Energy

“We were very confident in the fundamentals of that commodity and remain so. We have never been as constructive about the supply-demand fundamentals as we are today. Nuclear energy has a very bright future especially as the world focuses on clean reliable energy sources.”   Travis McPherson, vice president, corporate development 


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MINING | NexGen Energy The deposit shares similarities with Canada’s

“Also, because the deposit is completely

high profile uranium mines in terms of scale

vertical we are able to extract almost all of

and grade profile.

the resources with very high recovery rates as confirmed by our recent metallurgical

Furthermore, it is the unique technical setting

results, along with low deleterious elements

of the deposit that is driving the economics

such as arsenic, selenium or antimony.”

seen in the company’s preliminary economic

Mouth-watering economics

assessment (PEA), published in July of last year. “Within the basement rock you are talking about extremely competent, essentially impermeable ground conditions that are very stable,“ explains McPherson. “This means

NexGen’s PEA for the Arrow Deposit revealed a mouth-watering selection of project economics including a post-tax net present value of C$3.5 billion, an after-tax internal rate of return of 57% and a 1.1 year payback period on C$1.2 billion in capital costs.  

extraction comes at industry leading low

For a project with an average annual

costs due to the combination of scale, grade

production of 27.6 million pounds of uranium

and technical setting.

(in the first five years) over a 14.4 year mine


Resource Global Network life, the outlined economics are absolutely

“All of these elements combine to produce

unique not just in the uranium space but

one of the most economically powerful

across the entire mining industry, according

mining projects out there irrespective of the

to McPherson.

commodity one is speaking about.”

He goes on to run through a checklist of

During the recent winter months, NexGen

important features that are crucial for any

was engaged in a two-pronged drilling

mining project to be successful:

programme at the Arrow Deposit, the first half of which involved development

“1) Highest quality mining jurisdiction –

activity in the form of geotechnical drilling,

check. 2) No surface of ground water issues

metallurgical and hydro-geological work, as

– check. 3) Working closely in a partnership

well as some environmental baseline and

approach with the local communities – check.

community relations activity.

4) uranium specific advantages (high grades and large tonnages, basement hosted, low

The other half of the winter drill programme

delirious elements) – check.

has been called exploration drilling by the company, although McPherson explains that


MINING | NexGen Energy

the actual purpose of the undertaking was

drilling partners to transportation, while also

to understand and test the global context of

dipping into the highly-skilled employment

Arrow.

market.

Nonetheless, the assay results confirmed

“We are continuing to look at and develop

uranium mineralisation in aggressive step

our supply chain into the local areas.

outs to the Northeast of the deposit and also

We want to use suppliers that may be in

along strike. “This summer we are following

Saskatoon or other parts of Saskatchewan

up on these new zones.

and help them develop into locally-focused businesses in order to supply our projects.   

“Again, the idea is not to delineate another 10 million pounds of resources per say, but to

“We’re also working with the communities

understand if there is another Arrow sitting

in the areas of health, education and

there.”

workforce development in order for everyone to be involved in the tremendous

During the winter drill programme and throughout its time in the Athabasca Basin,

opportunity in front of us all.”

NexGen has been able to call upon a plethora

A packed pipeline

of local goods and services companies, from

Following the completion of the summer


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drill programme at Arrow, NexGen will gear

strained supply as several major global

up for the release of its maiden pre-feasibility deposits reach depletion, the importance of study for the project, which will include an

NexGen’s high-grade Arrow Deposit comes

updated mineral resource estimate.  

sharply into focus.

The PFS is due in early Q4 of this year and will The company is confident that nuclear be followed up by initiating the permitting

energy is on the rise once again and is aiming

process shortly thereafter. In 2019, the

to supply the industry with the world’s

company will continue expansion and

highest quality uranium from the world’s

definition drilling to support the feasibility

best uranium project in the world’s best

study as well as continuing the permitting

mining jurisdiction - the Athabasca Basin,

process for the project.

Saskatchewan.

With demand for uranium steadily increasing against a backdrop of concentrated and

TSE:NXE, NYSE:NXE

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Published by Anderson Murray Media Ltd

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RGN | NexGen Energy  
RGN | NexGen Energy