TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 6, 2015) - Macusani Yellowcake Inc. (TSX VENTURE:YEL) (FRANKFURT:QG1) ("Macusani" or the "Company") today provided an update to its corporate plans and timelines.
Update & Planning Highlights:
"With the Azincourt database integration completed, we are now focused on updating the resource estimate and ultimately updating the PEA to highlight what we expect will be enhanced and more robust project economics.
Macusani controls all uranium resources currently known on the Macusani Plateau, which now places us in a select peer group of projects world-wide with the lowest published preliminary economics for uranium developers with conventional/non-ISR projects. We are working hard to continue along the path to proving the viability of future uranium production from our Peru projects and to unlock the tremendous upside value in the new Macusani in tandem with the ongoing recovery of the uranium market." stated Ted O'Connor, CEO of Macusani.
The uranium spot price has increased from a low of $28/lb in May 2014 to a high of $44/lb in November 2014 and has recently backed off to approximately $35.50/lb today, according to Ux Consulting Company figures. Approvals and support for Japanese reactor restarts and new reactor builds, primarily in Asia and the Middle East, are expected to drive future demand higher and it is believed that current prices cannot support existing production, let alone the new production required to meet the expected increase in demand in the medium to long term. Macusani is currently working on an updated resource estimate expected in calendar Q1/2015 and an updated PEA expected in early calendar Q2/2015, and will continue to advance its projects in Peru sensibly, in tandem with positive market signals.
Consolidation & Integration Update
The consolidation transaction with Azincourt was completed on September 4, 2014. Macusani acquired Azincourt's Peruvian subsidiary, Minergia SAC ("Minergia"), in exchange for 68.35 million shares of Macusani. The Macusani shares received by Azincourt as part of the transaction have been distributed to Azincourt's shareholders. The consolidation has captured all known uranium resources in the Macusani Plateau uranium district (see Figure 1 - Integrated Project & Uranium Deposit Location Map, below). This has increased the Company's resource base from 31.5 M lbs U3O8 (M&I) and 30.1 M lbs U3O8 inferred (see Table 2, below), adding 18.2 M lbs U3O8 (M&I) and 17.4 M lbs U3O8 inferred (see Table 3, below) for a total combined resource of 49.7 M lbs of M&I contained U3O8 and 47.5 M lbs of inferred contained U3O8 (see Table 4, News Release dated April 17, 2014). All resource estimates were prepared in compliance with NI 43-101.
The resources from Macusani and Minergia were established independently and have been integrated into a combined data set within a consistent platform by the Company's Peruvian technical team. The integrated, larger resource database is currently being reviewed and the combined updated resource estimate work is commencing. The updated resource estimate is currently expected to be completed in calendar Q1/2015 and will be used to update the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), originally announced December 5, 2013 and filed on SEDAR, January 15, 2014. The PEA was completed prior to the acquisition of the Azincourt deposits and establishes the Macusani uranium deposits as a potential large-scale source of low-cost future uranium production (see Table 1, below).
It remains reasonably expected that the increased resources, information and synergies resulting from the district consolidation should produce a superior outcome compared to the original PEA parameters, further enhancing the combined project.
Table 1. Key production and financial parameters of the PEA1.
|Mine life||10 years|
|Average annual potentially mineable tonnes||8.5 million tonnes|
|Processing recovery rate||88%|
|Open pit strip ratio||1 : 0.65|
|Average grade||259 ppm U3O8|
|Average annual production (LOM)||4.30 million lbs U3O8|
|Average annual production (Operating Years 1-5)||5.17 million lbs U3O8|
|Uranium price||$65 / lb U3O8|
|Average cost of production||$20.57 / lb U3O8|
|Start-up CAPEX||$331 million|
|Sustaining CAPEX||$228 million|
|NPV (8% discount rate)||$708 M||$417 M|
|Payback period||2.9 years||3.5 years|
1. Readers are cautioned that a PEA should not be considered to be a pre-feasibility or feasibility study. The PEA is preliminary in nature and uses inferred resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the results predicted by this PEA will be realized. The mineral resource estimates, upon which the PEA is based, could be materially affected by environmental, geotechnical, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant factors.
Updated PEA Plans & Timing
Planning and scope of work discussions have been concluded with the Company's engineering consultants to update the PEA once the consolidated resource estimate is complete. The revised PEA is expected to be completed within three months following completion of the updated resource estimate.
Discussions will be initiated early in 2015 with Peruvian mining and environmental authorities to determine the path to uranium project permitting and the necessary steps required. It is expected that current environmental monitoring programs would be scaled up as the projects advance and the permitting process becomes clear.
The management and Board of Macusani continue their commitment to enhancing value for shareholders and will continue to evaluate cost-cutting opportunities. The Company will advance our projects sensibly, to position the Company for revaluation. Macusani will be ready to progress through to feasibility when positive signals in the uranium market exist.
The Company is considering a re-branding name change, which would be subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM has yet to be scheduled, but is expected to be held in early March 2015.
Mr. Ted O'Connor, P.Geo., CEO and Director of Macusani and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this press release.
About Macusani Yellowcake Inc.
Macusani Yellowcake Inc. is a Canadian uranium exploration and development company focused on the exploration of its properties on the Macusani Plateau in southeastern Peru. The Company controls mineral concessions that cover over 100,000 hectares (1000 km2) and are situated near significant infrastructure. Macusani is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol 'YEL' and the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol 'QG1'. The Company has 259,738,126 shares outstanding. For more information please visit www.macyel.com.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward Looking Information
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements concerning the future performance of Macusani's business, operations and financial performance and condition, as well as management's objectives, strategies, beliefs and intentions. Forward-looking statements are frequently identified by such words as "would", "may", "will", "plan", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "intend" and similar words referring to future events and results. Forward-looking statements are based on the current opinions and expectations of management. All forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and subject to a variety of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, fluctuating commodity prices, competitive risks, general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and the availability of financing, as described in more detail in the Company's recent securities filings available at www.sedar.com. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements and Macusani cautions against placing undue reliance thereon. Specifically, there is no assurance that (i) that any of the anticipated synergies pertaining to the Peruvian consolidation will be realized in the manner outlined above, or at all; or (ii) the values forecasted in the PEA will be realized. Neither the Company nor their management assume any obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
To view Figure 1 - Integrated Project and Uranium Deposit Location Map, visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/YEL_MAP.jpg
|Table 2 - Macusani Yellowcake Resource Estimates|
|Kihitian||Colibri 2 & 3 / Tupuramani||Corachapi||Triunfador|
|Indicated||11.76 M lbs U3O8
(8.4 M t @ 635 ppm U3O8)
|14.69 M lbs U3O8
(27.9 M t @ 240 ppm U3O8)
|5.02 M lbs U3O8
(11.6 M t @ 195 ppm U3O8)
|Inferred||17.38 M lbs U3O8
(12.8 M t @ 615 ppm U3O8)
|7.67 M lbs U3O8
(20.4 M t @ 170 ppm U3O8)
|1.91 M lbs U3O8
(3.8 M t @ 230 ppm U3O8)
|3.13 M lbs U3O8
(3.5 M t @ 409 ppm U3O8)
|Resource shown at a 75 ppm U cut-off (88.4 ppm U3O8 cut-off); Conversion of U to U3O8 is 1.179.|
|Source: Technical Report dated September 20, 2013 by The Mineral Corporation: "Mineral Resource Estimates for the Colibri 2 & 3 / Tupuramani, Kihitian and Triunfador Uranium Projects, held by Global Gold S.A.C. in the Puno District of Peru." And Technical Report dated February 22, 2012 by Foremost Geological Consulting: "Technical Report on the Corachapi and Kihitian Uranium Properties, Macusani District, Department of Puno, Peru."; Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.|
|Table 3 - Minergia - Macusani Resource Estimates|
|Tantamaco||Isivilla||Nuevo Corani||Tuturumani/Calvario Real|
|Measured||5.7 M lbs
(9.39 Mt @ 277 ppm U3O8)
|Indicated||10.34 M lbs U3O8 (23.4 M t @ 202 ppm U3O8)||1.5 M lbs U3O8
(4.5 M t @ 150 ppm U3O8)
|0.7 M lbs U3O8
(3.2 M t @ 100 ppm U3O8)
|Inferred||5.6 M lbs
(14.5 Mt @ 178 ppm U3O8)
|6.4 M lbs U3O8
(6.9 M t @ 420 ppm U3O8)
|3.4 M lbs U3O8
(7.3 M t @ 210 ppm U3O8)
|2.0 M lbs U3O8
(6.8 M t @ 134 ppm U3O8)
|Resource shown at a 77 ppm U cut-off (90.7 ppm U3O8 cut-off) : Conversion of U to U3O8 is 1.179.|
|Source : Technical Report dated August 31, 2014 by Henkle and Associates "Updated Technical Report of the Macusani and Muñani Uranium Exploration Projects Department of Puno, Perú", prepared for Macusani Yellowcake Inc. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.|
Table 4 - Macusani Yellowcake Combined Uranium Resources
|Project||Measured & Indicated||Inferred|
|Kihitian*||8.4 Mt||635 ppm||11.8 Mlbs||12.8 Mt||615 ppm||17.4 Mlbs|
|Colibri 2 & 3 / Tupuramani*||27.9 Mt||240 ppm||14.7 Mlbs||20.4 Mt||170 ppm||7.7 Mlbs|
|Corachapi*||11.6 Mt||195 ppm||5.0 Mlbs||3.8 Mt||230 ppm||1.9 Mlbs|
|Triunfador*||-||-||-||3.5 Mt||409 ppm||3.1 Mlbs|
|Tantamaco**||32.7 Mt||220 ppm||16.0 Mlbs||13.2 Mt||119 ppm||5.6 Mlbs|
|Isivilla**||4.5 Mt||150 ppm||1.5 Mlbs||6.9 Mt||420 ppm||6.4 Mlbs|
|Nuevo Corani**||3.2 Mt||100 ppm||0.7 Mlbs||7.3 Mt||210 ppm||3.4 Mlbs|
|Tuturumani/Calvario Real**||-||-||-||6.8 Mt||134 ppm||2.0 Mlbs|
|Sub-Total||88.3 Mt||256 ppm||49.7 Mlbs||74.7 Mt||288 ppm||47.5 Mlbs|
|* Resource shown at a 75 ppm U cut-off (88.4 ppm U3O8 cut-off) Conversion of U to U3O8 is 1.179. Source: Technical Report dated September 20, 2013 by The Mineral Corporation: "Mineral Resource Estimates for the Colibri 2 & 3 / Tupuramani, Kihitian and Triunfador Uranium Projects, held by Global Gold S.A.C. in the Puno District of Peru." & Technical Report dated February 22, 2012 by Foremost Geological Consulting: "Technical Report on the Corachapi and Kihitian Uranium Properties, Macusani District, Department of Puno, Peru."|
|**Resource shown at a 77 ppm U cut-off (90.7 ppm U3O8 cut-off); Conversion of U to U3O8 is 1.179. Source: Technical Report dated August 31, 2014 by Henkle and Associates "Updated Technical Report of the Macusani and Muñani Uranium Exploration Projects Department of Puno, Perú", prepared for Macusani Yellowcake Inc. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.|