A new company in the high-grade uranium exploration industry, Baselode Energy Corp. has unique properties and uses innovative ideas for exploring the prolific high-grade Athabasca Basin uranium district.
Founded in 2020 and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V:FIND), Baselode Energy is a micro-cap with a market cap of $14 million as of July 20th 2020. CEO James Sykes brings over fifteen years of Athabasca Basin uranium exploration experience to the team, most notably leading the discovery for NextGen’s Arrow deposit and providing invaluable work on Hathor’s Roughrider deposits. He has been directly and indirectly involved with the discovery of over 550m lbs of U3O8 in the Athabasca basin. Here Mr Sykes discusses the successful management team that has provided significant investor returns in the past in other ventures, the unique and innovative exploration methods designed to help the discovery of basement-hosted deposits go into development quickly and easily, and why now is the perfect time for investors to enter the uranium space.
A unique situation
“With uranium markets, it’s been in the downturn for quite a while now,” Mr Sykes explains. “It’s always been a question of when the prices come back up, not if the prices come back up. We’ve got so many utilities out there that use uranium as fuel, so nuclear energy, and the demand has actually grown over the past 10-20 years.”
There has been good periods for uranium in the past, most notably between 2005 and 2007, when the spot price peaked at over $100 per lb., and a lot of investors made substantial returns. This happened because there were certain fundamentals that initiated the price run.
“Looking at today, 14 years later, those fundamentals exist now, however the whole situation is much more improved. We’ve got more demand, but we’ve got far less supply. Who’s producing nowadays? The two largest uranium producers in the world have curtailed their operations. You don’t see that in any other commodity.”
This unique situation means that the time is right for investors to step in and make a significant return from the impending rise in uranium price. The spot price jumped from $24 to $34 in March 2020, making it a perfect time for investors to enter the market.
“Baselode energy was the brainchild of Stephen Stewart,” Mr Sykes says. “He’s the CEO behind Orefinders and some other ventures, and he’s always wanted to get into the uranium market, because again he sees the same fundamentals – it’s really not a question of if the prices come back up, it’s when.”
Earlier this year, Mr Stewart identified that conditions were playing out in precisely the way the industry had expected, and decided to begin Baselode Energy and start taking advantage of the fundamentals. He contacted Mr Sykes after viewing his resume and together they started the company.
The company currently has two projects it’s working on, exploring two sites outside the Athabasca Basin. One is the Shadow property and the other is the Hook property. Baselode is determined to make a discovery at one of these sites prior to the spot price really taking off.
“We are approaching our exploration quite differently from what most of our peers are doing. We call our strategy the Athabasca 2.0. It’s different from everybody else, because we’re exploring for mineralization in the basement rocks.”
Mr Sykes has conducted years of study on the subject, looking at the work of others, and has identified that most of the mineralization that’s been discovered in the Athabasca area has come from basement rocks.
“There’s a term that was coined back in the 60s and 70s about ‘unconformity-related uranium deposits’,” Mr Sykes says, “and that has actually driven people to explore for those type of deposits with horse blinders on, so not taking into account what the real picture is, what the real model is.”
Baselode has established a new model to work from going forward, exploring for high-grade uranium in the basement rocks of the Athabasca Basin area. It’s an impressive strategy that looks for deep structures and plumbing systems, with unique properties and plenty of potential.
The key idea behind this strategy is that a basement-hosted deposit (outside of the Athabasca sandstone) will go into development much quicker and easier than a typical Athabasca sandstone deposit.
Experienced management team
“One of the other things that we have going for us is that we’re new. We just listed on June 10th of this year, so we don’t have a lot of shares outstanding. We’ve got a pretty small float, [and] our share price has actually been doing rather well since we started.”
The company provides a ground roots scenario for somebody coming in to be able to ride a discovery. Any investor knows that a discovery is where the real money is made, which is then enhanced by development. The company is primarily interested in making discoveries, and will then decide if it wants to continue into developments.
“Our Board and Management are mostly from the Orefinders group – Charles Beaudry, Stephen Stewart, Gautam Narayanan – and our CFO is from Rider Investment. So we’ve got a pretty unique Board, guys who’ve been in the industry for quite a while now, guys with a financial backing.”
Mr Sykes makes up the technical side of the company together with Mr Beaudry, who has over 35 years’ of exploration experience in multiple commodities, and knows uranium well, having been in the Athabasca Basin before.
“I’ve done 14-15 years in the Athabasca Basin as well, so I kind of call that my backyard. I think we’ve got a very strong team who know how to take the company forward and maximize our shareholder return. That’s our game plan going forward.”
The experienced management team at the helm have provided significant returns for investors in the past in other ventures, and its strength is that every member of the team knows their role and does it extremely well.
“A lot of my focus will be on getting the story out there,” Mr Sykes says, “[as well] as the technical side of things, building this whole shell and pushing the envelope. Honestly I think this is a fantastic team and I’ve seen what Stephen and Orefinders have done, and I’m very happy to be working with these guys.”
The future is nuclear
With governments around the world committed to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and having zero-carbon emissions, nuclear is the best energy source for meeting the demand at peak hours. Once small modular reactors come on-line, they will positively impact the nuclear energy market.
The next steps for Baselode is to kickstart exploration efforts on both the Shadow and Hook properties, with Shadow in particular being a unique property in that it has never been staked before.
“We don’t want to follow on everyone’s coattails, we want to set the new trend. So we’re doing that. Shadow needs a complete set of new work on it. It’s never been explored – there’s no-one been on the ground, there’s been no air coverage, so our first step is to get some airborne geophysical coverage, learning what’s underneath the rocks.”
A survey from the air will allow the company to identify deep structures and make some deep geological interpretations, which will help it identify targets near the surface that look more promising.
“After we get that information back, we’ll put it altogether, we’ll see what we’re seeing and then hopefully be able to get boots on the ground to assess the rocks that we can actually see on the ground and match that up to the geophysics so we can refine our model even further. Then by that point we’ll be able to assess if we need to do some ground follow-up geophysics, or if we can simply be drilling by the end of this year, early next year.”
The Hook property, which is adjacent to the Athabasca Basin, has received some exploration in the past, so there are historic assessment reports going back to the 1960s, which are being compiled in order to build a model for the property.
“[We’re] trying to refine what has been done. Do we like what we see of what has been done and how do we go from there? Do we need another property-wide geophysics coverage? Do we need ground surveys? Are we going to be drill-ready by the time we get this assessment work done? So that’s where we are.”
In addition, the company is actively seeking out other uranium properties, extending its search not just to the Athabasca Basin region, but anywhere else in the world that it may be able to find suitable areas.
“We want to get everything rolling before the uranium spot price really takes off,” Mr Sykes says, “and hopefully have a discovery made before then. And we’re keeping our eyes and ears wide open and just looking to see what other opportunities are out there for us.”
With all eyes on the climate crisis and finding the safest renewable energies, the team at Baselode is fully focused on nuclear energy, which Mr Sykes believes to be the best option long term for cutting pollution and bringing back clean air.
“We believe in nuclear energy; we believe it’s a way forward for our whole civilization to move. You want to see blue skies? Go nuclear energy, there’s no doubt about it. It’s the cleanest, most reliable energy source we have available to us.”
With its innovative exploration methods for discovering basement-hosted deposits in the Athabasca Basin area, Baselode Energy is helping provide more uranium to the world for the growing global nuclear energy demand. Find out more about Baselode Energy Corp. (TSX-V:FIND) by visiting www.baselode.com or contacting Mr James Sykes directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.