It started with a single drill hole made by a team of explorers just outside the Western edge of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, home to the richest uranium deposits in the world. The fact that the team was there at all broke with conventional wisdom. Other companies believed you had to be within the boundaries of the Basin and on the east side. The west side was therefore under-explored. It was also believed there were no more nearsurface discoveries to be made. Using innovative science, that single drill hole struck a major intersection of high-grade uranium and in just a few months the explorers had a new discovery on their hands that caught the attention of industry analysts and the international investment community alike with its incredibly high grades and shallow depth.
The new discovery is known as Patterson Lake South (PLS) and the team that made it is Fission Uranium Corp
“This discovery is as good as anything I’ve been involved with.” explains Ross McElroy. With more than 30 years as a professional geologist, McElroy worked for uranium majors such as Cameco, Areva and BHP before joining the junior mining sector. He got his first break in the uranium sector as part of the small geological team that made the McArthur River discovery (the world’s largest high-grade uranium discovery) and went on to be instrumental in four of the last nine major discoveries in the Athabasca Basin. This includes the two discoveries made while leading the Fission team – the J-Zone at Waterbury Lake and Patterson Lake South (PLS).
“Some of the intersections we’ve hit are incredible. It’s one of those discoveries that went from concept to discovery extremely quickly, mostly as a result of some innovations on our part.”
McElroy, who confesses to being a bit of a contrarian by nature, had been interested in the West side of the Basin for some time, as had joint venture partner, Alpha Minerals. Fission flew an airborne survey and that’s when McElroy admits to another unique Fission asset – a uranium boulder-detecting survey technology developed by the Fission team and survey company, Special Projects Inc. The invention, currently patent-pending, is able to survey large areas at ultra-high resolution and it discovered a uranium boulder field with exceptionally high grades.
McElroy comments, “Fission’s survey analysis showed some anomalies. The Joint Venture (Fission/Alpha Minerals) sent in a ground geo team, which included Garret Ainsworth from Alpha Minerals, to examine the boulders Fission had located. The technology allowed us to pinpoint the exact location. That’s when things became really interesting.”
Fission’s skill with survey technology and analysis turned out to be the crucial part in moving PLS forward so quickly. In turn, exploration success has been rewarded by the markets. Fission’s share price and market cap doubled and Fission is one of the most traded stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture (TSX:V). Less than one year after the first discovery hole, Patterson Lake South now boasts a strike length, on-trend, of over 1.7 kilometres and just this month discovered a sixth mineralized zone was discovered. With mineralization starting at just 55m it is one of the most attractive discoveries in the world.