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A New and Exciting, Near-Surface, High-Grade Uranium Discovery in the Athabasca Basin

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
1 Comment| January 26, 2022

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What do you get when you combine some of the best uranium geologists in the world, a world-class project in a mining-friendly jurisdiction, and a green energy fuel that is the most reliable and a cost-efficient baseload power source for the world? You get Baselode Energy Corp. (TSX-V.FIND, OTCQB: BSENF, Forum) – an exploration company focused on discovering near-surface, basement-hosted, high-grade uranium deposits in Canada's prolific Athabasca Basin. Company CEO James Sykes joined Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson to get our investor audience caught up with this high-potential green energy metals play.



SH: To start off with, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the company?

JS: Sure. I've been exploring in the Athabasca Basin since 2006 when I cut my teeth with Denison Mines. I was part of the group that originally prioritized what became the Phoenix and Gryphon Uranium discoveries. After that, I jumped around but ended up with Hathor Exploration who at the time had made the Roughrider discovery. I took all of the available drill hole data at that time, put it into a 3D model, and after that we had learned the structural controls and discovered two more deposits. A couple of companies after that, I ended up with NexGen Energy and I would assume that a lot of people who know the uranium space know that story already. Our geological team made the discovery pretty quickly within a 12-month period. We discovered the Arrow deposit. That's one of the largest uranium deposits in the world as it is now. I've had my teeth in quite a number of discoveries, directly and indirectly, and that leads us up to Baselode.

SH: Can you update our investor audience and your Baselode shareholders on any new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19?

JS: We keep marching forward. We do take Omicron COVID very seriously but we've got all the protocols in place. We follow the Provincial guidelines, Federal guidelines, and we make sure that everyone's tested before they go to site, so we're not bringing any negative cases in. But with all that being said, we are still moving forward with our diamond drilling exploration program and that we're hoping to have the drills turning within the next two weeks.

SH: You just recently reported high-grade uranium assay results from the first diamond drill hole of the recent ACKIO uranium discovery at your Hook project. Can you expand on these results for our investor audience?

JS: They are exciting. They're absolutely exciting. This is why people go to the Athabasca Basin in the first place, because it's notorious for high-grade uranium. It's got the highest average grade uranium deposits in the world and it's unique in its own self. We've drilled four holes for about out 1,600 meters on the discovery between September and October of last year. Two of those holes have now intersected high-grade uranium. We're considering high-grade uranium to be about 0.5 wt% U3O8 or greater. The first hole that we drilled on the ACKIO discovery, we had a half meter sample returning 1.29 wt% U3O8 with visible uranium and it was absolutely brilliant. It looked exactly like I had seen in other uranium deposits. When you see uranium though, especially like that, and you're getting over 1%, you know you're onto something. Most of these things really build up and the results that we've seen so far have continued to exceed our expectations.

SH: You’ve also recently announced that you’re preparing for a vigorous winter 2022 drilling program. This may be news to many investors. Can you unpack the benefits of it?

Click to enlargeJS: The following idea was something that makes sense from a company standpoint and for our investors. Right now the uranium market is hot. It's booming. Uranium was one of the best performing commodities last year and analysts and even just speculators are all saying that it's probably going to be the best performer of 2022. So knowing that and having a recent discovery, we felt that it was necessary to advance ACKIO as quick as possible that if we can get pounds in the ground and start working towards a resource estimate by the end of the year, then this will give something that the market and investors can put numbers to and can start properly evaluating what we really have at ACKIO and with Baselode. So we thought this was the best path forward. This winter we're planning 10,000 meters with two diamond drills and we're using helicopter support so we can our extend our timeframe as necessary as we don't need the ground to get in there, and when winter thaw happens, you rut the ground and you have to get out. With helicopter support, we can be there for as long as permitted with the government. Hopefully, we have amazing results at that time and if we're seeing greater intersections what we've had so far then the idea is that we just expand even on that 10,000 meters.

Getting into the summertime we're looking at a 30,000-meter drill program because we've got longer daylight hours, same operation, two drills, helicopter supported. So by the end of the year, we're looking at about 40,000 meters. Our drill holes are less than 400 meters drill hole lengths. That gives us about a hundred drill holes to work with and we feel very comfortable that that is what will give us the resource estimate. We're not talking about Indicated resource to start but even coming out with an Inferred resource provides the investor community with information, and I think it elevates Baselode to a whole new level.

SH: The Company looks set for strong growth in 2022. How are you placed to expand operations to meet demand?

JS: That's where that resource assessment also comes in. Once we start building on that and with a 40,000-meter drill program, we've got a base point to work off, that it's not just the year that we are looking forward to. We're looking beyond the horizon. We are looking to the market uranium market demand now and down the road. Nuclear energy is poised to continue to grow. Demand will continue to grow. Right now supply's not there, when will supply come back? Nobody knows. There's a lot of mines across the world that have all curtailed their operations or they're just simply on care and maintenance. How long will it take for those to come back? 12 months? 18 months? Nobody knows. So there is that lag that needs to be considered. With us expediting everything and really trying to grow this and show that this could be a mineable solution, especially in the Athabasca, we think that this is something that can really hit the market and even get into the current uranium cycle.

SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future development and progress can we expect at your Shadow, Hook, and Catharsis Projects?

JS: Hook, which hosts the ACKIO discovery, is basically what we've just talked about but we do have some exciting drill targets that we want to hit this summer as well. We've got a modest drill program in which we’d go around and probably test four to six different geophysical targets that we think will also yield uranium. You never know until you drill. Geophysics is like geo fantasy; you don't know what you're looking at until the old truth finder gets in there.

As for Catharsis, quite similar, we're looking at doing a little bit more ground based exploration. We do have high-grade uranium on surface on a number of showings that are all along the same trend and especially along a trend in which we recently reported high-grade rare earths as well. This is a multi-kilometer long trend that we want to get boots on the ground and explore it, but we've also got similar geophysical targets on Catharsis that have the potential for discoveries.

As for our Shadow project, It's kind of still in a little bit of the doldrums. We are in consultation with the First Nations, and that has been ongoing since October 2020. We remain very hopeful that at some point in the future that we will be able to continue exploration on that project. It is the first project we staked. Our technical team, our whole Board, really like that project. So we'd like to see things resolved with First Nations and be able to continue exploration. We’re planning to fly an airborne gravity survey and then we would follow up with a modest drill program of about 2500 to 2000 meters on some of our best targets.

SH: What separates Baselode from the competition in the uranium exploration sector and makes your business model so unique?

JS: I think it's that we came out with a strong exploration model. We came out with a focus and we didn't want to be like everybody else. If you look at the history of Athabasca exploration, everybody's looking for these unconformity deposits and they don't care how deep they go. They go down 700 meters, they go down 300 meters, but the reality of the situation is unless you've got a monster of a deposit like Cigar Lake or McArthur River, which are both very high tonnage and very high-grades, over 20% average grade, then you don't go into production unless, again, you have a monster, or open pits or you're simply outside of the Athabasca itself. So that was exactly what we took forward. We called it Athabasca 2.0 and that is our exploration model in which we're looking for these near surface, open pittable, basement-hosted, high-grade uranium deposits which we know exist.

Since I've been in the industry, I've seen a number of basement-hosted deposits being discovered, but again, a lot of them have that sandstone cover, which you have to get down through and it's very problematic. Knowing that, we had our exploration thesis going forward and I think we've just proven that true with ACKIO. We've also got what I would consider to be an absolutely strong technical team and management team. On the technical side, myself with the experience that I have and my colleague Cameron McKay, who's our Vice President of Exploration & Development. Cameron's a definite wealth of knowledge and a complete work horse. He's a great guy to work with. I enjoy every minute that we have together, building this company, moving it forward, I think between he and I, we will be extremely successful on the technical side. On the management side we've got Stephen Stewart and our board of directors, Charles Beaudry, Michael Mansfield, myself. Steven and Charles have been absolutely instrumental in moving Baselode forward and are great guys to work with, especially with the whole Ore Group of companies behind Baselode as well, helping out with a lot of management and administration. It's a fantastic group and I think we've got everything nicely lined up to help us move forward with great ease, I would say.

SH: I have to mention your stock has had a very nice increase over the last six months…nearly doubling in value since mid-August 2021. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s still a good buy right now?

JS: I think it's a fantastic buy. If you see what happened when we announced the discovery, we peaked at about $1.50, and when you consider that we listed in June 2020, at $0.10, that's a huge increase and shareholder appreciation. I think we are still valued quite low and it's a great place for investors to get in, and why I say that is simply because we're only four holes into ACKIO. We haven't touched Catharsis, really. We haven't touched it with a drill program. We think there are more discoveries to be made on Hook, but growing ACKIO is what we believe can happen with the resource assessment. We think that our share price can, and will, appreciate down the road, especially, over these next 12 months. It’s just a great time for investors, we are certainly not near the top, I don't even think we're near the middle, and I think we're low down near the bottom.

We've got $20 million in the bank. Fully diluted, we've got about 110 million shares outstanding. So we're very tightly held and fully funded. We don't have to go to the market right away. We can make some great discoveries. We can grow ACKIO and that news alone would hopefully push our share price up so that when we do have to go back to the market to raise more funds, we can do so at higher levels with less dilution. We'll see what happens down the road but I feel very strong that Baselode is definitely something investors should keep their eyes on.

SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving forward and what should retail and institutional investors be looking out for?

JS: Continue watching our growth on ACKIO. That's the main driving force right now, and that will continue to be our main focus. It's basically all we're doing this winter, focussed on ACKIO. After that, watch the market and just watch how Baselode excels and performs. I'm dedicated to this trade and I think that we really have a bright future looking forward.

SH: And finally, James, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked, the floor is all yours.

JS: You know what, Dave, I think we've actually covered quite a bit. We've done the history. We've done the future. We’ve done the now. It sounds like a great Christmas Carol story in itself, with a positive outcome in the end.

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FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.


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where is the ARROW project---could be good as the Athabasca deposit >>1% is good
April 12, 2022

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