Uranium Buyout Puts Focus On Unity Energy
December 1, 2011 by metalinvestmentnews
Following the radioactive leak at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant last March, The Uranium & Nuclear ETF (NLR- NYSE) shed 20% in five days. Canadian uranium junior Hathor Exploration (HAT-TSX) lost 40% of its market cap in the same period – falling from $2.86 to $1.73.
But after the dust settled scientific data confirmed that nuclear energy is still by far the safest energy source on the planet.
Predictably the uranium sector rebounded modestly over the summer despite the spot price dipping to $53 a pound.
Last week Rio Tinto (RIO-NYSE) offered $4.70 per share in cash for Hathor, valuing the uranium explorer at $654-million. This new bid trumps Cameco’s (CCO-TSX) latest hostile bid of $4.50 per share.
On Monday, November 28, 2011 Cameco dropped out of the contest, saying it wasn’t prepared to pay more. Rio Tinto appears to have won the prize.
While the majority of investors have been distracted by this corporate scrap which one mining analyst described as “two bullies squaring off in a parking lot” – the big opportunities may be lurking at the edge of the frame.
History teaches us that high profile buyouts typically trigger interest in the junior explorers operating in the same geographical region.
Last November Saskatchewan explorers Encanto Potash (EPO-TSX) and Western Potash (WPX-TSX) spiked when Potash One (KCL-TSX) agreed to be taken over by a German company for $434 million.
Merger and acquisition activity can spread like wildfire.
Fission Energy (FIS-TSX) – a uranium explorer in the same neighbourhood as Hathor – has already almost doubled since the battle for Hathor started. Fission now has a market cap of $82 million.
If Hathor’s new owners want to expand their portfolio, they might turn to Athabasca micro-cap Unity Energy (UTY-TSX) – currently trading at $0.26 with a market cap of $5.6 million.
Unity has eight exploration projects, covering over 27,500 hectares in the eastern Athabasca Basin, the largest uranium producing region in the world.
The Company has assembled a team of geologists targeting five projects: McKenzie Lake, Thorburn Lake, Close Lake, Lampin Lake and Waterbury Lake. Unity’s projects are sitting in a neighbourhood of mines with 900 million pounds of measured and indicated uranium.
Unity is an early stage company but subsurface uranium has already been discovered on two projects: McKenzie Lake and Close Lake.
Geological results suggest that a fault controlled, near surface, deposit model is the most likely target type for the McKenzie Lake Project.
The Close Lake Project covers an area of 596 hectares, 10.6km northwest of the Cigar Lake mine. The Tucker NE conductivity trend immediately north of the Close Lake Project was delineated by a previous Airborne EM & Magnetic Survey.
Other promising targets close to Hathor’s Roughrider zone include The Waterbury Lake Project covering an area of 1856 hectares, just 9km south of the Midwest Mine.
Access to the Waterbury property is very good as portions of it cover the Cigar Lake road.
All targets at Waterbury are perceived to be shallow as basement depths range from 150-275m, dipping to the south.
According to the World Nuclear Association China has 27 nuclear plants under construction and 51 more planned. India has six under construction and 17 planned, while Russia has 10 being built and 14 more in development.
According to a forecast published by RBC Capital, prices of U308 are projected to increase 60% by 2014 as uranium shortfalls worsen.
Unity Energy is drilling in a prolific uranium-producing neighbourhood. Rio Tinto has $8 billion in Cash. If they decide to keep shopping, Unity Energy is a plump low lying fruit.