With a rich portfolio of projects in Canada's Athabasca Basin, where the two largest high-grade uranium deposits on Earth are found, and the joint venture backing of mining behemoths Cameco and Orano, exploration company Purepoint Uranium Group is well-positioned for the bullish-looking uranium market.
To date, the mining junior led by president and chief executive Chris Frostad has eschewed the limelight and steered clear of spin and hyperbole, preferring instead to let the facts speak for themselves.
Responsible for generating the data that counts is vice president of exploration Scott Frostad, who has been in the uranium hunt for the last 20 years and started his career at Orano. Together, he and his brother Chris have outlived two entire exploration teams at Cameco.
Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster of 2011, Chris Frostad saw little to shout about, given the depressed state of the uranium market and the lack of appetite for investment. This deliberately low profile - more reminiscent of a major than a junior - stems from the view that there is ultimately no value in making unnecessary noise simply to excite the market.
The Purepoint Uranium president and CEO is clear that they are in this for the long-term, and that one must make the story last. "There is no point cheering over nothing just to get people excited in the moment, but what to say in a year when you follow up on those one or two holes and there's nothing there?", he said in conversation with Mining Journal.
Yet, throughout the uranium doldrums of the post-Fukushima decade, Orano and Cameco did not let up on funding Purepoint Uranium to keep things ticking over, evidencing the high regard in which they held the potential of its northern Saskatchewan projects. In some years, the company was the sole beneficiary of such financial support.
For ten years, Purepoint Uranium focused on care and maintenance. This ensured the company's capacity to respond was maintained ready for the time when the market dynamics shifted. Now, with nuclear back in vogue, the stars have aligned accordingly, and there is suddenly much of substance for the Toronto Venture Exchange-listed junior to talk about.
With nuclear firmly back in the room as an acceptable and reliable source of clean energy for the US and much of Europe, the burning issue for end users has become security of supply. And with so little investment into new projects in recent years, the supply deficit is significant and only set to become more marked. With projects in Canada, a friendshoring favourite of some of the world's biggest consumers of uranium, Purepoint Uranium believes it should be considered an obvious part of the solution to that conundrum. And Saskatchewan, where Purepoint Uranium's Athabasca Basin projects are located, features consistently at or near the top in the Fraser Institute's annual survey of the most attractive jurisdictions worldwide for mining investment.
Chris Frostad describes Canada as being very supportive of its mining industry in a way that transcends politics and is unlikely to change any time soon. He discerns a fundamental understanding throughout the corridors of power that the national economy is heavily reliant on digging stuff out of the ground and selling it. This will be music to investors' ears.
Now that the requisite capital is available to advance things, the company finds itself streets ahead of others in the uranium exploration space that must first get through the process of mapping and surface sampling before drill targets can be refined and defined. In contrast, Chris Frostad points out that not only are each of the projects he oversees ready to take a drill, but drilling has already commenced on many of them. From this it has been demonstrated there is mineralisation in abundance to follow up on.
Hook Lake is considered the jewel in the crown. However, while it may be receiving the most attention at present given its proximity to two big finds of the last decade, Chris Frostad was keen to point out that Purepoint Uranium has "a full gamut of projects, not just one Hail Mary".
Regarding Purepoint Uranium's stock price, while lift off is yet to happen, the president and CEO noted that it is not as volatile as others, thanks to the tone the company adopts and its backing from the majors. "We ride the average of all the uranium exploration companies," he said.
He also noted the company is in the pennies "mainly because we've got 400 million shares outstanding as we've never done a consolidation. When a company tries to consolidate its shares to rightsize its cap structure, the share price just drops and floats back down to where it was, which doesn't seem like an intelligent move."
In Frostad's view, when the market is hostile or not inclined towards uranium, that is not the time to be looking to raise awareness. The fillip provided by a period of intense promotion is by nature transitory. It is better to hold off until more upbeat sentiment prevails and have something quantifiable with legs to stand behind.
As to upcoming milestones, the Purepoint Uranium president and CEO pointed to multiple drilling initiatives at Hook Lake, Red Willow, Turnor Lake and Carson Lake, as well as a Cameco-encouraged renewed focus on Smart Lake for the first time in ten years.
2024 is set to be a very busy year. Chris Frostad highlighted the amount of drilling and the number of projects being worked on as the key differentiator and newsmaker over the year to come.
Ten years ago, nuclear was considered the enemy and an energy menace. Now the world has fallen back in love with it. Notwithstanding the eternal vagaries of politics and people, the Purepoint Uranium head explained that this time around we're "seeing it in a real way with reactors actually being built".
According to Chris Frostad, in fifteen years, the number of reactors under construction has doubled to 60, with some of these in virgin nuclear territory, such as Turkey. The US, meanwhile, is also full steam ahead building new reactors, something it has not done in decades. In addition, there is serious movement on the small modular reactor (SMR) front. All this combines to increase the appetite for uranium.
ABOUT THIS COMPANY
Purepoint Uranium Group Inc. is a uranium exploration company focused on the precision exploration of its projects in the Canadian Athabasca Basin (the “Basin”), the world’s richest uranium region.
- 120 Adelaide St. W., Suite 2500 Toronto, Ontario, M5H 1T1
- Phone: +1 416 603 8368
- Web: www.purepoint.ca
- Email: email@example.com
- Chris Frostad
- Scott Frostad
- Allan Beach
- Borys Chabursky
SHARES ON ISSUE
- 417.53 million CAD
MARKET CAP (at October 27, 2023)
- C$20.88 million