The influential uranium miner NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) (NYSE: NXE) (ASX: NXG) initiated a 30,000-metre drill program in the Athabasca Basin on Wednesday.
NexGen says the 2024 campaign will involve targeting 10 conductive trends with up to four drill rigs at its Rook I project and SW1 property. The company will test a series of high-priority targets, building on results from last year’s exploration program that helped provide comprehensive geological knowledge.
NexGen conducted 22,500 metres of drilling last summer alone. It was the largest exploration program since the company discovered the Arrow deposit near the Alberta border.
“The commencement of the 2024 exploration drilling to identify additional zones of mineralization is an exciting arm of NexGen’s operations,” CEO Leigh Curyer said.
Unsurprisingly, the mining company says its objective with this year’s campaign is to continue capitalizing on the increasing demand for uranium. The commodity’s value continues to ascend and it is unclear when it will plateau or decline.
“Nuclear power is critical to reliably achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” Curyer said. “And uranium is the fuel that will power this necessary transition with the industry forecasting a 200-million-pound annual supply deficit by 2040.”
The company’s well-advanced Rook I project, centered around Arrow, is projected to be capable of supplying almost 30 million pounds of uranium annually. It will provide up to 23 per cent of the global supply and 50 per cent of the Western stockpile.
Athabasca Basin exploration and development increases
Many other companies have been ramping up their activities in the Athabasca Basin as well.
These include operators like ATHA Energy Corp. (CSE: SASK) (OTCQB: SASKF) (FRA: X5U), which is currently finalizing its acquisition of 92 Energy Limited (ASX: 92E) to enhance its explorer stature there even further.
The ASX-listed company has 10 projects in the region that will be obtained through the deal. ATHA got shareholder approval for the acquisition this week.
The uranium explorer holds a 10 per cent carried interest on certain portions of NexGen’s land package in the jurisdiction.
Another, Fission Uranium Corp. (TSX: FCU), just announced that it will be raising C$55 million to advance development of the PLS project and its Triple R deposit in the Basin. Canaccord Genuity Corp. (TSX: CF) will be assisting with the initiative.
Favourable market conditions have drawn an increased rate of attention to the Athabasca Basin from investors, prospectors and others.
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