A Cranbrook mining exploration company has been offered a signal honour at the Toronto Stock Exchange this week.
Athabasca Nuclear Corp., a spin-off of Eagle Plains Resources, is part of a four-company syndicate that has been invited to ring the bell opening the TSX exchange on Friday, Sept. 13. Chuck Downie of Cranbrook, president and CEO of Athabasca Nuclear Corp., will be in Toronto to take part in the ceremony.
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is the largest stock exchange in Canada, the third largest in North America and the seventh largest in the world by market capitalization. Its trading day always opens and closes with the ceremonial ringing of a bell. Companies of note, individuals and even charities are often invited as an honour to perform the ringing to open the market.
The Western Athabasca Syndicate, which includes Athabasca Nuclear, is currently exploring for uranium in the Athabasca Basin area of northern Saskatchewan.
Athabasca Nuclear (ASC:TSX-V) was “spun-off” from Eagle Plains Resources on a “one-for-three” basis, explained Mike Labach, Director of Investor Relations for Eagle Plains, meaning if shareholders had three shares of Eagle Plains they received one of Athabasca (the company was originally called Yellowjacket when the spin-off occurred).
Labach said this practice is a typical business model for Eagle Plains — done to enhance shareholder value and spotlight successes.
“The syndicate was invited to ring the bell — likely because of awareness of the syndicate and that they knew our people were going to be in town, because of a mining and exploration conference being held in Toronto,” Labach said.
The three other companies in the syndicate are unrelated to Eagle Plains, Labach said, but have combined forces to maximize resources. Both Athabasca Nuclear and Skyharbour Resources have significant land packages along the western margin of the Athabasca basin.
“We have a huge land package there, a very large area to explore which is an expensive endeavour,” Labach said. “Having partners to share the work and risk is a positive development. In these markets it is very difficult to raise exploration capital. So companies are starting to come up with new or unique ways to raise capital to carry out exploration programs.
“What we did here is take advantage of a situation that we found ourselves in: sitting on a very large land package, with Skyharbour sitting on a very large land package — roughly equal to ours — and two other companies that didn’t have any land but wanted to be involved in exploring the area for uranium partly due to the high-grade discovery made nearby at Patterson Lake South. Each of the companies bring different expertise to the syndicate, be it technical expertise in geology or in the financial realm. Two of the companies have more of a financial focus while ours lies in more the technical end of things. Athabasca Nuclear and Skyharbour contributed to the land and as a result our financial contribution now is less than the other two companies who did not have a land package.
“The four of us have entered into an arrangement where everybody can earn an equal part, but we all contribute differently. This is a similar model to that of Eagle Plains.
“When times get tough, maybe you start sharing costs and resources with your neighbours a little more. It’s the same kind of concept. We’re sharing the rewards as well as sharing the requirements,” said Labach.