Blue Sky Uranium’s Perfect Storm
June 12, 2017 11:09 pm ET
Argentina’s businesses suffered for years under the populist regime that imposed high taxes and limitations on investors. With the election of Macri in 2015, the country has begun the process of opening up the mining industry to foreign investors. Analysts believe that more than $400 billion worth of minerals exist underground and first-movers in the country may be the best positioned to capitalize on the opportunity.
In this article, we will look at why Argentina’s business-friendly president and a move to sustainable energy bode well for Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (TSX-V: BSK) (OTCQB: BKUCF).
Macri Looks to Boost Mining
President Mauricio Macri’s center-right government has been a strong supporter of business. Since taking office in 2015, he has pushed to attract foreign investment and spur growth after more than a decade of populist policies that have derailed its financial markets. The country’s economy has fallen behind Chile and Peru in attracting mining investments despite its rich deposits of copper, gold, silver, and zinc, as well as potentially uranium.
Macri has already been successful in lifting export taxes and a prohibition on foreign companies moving profits overseas. And earlier this month, the country announced an agreement with provincial governors to unify policies regulating the mining sector. Seven of the country’s 23 provinces prohibit certain practices that are crucial to the industry - including open-pit mining and the use of cyanide for extraction - which has contributed to its underperformance.
Analysts believe that Argentina has more than $400 billion in untapped mineral resources underground, which represents a significant opportunity for private companies if the government reforms its practices. The Grosso Group, a private management company founded in 1993, is among the largest in the space, managing Golden Arrow Resources Corporation (TSX-V: GRG), Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp (TSX-V: LIT), and Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (TSX-V: BSK).
Supportive of Renewables
The nuclear power industry may be dominated by large countries like the United States, but Argentina has become a leader in South America. The country has three nuclear reactors that generate about 10% of its total electrical demand, according to the World Nuclear Association. In addition to these reactors, the country is actively developing a small locally-designed power reactor prototype (CAREM-25) in an effort to advance its domestic industry.
In 2015, Argentina signed a $15 billion deal with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of its fourth and fifth nuclear power plants. These plants are expected to take eight years to build from the signing of the agreements, but the process could be expedited as the government seeks to meet its renewable energy goals. The country signed an unconditional commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2030.
Despite this growing nuclear presence, the country has no domestic supply of uranium and is forced to import the raw materials needed to power the plants. The upshot is that the Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) estimates that there are some 55,000 tU worth of uranium in “exploration targets” in several different geological environments. This could create a significant opportunity for private companies as the mining industry is opened up to investors.
Well Positioned to Profit
Blue Sky Uranium is developing uranium projects in the Rio Negro Province where mining is relatively developed. As of 2009, Grosso Group signed an AIP for a Strategic Alliance with the government for exploration and exploitation. This has helped the company sidestep many of the mining issues in other provinces as the Macri administration looks to open up the industry, which in turn gives the company a valuable head start.
The Amarillo Grande Project has a 140 kilometer long stretch of uranium mineralization that’s near surface, very good grade, leachable, and potentially upgradeable at a low cost. Management believes that the property has the potential to host a multi-million pound uranium resource that could be developed with a short lead time to become a leading domestic uranium supplier with expansion and export potential.
The company outlined its recent progress and development timeline in a March 2017 investor presentation:
Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (TSX-V: BSK) (OTCQB: BKUCF) represents a compelling investment opportunity in Argentina’s mining sector. With a focus on uranium, the company aims to become a first-mover in developing a domestic uranium supply to power its already-advanced nuclear industry. Investors may want to take a closer look at the stock given its modest valuation and management team that has a strong track record in the country.