VANCOUVER, B.C., April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- China's government confirmed 2013 uranium imports reached 19,000 tons of uranium concentrate, exceeding current demand by 7,000 tonnes. China plans to install 50 GW of nuclear capacity by 2017, a 300% increase from currently levels of about 16 GW.
On April 17, 2014 Macusani Yellowcake (TSX-V:YEL) (FRANKFURT:QG1.F) and Azincourt Uranium (TSX-V:AAZ) announced a planned merger that will create one of the largest undeveloped uranium projects in the world.
The merged companies will have a total combined resource of 49.67 M lbs of Measured and Indicated (M&I) contained U3O, and 47.49 M lbs of inferred contained U3O8.
Azincourt CEO and President Ted O'Connor spent the last decade assessing uranium projects around the globe.He previously worked in senior management positions at Cameco Corporation – an $8 billion company and one of the world's largest uranium producers. AAZ's chairman, Ian Stalker, is the former CEO of UraMin which was sold to Areva for $2.5Bn.
Ted O'Connor will be appointed as CEO of Macusani following completion of the transaction, and Laurence Stefan, current President and CEO of Macusani, will continue his role as President and COO. Mr. O'Connor and Ian Stalker, Chairman of Azincourt, will also join a six member board of directors of Macusani.
The deal appears highly advantageous for current AAZ shareholders and indicates a good entry point for savvy commodity investors.
Azincourt retains its joint venture in Saskatchewan, Canada with the Athabasca Basin's leading exploration company, Fission Uranium, exploring the highly prospective Patterson Lake North (PLN) property, while gaining 68 million common shares of Macusani, a larger uranium company in Peru.
The PEA's base case evaluation concludes a post-tax Net Present Value of $417 million – 15 times the current combined market capitalisation of both companies.
Macusani and Azincourt will combine their respective Management Teams and Board of Directors to create a wider, deeper pool of expertise to drive development and capital market activity as well as minimising the related overhead costs.
"This transaction represents an inflection point for both Macusani and Azincourt," stated Ted O'Connor, current President and CEO of Azincourt. "As a former Director with Cameco, I've had the opportunity to evaluate uranium projects all over the world and I believe that the investment community will be very hard-pressed to identify an investment opportunity in the uranium sector that is more attractive in the context of the current market than Macusani."
The Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, Canada hosts the world's richest uranium deposits. Fission Uranium recently reported a drill interval of 38% U3O8 over 10.5 metres. That is approximately 380 times richer than the world average grade of 0.1% U3O8.
Fission Uranium's stock price has increased 178% in the last 12 months based on the results of a strategic drill program on the Patterson Lake South uranium property.
Last month, David A. Talbot, a senior uranium analyst with Dundee Capital Markets, initiated coverage on Azincourt with a "BUY, Venture Risk, No Target."
"We believe that investors should buy Azincourt Uranium for its prospectivity in the Athabasca Basin," wrote Talbot. "It's our opinion that PLN represents a top three location in the PLS discovery area, and this new player has one of the best technical teams drilling the ground."
PLN is adjacent to Fission Uranium's shallow depth, high-grade uranium discovery at Patterson Lake South. Fission Uranium's spin out company, Fission 3.0, is the new partner and operator on this project, with the same technical and management team as Fission Uranium.
On April 24, 2014 Azincourt exercised a Year 2 Option with Fission 3.0 at PLN, announcing an aggressive exploration program beginning immediately on quality targets.
The initial exploration program completed in 2014 proved the prospectivity of the conductive/structural systems that were drill tested, as well as identifying a new 8.5 km northern conductor system target. Other targets were refined throughout the entire project area.
Azincourt will continue funding exploration work into Year 2 of its earn-in Option at the PLN project. Work is starting well ahead of the June 19 anniversary date
AAZ plans to complete DC Resistivity surveys on the northern conductor and Broach Lake Conductor systems with line cutting and grid preparation already underway. Diamond Drill holes are also planned for the summer and fall as follow-up on the A1 and A4 conductors and on any land-based resistivity targets.
The merger positions Azincourt shareholders to own two distinct uranium investments with different risk/return characteristics: Macusani, a pure-play, dominant uranium development company focused in Peru, and Azincourt, an Athabasca-focused uranium exploration company.
China has 28 reactors under construction with five scheduled to be connected to the grid in 2014. China is suffocating in a cloud of pollution. Nuclear is the only solution. Domestic uranium mining currently supplies about 25% of China's uranium demand.
Azincourt is currently trading at .17 with a market capitalisation of $8.4 million.
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CONTACT: Azincourt Uranium Inc. (TSX-V:AAZ) Suite 800 - 789 W.Pender Street Vancouver, B.C. V6C 1H2 Toll-Free: 1-855-237-6274 Phone: 604-662-4955 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Azincourt Uranium Inc.