TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Hathor Exploration has signed “several” confidentiality agreements with companies interested in its Roughrider deposit in Saskatchewan, which Cameco is coveting in a hostile C$520-million bid for the company, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The TSX-listed company was talking to “some very large mining conglomerates and focused entities out of Asia”, Tony Nunziata told Mining Weekly Online.
Cameco made a hostile bid for Hathor after talks aimed at reaching a friendly deal failed, with the CEO of the world’s biggest uranium producer, Tim Gitzel, saying in late August the companies could not come to the same valuations.
The target has since told its shareholders not to act until it prepares a formal response to the offer, which the market widely expects will be a rejection.
Analysts told Mining Weekly Online in August that other companies, including France’s Areva, may be interested in bidding for Hathor.
The junior on Tuesday published new drilling results for the Far East zone of Roughrider, which had not been included in its official resource estimates, which only include drilling results from the Roughrider East and West Zones, Nunziata said.
So far, the deposit has an inferred resource of 40-million pounds of uranium, grading at around 11%, making it one of the highest-grade deposits globally.
The West zone also has a 17-million-pound indicated resource at a 1.98% grade.
According to Nunziata, independent analysts believe the Far East zone could add 15-million pounds of resources “give or take” to this once all the drill assays have been processed.
Interesting to note in Hathor’s announcement, is that it said Roughrider remains open both east along strike, as well as south-east up-dip from the highest-grade mineralisation found so far.
The company said the drill results so far from the Far East zone were a “material development in the overall mineral resource potential of Roughrider”.
Cameco has indicated it believes Hathor does not have much chance.
“The hostile bid Cameco put forward is really based on the first two zones,” commented Nunziata, adding that the company was due to report a resource for the Far East zone later this year.
Hathor said last week it aimed to make a formal recommendation to Cameco’s “opportunistic” bid by September 14. On Tuesday, it slapped the “predatory” label on the offer too.
Nunziata said that Hathor had a large retail shareholder base, and that the company had spoken to some of its key “high net-worth” shareholders about the bid.
“Most of the shareholder base knows that the valuation put forward by Cameco is low,” he said.
Hathor will hold its annual shareholder meeting in Vancouver on Wednesday.
The stock closed flat at C$4.16 apiece on Tuesday, about 11% above the C$3.75 price Cameco offered for it.