Strateco Resources' (RSC-T) shares surged 32% after the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) granted it an exploration licence for its underground Matoush uranium project in Quebec’s Otish Basin.
Reported on Oct. 17 after market close, the licence will allow the junior to put in an exploration ramp and to build surface buildings and facilities to prepare the Matoush project for advanced exploration, said CNSC in a statement.
Before any work on site can begin, the company is required to fulfill several conditions attached to the licence, including putting aside $6-million in financial security for site rehabilitation, and collecting and analyzing all the required aquatic background data, noted Strateco in a release.
The Quebec-based junior said it has already analyzed and compiled this data and will file a full report for the federal regulator by the end of the month.
The licence is valid for five years and expires on Oct.31, 2017, and could only be used for advanced exploration activities and not for “possible future mining activities,” the commission said.
“We are very proud to have obtained this licence,” commented Guy Hébert, the company’s president and CEO. “This is a first for a junior company in Canada. This licence will enable us to resume discussions with potential partners regarding the Matoush project development.”
The junior has been waiting a long time to reach this milestone. It started the process to obtain the licence in July 2008 and has completed a full environmental assessment at both the federal and provincial levels for the Matoush project as well as three public hearings.
Earlier this year both the federal Minister of Environment, Peter Kent, and the federal administrator of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, Elaine Feldman, ruled in favour of the project’s environmental impact assessment and gave Matoush their stamp of approval, Strateco outlined.
“The project as presented constitutes a minimal risk for health and the environment, and that the proposed work and its inherent risks are similar to those seen in a conventional mining operation.”
The company is now waiting for the provincial administrator of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement to provide a certificate of authorization, after which it can commence work on the exploration ramp.
The Matoush project is located in the Otish mountains about 275 km north of Chibougamau and 210 km north of Mistissini.
On the news, Strateco gained 7 cents to close at 29 cents on 1.3 million shares traded.
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