Aldershot beefs up uranium stable in U.S.

Aldershot Resources chairman Philip Crabb. Photo by Aldershot ResourcesAldershot Resources chairman Philip Crabb. Photo by Aldershot Resources

Philip Crabb says he “isn’t fazed by the current opinion of uranium,” and would, if asked, probably urge critics of the nuclear industry to take a trip to China if they needed any convincing that nuclear energy is the way to go.

“I’ve just been to China. And it has to go nuclear because you can’t tell whether it’s night or day there,” the chairman of junior uranium explorer Aldershot Resources (ALZ-V) says. “I was appalled.”

“We have a crisis – an energy and environmental crisis – and we can’t hide our heads in our hands,” he adds. “The demand for energy is increasing daily, and we need to do something about it. There are only so many wind turbines and solar panels you can build.”

The Australian, whose younger brother Rick is chairman of Paladin Energy (PDN-T, PDN-A), a uranium production company with projects in Australia and two operating mines in Africa, is a vocal cheerleader of nuclear power.

On a recent swing through Toronto from his home in Perth, Ont., Crabb estimated in an interview with The Northern Miner that “there has to be at least 100 million pounds of uranium found in new discoveries a year, if we’re going to supply current production – or the lights are going to go out.”

That’s where Aldershot Resources comes in. The company, which has uranium properties in Australia and Zambia, has recently acquired properties in the U.S. from Royal Resources (ROY-A), an Australia-based company of which Crabb is chairman. Royal Resources has its hands full with a large iron ore project, and Crabb and other senior management believed that selling its U.S. uranium properties to Aldershot made sense. 

“We think this is a good marriage of interests,” Crabb says.  

Aldershot’s new property acquisitions in Colorado, Utah and Arizona are double or triple the grade of Aldershot’s uranium properties in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, Crabb says. 

“We’ve been very successful explorers of uranium in Australia, and we wouldn’t have gone to this belt in the U.S. unless we felt there was a real chance there.

“We’ve put together a very good team, we’ve got good projects, and some of them are drill-ready,” he adds. “So they’re worth a look.”

Aldershot’s new uranium properties in the U.S. are in four joint-ventures, including with Energy Fuels (EFR-T). Some are in the Colorado Plateau, including the Uravan mineral belt district, and in the Arizona Strip district. The Uravan belt is in western Colorado and eastern Utah. The Arizona strip is in northwestern Arizona.

Some of Aldershot’s claims are within 100 km of Energy Fuels’ Pinon Ridge uranium mill, which the company says will be the first conventional uranium and vanadium mill built in the U.S. in more than 30 years.

The Pinon mill will process uranium and vanadium ore from area mines and produce uranium oxide, or yellowcake and vanadium pentoxide. The start-up of the mill is expected by 2013, Energy Fuels says on its website.

“We are very close to where the mill is going to be put up, and we have joint-ventures with Energy Fuels,” Crabb says. “Our goal is to drill and get into production as quickly as we can.”

At presstime Aldershot traded at 3.5¢ per share. It has 88.5 million shares outstanding.

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