The Michelin Royalty was created pursuant to a royalty agreement between Altius Resources Inc. and Labrador Uranium Co. Ltd. (now Aurora Energy Resources Inc.), dated June 17, 2005, which was subsequently assumed by 0897974 B.C. Ltd. (now Aurora Energy Ltd.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paladin Energy Ltd. ("Paladin"). As a result of internal reorganizations involving Altius Resources Inc. and its affiliate companies, the Michelin Royalty was held by Altius Royalty Corp. The Michelin Project is a Development stage conventional uranium project located in Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada covering approximately 69,800 hectares of mineral licenses and is located approximately 140 kilometers north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and 40 kilometers southwest of Postville, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Michelin Project is owned by Aurora Energy Ltd. Aurora Energy Ltd. is 55% owned by Paladin who has certain rights to increase its interest in the project by 5% per year, beginning May 31, 2018, to 75%. As announced by Paladin in May 2018, such joint venture terms were finalized pursuant to a settlement entered into by Paladin with certain claimants.
The information below regarding project milestones and recent developments for the Michelin Project has been summarized from Paladin's public disclosure.
The deposit at the Michelin Project was initially discovered in 1968. According to publicly available information, Aurora Energy Resources Inc. held the rights to the Michelin Project when it completed its initial public offering in 2006. Despite the imposition of a moratorium on uranium mining in Newfoundland and Labrador in early 2008, Fronteer Development Group Inc. ("Fronteer") completed its acquisition of Aurora Energy Resources Inc. in April of 2009 at which point it valued the total acquisition at approximately $180 million. Following the acquisition, Fronteer completed a preliminary economic assessment on the Michelin Project in 2009.
In February of 2011, Paladin acquired Aurora Energy Resources Inc. from Fronteer for $261 million. In December of 2011, the moratorium on uranium mining was lifted. In 2015, Paladin announced it had received a federal exemption under the Non-Resident Ownership Policy from Canadian ownership requirements relating to producing mines.
In August 2012, Paladin announced that it had entered into a long-term offtake agreement with a major utility and that it had granted such utility security in connection therewith over 60.1% of its interest in the Michelin Project.
In 2014, Paladin announced the completion of a mineral resource estimate for the Michelin Project and, in 2017, announced the a JORC(1) compliant resource estimate for the Michelin Project that included a measured and indicated resource of 105.60 mmlb U3O8 (54.4 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.088% U3O8) and an inferred resource of 22.10 mmlb U3O8 (13.10 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.077% U3O8).
In June 2018, Paladin disclosed that, as a consequence of the continuing weakness in the uranium spot price, the Michelin Project currently operates on minimum activity and expenditure at a level intended to maintain the claims in good standing. It further disclosed that it has implemented a mineral licence management strategy to ensure that the licences coincident with the estimated resources at the Michelin Project and the most prospective ground are maintained at minimum expense until March 2023.
(1) The 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.