The Roughrider Project is a Development stage, conventional uranium project located in the eastern Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan and is located approximately seven kilometers north of Points North Landing and covers an area of approximately 598 hectares (the "Roughrider Project"). The Roughrider Project is 100% owned by a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc. ("Rio Tinto"). The Roughrider Royalty also applies to the Russell Lake and Russell Lake South projects, which are considered to be Early Exploration stage projects, located in the south-eastern rim of the Athabasca Basin.
The Roughrider Project was the flagship asset of Hathor Exploration Ltd. ("Hathor"), which Rio Tinto acquired for US$550 million between 2011 and 2012 pursuant to a competitive take-over bid that included a competing bid from Cameco Corporation ("Cameco").
The information below regarding project milestones and recent developments for the Roughrider Project has been summarized from the Roughrider Technical Report, a copy of which is available under the Company's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com), as well as from Rio Tinto's public disclosure.
The Roughrider Project was first explored in 2008 by Hathor, which completed an initial mineral resource estimate on a portion of the project in 2009. Hathor continued to develop the Roughrider Project, filing the Historic Roughrider Technical Report(1), which included the Roughrider East Zone and Roughrider West Zone, in October of 2011. The Historic Roughrider Technical Report(1) also included a preliminary economic assessment for the project (which Hathor announced the completion of in September 2011) which is not being treated as current by the Company.
The Historic Roughrider Technical Report(1) included the following historic mineral resource estimates: (a) for the Roughrider West Zone, an indicated resource of 17.21 mmlb of U308 (0.39 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.98% U308) and an inferred resource of 10.60 mmlb of U308 (0.04 million tonnes at an average grade of 11.03% U308); and (b) for the Roughrider East Zone, an inferred resource of 30.13 mmlb of U308 (0.12 million tonnes at an average grade of 11.58% U308).
The Company is treating the Historic Roughrider Technical Report(1) and the mineral resource estimate therein as historical in nature and notes that a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimates as current mineral resources. There are no other recent estimates or data available for the Roughrider Project and a detailed study of the current technical data relating to the property, together with the preparation of an updated development plan is required to be conducted in order to update these historical estimates as current resource estimates. The Company is disclosing the Historic Roughrider Technical Report(1) and the estimates contained therein for illustrative purposes, to provide readers with relevant information regarding the Roughrider Project. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in the historical estimate, which is subject to all of the assumptions, parameters and methods used to prepare such historical estimate.
In late 2011, Cameco Corporation ("Cameco") made an unsolicited bid of $3.75 per share for Hathor, followed by a competing bid by Rio Tinto of $4.15 per share. Cameco increased its offer to $4.50 per share and Rio Tinto ultimately acquired Hathor in January of 2012 for a price of $4.70 per share, valuing its bid at approximately $654 million. After acquiring the Roughrider Project, Rio Tinto continued to advance it; however, in August of 2017, Rio Tinto announced that it had fully impaired the Roughrider asset. Since acquiring the Roughrider Project, Rio Tinto has not disclosed any resource or reserve estimates for the project.
Preliminary Economic Assessment Technical Report for the East and West Zones, Roughrider Uranium Project, Saskatchewan, with an effective date of September 13, 2011, prepared for Hathor and authored by Gordon Doerksen, P.Eng., Bruce Fielder, P.Eng., Iouri Iakovlev, P.Eng., David Keller, P.Geo., Mark Liskowich, P.Geo., Bruce Murphy, FSAIMM, and Cam Scott, P.Eng.