ABITEX is an exploration and development
company based in Val d'Or, Quebec, which is currently focused on acquiring
and advancing uranium properties in Quebec, including the Lavoie and Epsilon
properties in the Otish Mountains. The company is completing an initial
43-101 resource estimate on the Lavoie project while two very significant
U-Au discoveries have been made
in the last year on the Epsilon project with reported grades as high as 3.5%
U3O8 and 47 g/t Au.
President and CEO
Mr. Rougerie is a
professional geologist with over 25 years of experience in exploration and
mining geology. He participated in all phases of exploration and development
of the world-class Louvicourt base metal mine and in the initial discovery
of the “L” uranium deposit in the Otish Mountains, Quebec, amongst others.
Mr Rougerie has been the President & CEO of Abitex since March 2007 and
Co-Chairman since September 2008. During his tenure, Abitex has completed an
option & JV agreement with AREVA and the strategic acquisitions of the
Epsilon property and of privately held uranium explorer Central Uranium
Corporation, and raised over $10M during that time to advance the Company’s
U-Au properties in the Otish Mtns.
Abitex Resources Inc.
1019 Avenue des Pins
Val d'Or, Québec, Canada J9P 4T2
Tel: (819) 874-6200
Fax: (819) 874-6202
Interview conducted by: Lynn
Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFOinterviews.com, Published – December 11, 2009
CEOCFO: Mr. Rougerie, what is Abitex doing
Abitex is a junior exploration and development company. Our activities are
concentrated in the province of Quebec Canada although we have gone as far
Mexico. We have gold projects and base metal projects, but right now, the
focus is almost entirely on the uranium projects.
What is driving the focus on uranium?
Rougerie: It is
the quality of our projects that is driving it. Essentially, with junior
companies, when you have a good horse to ride, you have to ride it. We had
one and now have two significant projects with tremendous potential and
therefore even though we have a couple of gold properties, we believe that
the uranium properties have the best long term potential. So the focus is on
uranium because of the quality of the projects.
CEOCFO: Would you give us a little more
detail on your projects and what is happening today?
Mr. Rougerie: Our projects are in the
Otish Mountains of Quebec. It is a sedimentary rock basin that is the same
age and type as the Athabaska basin in Saskatchewan, which hosts the world’s
highest grade U deposits. Uranium around the world has been more
concentrated at that moment in time according to the geological record and
that is why so much exploration is done in the sedimentary rock basins of
that age. In the Otish Mountains there was significant exploration done back
in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and there where quite a few discoveries
made, but by the mid-1980’s the uranium market fell apart and the price
dropped below $10 and stayed there for over 20 years. Therefore, everything
was abandoned there and nobody did any work. In the early 2000’s when the
uranium market took off, a whole lot of people started going back to the
Otish Mountains and there has been a true acceleration of exploration up
there. What we did was to acquire an option, a 50% interest in what is
called the Lavoie property, on which a deposit was discovered by AREVA,
which is a large French uranium conglomerate, back in the early 1980’s and
this was until recently the only uranium deposit that you could find in the
Otish Mountains. They had found a resource of about 6 million pounds of
uranium in that rock. And the average grade is about 0.7% uranium oxide. We
were able to sign an option agreement to acquire a 50% interest in the
property in mid-2008 and since then we have spent six and a half million
dollars on the property. Being in an isolated area, we have to put in place
the whole infrastructure for exploration. We had to set up a large camp and
bring in the heavy equipment in order to be able to do the definition
drilling of the target. So we have up to this point, drilled about 11,000
meters, or about 35,000 feet on this deposit. We have been working under the
2009 norms or Canadian standards, which are the 43-101 standards that
everyone talks about. We are in the process now of having an independent
resource estimate done on the property. It would be the first one in almost
30 years and we will try to bring the resource up to a modern standard.
Last year we acquired another property about 10 miles away called the
Epsilon Property, which is named after the Greek letter Epsilon. There is a
lake on the property that looks like the letter Epsilon, thus the property
name. After acquiring it we did some airborne radiometric surveys and made a
significant discovery last fall. This we call the Epsilon A Showing and it
is fracture controlled uranium mineralization along with other metals. One
thing I didn’t mention is that in the area we are in, in the Otish
Mountains, there is a significant metal component on top of the uranium
mineralization. It would appear that there is a secondary phase after the
first uranium one. There is a metallic phase that came up, which brought
quite a bit of silver and gold. We have Gold assays as high as 40 grams per
ton in the Lavoie deposit. On our new property where we made that discovery,
we also have very high grades of gold in the 1 to 2 ounce range that goes
along with quite high uranium. We did some grab samples last year, just
before the winter, that ran as high as 2.2% uranium oxide and 28 grams gold.
So there is very significant gold added onto the uranium. To be honest, the
gold is very erratic, so it will go from no gram all the way up to 28 grams.
So we really have no idea of what the eventual true grade of gold will be.
That will come through time with the taking of large samples where we can
average out the grades over a large sampling of rock. The Epsilon property
is a much larger property, at well over 5,000 Hectares (12,500 acres), which
is about 53 square kilometers. AREVA had done quite a bit of work there, but
they had done most of their work on the eastern part of the property. What
Abitex has found is in the northwestern side of the property. After the
discovery last year which gave us those good numbers, we went back in this
year and we did a property-wide airborne mag-survey, and then we did a
detailed airborne radiometric survey over an interesting circular structure
that showed up on the mag-survey.
The 2009 airborne close spaced radiometric survey led to the discovery of a
new high grade outcrop that we call Epsilon B. Over the summer, we stripped
and trenched and exposed the Epsilon B discovery outcrop area and what we
see visually is that it has the exact same characteristics as the “L”
deposit on the Lavoie property, 10 miles away. So it looks like the exact
same geological setting. From our early grab samples from the Epsilon B
outcrop, we have received assays of up to 3,5% uranium oxide and as high as
47 grams gold per tonne. We found silver as high as 200 grams per tonne. So
there is a very significant mineral occurrence there and we are very excited
about that. After we did the stripping this fall, we were able to get
channel samples and some large grab samples of mineralized materials. We are
awaiting assays for that work to come in within the next month. So we are
very excited about this project and we want to pursue that one with the
highest priority. We are going to go back in to try to define the properties
a little better and then we will do some initial drilling on that part of
the property. We believe that it has the same kind of potential that the
Lavoie property has already demonstrated, which is in the multi-million
pound range, but we have no idea how big. It is the kind of discovery that
one rarely makes. I worked five years in the Otish Mountains back in the
early1980’s, so I’ve seen the entire Otish Mountains and all of the uranium
showings, but this is by far the most significant outcrop in the Otish
Mountains. There is no doubt about it. The quality is there of
mineralization and everything else, so we are quite excited about it. The
market response to that is that we have had a lot of offers to the company
financially as we go along with these projects. So we are very excited about
it and that is the reason why the focus is on that, because the uranium
market will most likely recover in the course of the next couple of years.
So we are going to take advantage of that.
CEOCFO: All of this activity is
expensive; what is the financial picture for the company?
Mr. Rougerie: It is quite expensive and
we’ve spent over $6 million and what we have to show for it is the upcoming
43-101 resource estimate for the “L” deposit as well as two high grade
mineralized outcrops that we have discovered on the Epsilon property.
CEOCFO: You mentioned that the market is
Mr. Rougerie: The market has been
responsive from the standpoint of the people that are willing to invest and
take it forward. We have had a lot more trouble on the market getting the
response that we would like from investors and therefore from the stock
price standpoint. That has a lot to do with the slow nature of the results
coming out of the work on projects like that. We don’t have a good flow of
news to put into the market and therefore market gets a little tired. But
because of all of the work that we did this summer, most of the definition
drilling that we did at the Lavoie property and on the two new discoveries
on Epsilon A and B, and the sampling that we have done there, we have a
large flow of information to come out over the course of the fall. So we
will attract the attention of the market.
CEOCFO: Sum it up for potential
investors; with so many companies to choose from, why look at Abitex
Mr. Rougerie: There are a couple of
reasons. If you go into microcaps, there are different ways of looking at
investing. If you look at the people, who are running the company and if you
are interested in pure geological plays, which can lead to serious
developments and significant discoveries, you are going to look for good
people and people that have a lot of experience and you are going to look at
the quality of the projects. The two projects that our focus is on are very
promising. If you look at what we have going on at the Lavoie and the other
project, you can see that these are very good quality technical projects and
demonstrate potential to those that accept pure early development and longer
term for mining. So investors should look at us because of how good the
properties are and the potential that they have to come up with continuing
good results as well as the people behind them. We have raised over $10
million in the last year and a half for these projects, which is evidence of
the support that we get because of the quality of these projects.
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