* In talks with bankers on spin-off, to decide in 2011
* Looking for C$40 million IPO for Macusani, Dieter Lake
* Sees official resource estimate for Waterbury this year
* Shares quadrupled in 2010, up 56 pct in 2011
By Julie Gordon
TORONTO, March 8 Fission Energy FIS.V may
spin off its Peruvian and Quebec exploration projects into a
new company as it focuses on advancing the Waterbury Lake
project in the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin, said the company's
"Most people don't realize that we have Macusani or Dieter
Lake," said Fission Chief Executive Dev Randhawa, referring to
projects to be spun off. "If I could put those into a new
company, and get C$40 million worth of stock ... I can put that
back to my shareholders."
The uranium explorer is talking with bankers on the
valuation of the new company and a decision will be made this
year, Randhawa told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual PDAC
prospectors and developers conference.
Shares of Fission, spun off from Strathmore Minerals
(STM.V) in 2007, more than quadrupled last year. The stock
closed at C$1.28 on Monday on the TSX Venture Exchange.
TSX Venture top mining explorers: r.reuters.com/nuf48r
For more stories on PDAC convention: [ID:nN02153893]
The company holds a 50 percent stake in the Waterbury Lake
project, located close to the Midwest project owned by Areva
CEPFi.PA and Denison Mines (DML.TO).
Fission, along with joint venture partner Korea Electric
Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS), will spend about C$10 million
on exploration at Waterbury in 2011.
With the additional drilling already underway at Waterbury,
Fission plans to release an official resource estimate later
"We want to keep drilling as long as we can," said
Randhawa. "What will help our shareholders is more drilling to
find more pearls, high uranium price, and finally a takeover
The risk of a larger company swooping in to poach Waterbury
Lake is part of reason why Fission is eager to spin off its
other exploration assets into a separate company.
"If somebody comes along and offers to buy us out at
Waterbury, we'd sell Waterbury - but just Waterbury," Randhawa
"Because we have so many properties, we took what we
figured was our best one, to develop it," he added. "Now we can
start in on the rest of our projects."
At the top of the development list is Dieter Lake, located
in northcentral Quebec. The project has an official resource
estimate of 24.4 million pounds, but historical data suggests
there is up to 100 million pounds, said Randhawa.
Fission will also start development on its Macusani
project, located in a growing uranium district in southern
With spot uranium near $70 a pound and expected to rise on
growing demand and shrinking supplies, Fission is also eyeing
new growth opportunities.
"We're looking at acquisitions ourselves, because we've got
a lot of cash," Randhawa said. "There's some stuff in Australia
we like -- exploration mines."
While some juniors are looking to take their projects to
production, he sees more value in developing deposits and
selling them to established producers.
"We're going to stay in exploration," Randhawa said. "We're
treasure hunters. We're not miners."
(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Edited by Frank McGurty)