After losing half of its value, the spot price of uranium has in recent weeks risen from less than $30 per pound to $42 per pound. Roger Lemaitre, President and CEO of UEX Corp., is pleased but not surprised as a supply shortage looms and sanctions against Russia are spooking utilities. In this interview with The Energy Report, Lemaitre explains how its substantial resources in Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin have primed UEX to move forward when uranium prices rise to meet demand.
Roger Lemaitre is president/CEO and a director of UEX Corp. He was formerly CEO and executive director of URU Metals Ltd., an AIM-listed junior uranium and base metals exploration company. He worked 12 years for Cameco, where he was global director of exploration. He holds a bachelor's degree in applied science in geological engineering from Queens University, a master's degree of applied science in geology from McGill University and a master's degree in business administration from Athabasca University.
The Energy Report: UEX Corp. describes itself as Canada's "blue chip" uranium junior. What makes it so?
Roger Lemaitre: We have acted like a blue chip throughout our history. There's a chart in our presentation demonstrating the close correlation of UEX's share price to uranium's spot price. Yes, junior companies tend to correlate well, but they also tend to be more volatile than we've been. The reason is that we're sitting on 86 million pounds (86 Mlb) of U308 that could be developed in a reasonable period of time in the world's best jurisdiction. We're a proxy for the uranium price for some investors, and we're cheaper than, say, Cameco Corp.
TER: You were with Cameco for quite a few years, right?
RL: I've been focused on uranium exploration for the last 14 years. Twelve were with Cameco, where I was involved in the Rabbit Lake/Eagle Point extension/discovery that's kept that mine running for a dozen years longer than projected. I oversaw Cameco's exploration programs in Saskatchewan and globally. I was appointed president and CEO of UEX in December 2013.
TER: What's your professional training?
RL: I have a bachelor's degree in geological engineering from Queen's University, a master's degree in geology from McGill University and a master's degree in business administration from Athabasca University.