Athabasca Minerals Inc. announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and 13 months ended Dec. 31, 2014. The company focused part of its report on its Firebag Silica Sand Project development. The company reported:
- Received the completed National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) Technical Report, “Inferred Frac Sand Resource Estimate for the Firebag Property, Northeastern Alberta, Canada,” dated Sept.19, 2014, and prepared by Roy Eccles, MSc. P. Geol. and Steven Nicholls, BA. Sc., MAIG of APEX Geoscience Ltd., and Mark Zdunczyk, CPG, a New York-based consulting geologist specializing in sand and aggregates, with respect to the corporation's Firebag property located in Northeastern Alberta.
- Engaged Norwest Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment to demonstrate the viability of the Firebag Silica Sand Project, the results of which are set forth in the report "Preliminary Economic Assessment - Firebag River Sand Property," dated March 3, 2015, and effective as of Nov. 26, 2014.
- Submitted the Conservation and Reclamation Business Plan (ESRD) to the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
- The Firebag Project received approval for the Surface Material Lease and the right to work and remove sand from Phase One from Alberta ESRD.
- Retained the services of AECOM of Edmonton, Alberta, for engineering work on the development of the Lynton transloading facility near Fort McMurray.
President and CEO Dom Kriangkum said, "We are extremely pleased with the positive results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Firebag Project, and will continue development in 2015 targeting becoming a quality frac sand supplier to the oil and gas industry in Western Canada in 2016."
A significant amount of testing was conducted on the Firebag Project sand to verify the consistency of the silica sand at various depths within the deposit. Independent testing by both Stim-Lab Inc. and PropTester Inc. confirm a high quality product with crush strength meeting or exceeding API and ISO standards for frac sand.
Advancements on the transloading sites and detailed engineering are underway. Athabasca has been in active discussions with a major railway company and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in developing a private switch and transloading facility in Fort McMurray.
The corporation's second phase of development includes plans to develop a larger adjacent 420-acre SML for which applications have been submitted. The corporation holds 100 percent rights to seven industrial and metallic mineral leases covering 131,629 acres in the Fort McMurray region of northeast Alberta.
Resources have been allocated to advance the engineering surrounding the final plant design, complete permitting at both trans-loading sites and evaluate procurement opportunities on longer lead time items. The majority of capital spending in 2015 will be in relation to the Firebag Project. Management is identifying cost saving opportunities to reduce the initial capital estimates, and is looking at several options surrounding financing of the Firebag Project, which includes joint venture, offtake arrangements, and alternative financing options. Management has been able to fund the development of Firebag Project to date from its existing cash flow.