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IW Business Bulletin – September 24, 2021

Cameco Inks Another Deal

On Thursday, September 23, Cameco Corp. announced it had entered into another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the small modular reactor space, this time with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), GEH SMR Technologies Canada, Ltd. (GEH SMR Canada) and Synthos Green Energy (SGE), a member of the Synthos Group S.A. The deal will evaluate the possibilities for a uranium fuel supply chain in Canada to serve a fleet of BWRX-300 SMRs in Poland.

“We believe nuclear energy will play a major role in helping countries and companies around the world achieve their net-zero emission targets,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco president and CEO. “This MOU is a great example of the kind of innovative solutions businesses like Synthos Green Energy are exploring and how SMRs could contribute to industry-driven efforts to decarbonize.”

This deal comes on the heels of a previously announced MOU signed in July between Cameco, GEH and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A) to explore the commercial viability and deployment of BWRX-300 SMRs across the world and last week’s deal with X-energy.

“We look forward to working with Cameco and GEH in understanding the uranium requirements for a fleet of BWRX-300s in Poland and the support that Canada has to offer,” said Rafał Kasprów, President of the Board of SGE. “In addition to this MOU, SGE is working closely with GEH to identify supply chain opportunities in Poland that complement the export capabilities being developed in Canada for the BWRX-300, which could enable us to successfully deliver carbon-free electricity to the grid.”

Vendasta is among Canada’s Top Growing Companies

Saskatoon’s tech venture Vendasta announced the company is among The Globe and Mail 2021 Report on Business ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Vendasta ranked #316 of #448 companies on the list, with its verified three-year growth of 101 per cent. Among its achievements since 2019, Vendasta has raised nearly $160 million in venture capital funding over two rounds – breaking records for venture capital investment in Canadian prairie technology.

“Looking back at the past few years, it’s incredible to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve with the support and trust of our partners, and the hard work and vision of people here at Vendasta,” said CEO Brendan King. “Our primary focus is on the local businesses that line main streets around the world, and we will work tirelessly to ensure their successes in an increasingly digitally-reliant world.”

Other Saskatchewan companies on the list include Coconut Software (#120), 7shifts (#133), sMedia (#137) and Avana (#264)

Denison Mines Corp. Proceeds on Feasibility Study for Wheeler River Project

Toronto’s Denison Mines Corp. announced on September 23 that its Wheeler River Joint Venture project is moving into the feasibility study stage and the company has selected Wood PLC to lead the study.

The completion of the study is the next phase of the project, where the results will advance de-risking efforts and assist on determining a development decision for Denison.

“Based on the results of field programs and metallurgical lab testing completed over the last three years, we are confident that the Project is ready to advance into a full Feasibility Study.  Taken together with the selection of globally recognized engineering firm Wood, the decision to launch the formal Feasibility Study process for Phoenix represents another important step towards achieving our objective of bringing low-cost ISR mining to the high-grade uranium deposits of the Athabasca Basin,” said David Cates, Denison president and CEO.

Wheeler River is the largest undeveloped uranium project “in the infrastructure rich eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin region in northern Saskatchewan.” Denison is also has a 22.5 per cent ownership interest in the McClean Lake joint venture, which includes several uranium deposits and the McClean Lake uranium mill.

Gensource Potash Secured Debt Facility for Tugaske Project

Saskatoon’s Gensource Potash Corporation announced September 23 that it received commitment letters from its two mandated joint lead debt arrangers, KfW IPEX-Bank and Societe Generale, to provide a senior secured debt facility for a total of up to $280 million for it’s proposed Tugaske, Sask. potash development project.

“We are delighted to achieve yet another significant milestone towards making Tugaske the first potash project of its kind: efficient, scalable and sustainable. Designed purposefully to be different from a conventional potash mine, Tugaske utilizes innovative, sustainable production methods that are environmentally sound and socially responsible. The Tugaske Project will have a decreased physical footprint, resulting in less impact on air, water, and land with no salt tailings or brine ponds. We envision Tugaske to be the new standard for potash production,” said Mike Ferguson, Gensource president and CEO.

The Gensource Tugaske Project will use Gensource’s “selective solution mining and processing methods to create an efficient, modular, scalable and environmentally sustainable potash production facility.”

Innovation Saskatchewan Challenge Winner Announced

Innovation Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association announced Thursday the winner of the most recent “Innovation Challenge.” The 2021 Challenge looked for solutions to support healthy, safe, and productive workplaces in the construction industry, and asked tech startups, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students to find tech solutions to the following question: “How can technology be used by the construction industry to identify hazards and reduce injuries?”

Eight submissions were evaluated and Humo was selected as the winner. Humo will receive $10,000 in funding and a 16-week residency to develop their solution with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association. A Demonstration Day will showcase their solution in early 2022.

“We believe that most injuries are preventable. We have learned that leaders need better, and more manageable sources of information to make decisions that prevent injuries,” said Collin Pullar, Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association president. “We believe Humo accomplishes these goals by analyzing movement and providing reporting that can help employers and employees understand parts of their workday which may result in musculoskeletal injuries so they can prevent them from occurring.  The economic burden of musculoskeletal injuries is $22 billion in Canada and they can impact any construction company, project or worksite.  We’re excited by the potential applications of this technology and the intelligence that it provides.”

Next week: Minimum Wage Increases to $11.81 on October 1, 2021.

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