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Orano earns 51% stake in Skyharbour, Dixie uranium project

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Skyharbour Resources Ltd. [SYH-TSXV, SYHBF-OTCQB] on Friday March 26 said Orano Canada Inc. has completed the first earn-in option of a 51% interest in the Preston uranium project located in the Athabasca Basin, northern Saskatchewan. Orano (formerly AREVA Resources Inc.) is a unit of France’s largest uranium mining and nuclear fuel company. It previously held…

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Skyharbour Resources Ltd. [SYH-TSXV, SYHBF-OTCQB] on Friday March 26 said Orano Canada Inc. has completed the first earn-in option of a 51% interest in the Preston uranium project located in the Athabasca Basin, northern Saskatchewan.

Orano (formerly AREVA Resources Inc.) is a unit of France’s largest uranium mining and nuclear fuel company. It previously held an option to acquire the interest through an option deal entered into with Skyharbour and Dixie Gold Inc. [DG-TSXV]. Orano exercised the earn-in option by completing $2.8 million in staged exploration expenses and making $200,000 in cash payments over the previous there years. That money was divided equally between Skyharbour and Dixie Gold

Orano has now spent $4.8 million on the project so far, resulting in the formation of a joint venture that aims to advance and develop the project, which is now held 51% by Orano, with Skyharbour and Dixie each holding 24.5%.

Skyharbour shares advanced on the news, rising 2.7% or $0.01 to 38.5 cents, and now trade in a 52-week range of 50 cents and $0.095. Dixie was unchanged at 26 cents and trades in a 52-week range of 40.5 cents and $0.085.

Overall, the Preston Project is one of the largest tenure land positions in the Paterson Lake region (covering 74,965 hectares) and

It is located near NexGen Energy Ltd.’s [NXE-TSX, NYSE] high-grade Arrow deposit, Fission Uranium Corp.’s [FCU-TSE] Triple R deposit and the Spitfire high-grade discovery on the Hook Lake project, which is owned jointly by Cameco Corp. [CCO-TSX, CCJ-NYSE], Orano Canada, and Purepoint Uranium Group Inc. [PTU.V-TSX].

Orano can earn a 70% interest in the central portion of Preston, covering 49,645 hectares, by spending $8 million over six years.

Exploration at Preston has consisted of ground gravity, airborne and ground electromagnetics, radon, soil, silt, biogeochem, lake sediment and geological mapping surveys, as well as exploration drill program.

Over a dozen high-priority drill target areas associated with multiple prospective exploration corridors have been successfully delineated through these methodical, multi-phased exploration activities, which have culminated in an extensive, proprietary geological database for the project area.


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U.S. financial regulators in hot seat as Biden ramps up climate agenda

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Author of the article: Reuters Katanga Johnson and Chris Prentice WASHINGTON — As U.S. President Joe Biden escalates his climate change agenda, pressure is growing on the country’s regulators to catch up with Europe and incorporate various risks posed by climate change into their oversight of the financial system. The White House is expected to…

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Katanga Johnson and Chris Prentice

WASHINGTON — As U.S. President Joe Biden escalates his climate change agenda, pressure is growing on the country’s regulators to catch up with Europe and incorporate various risks posed by climate change into their oversight of the financial system.

The White House is expected to soon issue an executive order on climate change which could require the country’s systemic risk watchdog to assess how climate change could hurt financial companies and markets, and to gather and share relevant data.

It could also tell agencies to consider climate change risks when supervising financial firms and to reverse rules introduced by former President Donald Trump’s administration which have curbed sustainable investments, according to progressive groups.

While the executive order is just the first step in what is likely to be a lengthy and contentious rule-writing process, it nevertheless marks a watershed for U.S. climate and financial policy which could have major ramifications for Wall Street.

“It’s a real sea change for U.S. financial regulators as they begin promoting transparency into what companies and financing firms are doing to address climate risks,” said Ty Gellasch, head of Washington think tank Healthy Markets.

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Climate change could upend the financial system because physical threats such as rising sea levels, as well as policies and carbon-neutral technologies aimed at slowing global warming, could destroy trillions of dollars of assets, risk experts say.

In a 2020 report, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) cited data estimating that $1 trillion to $4 trillion of global wealth tied to fossil fuel assets could ultimately be lost.

“In every other aspect of risk management, we expect regulators to establish clear expectations for financial institutions, and to hold them to those expectations,” said Brian Schatz, a Democratic senator who has sponsored financial climate risk bills. “It’s time for our regulators to apply those tools to climate risks.”

After the Trump administration’s assault on climate change policy, the United States lags Europe on financial climate risk and is under pressure from countries there to catch up. With a record $51 billion pouring into sustainable U.S. funds in 2020, investors are also pushing for better information on how company balance sheets and earnings could be dented by climate change.

Europe requires large companies to disclose risks and data on environmental issues and is introducing sustainability disclosures for investment products.

The United States has no climate-specific disclosure rules. It also lacks definitions for key terms like “sustainable,” and has no commonly used standards for measuring corporate environmental goals or climate risks.

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European regulators have also begun adding climate risks to annual bank exams, a step the Fed has so far resisted.

“While their counterparts overseas have begun developing and implementing policy on climate change, most of the U.S. regulators haven’t done anything significant yet,” said David Arkush, head of advocacy group Public Citizen’s climate programs.

POLITICAL COVER

Officials say the issues are extremely complex and need to be analyzed first. And the Federal Reserve, CFTC and housing finance agency have begun assessing how climate change could affect lenders, trading firms and the markets they oversee.

The securities watchdog is also cracking down on companies and funds that mislead investors over climate issues and is tightening up its current guidance on corporate climate risk disclosures.

But progressives want them to impose strict European-style obligations, including detailed disclosures for companies on direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and their total carbon assets. They also want the Fed to test bank balance sheets against specific scenarios, such as a rise by 1 or 2 degrees Celsius in average global temperatures.

Many such measures will be opposed by Republicans and corporate lobbyists, who say Democrats are using financial policy to advance a political agenda.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for its part, supports a “narrow set” of climate change policies which it says should be enacted by Congress, not regulators.

Advocacy groups hope, though, that the White House executive order should provide some political cover for agencies.

“There will be some corporate pushback,” said Ilmi Granoff of foundation ClimateWorks. “But this is all the more reason a signal from the president is warranted and important.”

(Reporting by Katanga Johnson and Chris Prentice; Editing by Michelle Price and Lisa Shumaker)

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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Mexico’s Pemex relaxes COVID-19 rules, orders senior staff back to location

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Author of the article: Reuters Stefanie Eschenbacher MEXICO CITY — Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos ordered most senior management to return to work in person as of next week, an internal memo shows, even as the country reports hundreds of new COVID-19 deaths a day. Most management at Pemex, as the company is known,…

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Stefanie Eschenbacher

MEXICO CITY — Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos ordered most senior management to return to work in person as of next week, an internal memo shows, even as the country reports hundreds of new COVID-19 deaths a day.

Most management at Pemex, as the company is known, has not been required to work from its locations, including its towering Mexico City headquarters, since the pandemic began, said a source who is not authorized to speak to the media.

“From April 26, all heads of areas, levels of management, assistant management and superintendents, must report to work in person with the exception of those who suffer from diseases that makes them vulnerable,” according to the memo seen by Reuters.

It was not immediately clear how many in Pemex’s active workforce of nearly 150,600 are affected. The April 19 memo did not detail any safety measures.

The memo, which has not previously been reported, was sent by human resources and addressed to senior management members.

Pemex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mexico City government guidelines on the gradual reopening of the economy recommend the continued promotion of working from home.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said earlier this week during a news conference the return of workers to offices depends on the pace of vaccinations.

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While Mexico has emerged from a second wave of the pandemic and daily reported deaths are well below a January peak, they still run to hundreds a day and officials worry about another spike in coming weeks.

On Wednesday, the health ministry reported thousands of new confirmed cases in the country and hundreds more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,315,811 infections and 213,597 deaths.

Official data published recently suggested Mexico’s real death toll from COVID-19 is at least 60% above the confirmed figure. (Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Richard Chang)

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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Syrian missile explodes in area near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates

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Author of the article: Reuters Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM — A Syrian missile exploded in southern Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, in an incident that triggered warning sirens near the secretive Dimona nuclear reactor and an Israeli strike in Syria. An Israeli military spokesman identified the projectile as an SA-5 surface-to-air…

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Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM — A Syrian missile exploded in southern Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, in an incident that triggered warning sirens near the secretive Dimona nuclear reactor and an Israeli strike in Syria.

An Israeli military spokesman identified the projectile as an SA-5 surface-to-air missile fired by Syrian forces against Israeli aircraft. He said it overflew its target to reach the Dimona area, 200 km (125 miles) south of the Syrian border.

The missile did not hit the reactor, exploding some 30 km (19 miles) away, the spokesman added.

The sirens that sounded overnight in the Dimona area followed weeks of heightened tension between Israel and Iran, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, amid renewed global negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.

For weeks, Israeli media have said air defenses around the Dimona reactor and the Red Sea port of Eilat were being strengthened in anticipation of a possible long-range missile or drone attack by Iranian-backed forces.

In public remarks on Thursday’s incident, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the anti-aircraft missile was fired from Syria during an Israeli strike there against “assets that could be used for a potential attack against Israel.”

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Gantz said Israel’s anti-missile systems had attempted to intercept the SA-5 but were unsuccessful.

“In most cases, we achieve other results. This is a slightly more complex case. We will investigate it and move on,” he said. Israeli security sources said the missile exploded in mid-air.

In response, Israel launched further overnight attacks inside Syria, the military spokesman said, targeting several missile batteries, including the one that fired the SA-5.

Syria’s state news agency said the country’s air defense system intercepted Israeli rockets over the suburbs of Damascus “and downed most of them.” Four soldiers were injured and there was some material damage, it said.

A Syrian military defector said the Israeli strikes targeted locations near the town of Dumair, some 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the capital, where Iranian-backed militias have a presence. It is an area hit repeatedly in past Israeli attacks.

Addressing the likelihood of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile overshooting its target and flying a long distance into Israel, Uzi Rubin, an Israeli missile expert, said the scenario was “consistent with the characteristics” of an SA-5.

“The trajectory of a stray anti-aircraft missile on an unintended descent is very tricky to track,” he told Reuters.

“Israel’s air defense systems are in theory capable of carrying out such an interception with proper preparation, but it would be at the edge of the capability envelope.”

(Reporting by Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller; Additional reporting by Maha El Dahan, Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and John Stonestreet)

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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