Fission Uranium has sent a letter to shareholders, along with the management information circular, ahead of the company’s Dec. 15 AGM in Kelowna.
Included in the letter is the dissident slate for the board of directors of Fission, the Athabasca Basin-focused company that is advancing the Triple R deposit at Patterson Lake South. A friendly merger with Denison Mines was rejected by Fission shareholders last month.
Stated Randhawa: “It is unfortunate that Mr. Gifford has chosen to initiate a proxy fight that will unnecessarily force Fission to waste time and spend shareholder resources that would be better spent on advancing the PLS project,” Dev Randhawa, Chairman and CEO of Fission, commented. “While we are always open to good, constructive ideas about how to create long-term value for all shareholders, as shown by our strong performance in an extremely challenging environment there is no case for change. We believe now should be a time to focus on building shareholder value by developing PLS and its Triple R Deposit, not for unnecessary disruption and self-interest by an opportunistic individual with no constructive ideas that threatens to hurt all shareholders.”
The nominees for dissident James Gifford’s slate include Ben Ainsworth, Alpha Minerals and Jean-Jacques Gautrot, who is involved with French nuclear giant AREVA. Here’s a closer look:
Ben Ainsworth, 75: Ben is the former president of Alpha Exploration, a spinout company from the merger of Alpha Minerals (where he was president and CEO) and Fission Energy. Alpha Exploration recently merged with Lakeland Resources (LK-V). He’s a University of Oxford-educated geologist who was on the board of Hathor Exploration, which was taken over by Rio Tinto for $625 million after a bidding war with Cameco. Ben is the father of Garrett Ainsworth, NexGen’s vice-president of exploration and development. (Alpha Exploration at one point took legal action against Garrett Ainsworth in a lawsuit that was dismissed, see Related Reading at bottom for more.) He is listed as owning 629,619 Fission Uranium shares.
Blair Lockhart, 52: Lawyer, ran for Conservatives in last month’s federal election, was beaten by Liberal MP Joyce Murray (she came a distant second with 25.8% of the vote; Murray got 58.7%). Conservative party biography describes her as an “experienced geologist” who has worked on mining and exploration projects in western Canada and globally. She has worked as general counsel for mining groups including John Robins’ Aurora Mineral Resource Group and Zincore Metals, as well as senior legal counsel for the B.C. Securities Commission. She is the founding faculty lead of the B.C. Institute for Technology’s Centre for Mine Economics and Business.
John Bell, 77: There is a John Bell who is a director of Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources and a former diplomat, but I’ve been unable to confirm if it’s the same John Bell, although the age appears to match. There is also a Calgary-based exploration geologist named John Bell, but he appears to be younger.
Jean-Jacques Gautrot, 72: He’s a Paris-based special advisor to the CEO of AREVA. He was the president of AREVA U.K. from 2008 to 2011.
Olga Wills, 43: Ms. Wills is special advisor to the president of Rosatom Overseas, a branch of the Russian state nuclear agency. She is a former director of M&A in emerging markets for SocGen and has a background in investment banking and management.