Thursday 2nd October 2014

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Athabasca bound

Clermont Capital and NexGen Energy have big plans for Saskatchewan and Nunavut uranium exploration

by Greg Klein

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(Update: With the reverse takeover of Clermont Capital complete, NexGen Energy Ltd TSXV:NXE began trading on April 23, 2013.)

When boiled down to basics, the formula for exploration success seems simple—all you need is brains, money and projects. In reality, of course, each of those qualities can be elusive. But in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, companies are joining forces to create what they believe will be the region’s “premier uranium exploration company.” That’s the ambition of Clermont Capital Inc TSXV:XYZ.P and NexGen Energy Ltd.

The events began with work on NexGen’s Radio project, continued with Clermont’s capital pool IPO in August and further progressed with NexGen’s November 15 acquisition of 10 Canadian projects from Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Further progress came with an LOI announced November 30, in which NexGen and Clermont would amalgamate to create a new TSXV-trading entity. That, in turn, would follow NexGen closing a minimum $6.6-million private placement. (For more details, as well as comments from Clermont president/CEO/director Arlen Hansen, click here.)

The newly expanded portfolio means “we now have a very dominant position in the Athabasca Basin,” explains NexGen CEO/director Leigh Curyer. “Our strategy is to find assets that are at the shallower sections of the basin and have existing geophysical signatures that make them prospective. While there are 10 properties in the Mega portfolio, each of them made that criteria. They predominantly straddle the unconformity, they’re in the shallower part of the basin, they’ve got existing but not extensive work and we thought they had very strong technical merits.”

Clermont Capital and NexGen Energy have big plans for Saskatchewan and Nunavut uranium exploration

NexGen’s Radio project is one of three Athabasca Basin
focal points in the company’s recently expanded portfolio.

Now with a total of 12 properties, NexGen’s three focal points are Radio, Rook 1 and Northwest Athabasca. “One property has mineralization on it, another two are directly adjacent to significant discoveries. The geological trends that host those discoveries are interpreted to go into our properties. Our properties are even shallower than those with the existing deposits. If they prove to have a discovery, the economics should be comparatively more favourable.”

Although Radio resides in a crowded neighbourhood with prominent neighbours, it’s never been drilled. That’s scheduled to change in January with an approximately 40-hole campaign. Adjacent to the Roughrider deposits that Rio Tinto bought from Hathor early this year for $654 million, Radio is interpreted to sit on the same east-west corridor hosting Roughrider and Fission Energy’s TSXV:FIS J-Zone. Roughrider’s indicated resource totals 17.2 million pounds triuranium octoxide while the inferred category shows 40.7 million pounds U3O8. The J-Zone at Waterbury Lake has an indicated resource of 10.28 million pounds and an inferred resource of 2.74 million pounds U3O8.

NexGen has an option to earn an initial 70% interest in Radio, then the additional 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Rook 1 borders Patterson Lake South, a Fission Energy and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW JV near-surface discovery that’s generated considerable market interest. The NexGen property could be on trend with PLS and, according to some interpretations, might host the bedrock source of a high-grade boulder field associated with the Fission/Alpha discovery. Rook 1 geophysics are underway and, if completed in time, will determine a drill campaign to start this winter.

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