Monday 24th October 2016

Resource Clips

June, 2013

Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 22 to 28, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha strike gold at PLS, report geochem results

Patterson Lake South’s potential might go beyond the stuff of yellowcake to include yellow metal. After releasing all those high-grade, near-surface uranium assays, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU finally reported high-grade, near-surface gold on June 24. Where it was found, the gold frequently correlated with high-grade uranium, although the reverse wasn’t always true. But they did find gold in all three zones.

Some highlights include:

Zone R390E

  • 1.58 grams per tonne gold over 63.5 metres, starting at 82 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.8 g/t over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 35.6 g/t over 0.5 metres)
  • 1.02 g/t over 53 metres, starting at 95 metres
  • (including 2.6 g/t over 10.5 metres).
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Zone R00E

  • 1.9 g/t over 20.5 metres, starting at 65.5 metres.

Zone R780E

  • 1.71 g/t over 7 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 4.48 g/t over 2.5 metres).

True thicknesses weren’t available. The 50/50 joint venture partners pointed to other uranium-gold occurrences in the western Athabasca Basin including Cluff Lake, which produced over 16,000 gold ounces in 1987, and the high gold grades reported from the UEX Corp TSX:UEX/AREVA Resources Canada Shea Creek JV. But Fission and Alpha cautioned that Athabasca gold typically occurs irregularly, making extraction viable only with a mineable uranium deposit.

The companies also reported that, unlike some Basin deposits, PLS has shown low arsenic values. High arsenic requires more costly processing and disposal, the partners stated.

Additionally, geochemical work showed strongly anomalous boron related to the hydrothermal alteration in and around uranium mineralization. “The extent of the alteration halo around the mineralization can enlarge the target area and be used as a guide to focus on an area in a suitable geophysical setting,” the companies stated.

Project operator Fission plans to resume drilling in July, part of a program jointly budgeted at $6.95 million.

$6-million program for PLS-area’s largest package proposed by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka

The plan calls for four companies funding exploration on the Patterson Lake South area’s largest land package. Under a memorandum of understanding announced June 24, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC would combine their Basin properties into one 287,130-hectare bundle, with Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX also contributing to a two-year, $6-million campaign.

The properties include Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake, 26 kilometres south of the PLS discovery, and Skyharbour’s adjacent West Patterson, South Patterson and Draco properties. Also included are Skyharbour’s nearby North Patterson, RY and South Basin properties, and its 11,769-hectare Wheeler claims in the eastern Basin.

Noka and Lucky Strike already hold a 25% earn-in each on Skyharbour’s properties. The MOU would give Athabasca Nuclear a 25% option on the properties as well. The other three companies would each get 25% options on Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake. Lucky Strike and Noka would each fund $1 million of exploration per year for two years, while Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear would each put up $500,00 a year.

Cash and shares would change hands as Noka and Lucky Strike each pay $100,000 and issue $100,000 in shares to each of Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. The latter two would issue each other shares worth $100,000.

Finally, the four companies would form a JV. They hope to sign a definitive agreement by June 30.

Speaking to, Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble emphasized that the plan minimizes his company’s risk and future equity dilution. “We decided this approach made the most sense from both an exploration standpoint and a financial standpoint,” he said. “This will also create value-added synergies that will further improve our chances of raising money and making a new discovery.”

Already underway at the PLS-area properties is an airborne VTEM-plus time domain survey, to be followed by radiometrics later this summer. Another co-operative effort, the surveys are jointly funded by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC to explore their contiguous claims.

Plans call for further exploration by the newly announced strategic alliance, with operator Athabasca Nuclear consulting with the other geological teams as well as Alpha’s 43-101 technical report for PLS. “They’ve really written the book on how to discover deposits in this specific area,” Trimble said.

Read more about the four-way strategic alliance.

International Enexco JVs with Denison on Bachman Lake

A JV announced June 25 brings together International Enexco TSXV:IEC and Denison Mines TSX:DML on the Bachman Lake project, about four kilometres from Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Basin. Enexco may earn 20% of Bachman by funding $500,000 of exploration by year-end. Denison remains project operator. The 11,419-hectare property is scheduled for a helicopter-supported 1,900-metre drill program beginning in August to focus on three conductors identified by geophysics and historic drilling.

Twenty kilometres northeast Enexco holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake project, a JV with operator Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco has a feasibility study underway on its Contact copper project.

Kivalliq releases assays from its Angilak project in Nunavut

Exploration drilling on two new zones at Kivalliq Energy’s TSXV:KIV Angilak project produced a batch of assays released June 27. Some highlights from the Nunavut property show:

ML zone

  • 0.46% uranium oxide (U3O8), 0.48% copper, 0.15% molybdenum and 53.6 g/t silver over 4.3 metres, starting at 90.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.42% U3O8, 0.64% copper, 0.4% molybdenum and 139 g/t silver over 1.2 metres).

J1 zone

  • 0.06% U3O8, 0.08% copper, 0.01% molybdenum and 8.3 g/t silver over 1.3 metres, starting at 38 metres
  • 1.06% U3O8, 0.28% copper, 0.03% molybdenum and 3.6 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, starting at 60.1 metres
  • 0.56% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.28% molybdenum and 15.5 g/t silver over 0.6 metres, starting at 77.2 metres
  • (including 1.31% U3O8, 0.09% copper, 0.66% molybdenum and 33.9 g/t silver over 0.3 metres)
  • 0.15% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.07% molybdenum and 9.2 g/t silver over 0.2 metres, starting at 114.8 metres.

Intercepts are estimated true widths. Kivalliq president Jeff Ward said the two zones show geological similarity and proximity to current deposits on the project’s Lac 50 trend, which has a March 2013 inferred resource of 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% U3O8, Canada’s highest-grade uranium resource outside the Athabasca Basin.

Kivalliq operates the 138,000-hectare project, 225 kilometres south of Baker Lake, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Drilling resumes in July.

Macusani releases assays from Peru, says resource updates are imminent

In southeastern Peru, Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL announced drill results from the Chilcuno Chico anomaly on its Kihitian property. Some highlights from the June 26 release include:

  • 0.121% U3O8 over 17 metres, starting at 220 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.346% over 4 metres)
  • 0.172% over 4 metres, starting at 103 metres
  • 0.032% over 41 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 0.308% over 3 metres)
  • 0.056% over 16 metres, starting at 35 metres
  • 0.059% over 9 metres, starting at 232 metres
  • (including 0.163% over 2 metres).

True widths weren’t available. With 45,000 metres since 2011, drilling has delineated an area about 1,050 metres by 1,100 metres, where the Manto B zone remains open in all directions. Macusani believes the project’s Quebrada Blanca anomaly forms part of the same mineralized sequence as Manto B.

The company has two drills turning at Chilcuno Chico and two more at its Tupuramani project, also on the Macusani Plateau. Resource updates for Colibri 2 and 3/Tupuramani and for Chilcuno Chico/Quebrada Blanca are expected within days.

Read more about exploration and mining in Peru.

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June 28th, 2013

GATA: Market-rigging central banks laugh at technical analysis and “fundamentals” by GoldSeek
Grandich looks at Prima Fluorspar by the Grandich Report
After South African strikes, what’s next for platinum? by the Gold Report
Don’t write off gold just yet by VantageWire
How regulation in Canada affects both companies and investors by Equedia

Clarifying cash costs

June 27th, 2013

The World Gold Council wants miners to report expenses more thoroughly

by Greg Klein

According to convention, gold can be mined for a few hundred bucks an ounce. Or, when byproduct metals are factored in, for less than nothing. But that method of reporting cash costs might be coming to an end, thanks to the World Gold Council. On June 27 the agency prodded companies to report “all-in sustaining costs” and “all-in costs metrics” to include “additional costs which reflect the varying costs of producing gold over the life cycle of a mine.” That includes exploration.

The guidelines aren’t compulsory, even for WGC members. Nevertheless council spokesperson Terry Heymann said, “We expect that many will use these new metrics, providing further consistency for investors and other stakeholders.”

The World Gold Council wants miners to report expenses more thoroughly

Goldcorp’s Porcupine fleet comprises just one of many mining expenses. With the company’s predicted all-in sustaining costs already close to the price of gold, total all-in costs would be even closer under the
World Gold Council’s new guidelines.

The WGC, which describes itself as “the market development organization for the gold industry,” devised the formula in consultation with its mining company members. Some of them began reporting all-in sustaining costs earlier this year. Barrick TSX:ABX explained its new approach in February. “Our current definition of all-in sustaining cash costs starts with total cash costs and adds sustaining capital expenditures, general and administrative costs, mine site exploration and evaluation costs, and environmental rehabilitation costs.”

As a result the company reported traditionally calculated cash costs for 2012 at $584 per ounce of gold, but all-in sustaining costs of $972. The company predicted 2013 cash costs holding firm at $584 but a drop in all-in sustaining costs to $945.

The previous month Goldcorp TSX:G explained that it considered “byproduct cash costs, sustaining capital, corporate general and administrative expenses and exploration.” But “as the measure seeks to reflect the full cost of gold production from current operations, new project capital is not included in the calculation.”

The company’s 2012 cash costs came to $645 or, after factoring in credits for other metals, a measly $315 an ounce. (Byproduct credits have given other companies negative cash costs.) But under the all-in sustaining cost formula, Goldcorp reckoned $865 an ounce for 2012. The company’s January statement forecast 2013 all-in sustaining costs at $1,000 to $1,100 an ounce, attributing the increase to inflation and “the impacts of lower grades and byproduct production at Peñasquito,” the company’s second-largest producer.

Newmont TSX:NMC and Yamana TSX:YRI ranked among others reporting all-in sustaining costs. The WGC suggests others start the next calendar year with the new guidelines.

But those announced June 27 go further than all-in sustaining costs. Now considered are costs not related to current operations: community, permitting, and reclamation and remediation. Also included are non-sustaining costs: exploration and study, capital exploration, capitalized mine development and other capital expenditures. Added together, they form the “all-in cost.”

Not factored in, however, are income tax, working capital, financing charges, “costs related to business combinations, asset acquisitions and asset disposals [and] items needed to normalize earnings, for example impairments on non-current assets and one-time material severance charges.”

The WGC considers the new approach “helpful to investors, governments, local communities and other stakeholders in understanding the economics of gold mining.” Presumably that might help clarify discussions about investment return, royalties and community benefits.

Of course the guidelines come at a time when bullion prices are falling towards or even below inflationary costs. Among last week’s most widely publicized mining news was Barrick’s announcement that it was slashing 100 desk jobs. Looked at less dramatically, that amounts to about 0.004% of the company’s 25,000 employees.

More troubling news, however, came from smaller companies. Golden Minerals TSX:AUM, Huldra Silver TSXV:HDA and Atna Resources TSX:ATN have all suspended mining over the last week, while Troy Resources TSX:TRY cut pay, staff and exploration, among other expenses. In a statement accompanying Troy’s June 27 announcement, CEO Paul Benson said, “Although we are bullish on the gold price over the medium and longer term, we will position the company to operate in the current price environment and any rise in the price of gold will be a bonus.”

MacDonald Mines Exploration president/CEO Kirk McKinnon discusses the challenges facing northern Ontario’s resource-rich region

June 27th, 2013

…Read More

June 26th, 2013

Grandich looks at Prima Fluorspar by the Grandich Report
After South African strikes, what’s next for platinum? by the Gold Report
Don’t write off gold just yet by VantageWire
Investors say: “Mises was right!” by GoldSeek
How regulation in Canada affects both companies and investors by Equedia

Uranium’s strategic alliance

June 25th, 2013

Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka to team up on PLS-area’s largest land package

by Greg Klein

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If only for the especially high grades found near surface, Patterson Lake South’s uranium discovery was bound to provoke excitement. It didn’t hurt that joint venture partners Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continually release impressive news during a time of optimistic supply, demand and price forecasts. But finding such a discovery in such an underexplored area naturally pulled other companies into the region in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Now four of them propose to join forces to explore what would be by far the area’s largest land package.

Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka to team up on PLS-area’s largest package

The map shows Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake property in orange. Skyharbour’s PLS-area claims (in dark blue) consist of West Patterson, South Patterson and Draco, all adjacent to Preston Lake. North Patterson and RY sit north of PLS. Skyharbour’s South Basin property is to the east of PLS, just off the map. The package will also include Skyharbour’s eastern Basin Wheeler property.

That was the news announced June 24 by Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY. Under a memorandum of understanding, Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear plan to combine their properties into one package, with all four companies funding exploration.

The package would comprise Skyharbour’s six PLS-area properties totalling just under 150,000 hectares and Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake property. Also included would be a seventh Skyharbour property on the Basin’s eastside, the 11,769-hectare Wheeler project.

“It’s a creative deal for all the companies for a number of different reasons,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells “We’ll have four technical teams working in unison to improve our chances of making a discovery and four groups marketing. The biggest benefit in my opinion is the ability to raise funds and finance the program with four companies as opposed to one. This is the lowest-risk way of going about this large, aggressive exploration program with a minimal amount of future equity dilution for Skyharbour. Skyharbour’s only responsible for $1 million out of $6 million in funding over two years.”

The deal would expand on an existing arrangement in which Noka and Lucky Strike each hold 25% earn-ins on Skyharbour’s current package. Under the MOU, Athabasca Nuclear would also get a 25% option on the same package while the other three companies would each get 25% options on Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake. A $6-million two-year work program would be funded by $1 million each per year by Lucky Strike and Noka, and $500,00 each per year by Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. The companies would then form a four-way JV.

An exchange of cash and shares further intertwines the companies. Noka and Lucky Strike would each pay $100,000 and issue $100,000 in shares to each of Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear would issue each other $100,000 in shares.

The four parties hope to sign a definitive agreement by June 30.

“From a logistic and tenure management standpoint, it makes a lot of sense,” says Trimble. Preston Lake, 26 kilometres southeast of the PLS discovery, would link Skyharbour’s adjacent South Patterson, Draco and West Patterson properties into “one big land mass.” Three other Skyharbour properties, South Basin, RY and North Patterson, lie east and north of PLS.

The strategic alliance would be Athabasca Nuclear’s focus too. “One thing we like about the deal is it gives us exposure to the alliance but we have six other projects that we control 100%,” Athabasca Nuclear president/CEO Chuck Downie tells “So we can still work on those or look for partners on them. But the majority of the funding for the foreseeable future will go into the alliance.”

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June 25th, 2013

After South African strikes, what’s next for platinum? by the Gold Report
Don’t write off gold just yet by VantageWire
Generation Y by the Grandich Report
Investors say: “Mises was right!” by GoldSeek
How regulation in Canada affects both companies and investors by Equedia

Resource Opportunities editor Lawrence Roulston says this downturn is different

June 25th, 2013

…Read More

June 24th, 2013

Don’t write off gold just yet by VantageWire
Generation Y by the Grandich Report
Investors say: “Mises was right!” by GoldSeek
Five miners Chen Lin expects to buck the trend by the Gold Report
How regulation in Canada affects both companies and investors by Equedia

Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 15 to 21, 2013

by Greg Klein

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NexGen drills Radio, prepares for Rook 1 geophysics

No longer virgin territory, NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE eastside Athabasca Basin Radio property is now undergoing its first-ever drill program. In a June 20 release, the company said a 4,000-metre campaign had begun on its flagship project adjacent to and about two kilometres on trend from Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit, which hosts 17.2 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) indicated and 40.7 million pounds inferred.

The program will test interpreted geophysical anomalies along strike with the Roughrider deposits through the interpreted shear zone towards Radio’s centre, NexGen stated. Drilling began three weeks ahead of schedule and, depending on ground conditions, could continue to late July. NexGen holds a 70% earn-in on the 847-hectare property, with an option to earn the other 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Also on NexGen’s agenda is a soon-to-begin DC resistivity survey on the southern part of Rook 1, adjacent to the northeast of, and along strike with, the Patterson Lake South project of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU. Repeated high-grade, near-surface results from the 50/50 joint venture drew other explorers into the PLS area near the Basin’s southwestern rim. NexGen’s survey is intended to identify targets for a 1,500-metre program planned to begin in August.

Two conductive anomalies found on Aldrin Resource’s Triple M

At another project adjacent to PLS, ongoing airborne geophysics have so far found two conductive anomalies on Aldrin Resource’s TSXV:ALN Triple M property. In a June 18 announcement, the company interpreted the anomalies as “parallel basement conductive trends analogous to conductors associated with” the Fission/Alpha discovery.

Triple M’s conductive trends are two kilometres and 3.5 kilometres long. The latter “closely parallels a magnetic linear suggesting a basement fault and has localized anomalous conductivity along the entire trend. The two-kilometre conductor trend has sharp magnetic contacts flanking the strong conductive centre,” Aldrin stated. Similar features are found at PLS and most of the Basin’s high-grade uranium mineralization, the company added.

The VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey continues, a joint operation that’s flying contiguous PLS-area properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH. Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each hold a 25% earn-in option on Skyharbour’s properties.

On June 12 Aldrin announced it was adding infill lines to increase the resolution of its survey from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing. The company holds a 70% option on the 12,001-hectare Triple M property.

Fission plans summer program for North Shore property in Alberta

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

On the Alberta side of the Basin, Fission Uranium’s North Shore
property has a summer program that includes geophysics,
prospecting and radon surveys.

Saying “there are still many underexplored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” Fission announced plans for its North Shore property on June 17. Located in Alberta on the Basin’s northwestern edge, the project was waiting completion of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, a provincial environmental and land use study. This summer’s program now includes a high-resolution airborne radiometric survey as well as ground prospecting, geophysics and radon surveys.

The 55,160-hectare property features several anomalous uranium showings in boulders and outcrop, including sandstone boulders grading up to 1.39% U3O8, the company stated.

Lakeland appoints David Hodge and Ryan Fletcher directors

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced two appointments to its board of directors June 21. With over 17 years’ experience managing and financing publicly traded companies, David Hodge is president of project generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC and a director of Western Potash TSX:WPX, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE and Pasinex Resources CNSX:PSE. His approach emphasizes team-building, consultation and leadership, as well as a reliance on expert advice.

Ryan Fletcher serves as president/CEO/director of Montan Capital TSXV:MO.P and as a director of Zimtu. He’s been responsible for identifying and sourcing projects, structuring companies and investments, raising capital, business development and marketing.

The newcomers replace Robert Duess and Daniel Wilson, whom Lakeland thanked for their contributions. The company holds nine Basin properties totalling over 100,000 hectares.

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