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Resource Clips

Athabasca Basin and beyond

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 6 to 12, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Four companies seal $6-million exploration plan for PLS-area’s largest package

With a formal agreement signed, an airborne survey about finished and a field crew on site, progress continues on the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate Project, the Patterson Lake South-area’s largest land package. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced the formal agreement July 10, saying the strategic alliance shares synergies while mitigating risk and dilution.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Four companies plan to spend $6 million over two years exploring the PLS-area’s largest package, the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

As previously reported in a memorandum of understanding, Skyharbour contributes seven Athabasca Basin properties to combine with Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake, forming a 287,130-hectare package. Apart from the 11,769-hectare Wheeler project on the Basin’s east side, the properties are contiguous to the high-grade, near-surface uranium discovery of Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW.

With 25% earn-ins for each company, the syndicate will jointly fund a $6-million program over two years. Noka and Lucky Strike will each put up $1 million a year while Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear will each spend $500,000. Cash and shares also change hands.

Data from the VTEM-plus time domain survey will be analysed for conductive trends like those hosting the PLS discovery. Under a joint program with two other companies, the survey also flew properties held by Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN. So far the survey has found two parallel basement conductive trends on Aldrin’s Triple M property and a conductive trend extending from the PLS discovery into Forum’s Clearwater project.

Referring to activity surrounding the Alpha/Fission discovery, Dundee Capital Markets senior analyst David Talbot told, “This is an area play because these are area-type deposits. They tend to occur in clusters. The chances that Fission and Alpha are the only ones that have uranium on their property is probably relatively low.”

Following the VTEM, a radiometrics survey will search for boulder trains and in-situ radioactivity. Also on the syndicate’s agenda are radon surveys, geochemical sampling, prospecting and scintillometer surveying. Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator, in consultation with the other three geological teams. The companies plan to follow Alpha’s 43-101 technical report, which details procedures leading to the PLS discovery.

Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble told, “I think it’s the lowest-risk way, on a per-company basis, to carry out this kind of large, aggressive exploration program.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Noka picks up two more properties

One day after sealing the syndicate deal, Noka announced two more Basin acquisitions. For the 151,170-hectare Clearwater project, the company issues two million shares and grants a 5% NSR. The transaction makes one of the vendors, Ryan Kalt, a company insider. For the 50,161-hectare Athabasca North, Noka issues 600,000 shares and grants a 2% NSR. TSXV approval has already come through. Noka also issued 130,000 shares and paid $14,000 as a finder’s fee.

Cameco, Mega mull Kintyre deal Down Under

About 1,250 kilometres north of Perth, at the western edge of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, lies Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO Oz flagship, the Kintyre deposit. Now the major is negotiating with a junior to co-operate on some additional claims adjacent to the project. Announced July 11 by Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, the two companies have signed a non-binding understanding that could give Cameco an initial 51% interest in the Kintyre Rocks project, held by Mega’s subsidiary Boxcut Mining. The talks imply Cameco’s continued interest in a project that had its feasibility study shelved last year.

Kintyre, held 70% by Cameco and 30% by Mitsubishi, has a 2011 resource showing:

  • an indicated category of 5.26 million tonnes averaging 0.49% for 56.4 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)
  • an inferred category of 505,000 tonnes averaging 0.47% for 5.3 million pounds.

The project reached pre-feasibility in 2012, detailing an open pit producing an average six million pounds a year for seven years. But economic survival called for $67-a-pound uranium, a price not seen after the March 2011 Fukushima accident. Full-feas was suspended and Cameco recorded a $168-million write-down. Work continued, however, on an engineering study and environmental permitting. The company also stated its interest in finding satellite deposits.

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