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Ashburton finds additional radioactive boulders at Sienna
Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR found more radioactive boulders on its Sienna West claims, the company announced September 16. Including those reported August 28, Phase I exploration has produced 12 boulders showing scintillometer readings above 300 cps, with some measuring 1,500 to 1,800 cps. Assays are expected in the coming weeks. The company also has a radon survey underway.
The 1,090-hectare Sienna West property lies about 40 kilometres southwest of PLS. The project also includes the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguous with the northern boundary of PLS.
Western Athabasca Syndicate prepares for Phase III at Preston Lake
The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate updated its PLS-vicinity, 246,643-hectare Preston Lake property on September 19. The project has so far undergone airborne VTEM-Plus and radiometric surveys, scintillometer surveying, radon and silt sampling, geochemical and radon soil sampling, biogeochemical sampling, mapping and prospecting. The VTEM-Plus survey “has mapped over 300 kilometres of graphitic-type conductor segments, some approaching 10 kilometres in length,” the syndicate stated. Initial radiometric interpretation “may indicate the presence of radioactive boulder trains or in-situ uranium mineralization,” the companies added.
Final results are pending and will identify priorities for the next phase of exploration, which is intended to find potential drill targets. The syndicate consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.
Vulcan Minerals applies for uranium exploration permits in Alberta
On September 16 Vulcan Minerals TSXV:VUL announced it applied for 10 metallic and industrial mineral permits to explore for uranium in the 91,000-hectare Athabasca Border property in Alberta. “The proposed permits lie along a major basement magnetic lineament connecting to the [Patterson] Lake area,” the company stated. The company expects a decision by October. Vulcan explores Newfoundland and Labrador for oil and gas, nickel and, through a subsidiary, potash and salt.
Nuinsco gets extension on Diabase Peninsula acquisition, changes management/board
Nuinsco Resources TSX:NWI announced on September 19 an amended extension to its agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Diabase Peninsula project near the Basin’s southern rim. The amendment gives Nuinsco until September 2, 2017, to pay a total of $1.03 million.
The company has conducted airborne and ground geophysics, as well as radon surveys, on the 21,000-hectare property. Of 42 holes totalling 17,356 metres, “33% have returned samples with uranium content exceeding 50 parts per million [0.005%] and 67% have returned values greater than 10 ppm [0.001%] uranium,” the company stated.
“In the Athabasca Basin, concentrations greater than 10 ppm uranium in sandstone [are] evidence of a mineralized system and proximity to concentrations of high-grade mineralization,” the news release added.
On September 17 the company announced board and management changes. Paul Jones becomes CEO, replacing Rene Galipeau who’ll focus on his work with Victory Nickel TSX:NI, of which Nuinsco holds about 12.24%. Sean Stokes becomes Nuinsco’s executive VP. Bob Wardell remains a director but will resign as chairman, to be succeeded by Galipeau. Jones also joins the board.
Nuinsco holds interests in a copper-gold project in Quebec, a uranium-polymetallic project in Ontario and a copper-gold-molybdenum project in Turkey.
Tax dispute could cost Cameco $800 million-plus
The court case could take years to complete, but Cameco Corp TSX:CCO might end up owing $800 million to $850 million in back taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency has challenged the way Cameco channels uranium sales through a marketing subsidiary located in the low-tax haven of Zug, Switzerland.
According to an analyst quoted by the CBC on September 19, “the company is outsourcing the profits to Switzerland to pay the lower Swiss tax and avoiding the higher Canadian corporate tax rate.” Veritas Investment Research analyst Pawel Rajszel told the CBC, “In other words, all the upside has been transferred to the subsidiary. Meanwhile all the risk has stayed with Cameco Canada.”
The CBC related Rajszel’s explanation as follows: “Cameco Canada mines uranium and sells it to Cameco Switzerland at the 1999 price” of $10 a pound. “The uranium never physically travels through Switzerland.” While the Zug office records the profits and pays the taxes, the product is shipped from Canada, Rajszel contends.
Of course Cameco disagrees. An offshore marketing subsidiary backed by a supply of uranium was necessary, it argues. “We have arm’s-length transfer price arrangements in place, which expose both parties to the risks and the rewards accruing to it under this portfolio of purchase and sales contracts,” the company stated in its May 1 financial report.
Cameco conceded that, should it lose, $800 million to $850 million could be at stake, plus interest and penalties. Although it expressed confidence in victory, the company also noted, “Transfer pricing is a complex area of tax law and it is difficult to predict the outcome of a case like ours as there are only a handful of reported court decisions on transfer pricing in Canada.”
Lions Gate Metals TSXV:LGM announced an agreement on September 17 in which a private company may acquire the 67-hectare Whitford Lake property in the eastern Athabasca Basin. Canadian Uranium Corp would earn a 100% interest by issuing 4.5 million shares and paying $520,000 by March 31, 2014. Lions Gate optioned the property last March and released geophysical results on September 13. Canadian Uranium intends to list on the CNSX.
Also on September 17, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN announced the appointment of Bryan Trottier to its advisory board. An 18-year NHL veteran, Trottier took part in seven Stanley Cup wins. With a Saskatchewan background of Cree-Metis-Chippewa heritage, he’ll work in community relations for the company.
On September 19 Ur-Energy TSX:URE announced a Wyoming court upheld the U.S. Bureau of Land Management authorization of the company’s Lost Creek mine. The court decision followed an environmental group’s legal challenge. The in-situ recovery operation began production on August 2.
On September 20 Makena Resources TSXV:MKN and CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV announced TSXV approval for Makena’s 50% acquisition of the Patterson group of claims from CanAlaska. The latter company also reiterated its commitment to uranium exploration. It faces a TSX delisting review.
Asian countries express unwavering commitment to nuclear energy
Germany, Switzerland and Belgium are turning against nuclear energy. But the growing populations of China, India, South Korea and other Asian states remain resolute, according to a September 20 Reuters article.
Reporting on last week’s annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Reuters said several Asian countries announced plans for post-Fukushima expansion. “The Chinese government has never wavered its firm determination to support nuclear energy development,” said Ma Xingrui, chairman of China’s Atomic Energy Authority.
China now has 17 reactors in operation and another 28 under construction, the article stated. South Korea has 23 reactors and plans to build 11 more by 2024. India has 19 reactors, is building four more and has plans for another 16. Representatives from India, Vietnam and Pakistan also told the conference about their countries’ interest in nuclear energy.
Although the IAEA cut its long-term forecast for the third year in a row, Asian demand means “the industry could still nearly double its capacity by 2030,” Reuters added.
See previous uranium news updates:
- to September 13
- to September 6
- to August 30
- to August 23
- to August 16
- to August 9
- to August 2
- to July 26
Disclaimer: Lakeland Resources Inc is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Lakeland Resources.
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