Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013
by Greg Klein
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New Argentinian discovery might hold district-wide potential, says U3O8 Corp
Roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit in Argentina, U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said it’s discovered a new area with the district’s “highest uranium-vanadium grades found to date.” La Rosada shows district-scale potential for Laguna Salada-style mineralization in near-surface, soft gravels, the company stated on November 12. But in addition, chip samples from adjacent basement rock show grades ranging from 0.01% to over 0.79% uranium oxide (U3O8). That might indicate a source of the gravel’s mineralization.
The extremely shallow, fine-sand mineralization potentially offers low-cost extraction through continuous surface mining, the company maintained. Screening tests at Laguna Salada, moreover, concentrated over 90% of the uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass.
Vertical channel samples starting less than a metre from surface show a weighted average of 0.15% U3O8 and 0.08% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Some highlights show:
- 0.12% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.7 metres
- 0.13% U3O8 and 0.05% V2O5 over 0.5 metres
- 0.25% U3O8 and 0.09% V2O5 over 0.9 metres
- 1.18% U3O8 and 0.52% V2O5 over 0.4 metres
- 0.24% U3O8 and 0.08% V2O5 over 1.5 metres
Highlights from horizontal channel sampling of the basement rock show:
- 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.6 metres
- 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.9 metres
- 0.16% U3O8 and 0.07% V2O5 over 0.2 metres
- 0.79% U3O8 and 0.26% V2O5 over 0.1 metre
- 0.17% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.4 metres
The company didn’t provide the depth to basement.
Further near-surface exploration is planned south of the discovery while the basement calls for systematic trenching to determine its “potential as a target in its own right,” U3O8 stated. Planned for year-end completion is Laguna Salada’s preliminary economic assessment and a hoped-for joint venture with a state-owned company holding adjacent claims.
Laguna Salada has a 2011 resource estimate showing:
- an indicated category of 47.3 million tonnes averaging 0.006% U3O8 and 0.055% V2O5 for 6.3 million pounds U3O8 and 57.1 million pounds V2O5
- an inferred category of 20.8 million tonnes averaging 0.0085% U3O8 and 0.059% V2O5 for 3.8 million pounds U3O8 and 26.9 million pounds V2O5
Elsewhere U3O8 has completed a PEA for its Berlin uranium-polymetallic project in Colombia and holds two earlier-stage projects in Argentina and Guyana.
Fission/Alpha release results from two PLS zones, lengthen strike by 15 metres
Releasing both scintillometer readings and assays the same week, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU provided a prompt update from their current Patterson Lake South drilling as well as results from last summer’s campaign. On November 12 the 50/50 joint venture partners said they’ve confirmed the sixth zone announced last week, extending it 15 metres east and 10 metres north. Two days later they reported five more holes bearing high grades from R390E, the third most-easterly zone along what’s now a 1.8-kilometre trend.
Starting with the newly discovered R600W zone, the partners reported readings from a handheld device that measures gamma ray particles from core in counts per second, maxing out at an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.
Both holes were sunk at -89 degrees, making downhole depths close to vertical. Hole PLS13-121 reached a total depth of 248 metres, encountering just a bit of sandstone at 98.7 metres before hitting the basement unconformity at 99 metres. Some of the better results show:
- <300 cps to >9,999 cps over 11.3 metres, starting at 98.7 metres in downhole depth
- <300 cps to 600 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 141 metres
Hole PLS13-122 totalled 332 metres in depth, reaching the basement unconformity at 100 metres without finding sandstone. Some highlights show:
- <300 cps to 800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 101.5 metres in downhole depth
- <300 cps to 510 cps over 4 metres, starting at 106 metres
- 430 cps to 1,900 cps over 1 metre, starting at 158.5 metres
True widths weren’t provided.
Turning to zone R390E and real lab assays, some highlights show:
- 0.66% U3O8 over 30 metres, starting at 85 metres in downhole depth
- (including 7.62% over 1.5 metres)
- 0.12% over 7.5 metres, starting at 128 metres
- 0.19% over 18.5 metres, starting at 106 metres
- Hole PLS13-085
- 0.93% over 22 metres, starting at 82.5 metres
- (including 4.07% over 4 metres)
- 1.93% over 43 metres, starting at 81.5 metres
- (including 9.91% over 5 metres)
- 0.28% over 4 metres, starting at 45.5 metres
- 0.4% over 8.5 metres, starting at 63.5 metres
- 0.12% over 16.5 metres, starting at 92.5 metres
True widths weren’t available. Dips strayed no more than six degrees from vertical.
With $2.25 million funding an 11-hole, 3,700-metre extension to the summer/fall campaign, land-based work now focuses on the R600W area while waiting for the lake to freeze. Meanwhile more assays are expected from the previous barge-based drilling to the east.
Alpha acquisition vote looms; Fission and Dahrouge square off in legal battle
November 28’s the day when Fission and Alpha shareholders vote on the latter’s acquisition by the former. Mentioned in the companies’ joint November 15 update was a barely publicized legal dispute between Fission and Dahrouge Geological Consulting, its principals and a related company.
Seeking unspecified damages, Fission filed a notice of civil claim on July 29 alleging “breach of fiduciary duties and knowing assistance in breach of the same.” On November 8 the defendants filed a counter-claim with “allegations of breaches of British Columbia securities laws, slander, wrongful interference, improper assignment and improper variation of obligations. The relief being sought in the counter-claim includes unspecified losses and damages, declarations of ownership in relation to certain mineral permits and claims, declarations concerning the enforceability of certain assignments, injunctions preventing the defendants by way of counter-claim from disparaging certain mineral permits and claims, interest and costs.”
International Enexco/Cameco/AREVA plan winter drilling at Mann Lake
A three-way JV intends to start the new year with a $2.9-million drill program for the eastside Athabasca Basin Mann Lake project. Up to 18 holes will evaluate three types of targets—the area footwall to the western axis of the C trend, remaining targets along the main C trend and conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated on November 13. The company holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, along with AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%) and Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%).
This year’s drilling totalled 21 holes for 15,721 metres, focusing on the C conductor, which Enexco describes as a six-kilometre-long section of a regional trend extending from Cameco’s McArthur River mine to Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River deposit.
The previous week Enexco reported three holes from the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake, a 20/80 JV with Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco. The latter also keeps busy with pre-feasibility work at its 100%-held Contact copper project in Nevada.
Aldrin reports radon results from Triple M
With its Triple M property’s surface radon survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN announced some results from 527 sample sites on November 14. The findings show elevated values over more than one kilometre of a VTEM bedrock conductor, which the company interprets as a steeply south-dipping fault zone. “The most intense portion of this radon anomaly reaches a high value of 1.68 pCi/m²/s [picocuries per square metre per second] and extends for more than 200 metres, comprising a priority drill target,” Aldrin stated.
The company added that the fault zone parallels the conductor hosting the PLS discovery on the Alpha/Fission project adjacent to and northeast of Triple M. North of the fault zone, and parallel to it, sits a second VTEM basement conductor with radon values up to 1.18 pCi/m²/s.
The previous week Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been increased to $1.5 million. The company has also previously announced an agreement to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.
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