Wednesday 26th October 2016

Resource Clips

Athabasca Basin and beyond

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Ground gravity survey begins at Forum’s Clearwater project

Following up on radon and electromagnetic work, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC has begun a ground gravity survey at its PLS-adjacent Clearwater project. The goal is to “identify areas of low-density rock, typically caused by alteration halos that may be associated with uranium mineralization,” the company stated on November 14.

Forum compares its radon results favourably with PLS while the EM survey showed a conductor hosting the PLS discovery and parallel conductors trending onto the 9,910-hectare Clearwater property.

The gravity survey has an early-December completion date to help identify drill targets for January. Also planned is an additional radon water survey.

In September Forum closed a $2.59-million private placement.

Uranium Energy Corp begins 80-hole campaign at Burke Hollow in Texas

Now turning at the Burke Hollow project in Texas, two rigs have so far sunk five of 80 exploration and delineation holes, Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC announced November 11.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013

“Central to all of its projects in south Texas,” UEC’s Hobson plant
processes uranium-loaded resins from in-situ recovery.

The satellite deposit sits about 50 kilometres from UEC’s Hobson processing facility, which the company describes as “central to all of its projects in south Texas,” including the Palangana in-situ recovery operation and the Goliad ISR mine currently under construction.

Burke Hollow has an inferred resource that uses a 0.02% cutoff to show 3.03 million tons averaging 0.047% for 2.9 million pounds U3O8, according to a February statement. Or, according to the company’s website, it has an inferred resource of unstated cutoff and tonnage but averaging 0.047% for 2.89 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8).

Funding for the 7,085-hectare property comes from three institutional investors who agreed to put up $7.1 million in October. The company also negotiated a US$20-million loan in July. In September, however, UEC announced plans to slow production and reassess projects. More optimistically, last week’s news release had president/CEO Amir Adnani saying, “With the Hobson plant having a physical capacity of processing two million pounds U3O8 per year, we plan to take the necessary steps now so that we can maximize the company’s uranium output when higher uranium prices are realized.”

Boss Power slate wins board election in battle with Beruschi over B claims

The contest was bitter and the results close but a slate backed by Boss Power TSXV:BPU management won the company’s November 14 election to the board of directors. Rival nominees had been presented by Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi. The conflict grew out of a $30-million settlement with the province of British Columbia following B.C.’s sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009. To get the cash, Boss must turn over certain exploration claims to the province. Included are the B claims, which are held by Beruschi. The two sides differ widely in their estimation of the claims’ value.

[The new board will] seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.—Boss Power

Boss offered $1.55 million. Beruschi wanted $4 million. In early October Beruschi offered to let a court decide the claims’ value if Boss directors would resign.

Boss initially refused. But later that month, after Beruschi nominated his own slate, Boss responded with five new nominees of its own and a proposal to expand the board from three to five directors. Denunciations from both sides built a crescendo up to November 14. The outcome seemed uncertain—Beruschi said Morning Star and its affiliates hold about a third of Boss shares.

Boss’ nominees won, but only with 53.95% each. They are:

  • Geologist Ross McElroy, president/COO of Fission

  • Dev Randhawa, CEO/chairman of Fission

  • Chartered accountant Donald Siemens

  • Geologist Ron Stewart

According to Boss’ October 22 circular, the new board will “seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.” Because of the delays, the government has threatened to rescind the $30-million out-of-court settlement.

By press time Boss acting CEO Ron Netolitzky hadn’t responded to an interview request. Beruschi was unavailable for comment November 15 but indicated he would speak with the following week.

Strateco confirms Quebec’s refusal of uranium exploration permit

While Quebec has yet to ban uranium exploration, it has imposed a moratorium. As a result the provincial environment minister has now officially refused to authorize a permit for Strateco Resources’ TSX:RSC Matoush project, the company confirmed on November 11. “Strateco’s legal counsel is presently examining the impact and reach of this decision on the legal proceedings currently underway,” the company added. Strateco says its investors have put more than $123 million into the project.

The previous week Strateco president/CEO Guy Hebert told the Financial Post that American investors were preparing a Chapter 11 NAFTA suit in response. In late October Strateco announced it was resuming legal actions against Quebec.

Financials in brief…

Paladin Energy TSX:PDN announced Q3 results November 14 with combined production from its mines in Namibia and Malawi up 6% to 2.04 million pounds U3O8, an average realized price of $41.38 compared to an average spot price of $36, and a gross loss of US$14.9 million, compared to the 2012 gross profit of $1.7 million and despite a 37% increase in sales this quarter.

Energy Fuels TSX:EFR reported a Q3 net loss of US$70.47 million on November 14. Sales came to 256,667 pounds U3O8 at an average of $55.83, 200,000 additional pounds U3O8 at $40.25, 156,447 pounds V2O5 at $5.53 and 105,232 pounds ferro-vanadium at $11.40.

With its first mine under construction in Wyoming, Uranerz Energy Corp TSX:URZ reported an $11.05-million Q3 net loss on November 12.

First Uranium TSXV:FIU.H reported year-to-date losses of $300,000 on November 14.

Other news in brief…

On November 13 MPVC Inc TSXV:MVC.H reported it amended a private placement first announced two days earlier. The offer is 5.66 million flow-through shares, now at $0.20 rather than $0.15, for gross proceeds up to $1.13 million. Proceeds will go to exploration commitments involving MPVC’s option agreement with CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV (more here and here).

On November 12 Pitchblack Resources TSXV:PIT, which holds uranium, coal and gold assets in Yukon, announced resignations of president/CEO/director John Taggart and chairperson Daniel Nocente. The following day Pitchblack announced the appointment of Josh Van Deurzen as president/CEO/director and the termination of an option in Australia.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013

Cameco, which holds a 60% stake in Kazakhstan’s Inkai mine, stands to benefit
from a trade agreement between the world’s top two uranium producers.

Canada, Kazakhstan sign nuclear co-operation agreement

It’s not quite comparable to selling coal to Newcastle. But the world’s top two uranium producers have signed an agreement that “will enable Canadian firms to export and import controlled nuclear materials, equipment and technology to and from Kazakhstan,” according to a November 13 announcement from Ottawa.

Welcoming the agreement, Cameco said it “opens opportunities to advance our partnership with KazAtomProm, which will strengthen our business and support continued growth,” the World Nuclear News reported. Cameco shares a 60/40 JV with Kazakhstan’s state-owned KazAtomProm in the Inkai mine and plant. Last year the ISR operation gave up 4.4 million pounds U3O8, with Cameco’s cut coming to 2.6 million pounds.

See previous uranium news updates:

Read analyst David Talbot’s insights about uranium and the Athabasca Basin in a global context.

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