Sunday 21st October 2018

Resource Clips

December, 2013

Fission Uranium’s Patterson Lake South assays and other U3O8 news in brief

December 24th, 2013

by Greg Klein | December 24, 2013

Among a pre-Christmas blitz of uranium news from several companies, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released assays from Patterson Lake South—the second batch in five days from a project that’s largely ridden the market on scintillometer results. The December 23 announcement reports one hole from R585E and seven from R390E, narrowing the gap between the two zones.

Highlights from hole PLS13-098 on R585E show:

  • 0.73% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 11.5 metres, starting at 68.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.56% over 3.5 metres)
Fission Uranium’s Patterson Lake South assays and other news

  • 0.21% over 5.5 metres, starting at 113.5 metres

  • 8.47% over 16.5 metres, starting at 123.5 metres
  • (including 26.36% over 4.5 metres)
  • (which includes 60.3% over 0.5 metres)
  • (and including 7.51% over 2 metres)

  • 18.62% over 4 metres, starting at 145.5 metres
  • (including 34.78% over 2 metres)

  • 0.67% over 9.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres
  • (including 3.41% over 1.5 metres)

From the R390E zone, highlights from the better holes show:


  • 0.53% over 17.5 metres, starting at 53 metres
  • (including 1.63% over 4 metres)

  • 0.27% over 8.5 metres, starting at 132 metres

  • 0.44% over 3 metres, starting at 143 metres

  • 0.78% over 4 metres, starting at 151 metres
  • (including 4.09% over 0.5 metres)


  • 0.1% over 14.5 metres, starting at 62.5 metres

  • 0.21% over 23.5 metres, starting at 80 metres
  • (including 1.35% over 1 metre)

  • 0.52% over 7 metres, starting at 135 metres
  • (including 1.42% over 1 metre)

  • 0.36% over 4.5 metres, starting at 163.5 metres


  • 0.3% over 7.5 metres, starting at 104 metres
  • (including 2.24% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.5% over 11.5 metres, starting at 130 metres
  • (including 1.16% over 3 metres)


  • 0.63% over 11.5 metres, starting at 68 metres
  • (including 2.79% over 2 metres)

  • 0.2% over 6 metres, starting at 94 metres

  • 0.22% over 23.5 metres, starting at 125.5 metres
  • (including 1.02% over 1 metre)


  • 0.75% over 5.5 metres, starting at 53 metres
  • (including 2.54% over 1 metre)

  • 0.35% over 3.5 metres, starting at 101 metres
  • (including 2.06% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.17% over 12.5 metres, starting at 107 metres

  • 0.8% over 4.5 metres, starting at 138 metres
  • (including 2.42% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t available. The company reported all holes as vertical.

A PLS13-098 interval within an interval shows the highest grade found at PLS so far, 60.3% over 0.5 metres.

The R390E zone now extends east, within about 105 metres of R585E. The two zones comprise the third and fourth of six zones along a 1.78-kilometre trend. Additionally, two R390E holes increase “the prospectivity of extending the zone laterally to the south along the entire length of the corridor,” the company stated.

Both zones remain open in all directions.

Other uranium news in brief…

On December 23 Uravan Minerals TSXV:UVN announced results from an airborne electromagnetic survey over its Stewardson Lake project in the Athabasca Basin. Among other findings, the data shows features “interpreted to be the northern extension of the C and E conductors identified on Cameco’s Virgin River project” adjacently south of Stewardson. With a 51% earn-in option, Cameco TSX:CCO is now reviewing Uravan’s proposed program and budget. Uravan acts as project operator.

European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU and Portex Minerals CNSX:PAX announced a definitive agreement December 23 on their proposed merger, first announced in a letter of intent earlier this month. The new company would be named European Minerals Inc.

On December 23 Strateco Resources TSX:RSC announced closing a $3-million loan from the Sentient Group and amendments to a $14.9-million convertible note. The transaction allows Strateco to proceed with its 60% option on Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Jasper Lake project in Saskatchewan, among other goals.

Ur-Energy TSX:URE reported the first sale from its Lost Creek in-situ recovery mine in Wyoming. Some 90,000 pounds of U3O8 fetched an average $62.92 per pound. In another December 23 announcement, the company stated it closed its acquisition of Pathfinder Mines, a $5.18-million private placement and a $5-million loan redraw.

Majescor Resources TSXV:MJX announced the resignation of director Peter Chodos on December 23.

Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN stated December 23 it cancelled a brokered $2-million private placement with Industrial Alliance Securities and was instead offering a $1-million non-brokered flow-through placement.

On December 24 Uracan Resources TSXV:URC announced raising $1.24 million from flow-through shares of $683,000 and non-flow-through units of $556,350.

The same day Purepoint Uranium Group TSXV:PTU reported closing the second tranche of a private placement to raise $441,949. Combined, the two slices equal $745,484.

CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV delists from the big board on December 27, the company announced December 24. But “it is understood” the company will begin Venture trading under TSXV:CVV on December 30.

Also on Christmas eve, Laramide Resources TSX:LAM announced closing a $2-million private placement.

See last week’s roundup of uranium news.

B.C. coal project faces fresh woes over foreign workers

December 24th, 2013

by Cecilia Jamasmie | December 23, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

HD Mining, the Vancouver-based company that sparked controversy in 2012 with a scheme to hire up to 2,000 Chinese miners for its proposed $300-million northern B.C. coal mine, is facing yet another union legal challenge over its use of temporary foreign workers.

The United Steelworkers union is asking the British Columbia Supreme Court to revoke the miner’s exploration permit, arguing the province’s chief inspector of mines shouldn’t have granted the authorization without effectively addressing concerns the workers would not be fluent in English. They claim the foreign workers’ lack of English would pose a potential safety risk.

“No part of that application addresses the ability of Mandarin-speaking workers, who have minimal facility of the English language, to work safely at the Murray River project,” said the union in a press release.

The court document, which contains unproven allegations, names the provincial Ministry of Energy and Mines, the chief inspector of mines, which falls under the ministry, and HD Mining.

HD’s Murray River project, near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is still in the early stages of seeking regulatory approval, but it currently has a permit for exploration and sampling work.

Reprinted by permission of

December 24th, 2013

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Fools for gold

December 23rd, 2013

Matthew Hart examines how the yellow metal makes men mental

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Obviously inspired by the “10-year bull run that set off the world gold rush,” this book might appear to be a period piece, a dated artefact of its time, even though it was published earlier this month. Gold now hangs near a three-year low, players like Peter Munk have been put out to pasture and gold bugs talk as if they’ve been cheated out of their birth right. The strongest reassurance heard from gold explorers, miners and investors is the exhausted refrain, “I think we’re near bottom.”

Matthew Hart examines how the yellow metal makes men mental

But Matthew Hart’s Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal puts a much broader perspective on this unique commodity and its ability to drive individuals as well as social forces. Exactly why people allow gold to accomplish that isn’t answered. But Hart gives plenty of examples showing how gold performs its peculiar magic.

It often comes down to emotions. “Fear drove the price,” Hart writes. “Banks tottered and currencies shrank, and in the three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers the gold price gained $1,000. Spurred by the rising price, explorers ransack the planet in the greatest gold rush ever.”

But hardly the first. It was “a revolutionary act in Lydia in Asia Minor in 635 BC—the invention of gold money” that transformed this ancient luxury into a necessity. By the 14th century, however, countries “were famished for gold.” That changed two centuries later with the almost indescribably bloody sack of the Inca empire.

There, the splendour of gold and silver was ubiquitous. Hart speculates on the emperor Atahualpa’s thoughts as he and his army approach a small band of intruders.

The Spaniards, he perceived, had an appetite for gold. He could not have fully understood it, because the Incas had no money. They valued gold for the way it could be worked. It had its place in the adornment of nobles and in sacred rites, but even in those functions gold was not the top material. Jade and some kinds of feathers outranked it. Yet gold was what the white soldiers wanted. The Inca decided he would offer them all they could possibly want, believing that would make them go away.

The Inca rode on a silver litter carried by 80 nobles in blue robes. His throne was solid gold. Platoons of men wearing gold and silver ornaments marched after him. Atahualpa wore a crown and an emerald collar, his hair intertwined with gold. His litter was thick with parrot feathers and flashed with gold and silver decoration.—Matthew Hart

They didn’t. Using cannon and swords, the Spanish cut through the natives, slaughtering anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 that day. After seizing control of the entire empire they “had nine forges melting about 600 pounds of gold a day into ingots. They stamped the newly smelted gold with the Spanish royal mark and added it to the growing hoard. If gold had retained any of its sacred status, the Spaniards extinguished it at Cajamarca. The artistic output of a thousand years vanished into the furnaces. It must be one of the most potent images in history—the transformation of a culture into cash.”

The first great gold rush of the modern age came in 1848. Within four years other discoveries were helping produce “40 times the volume at the end of Spain’s century of plunder and 200 times the volume from before it.”

Gold might attract larcenous conquerors and ambitious adventurers, but it draws the desperate too. In present-day South Africa, gold theft is such big business that police and government are said to be complicit. Yet the illegal miners lead dangerously wretched lives, often occupying vacant tunnels in working mines.

Because South Africa’s leading mines have elaborate security, invaders can’t move in and out easily. Once they penetrate a mine, they may stay down for months. Deprived of sunlight, their skin turns grey. The wives and prostitutes who live with them turn grey. In South Africa they call them ghost miners. They inhabit an underground metropolis that in some goldfields can extend for 40 miles, a suffocating labyrinth in which the only glitter is the dream of gold.

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John Meech, professor of mining engineering and director of the University of B.C. Centre for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals and Materials

December 23rd, 2013

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December 23rd, 2013

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

News flash: Fission Uranium releases assays—actual lab assays—from Patterson Lake South

Frenetic as activity has been at Patterson Lake South, assays have been trickling in at a most leisurely pace. Results released by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU on December 18 come from three holes that were drilled last summer and had scintillometer results reported in August and September. The backlog of assays, from about 50 holes, can only increase speculation about when the project’s maiden resource might appear and what it might show.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

Even so, these results continue to impress with high-grade, near-surface intervals. Taken from R945E, the most easterly of six zones along a 1.78-kilometre trend, some of the better assays show 7.91% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 metres, 1.59% over 40 metres and 3.69% over 13.5 metres. One Russian doll interval-within-an-interval-within-an-interval graded 43.7% over 0.5 metres.

Highlights show:

Hole PLS13-084

  • 0.11% U3O8 over 8 metres, starting at 129.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.27% over 25.5 metres, starting at 156.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 7 metres, starting at 195 metres

  • 0.13% over 12.5 metres, starting at 206.5 metres

  • 3.69% over 13.5 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 9.12% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 7.27% over 4.5 metres)

Hole PLS13-092

  • 0.84% over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres
  • (including 1.62% over 4 metres)
  • (and including 6.22% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.15% over 7.5 metres, starting at 196 metres

Hole PLS13-096

  • 0.3% over 7.5 metres, starting at 98 metres

  • 1.59% over 40 metres, starting at 138 metres
  • (including 14.22% over 3 metres)

  • 2.4% over 11 metres, starting at 186 metres
  • (including 6.91% over 2 metres)

  • 7.91% over 14 metres, starting at 249.5 metres
  • (including 18.2% over 5.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.7% over 0.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. Drilling was vertical or near-vertical, with dips of 90, -88 and -89 degrees respectively.

The previous week, PLS’s now sole owner closed a $12.87-million financing for the project’s “most aggressive drill program to date” with about 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres, along with further geophysics. Winter is not a quiet time in the Athabasca Basin.

Lakeland recruits more expertise while planning Gibbon’s Creek winter program

Two more Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK appointments bring additional experience to the company’s management and board. December 16 and 19 announcements reported Neil McCallum joining as director and Frances Petryshen as corporate secretary.

McCallum, a project manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, has served a number of companies with target generation, hiring, logistics, land management, data compilation, project reviews and management.

“Among the first Basin projects I worked on was staking the Waterbury Lake project that started with Strathmore Minerals and turned into Fission Energy,” McCallum says. Fission Energy’s 60% interest in Waterbury was the main impetus for Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition of the company earlier this year. The project’s J zone now shows an indicated resource of 291,000 tonnes averaging 2% for 12.81 million pounds U3O8.

“Also with Dahrouge, I worked on the Patterson Lake project, which morphed into Patterson Lake South,” McCallum adds. “Part of that work back in 2004 was digging through historic data, looking for projects that had been passed over by some of the major companies. So I’ve been familiar with the Basin since that time.”

His involvement in a variety of projects with prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC led him to Lakeland, a Zimtu core holding, about a year ago. “Having worked with Zimtu and Ryan Fletcher, I found I like the way he operates. He’s similar to me in that he’s a young guy who thinks outside the box. When you work with different projects and different teams you can look at the Basin from a different angle. I think that’s what people like Ryan and myself bring to the table—a bit of a different perspective.”

We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

As a Lakeland director, McCallum will play a wider role in the company than before. “A big part of Lakeland’s goal is to find projects either by staking or linking up with other companies,” he explains. “So a lot of what I’ll do is review those projects on a technical basis to make informed decisions.”

Fletcher reinforces those comments. “Our group has worked with Neil for several years now and I’ve seen the impact he’s had on other projects. But he’s also focused a lot on uranium and the Athabasca Basin. He has a talent for looking at historic data, filing through the assessment reports and putting it all into context. He’s already been helping with project management on our Gibbon’s Creek/Riou Lake project, but now he’s joining the board to represent shareholders and drive shareholder value.”

As corporate secretary Frances Petryshen brings 25 years of experience specializing in corporate compliance and governance for public, private and not-for-profit organizations. She’s been a director and officer with several public and private companies including CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV, where she worked from 2007 to 2012.

Petryshen is an accredited director and a fellow with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, where she currently serves as director and chairperson of the British Columbia branch.

“Her appointment is another important step towards adding the right people to deliver as we grow the company and expand our exploration and activity in the Athabasca,” said Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Frances will be an important contributor and a trusted adviser and associate to our team.”

The news follows several recent Lakeland announcements including the appointments of mining specialists Sam Wong as CFO and Canon Bryan as adviser, JVs with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN and Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV, and a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.

With summer/autumn field work complete, planning now takes place for the 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek winter campaign. “We’ll be very active throughout the new year as well,” Fletcher says. “We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.”

Mega Uranium to get Energy Fuels’ interest in Bayswater; EFR signs KEPCO agreement

Under a share swap announced December 19, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR signed an agreement to exchange all its Bayswater Uranium TSXV:BYU stock with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA for 1.7 million newly issued Mega shares. Energy Fuels got the 11.5% interest in Bayswater on taking over Strathmore Minerals in September. Subject to all approvals, the co-signers expect to close the transaction by January 17.

The companies are hardly unacquainted. Energy Fuels is already a Mega shareholder. Mega, meanwhile, owns about 17% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Although Mega lost its bid for Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT in October, the following month it picked up 28% of the ASX-listed Toro Energy in return for Mega’s Lake Maitland pre-development project in Western Australia. Energy Fuels holds a 5% gross production royalty on the Reno Creek uranium project, which last March reached pre-feasibility under a Bayswater affiliate.

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production. In November the company suspended development of its Canyon mine in Arizona due to low commodity prices and legal action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine.

On December 17 the company announced a strategic relationship agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corp. But details were lost in Energy Fuels’ vaguely written news release.

Ur-Energy offered 50% discount on Pathfinder Mines, AREVA to get 5% royalty

A revised agreement offers Ur-Energy TSX:URE a half-price deal on Pathfinder Mines and its two former Wyoming mines with historic resources. The acquisition was originally priced at US$13.25 million in July 2012. Now, “in recognition of current market conditions,” AREVA affiliate COGEMA Resources will let go of Pathfinder for approximately $6.625 million in return for a 5% gross royalty on Pathfinder’s Shirley Basin property. The royalty remains subject to caps depending on uranium’s price. Ur-Energy has already put $1.325 million into escrow. Some other details have yet to be negotiated, the company stated.

Three days after that December 16 announcement, the company reported a private placement expected to close on December 20 for approximately $5.18 million. The money was earmarked for the Pathfinder acquisition.

Earlier in December Ur-Energy reported a first shipment of 35,000 pounds U3O8 left its Lost Creek mine in Wyoming. Lost Creek’s resource update was released in November.

In late October the company closed a $34-million Wyoming state loan after having previously borrowed $35 million from RMB Australia Holdings Ltd.

Uranium exploration finds frac sand potential on Declan Resources’ Firebag River

Initial field work by Dahrouge Geological Consulting shows potential for high-quality frac sand on Declan Resources’ Firebag River property in northeastern Alberta, the company announced December 18. Samples from depths of less than two metres revealed “high silica content, quality sphericity and roundness values, and a high percentage of sand falling within the preferred 20/40 and 40/70 mesh sizes,” Declan stated.

Using figures from consulting firm PacWest, a December 2 Wall Street Journal report says oil and gas companies have boosted sand demand 25% since 2011, with another 20% increase expected over the next two years.

Declan intends to follow up on the finding “along with its principal objective of uranium exploration” at the 50,000-hectare property just southwest of the Basin. One day earlier the company released silver-copper results from its Nimini Hills property in Sierra Leone. In early December Declan signed a JV on Lakeland Resources’ Gibbon’s Creek project, a four-year option which would inject an extra $1.25 million into the property’s 2014 drill program.

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Peru’s $1-billion Tia Maria copper mine gets social licence, to restart mining soon

December 20th, 2013

by Cecilia Jamasmie | December 20, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Peru’s $1-billion Tia Maria copper mine gets social licence, to restart mining soon

Scenes like this one could soon be a thing of the past.


U.S. miner Southern Copper NYE:SCCO is likely to restart work at its controversial $1-billion Tia Maria copper project near Arequipa, Peru, within the next 90 days, a top government official said following a public meeting with local residents December 20.

Peru’s Mines and Energy Minister Jorge Merino told the Andina news agency (in Spanish) that receiving support from the local community is “a big step forward,” adding it shows “dialogue and co-ordinated efforts from national, regional and local authorities can make megaprojects happen.”

The proposed mine has faced ongoing opposition from anti-mining groups, but SCCO worked on reaching a compromise with locals, a key factor to obtain a social licence to operate.

If the successful talks are followed by Tia Maria’s operating resumption as expected, Peru’s government expects investors to come back. “It will show we have made inroads to resolve conflicts that have delayed several mining projects in Peru over concerns by communities about their environmental impact,” he was quoted as saying.

Although the production capacity of most countries has flat-lined in recent years, Latin America’s clout in the copper industry has risen exponentially. Led by the likes of SCCO, Peru alone is expected to attract $15 billion worth of copper mining projects between now and 2015. That, says the country’s minister of energy, will increase Peru’s overall copper production from 1.5 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes by the end of 2015.

The Phoenix-based mining company has the highest copper reserves of any publicly traded mining company worldwide and among the best cash costs in the industry.

Established in 1952 and listed on the New York and Lima stock exchanges since 1996, SCCO is the largest single entity of Grupo Mexico, Mexico’s number one mining corporation and the sixth-largest worldwide, accounting for 67% of the group’s total sales.

Tia Maria is expected to generate 120,000 tons of copper a year.

Reprinted by permission of

December 20th, 2013

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China’s government likely behind country’s gold hoard—report

December 19th, 2013

by Cecilia Jamasmie | December 19, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of


China’s government is likely the one behind the significant increase in gold imports that has made the country the world’s largest consumer of the precious metal after India, reports the Financial Times (subscription required).

Demand for the yellow metal in China has experienced solid growth over the past four years to the point that analysts predict the nation’s gold demand will beat supply by 2015, making it the world’s largest buyer by year-end.

China is already the world’s biggest gold producer and it has been so since 2007, with an annual output of 403 tons in 2012, a year-on-year growth of almost 12%.

Evy Hambro, chief investment officer of BlackRock’s natural resources equity team, wonders where all that gold is going.

“Is it going onto wrists, ears and necks or is it going into state reserves?” the FT quoted him.

The Chinese government does not publish any gold trade data. The numbers from Hong Kong, a major conduit for gold into the mainland, are used to obtain a realistic estimate of the country’s trade in the precious metal.


And those figures aren’t minor. Imports from Hong Kong climbed to the second-highest level on record in October, as the country bought more than 100 tonnes of gold for a sixth straight month. For the first 10 months of the year, imports totalled about 986 tonnes, more than double the same period last year.

The last official figures on record, provided by the People’s Bank of China in 2009, show the country’s bullion reserves standing at 1,054 tonnes. But based on global trade data, some analysts suspect China’s central bank has bought up to 300 tonnes of gold this year.

“I think we will need some clarity and that will really set the tone for gold in China in 2014,” Hambro told the FT. “If it does start to show that some of it has gone into state hands that will be very supportive for the gold market.”

Support is really what the gold market seems to need. This year, the shiny yellow metal dropped 25% and is steadily heading for the first annual drop since 2000.

Meanwhile, China has been easing rules this year regarding gold trade and investment. In addition to ETF approvals, it has extended trading hours on its bullion exchange and introduced a draft plan to allow more banks to import the precious metal.

Reprinted by permission of