Lakeland and Declan pool resources for Athabasca Basin uranium exploration
by Greg Klein
Near-term, the Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK/Declan Resources TSXV:LAN joint venture means an expanded drill program for their Gibbon’s Creek flagship. But looking further ahead, the deal signifies a stronger Athabasca Basin presence for both uranium explorers.
Under an option announced December 4, Declan may earn up to 70% of the 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s project over four years. The year one commitment alone would accelerate an already-planned drill campaign with $1.25 million from Declan. That’s in addition to paying Lakeland $100,000 and issuing two million shares to earn the initial 50%.
Both companies present themselves as lean, hungry juniors aggressively seeking opportunities in the uranium-rich Basin. Since moving into the space earlier this year, Lakeland accumulated nine properties totalling over 100,000 hectares. Then, just last week, the company announced a JV with Star Minerals Group on an additional 1,092 hectares adjacent to Gibbon’s Creek. Star, meanwhile, marked December 4 by announcing an option to pick up 51% of Saskatchewan’s Hoidas Lake rare earth project from Great Western Minerals Group TSXV:GWG.
Declan moved into uranium in early September with its 9,000-hectare Patterson Lake Northeast acquisition and, the following month, the 50,000-hectare Firebag River property just southwest of the Basin in Alberta.
Having already had some $3 million of previous exploration, Gibbon’s underwent a fall campaign including boulder sampling, line-cutting, a RadonEx survey and a ground DC resistivity survey to refine drill targets for the new year. Now the program looks more ambitious than ever.
“Our initial plan was to do about a half-million-dollar drill program in Q1,” Lakeland director Ryan Fletcher says. “But now Declan’s committed to a minimum of $1.25 million over the first 12 months, so it’ll be a much larger drill program with a much larger budget. The bulk of that money will go into drilling.”
Speaking to ResourceClips.com from London, where he was meeting fund managers following the Mines and Money conference, Declan president/CEO Wayne Tisdale calls the Basin “the most promising place to be.” He says his company’s third foray into uranium emphasizes its new direction, one that’s also highlighted by the recent appointment of director Hikmet Akin.
Akin’s 35-year career includes the post of president/CEO of Uranerzbergbau GmbH, the world’s third-largest uranium producer before its Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-takeout in 1998. His extensive experience complements that of Lakeland advisory board members Thomas Drolet, Richard Kusmirski and John Gingerich.
Now Declan’s committed to a minimum of $1.25 million over the first 12 months, so it’ll be a much larger drill program with a much larger budget. The bulk of that money will go into drilling.—Ryan Fletcher, director of Lakeland Resources
“There are a number of other changes coming to Declan, with a really good team joining us soon,” Tisdale says.
Gibbon’s Creek now takes precedence over Declan’s other properties. “I’m from Saskatchewan originally so I know the Basin well,” Tisdale adds. “When we evaluated the project, we saw Lakeland has one of the better properties up there. There’s been a lot of work on it, it’s well-positioned by the town of Stony Rapids, which is closer to a mill than anyone else is in that area. That particular property has great merit. When I had Hikmet look at it he was very excited about it.”
But with Gibbon’s Creek now a team effort, both companies can pursue their other projects as well. The additional Gibbon’s funding allows Lakeland to pay more attention to other properties, especially South Pine and Perch Lake. All three sit close to the Basin’s north-central edge. Declan also has early-stage plans for Firebag River and Patterson Lake Northeast. Work on all those properties will be managed by Dahrouge Geological Consulting.
“Jody [Dahrouge] has a great reputation,” Tisdale adds. “I’ve worked with him before and of course he’s well known for his part in the Waterbury Lake and Patterson Lake South discoveries.”
Calling the JV “a great agreement,” Fletcher says, “In this market you have to work with strong partners. You have to collaborate and be a bit creative. We’re fortunate to work with people like Declan president Wayne Tisdale’s team and the financial connections they can bring. Having an expanded program in a market like this, with more drill holes, more activity, more exploration—that’s what we’re trying to bring for our shareholders.”
Tisdale concurs. “We’re very enthused about it.”
The four-year option allows Declan to earn:
- 50% in year one by paying $100,000, issuing two million shares and spending $1.25 million
- 10% more in year two by paying $100,000, issuing two million shares and spending $1.25 million
- 5% more in year three by paying $300,000, issuing two million shares and spending $2 million
- 5% more in year four by paying $1 million, issuing five million shares and spending $2 million
Consideration for the 70% interest would total $1.5 million in cash, 11 million shares and $6.5 million worth of work.
Lakeland retains a 2% NSR, half of which Declan may buy for $1 million. On Declan acquiring a 70% interest in Gibbon’s, Lakeland’s 30% interest would be carried until Declan completes an initial resource estimate.
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.