Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014
by Greg Klein
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Fission envisions possibility of “one very large zone” at Patterson Lake South
Ever in search of new superlatives for Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU claims its best hole yet for total composite (not continuous) off-scale scintillometer readings. The company released results on January 27 for the first five holes of winter drilling, which it said narrowed the gaps between high-grade zones R390E and R945E, the third to sixth of seven zones along a 1.78-kilometre strike. All five holes produced off-scale readings, prompting company president/COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy to say the news provides “further evidence that the system consists of one very large zone.”
The hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum off-scale reading above 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will likely follow in weeks or months.
Among the best holes, PLS14-129 showed a continuous 9.5 metres above 9,999 cps, among a total of 36.72 metres of off-scale results. Total mineralization came to 111.5 metres between downhole depths of 56 metres and 268 metres.
PLS14-126 showed 3.09 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 64.5 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 131 metres and 374 metres.
PLS14-125 showed 1.96 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 88 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 70 metres and 240.5 metres.
One week earlier the company announced the start of its winter campaign, in which five rigs will drill 30,000 metres in 90 holes, most of them in effort to connect five high-grade zones. Along with geophysics, the current program will use up about $12 million of this year’s $20-million budget.
Cameco’s $450-million cash infusion excites acquisition anticipation
Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO $450-million asset sale could have implications for Athabasca Basin juniors. On January 31 the uranium giant announced an agreement to sell its 31.6% interest in Bruce Power to Borealis Infrastructure, a branch of the Ontario Municipal Employees pension fund. Bruce Power operates Candu reactors at a 930-hectare site on Lake Huron capable of generating 6,300 megawatts. The sale will allow Cameco to “continue to reinvest in our core uranium business where we see strong potential for growth,” according to president/CEO Tim Gitzel.
Fission Uranium chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa told Bloomberg the sale “certainly gives Cameco a war chest to go after some names and we’re very happy to hear that.” Randhawa’s recently restructured company comprises the Basin’s most likely takeover target. A maiden resource from its closely watched project is expected this year.
Reuters, on the other hand, said Gitzel is “in no rush” to spend the loot. “We’ve got significant uranium pounds under our control and we’re just waiting for the market to improve,” the news agency quoted him. “As the uranium market improves as we believe it will over the next period of time—years, I would say—we want to be ready.”
According to the Financial Post, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck “noted that Cameco had more than enough liquidity to cover its uranium growth plans before this deal. But this gives it greater flexibility to grow as uranium demand rises in the future.”
Although the sale’s effective date was December 31, 2013, the deal remains subject to waiver of the right of first offer held by three other Bruce Power partners.
Purepoint announces drilling at Hook Lake JV; issues new and reprices old options
A $2.5-million, two-rig, 5,000-metre campaign has begun at Purepoint Uranium’s TSXV:PTU Hook Lake project. Of three prospective corridors on the 28,683-hectare property, drilling will focus on the same electromagnetic trend that hosts the PLS discovery five kilometres southwest, the company stated on January 30.
On January 30 Purepoint also announced 2.51 million options to insiders at $0.075 for five years. The following day the company stated 1.94 million options granted last April would be repriced from $0.10 to $0.07.
In November Purepoint announced winter drilling plans for Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare project on the Basin’s eastern rim. Rio Tinto NYE:RIO acts as operator under an option to earn 51% by spending $5 million before the end of 2015.
International Enexco announces drilling at Mann Lake JV
Another Cameco/AREVA JV partner, International Enexco TSXV:IEC announced January 27 that a $2.9-million program has begun on the eastern Basin’s Mann Lake property. Up to 18 holes and 13,000 metres will test three types of targets—a footwall to the western axis of the property’s main C trend, conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor and the remaining undrilled C trend targets, Enexco reported on January 27.
Cameco, with a 52.5% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, acts as operator. Enexco and AREVA hold 30% and 17.5% respectively. Enexco’s share of the $2.9 million amounts to $870,000, most of which comes from a $750,000 private placement that closed in December. The company also has a 20%/80% JV with Denison Mines TSX:DML on the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake project. Denison owns 7.4% of Enexco, which is also pursuing pre-feasibility at its wholly owned Contact copper project in Nevada.
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