Saturday 19th September 2020

Resource Clips

Athabasca Basin and beyond

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Anfield expands Utah claims

By staking six claim groups on U.S. federal land, Anfield Resources TSXV:ARY added roughly 500 hectares to its Utah portfolio, the company announced March 3. Anfield now has about 4,500 hectares in historic uranium-producing districts, within a 120-kilometre radius of Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill, the only conventional American uranium mill in operation.

In January Anfield reported previous Utah acquisitions as well as a fully subscribed $600,000 private placement. The company also has uranium and copper assets in Arizona and operates the Aura copper mine in Chile.

Bond restructure frees up $12.3 million for Energy Fuels

Energy Fuels announced March 3 that it had restructured a US$28-million regulatory bonding portfolio using three qualified sureties. As a result the company “has released US$12.3 million of previously restricted cash, which was required by the former underwriter.” Energy Fuels added that the restructuring “was completed at an average annual premium of 1.71% of the total bonded amount, or US$479,965, a competitive market rate for the program.”

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production. In November the company suspended development of its Canyon mine in Arizona due to legal action and low commodity prices.

Anthem sues B.C. for “de facto expropriation” in banning uranium exploration

British Columbia’s sudden 2009 ban on uranium and thorium exploration has brought about another lawsuit. On March 7 Anthem Resources TSXV:AYN stated it was resorting to legal action after “trying in good faith to settle this matter with the B.C. government for several years without any progress. Given that the time limit for such a suit was approaching, the company believed it prudent to file this claim.”

The company, previously Virginia Energy Resources and before that Santoy Resources, seeks unspecified damages “for the de facto expropriation of its interests in the Blizzard claims and the KET/REN claims.”

Anthem stated it has an interest in the Blizzard claims but their recorded holder is a subsidiary of Boss Power TSXV:BPU. Boss had already won a $30-million out-of-court settlement with B.C. but payment has been delayed by a bitter dispute with Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi, who holds some of the claims considered in the settlement. In November a Beruschi-backed slate was narrowly defeated in its bid for control of Boss’ board.

Anthem’s allegations against the B.C. government have not been proven in court.

Last month Anthem released preliminary drill results from its Hatchet Lake joint venture in Saskatchewan with Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Strateco to participate in Quebec uranium hearings, continues with legal action

Another province, another legal action—but over a moratorium, not an outright ban. Strateco Resources TSX:RSC stated March 5 it intends “to be very active” in a Quebec public inquiry into uranium mining and exploration. But the company’s participation “in no way affects” its legal challenge of the provincial environment minister’s refusal to authorize underground exploration at Strateco’s Matoush project, on which the company has spent $123 million.

Quebec pronounced a moratorium on uranium exploration in March 2013, following opposition by the James Bay Cree Nation, on whose reserve Matoush is located.

The company emphasized it “hopes that the independent study, conducted by Université Laval researchers on the state of the art of exploration and uranium mining in Quebec and related impacts and mitigation measures, will lay out rational, scientific facts and set the ground for stakeholder discussion.”

Strateco stated that similar scientific reviews led to Greenland, Queensland and Labrador lifting their moratoriums.

As a mining jurisdiction, Quebec dropped from 11th place worldwide in 2012 to 21st last year, according to an annual Fraser Institute survey. Mining act amendments introduced in December were generally blamed for the most recent plunge. The province held top spot from 2007 to 2010.

On March 5, two days after Quebec’s environment minister ordered the inquiry, Premier Pauline Marois called an election for April 7. Although mining figured strongly in the September 2012 election, the issue is less likely to see prominence this time around. Two opposition parties, Coalition Avenir Quebec and the Quebec Liberals, supported Marois’ Parti Quebecois in revising the mining act.

In January Strateco announced plans for its 45,271-hectare Jasper Lake package in Saskatchewan.

Thomas Drolet joins Skyharbour’s advisory board

On March 4 Western Athabasca Syndicate member Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH announced Thomas Drolet’s appointment to the company’s advisory board. A chemical engineer and energy expert, Drolet’s 42-year career includes 26 years with Ontario Hydro in various engineering, research and operations functions, predominately nuclear energy. He currently heads Drolet and Associates Energy Services Inc and serves as an advisor to Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK. Read interviews with Drolet here and here.

On March 7 Skyharbour offered a private placement up to $500,000.

Laramide gets extension on earn-in adjacent to Australian flagship

Laramide Resources TSX:LAM announced on March 5 a one-year extension to a farm-in and JV term sheet on Rio Tinto Exploration’s Murphy property in Australia’s Northern Territory. Laramide now has until November 13, 2014, to conduct $1 million of exploration. In return for the extension, Laramide will issue its partner 151,500 shares.

This year’s plans include airborne geophysics by May, followed by surface sampling and drilling. The 1,115 square kilometres of claims lie adjacent to Laramide’s flagship Westmoreland project in northwest Queensland so “the addition of the large land package creates a truly district-scale opportunity,” the company stated.

In brief…

On March 3 Uracan Resources TSXV:URC reported granting 2.86 million insider options at $0.13 for 10 years. The company has also re-priced 1.24 million previously granted options to $0.13.

On March 4 Aben Resources TSXV:ABN offered a private placement up to $600,000 for general working capital purposes.

Blue Sky Uranium TSXV:BSK announced on March 5 the closing of a second, final tranche of $172,500 for a total private placement of $270,550. Proceeds go to exploration in Argentina, where the company began drilling its Ivana project last November, and to general working capital.

Denison wrapped up a busy year of exploration and acquisitions by reporting a net loss from continuing operations of $83.83 million, or 19 cents a share, for the 12 months ending December 31. The amount includes a non-cash impairment charge of $47.1 million “to reduce the carrying value of the company’s mineral properties, primarily the company’s Mutanga project in Zambia, to the estimated recoverable amount,” according to the March 6 statement. The loss also includes a one-time non-cash deferred tax expense of $18.41 million resulting from changes to Saskatchewan’s royalty regulations.

Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC offered private placements up to $3 million on March 6. The company began drilling its PLS-adjacent Clearwater project the previous week. Forum has recently picked up properties in the northeastern Basin and Nunavut.

Also on March 6 Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN announced it closed a private placement of $495,000. The company’s interests include 57,443 hectares of property in the PLS camp.

On March 7 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU stated it closed a share swap with Global Resources Investment Trust valued at about $1.25 million. EUU hopes to sell its newly acquired GRIT shares on the LSE, with proceeds going to the Kuriskova project in Slovakia and for general corporate purposes. Read more here and here.

See previous uranium news updates:

Read expert commentary:

Thomas Drolet discusses nuclear power from a global point of view.

Thomas Drolet discusses Fukushima and nuclear energy’s outlook.

Tom Hope discusses uranium’s predicament and promise.

David Talbot discusses the metal’s challenges and potential, and the Athabasca Basin.

Disclaimer: Lakeland Resources Inc is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Lakeland Resources.

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