With JV partner Declan advancing their flagship, Lakeland Resources looks at its other Athabasca Basin uranium properties
by Greg Klein
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It must be encouraging to close an oversubscribed private placement just one day after announcing exploration plans. In fact Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK president/CEO Jonathan Armes says his company’s original $2-million offering met overwhelming response soon after its February 24 announcement. Then on March 19, the day after releasing imminent plans for its Gibbon’s Creek flagship, the company closed the placement at $2.83 million. Now, with a healthy treasury and an enthusiastic joint venture partner in Declan Resources TSXV:LAN, Lakeland has more opportunity than ever to pursue its 14 other uranium projects in the Athabasca Basin.
The flagship is Gibbon’s Creek, a 12,771-hectare project that in January showed some of the highest radon levels ever measured in the Basin, along with surface boulders grading up to 4.28% uranium oxide (U3O8). Lakeland’s other 14 projects cover stretches of the northern, southern and eastern Basin. Most of them are wholly owned. All are under-explored.
Within weeks Gibbon’s Creek will undergo a ground electromagnetic survey to confirm historic work prior to an anticipated 2,500-metre drill program of up to 15 shallow holes. The earlier EM survey was part of previous work by other companies that totalled over $3 million and left a large legacy of data. Late last year Lakeland’s DC resistivity survey mapped a basement alteration found by historic drilling. Surface sampling confirmed historic results showing a high-grade uranium-bearing boulder field.
Another indication of uranium comes from last year’s radon survey. RadonEx Exploration Management found its highest-ever measurements, considerably above those found at Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) celebrated Patterson Lake South project.
“Several of our projects are at that stage where we just need to do line-cutting, resistivity and RadonEx to identify drill targets,” he says. “But with all these projects, we know we can’t do them all. We’ll continue to develop other joint venture possibilities, while at the same time compiling data on the projects to identify those we want to focus on.”
The JV approach has been working well at Gibbon’s. In December Declan took on a four-year, 70% option with a first-year work commitment of $1.25 million that accelerates the project’s agenda. President/CEO David Miller, a Strathmore/Fission Energy veteran who joined Declan in late February, says he’s glad to be working on Saskatchewan projects again.
“There’s so much of the Basin that’s relatively unexplored, to me there’s no limit to where you’re going to find more deposits,” he says. “I would say 90% of the Basin is essentially unexplored. I think it would be foolish to say the largest deposit has been discovered.”
Boasting by far the world’s highest grades, Athabasca mines are surviving a uranium price slump that’s shutting down operations elsewhere. Jurisdictional risks, as experienced by AREVA in Niger for example, make Saskatchewan more attractive yet. Global supply could be further threatened should Russia take further advantage of its influence in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, currently the world’s biggest uranium producer. As a result, “I think the Athabasca Basin component in world production is going to get stronger and stronger,” Miller says.
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