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Resource Clips

Athabasca Basin and beyond

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Noka, Alpha complete Carpenter Lake radon survey

Syndicate member Noka, meanwhile, joined Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX on April 14 to report their Carpenter Lake radon survey, with lake water and sediment samples over EM conductors along a 16-kilometre stretch of the Cable Bay shear zone. Six grids all showed strongly anomalous measurements, the companies stated. Still pending are lab geochem results for 60 sediment samples.

Summer plans include airborne radiometrics over historic findings of anomalous radioactivity in an effort to find near-surface uranium boulders. Ground prospecting, geochem sampling and radon sampling will follow.

Alpha holds a 60% option on the 20,637-hectare property.

Uranerz begins ISR mining at Nichols Ranch in Wyoming

April 15 marked the start of mining at Uranerz Energy’s (TSX:URZ) Nichols Ranch in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The company’s announcement didn’t provide production numbers but the project has a 2009 indicated resource of 2.95 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8). It’s licensed to produce up to two million pounds a year.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 12 to 18, 2014

Uranerz began operations at Nichols Ranch,
North America’s newest uranium mine, on April 15.

Under the in-situ recovery process, groundwater mixed with oxygen, sodium bicarbonate and carbon dioxide is injected into the sandstone-hosted deposit and extracted as uranium-loaded resin. The resin will be processed at Wyoming’s Smith Ranch plant, operated by a Cameco subsidiary. From there, Uranerz will send the concentrate to a conversion facility and on to customers. Some of the production has been designated for long-term contracts with Exelon Corp NYE:EXC and “one other of the largest nuclear utilities in the country,” Uranerz added.

The company has stated Nichols Ranch could serve as a base for five satellite projects.

Unity Energy, Rio Grande option Basin properties

Unity Energy TSXV:UTY optioned into one property just after optioning out another. In an agreement announced April 15, Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV may earn a 50% interest in Unity’s Mitchell Lake project in the southeastern Basin. Two days later Unity announced its 100% option on the Camsell project in the northwestern Basin.

The Mitchell Lake deal would have Rio Grande pay Unity $100,000 within a year of TSXV approval and spend $3 million on exploration within four years. The 2,354-hectare property underwent a 2011 VTEM survey “which confirmed the two conductive zones of interest,” the companies stated.

Under the agreement announced April 17, Unity would acquire the 14,200-hectare Camsell project by paying the vendor $20,000 and issuing one million shares on TSXV approval, paying another $550,000 over the next 42 months and spending $2 million within five years. The vendor retains a 1% NSR which Unity may buy back for $1.5 million.

Camsell begins on Lake Athabasca’s north shore and extends for kilometres into the lake. The property features shallow depths up to about 250 metres to the unconformity. Geophysics in 2006 found “strong, medium and weak WZ conductors,” often coinciding with magnetic lows, Unity stated.

In addition to Mitchell Lake and Camsell, Unity holds nine uranium exploration properties and two base metals projects, all in Saskatchewan.

Last month Rio Grande announced a 100% option on Pattyson Lake, a northern Basin property bordering claims held by Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK. Rio Grande also holds a silica project in eastern British Columbia.

UEC’s Burke Hollow project in Texas undergoes permitting

With one mine in operation and another in development, Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC now has a third project that’s reached production permitting. On April 11 the company filed applications for a mine permit and aquifer exemption for its Burke Hollow ISR project in southern Texas.

Preparation continues for a radioactive material licence, a waste disposal well and an air permit exemption. UEC expects to file the first two in Q2.

The 7,000-hectare property has a February 2013 inferred resource averaging 0.047% eU3O8 for 2.89 million pounds. Since then the company has drilled 80 delineation holes and found extensions to two new mineralized trends.

In addition to the Burke Hollow satellite deposit, UEC’s portfolio includes a processing plant in Hobson, Texas, the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad ISR development project and nearly two dozen exploration projects, two of them in Paraguay and the rest in the western U.S.

Last month UEC got a two-year extension on a $20-million loan. In September the company cut production and put off expansion at Palangana due to low uranium prices.

In brief…

On April 14 Golden Bridge Mining TSXV:GBM announced closing a private placement for $710,940. The company staked 3,657 hectares in the PLS area last October.

Also on April 14 Pele Mountain Resources TSXV:GEM announced one of its directors received 250,000 options exercisable at $0.10 until the end of 2018. Last month the company reported successful flotation tests at its Eco Ridge rare earths-uranium project in Ontario.

On April 15 Blue Sky Uranium TSXV:BSK reported closing a first tranche of $81,345. A private placement last month raised $270,550. Proceeds go to exploration in Argentina, where the company started drilling its Ivana project in November, and to general working capital.

The TSX has extended its Strateco Resources TSX:RSC delisting review for another 30 days, the company announced April 15. Strateco’s Quebec project has been idled by the province’s moratorium on uranium exploration. Strateco intends to take part in upcoming hearings into the subject and has launched legal action against Quebec. In January the company announced plans for its Saskatchewan portfolio.

Paladin Energy TSX:PDN announced April 16 receipt of a US$20-million non-refundable deposit from China National Nuclear Corp that had been held in escrow. The money comes out of the $190-million sale price for CNNC’s 25% stake in Paladin’s flagship Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia. Paladin expects to close the transaction in June. In February the company suspended operations at its Kayelekera mine in Malawi.

On April 16 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU reported the closing of a $100,000 private placement with ASX/AIM-listed Forte Energy. Two weeks earlier EUU announced binding heads of agreement to sell its entire portfolio to Forte after EUU’s planned merger with Portex Minerals CSE:PAX fell through.

Effective April 17 CST Trust became Purepoint Uranium’s (TSXV:PTU) transfer agent and registrar, replacing Equity Financial Trust. Last month Purepoint announced discovery of a new zone at its Hook Lake JV. In February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

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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