Saturday 19th September 2020

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

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UEC’s Colorado uranium-vanadium project reaches PEA

Although “production in south Texas from our hub-and-spoke platform remains our top priority,” Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC released a preliminary economic assessment for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado on April 22. Assuming prices of $60 per pound uranium and $10 per pound vanadium, the study used a 10% discount rate to calculate an after-tax net present value of US$31.9 million and a 29% internal rate of return. Initial capex would come to $21 million.

The PEA was based on an inferred resource for a conceptual mine showing 1.74 million tons averaging 0.212% uranium oxide-equivalent and 1.27% vanadium pentoxide for 7.4 million pounds eU3O8 and 44.3 million pounds V2O5.

The report assumes sale of production to Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill in Utah. Slick Rock is one of UEC’s five conventional uranium properties in the Colorado Plateau.

UEC’s “hub-and-spoke” operations consist of its Hobson processing plant, Palangana in-situ recovery mine and Goliad ISR development project, all in southern Texas, as well as satellite projects. The company holds nearly two dozen exploration properties, two of them in Paraguay and the rest in the western U.S.

The previous week UEC announced Burke Hollow, another southern Texas ISR project, had reached production permitting.

Energy Fuels extends Arizona mine into 2015

Citing favourable mining conditions and lower-than-expected costs, Energy Fuels has postponed the shutdown of its Pinenut mine until early 2015. The Arizona operation was originally scheduled to close by the middle of this year. But the company plans to stockpile Pinenut’s additional production, estimated at 250,000 pounds U3O8, until uranium prices improve. That leaves the 2014 guidance of 500,000 pounds unchanged, according to the April 23 statement.

By Q1, however, “the economic uranium resource is expected to be depleted, subject to the potential discovery of additional resources through planned underground exploration.”

Energy Fuels also stated that “as previously announced, the company expects to resume conventional ore processing at the White Mesa mill in mid-May 2014 for two to three months. This production, along with current inventories and spot market purchases, is expected to allow the company to meet its current delivery obligations through 2015 and beyond.”

In late March the company updated its La Sal resource, released a PEA for its Juniper Ridge project and filed a $100-million prospectus.

Azincourt enters second year of option on Fission 3.0’s PLN

With work starting ahead of the June 19 anniversary date, Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ has begun year two of its four-year, 50% option on Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) Patterson Lake North project, the companies announced April 24. Plans call for summer and autumn follow-up drilling on the property’s A1 and A4 conductors. Drilling would also test any land-based targets found by a total of 110 line-kilometres of DC resistivity surveys over the N and Broach Lake conductors.

Year two would cost Azincourt $3 million in exploration and a $750,000 payment to the Fission Energy spinco in order to reach a 20% interest in PLN. Azincourt acquired its first-year 10% by spending $1.5 million and paying Fission 3.0 $500,000. The full four-year, 50% option on the 27,408-hectare PLS-adjacent project would require a total of $12 million in spending and $4.75 million in payments from Azincourt. Fission 3.0 acts as operator.

Earlier this month the companies announced results from PLN’s winter drilling, radon survey and ground geophysics.

In mid-April Azincourt and Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL announced a letter of intent to consolidate their Peruvian properties, which surround land held by Fission 3.0. Also in mid-April, Fission 3.0 and Brades Resource TSXV:BRA released preliminary interpretations of two surveys flown over their Clearwater West project.

In brief…

On April 21 Aben Resources TSXV:ABN announced 1.98 million options exercisable at $0.08 for five years. Last month the company closed a $720,000 private placement.

Pitchblack Resources TSXV:PIT will propose a consolidation of up to 10 old shares for one new at next month’s AGM, the company stated on April 21. It holds uranium, coal and gold assets in the Yukon.

Also on April 21, Hodgins Auctioneers TSXV:HA announced that a conditional agreement to acquire a 25% interest in a Basin property has been extended to May 5. The company hopes to close a $350,000 private placement by that date.

On April 22 Strateco Resources TSX:RSC commented on the “study on the state of knowledge, impact and mitigation measures relating to uranium exploration and mining in Quebec.” Professors from two universities prepared the study for the Quebec government’s upcoming public hearings on the subject. A French-language version of the study is available here. Strateco indicated an English translation might be available by April 28.

On April 22 Paladin Energy TSX:PDN released a quarterly activities report acknowledging declining production at its Langer Heinrich flagship in Namibia and suspended operations at its Kayelekera mine in Malawi. Total production came to 2.09 million pounds U3O8, down 5% from the previous quarter. The company expects to close the sale of a 25% JV interest in Langer Heinrich to China National Nuclear Corp in June.

Ur-Energy’s (TSX:URE) quarterly, also released April 22, reported sales from Lost Creek in Wyoming of 110,000 pounds U3O8 in Q1, up from 90,000 pounds in Q4. But the company has set production lower than originally planned while technical issues are addressed. Last month Ur-Energy announced a loan amendment providing an additional US$1.5 million on top of $5 million received in December.

On April 23 Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC reported its 2013 financials had been filed on The next day the company announced Ian Fleming’s appointment as CFO, replacing Glen Diduck. The next day again it offered a $500,000 private placement. Athabasca Nuclear is a member of the Western Athabasca Syndicate, which released preliminary drill results from its Preston project the week before.

Golden Bridge Mining TSXV:GBM announced on April 24 276,000 options exercisable at $0.30 for five years. The previous week the company reported closing a $710,940 private placement. Golden Bridge staked 3,657 hectares in the PLS area last October.

On April 25 Blue Sky Uranium TSXV:BSK announced closing a second and final tranche of $33,000 for a total of $114,345. A private placement last month raised $270,550. The money goes to exploration in Argentina, where the company began drilling its Ivana project in November, and to general working capital. Blue Sky also announced Darren Urquhart’s appointment as CFO and corporate secretary, replacing Mike Iannacone who stays on as a consultant.

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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