Tuesday 11th August 2020

Resource Clips

Athabasca Basin and beyond

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Noka, Alpha find “strongly anomalous” lake sediment samples at Carpenter Lake

Results from last month’s lake sediment sampling at Carpenter Lake show eight strongly anomalous results, according to Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX. Their May 21 announcement stated the octet ranged from 3.9 to 37 parts per million uranium, compared to a high of 3.8 ppm in lake sediments proximal to the PLS boulder field.

The eight results were accompanied by arsenic, cobalt, copper, lead, molybdenum and nickel, a geochemical signature “consistent with a graphitic/pyritic pelite basement bedrock source that is anomalous with uranium and may represent material eroded from the CBSZ [Cable Bay shear zone].”

Summer plans include an airborne radiometric survey followed by ground prospecting, as well as geochemical and radon sampling.

Alpha holds a 60% option on the 20,637-hectare south-central Basin property. Noka is a member of the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate, which released preliminary drill results from its Preston Lake project in early May.

NRC board lifts stay on operating licence for Powertech’s Dewey-Burdock project

Powertech Uranium’s (TSX:PWE) operating licence is back in effect following a decision by the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. The ASLB stayed the licence early this month following a challenge by opponents of the company’s Dewey-Burdock ISR development project in South Dakota. On May 22 Powertech announced the board lifted the stay after hearing oral arguments from two opposing groups.

The project still faces a formal evidentiary presentation to the ASLB in August “to determine the adequacy of contested aspects of the NRC’s licensing decision,” Powertech added.

Uranerz wants Nichols Ranch licence amended to add contiguous resources

Uranerz Energy TSX:URZ has asked the NRC to amend its Nichols Ranch ISR licence to include contiguous resources called the Jane Dough unit. After installing wellfields at Jane Dough, the company plans to send solutions to and from the Nichols Ranch processing plant through pipelines, avoiding the expense of a satellite plant at Jane Dough, Uranerz stated on May 21. Jane Dough would be the Wyoming project’s third operational unit, after the Nichols Ranch and Hank units.

Jane Dough was formed by combining three properties. Part of the unit is held by Arkose Mining Venture, of which Uranerz holds an 81% interest. The latter company’s share of Jane Dough’s total resource comes to a measured and indicated 2.73 million pounds averaging 0.108% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8).

Uranerz began mining Nichols Ranch in mid-April.

Strateco challenges Quebec uranium inquiry and its chairperson

Strateco Resources TSX:RSC has called on Quebec’s environmental watchdog to recuse the chairperson of an inquiry into the uranium industry. Commission head Louis-Gilles Francoeur “has neither the neutrality nor the legitimacy needed to chair the commission’s work,” said Strateco president/CEO Guy Hébert in a May 20 statement. “Mr. Francoeur’s bias is clear from the repeated comments he made while working for Le Devoir newspaper.”

The environmental oversight agency, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), appointed Francoeur to head the inquiry into uranium exploration and mining, which is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Until a decision is made whether to allow uranium activity in Quebec, a moratorium remains in effect.

Hébert’s comments echo those of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, which earlier this month called for Francoeur to be replaced due to previous statements the association deemed “prejudicial and non-scientific.”

Should BAPE reject Strateco’s request, the company stated, it will launch legal action to force Francoeur’s recusal.

Hébert noted Quebec’s new Liberal government has stated its intention to revive Plan Nord “and it strikes us as crucial to rebuild Quebec’s credibility” by distancing the present government from appointments made by the former.

Strateco also called on the government to quash the inquiry outright. Referring to its Matoush project, the company stated, “After investing more than $10 million in environmental studies and going through a series of public hearings, Strateco obtained the approvals and recommendations it needed from the Executive Committee, the FRP-S, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.”

On May 27 Strateco shareholders will vote on two agreements totalling $1.5 million, which the company hopes will satisfy requirements for a continued TSX listing.

In brief…

On May 20 Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ announced filing a 43-101 report on its exploration projects in Peru. The report doesn’t disclose new information about the properties, which would be subject to acquisition by Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL under an LOI announced in mid-April.

Energy Fuels TSX:EFR shareholders approved the management’s slate of directors and other resolutions at their May 21 AGM. The previous week the company said it would suspend operations at White Mesa, the only conventional uranium mill operating in the U.S., in August while relying on inventory and spot market purchases to meet sales contracts.

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE shareholders approved all proposed resolutions at their May 22 AGM, re-elected all incumbent directors, added new director Craig Parry and appointed Chris McFadden chairperson. The company also announced 4.47 million options exercisable at $0.40 for five years. NexGen has a three-rig, 13,000-metre drill campaign pending for its PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project.

On May 22 Laramide Resources TSX:LAM announced AGM results and the resignation of director Peter Mullens, who remains with the company as an exploration consultant. Last February the company reported a one-year extension to a farm-in and JV term sheet on a property held by a Rio Tinto NYE:RIO subsidiary adjacent to Laramide’s flagship Westmoreland project in Queensland.

At another May 22 AGM, Forsys Metals’ (TSX:FSY) management slate and resolutions met shareholder approval. Last February the company released reserve and resource estimates for two deposits at its Norasa project in Namibia.

On May 23 Golden Bridge Mining TSXV:GBM announced the resignation of director John Carter. Last October the company staked 3,657 hectares in the PLS area.

Also on May 23 Anthem Resources TSXV:AYN announced 300,000 options exercisable at $0.12 for five years, as well as the appointment of 49 North Resources TSXV:FNR president/CEO Tom MacNeill to Anthem’s board. In March Anthem launched a lawsuit against British Columbia for the “de facto expropriation” of its uranium interests in the province.

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.

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