Tuesday 22nd September 2020

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

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Anfield to acquire U.S. properties and mill from Uranium One

If all goes to plan, a Canadian company will get some American uranium assets from Russia. Definitive agreements with Russian-owned Uranium One would expand Anfield Resources’ (TSXV:ARY) U.S. portfolio by over 250% to approximately 26,507 hectares in Utah, Arizona and South Dakota, including some historic resources and a mill. Announced August 18, the deal gives Anfield the Shootaring Canyon mill, one of only three licensed conventional uranium mills in the U.S., where most uranium is mined through in-situ recovery. With Anfield’s current uranium holdings lying in a 200-kilometre radius, Shootaring has been on care and maintenance since 1982, two years after beginning operation. It’s permitted up to 750 tonnes of ore per day, with a 1,000-tpd capacity.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

Anfield plans to expand its western U.S.
presence with assets from Uranium One.

Combined historic, non-43-101 resources for five assets included in the deal come to 1.96 million pounds U3O8 measured, 4.87 million pounds indicated and 2.11 million pounds inferred.

In return Anfield hands over US$1 million in shares and $4 million in cash spread out to July 1, 2019, or two years after the mill begins commercial production, whichever happens earlier. The deal also has Anfield replacing Uranium One’s government reclamation bonds, including a $5-million deposit on closing.

Anfield would also assume Uranium One’s obligations to U.S. Energy Corp, issuing U.S. Energy $2.5 million in shares and paying $2.5 million after 18 months of commercial production with another $2.5 million cash due after 36 months.

On August 21 Anfield stated it applied for Utah regulatory approval to transfer the Shootaring licence from Uranium One and request an extension of the licence pending a renewal application. Anfield announced previous acquisitions in Colorado last May, and in Utah last March and January.

Uranium One also holds properties in Kazakhstan, Australia and Tanzania. The company delisted last October following its $1.3-billion takeover by ARMZ, the mining branch of Russia’s state-owned Rosatom.

Western Athabasca Syndicate outlines $2-million campaign

On August 21 Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, two members of the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate, announced the group plans to spend $2 million on exploration during the next 12 months. Geophysical and geochemical surveys over various parts of their Preston property will take place during September and October to identify winter drill targets.

Among the priorities will be the Fin target area, less than two kilometres from the PLS exploration hole where Fission reported anomalous radiometric results on August 11. “The syndicate holds the largest land position on strike to the south along the same conductive corridor,” Skyharbour and Noka stated.

Last month the group reported results from Preston’s first drill program, comprising nine holes totalling 1,902 metres. The role of project operator has now passed from Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC to Skyharbour. Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY is the syndicate’s fourth member. On August 22 Athabasca Nuclear announced it had closed its Wollaston NE property acquisition in Manitoba.

Forum releases NW Athabasca assays, plans to buy out Karpinka partner

Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC released assays on August 13 from a 13-hole, 2,911-metre winter program on its Northwest Athabasca JV. Of five areas tested, the company recommends further drilling on four, which showed these highlights:

Maurice Bay historic deposit

  • 1.61% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 5.5 metres, depth not provided

Otis West

  • 0.3% over 4 metres, starting at 161 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.95% over 0.3 metres, starting at 173.3 metres

Zone A

  • 0.026% over 4.8 metres, starting at 77.8 metres

Maurice Bay East

  • 0.016% over 1.8 metres, starting at approximately 112.7 metres

Three holes on the Otis East gravity low failed to find significant mineralization but Forum recommends further drilling on the northern part of the area.

The Maurice Bay historic deposit has a non-43 101 resource of 600 tonnes averaging 0.6% U3O8.

Forum and NexGen jointly hold 64.6% of the project, with another 22.9% held by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 12.5% by AREVA Resources Canada. AREVA and project operator Forum funded the winter program.

On August 19 Forum announced an agreement to acquire Anthem Resources’ (TSXV:AYN) 50% interest in the Karpinka project, 30 kilometres south of Key Lake. Forum already holds the other half. The deal costs 10,000 shares and a 1% NSR, half of which Forum may buy for $1 million.

Historic work at Karpinka found boulders grading up to 0.42% U3O8. Surveys conducted between 2009 and 2012 have identified coincident soil gas hydrocarbon, gravity and EM targets.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission calls for uranium tailings reviews

Repercussions from the Mount Polley tailings dam failure have spread to Canada’s uranium mines. On August 14 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission requested companies review their own tailings operations, inspection records and mitigation plans. Although the reviews are voluntary, the agency asked companies to respond by September 15 stating the action taken and the reviews’ findings. Any company that fails to comply was asked to provide “reasons why the request or any part of it will not be carried out.”

The August 4 disaster dumped about 14.5 million cubic metres of tailings-tainted water and sand into British Columbia’s Polley Lake and other parts of the Fraser River watershed. Four days after the CNSC request, B.C.’s government ordered companies in that province to implement third-party reviews of 98 tailings facilities at 60 current and former mines. The province also ordered an independent investigation into Mount Polley, a copper-gold mine operated by Imperial Metals TSX:III. The BC Liberal government itself faces an investigation over the incident by the province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The province has also suspended an environmental assessment of Pacific Booker Minerals’ (TSXV:BKM) proposed Morrison mine pending outcome of the Mount Polley investigation. Last December the company won a court order quashing the province’s previous rejection of the mine.

Cameco faces possible strike at McArthur River and Key Lake

Staff at Saskatchewan’s McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill could walk off the job on August 28 if contract negotiations fail. Some 535 mine workers and 289 mill employees voted 92% in favour of a strike, according to an August 12 report from Canadian Press and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. It would be the first such action at a Cameco operation, the story added.

The report quoted Cameco media relations manager Rob Gereghty saying he’s confident a deal can be reached with the union, United Steelworkers local 8914. Their contract expired December 31.

Together, the mine and mill “employ approximately 900 Cameco staff and almost 750 long-term contractor employees,” the company’s website states. Cameco holds a 70% interest in McArthur and 83% of Key Lake. AREVA holds the rest.

Last month Cameco suspended Cigar Lake mining, four months after production began, to prevent possible flooding.

In brief…

On August 12 Denison Mines TSX:DML closed a $14.99-million private placement, just dollars short of its 2014 Canadian exploration budget.

92 Resources TSXV:NTY, formerly Rio Grande Mining, announced on August 13 it closed a 50% option agreement with Unity Energy TSXV:UTY on the 2,354-hectare Mitchell Lake project in the southeastern Basin. A week later 92 reported Phase I work had begun at its Zim frac sand project in southeastern B.C. Read more about frac sand exploration.

On August 15 Hodgins Auctioneers TSXV:HA reported it closed a 25% acquisition from Majesta Resources Inc of 39,125 hectares of contiguous northern Saskatchewan property. Majesta will act as project operator. Hodgins also closed a private placement “up to $365,000.”

Jet Metal TSXV:JET stated August 18 it had increased to $3 million a private placement originally offered at $2 million. Two days later Jet reported an application to list the warrants issuable under the private placement for trading on the TSXV. The company holds interests in a Labrador uranium-vanadium resource and a Wyoming uranium resource.

On August 20 Energy Fuels TSX:EFR announced it closed the sale of non-core uranium assets along the Colorado-Utah border to a group of private investors. A week earlier the company’s quarterly financials reported a working capital position of $42.26 million.

Blue Sky Uranium TSXV:BSK announced on August 21 a non-binding letter of intent with the privately owned UrAmerica Ltd in which the latter would acquire the former’s Santa Barbara, Anit and Ivana properties in Rio Negro province, Argentina. Details are pending. Last May AREVA Mines dropped out of a 51% option on Blue Sky properties, including Ivana, in two Argentinian provinces. On August 11 Blue Sky reported a $140,000 loan advance from an arm’s length private company. Other conditions of the loan are under negotiation.

See previous uranium news roundups:

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 ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Lakeland Resources.

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