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Skyharbour/Aben seek conductors at Mann Lake
Separate announcements on August 25 and 26 from Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Aben Resources TSXV:ABN reported a ground-based EM survey has begun on their Mann Lake project in the southeastern Basin. Expected to last about 10 days, the work focuses on an area where a two-kilometre-long aeromagnetic low coincides with possible basement conductor trends, the companies stated.
Skyharbour and Aben hold 60% and 40% respectively of the 3,473-hectare project, which lies adjacent to another JV of the same name held by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO, Denison and AREVA Resources Canada.
The previous week Skyharbour, as project operator for the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate, announced exploration plans for their Preston Lake property. In late July Aben closed a $102,000 private placement. Aben also has exploration underway at its Justin gold-silver-tungsten project in the Yukon.
Price climbs but Cameco says supply unaffected by McArthur River/Key Lake lockout
The McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill are now in a “safe shutdown state” by both salaried and unionized employees under an essential services agreement, Cameco reported August 29. The company began flying out other employees after issuing a lockout notice in response to strike notice from the United Steelworkers. The union has been without a contract since December 31. Both parties have applied for conciliation under the Canada Labour Code.
The mine and mill employ approximately 535 unionized employees out of about 900 Cameco staff and nearly 750 employees on long-term contracts.
Cameco stated its delivery commitments remain unaffected due to “a variety of supply sources including primary production, and existing purchase commitments and inventories.” Even so, observers attributed a 3.2% uranium price hike on August 28 to the previous day’s lockout notice. According to Bloomberg data published by the Globe and Mail, that constitutes uranium’s biggest gain since November 2011.
Cameco’s July 31 Q2 report forecast overall 2014 production from 22.8 million to 23.3 million pounds U3O8, a reduction from 23.8 million to 24.3 million pounds due to the Cigar Lake suspension. Last year McArthur River and Key Lake produced 20.2 million pounds, with Cameco’s share coming to 14.1 million. For the first six months of 2014 the world’s largest uranium mine produced 6% less than the same period last year.
Cameco holds a 70% interest in the mine and 83% of the mill. AREVA holds the rest.
With a definitive agreement announced August 27, Uracan Resources’ (TSXV:URC) 70% option on Forum Uranium’s (TSXV:FDC) Clearwater project is official. Now in the planning stage is a drill program for late summer and early fall on the 9,912-hectare PLS-adjacent project. Read more about the option and previous drilling. In mid-August Forum released assays from the Northwest Athabasca project, a joint venture with NexGen, Cameco and AREVA. Forum also stated it would buy out the remaining interest in its Karpinka project in the eastern Basin.
Powertech Uranium’s (TSX:PWE) three-day hearing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has wrapped up. The company stated on August 27 the proceedings focused on contested aspects of the Dewey-Burdock project’s environmental impact statement “as well as procedural issues in regard to the licensing process completed by the NRC staff.” Powertech added the South Dakota in-situ recovery mine is permitted for “construction and operation of the project pending completion of additional permitting.” In July the company extended a share purchase agreement with Azarga Resources, part of a planned merger reported here and here.
Announcing fiscal 2014 results on August 28, Paladin Energy TSX:PDN reported a gross loss from operations of US$3.4 million and after-tax impairments of $296.3 million. The good news is that the company predicts a uranium price recovery in six to 12 months. Read more.
On August 29 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU reported receipt of $175,000 from Forte Energy under a JV agreement signed in late July. The latter company “will pay the balance of $325,000 to EUU imminently,” European Uranium added. The company had previously stated that the two partners “mutually agreed to extend the payment of $475,000 by Forte to EUU to August 14, 2014, rather than July 31, 2014.”
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