Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 6 to 12, 2014
by Greg Klein
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Fission fattens main zone at Patterson Lake South
Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continues to widen Patterson Lake South’s R780E, where all the zone’s 54 summer holes so far have hit mineralization. Of 11 released September 8, one hole has extended the zone’s lateral width to more than 164 metres at one point. Two others confirm the previous merger of R780E with R1155E, formerly the next zone to the east.
That stretched R780E to 930 metres of continuous strike. It remains the largest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west.
As usual with scintillometer results, a disclaimer applies. These readings come from a hand-held device that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.
The standout of this batch was hole PLS14-286, which showed a composite of 97.2 metres of mineralization (not true width) that started at 60.8 metres and stopped at 173 metres in downhole depth.
Some other highlights included PLS14-276, which revealed 75 metres composite mineralization between 69.5 metres and 279.5 metres in depth. PLS14-283 gave up a composite 82 metres between 115 metres and 355 metres in depth.
While the summer program focuses on delineation for a December resource, last month’s widening of the main zone prompted Fission to add 10 step-outs totalling 4,700 metres to a seasonal campaign now expected to sink 73 holes for 25,000 metres. Still to come are assays for 12 of last winter’s 92 holes.
A project that’s seen over four decades of exploration will get a $2.5-million, 10,000-metre winter campaign thanks to today’s better understanding of the Athabasca Basin’s basement-hosted deposits. Five target areas at UEX Corp’s (TSX:UEX) Hidden Bay property have been chosen following the first review of historic data, which includes a database of 1,800 holes. Less than a quarter of them reached more than 25 metres below the unconformity, demonstrating “the historic unwavering focus of previous exploration operators in the search for classic unconformity deposits and sandstone depths of zero to 175 metres,” according to a September 8 statement.
Two of the target areas show clay alteration in the basement, less than 75 metres from surface, similar to that of the Cameco Corp TSX:CCO/JCU (Canada) Millennium deposit. One clay alteration zone shows anomalous uranium over several metres both within the zone and in adjacent drill holes, UEX added. The company intends to analyze core from six other targets in the coming year.
The relatively recent grasp of basement-style deposits has led other companies to review historic work too, as is the case with Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) Newnham Lake project.
UEX’s 57,000-hectare eastern Basin Hidden Bay holds three deposits totalling:
- indicated: 10.37 million tonnes averaging 0.16% for 36.62 million pounds U3O8
- inferred: 1.11 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 2.71 million pounds
In June the company reported drill results from the Laurie and Mirror River projects, part of a joint venture held 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by operator AREVA Resources Canada. Last April UEX released six holes from Black Lake, a JV with Uracan Resources TSXV:URC. UEX last updated its Shea Creek flagship, another 49.1%/50.9% JV with AREVA, in November.
On September 11 UEX announced a $2-million private placement. Cameco holds the right to participate to maintain its approximately 21.95% interest in UEX.
McArthur River/Key Lake labour dispute ends
With a tentative collective agreement signed by Cameco and the United Steelworkers, preparations are underway to resume operations at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill. Workers had been off the job since August 29, when the company issued a lockout notice in response to the union’s strike notice. Cameco announced on September 12 that the union would recommend its members vote in favour of the new contract.
The USW represents 535 workers out of about 900 Cameco staff and nearly 750 employees on long-term contracts at the mine and mill.
“The operations were maintained in a safe shutdown state by salaried Cameco employees and unionized personnel under an essential services agreement with the union,” the company stated.
Cameco holds a 70% interest in the mine and 83% of the mill. AREVA holds the rest.
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