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Athabasca Basin and beyond

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AREVA submits final environmental impact statement for Nunavut project

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 27 to October 3, 2014

A dock at Baker Lake, 80 kilometres east of Kiggavik, would serve
the operation’s underground mine, four open pits, mill and camp.

With a stack of binders reflecting over six years of engineering, environmental and public engagement studies, the Kiggavik project’s final environmental impact statement has reached the Nunavut Impact Review Board. Should all go to plan, three open pits, an underground mine and a mill would operate for about 14 years, based on estimated resources of 130 million pounds of uranium. Acting as operator, AREVA Resources Canada has a 64.8% stake in the project with JCU (Canada) Exploration holding 33.5% and DAEWOO Corp another 1.7%.

AREVA’s October 2 news release stated, “While uranium market conditions do not currently favour a construction decision, completing the environmental assessment would allow the project to move forward with the next steps when the market improves as expected.” Besides a favourable assessment, Kiggavik would require permits and licences from Inuit and land claim organizations, as well as federal and territorial regulators. Construction would take three to four years.

Although the French nuclear giant’s Canadian subsidiary holds joint ventures in a number of Canadian projects, current Canadian law prevents foreign companies from holding more than 49% of a uranium mine. That’s expected to change following a Canada-EU deal announced in October 2013, which is expected to take another year to ratify.

Canada no longer has operating uranium mines outside Saskatchewan. After Kiggavik, Nunavut’s most advanced uranium project is Kivalliq Energy’s (TSXV:KIV) Angilak property, with a 43.3-million-pound inferred category.

Among other companies with uranium interests in the region are Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Cameco Corp TSX:CCO.

Tarku Resources completes Tarku project’s 2014 program

Twenty kilometres south of the Basin, Tarku Resources TSXV:TKU wrapped up its 2014 campaign at the 45,000-hectare Tarku project. Airborne geophysics tracked over 70 linear kilometres of moderate to strong multi-channel EM conductors, the company reported on October 2. When analyzed along with historic data, 12 targets were chosen for follow-up. Crews have reached four of them so far with sampling and a scintillometer survey. They took 15 rock samples with results up to 2.26 g/t gold. Of 327 soil samples, the best showed 48.6 ppb gold, 759 ppb silver and 1.34 ppm uranium.

Historic work included lake sediment samples up to 122 ppm uranium.

Further plans include prospecting, mapping and infill soil geochemistry. Contingent on those results, the company plans a ground EM survey to identify drill targets.

In September Tarku acquired six more properties, bringing its land package to nearly 105,000 hectares.

Amalgamation closed, Uranium Standard Resources begins trading

Uranium Standard Resources TSXV:USR made its market debut October 2, on completion of Central Resources’ (formerly TSXV:CBC) acquisition of the privately owned Canadian Uranium Corp.

The company starts off with three new faces. President/CEO Arni Johannson is president and founder of Canadian Nexus Ventures. Director Michael Williams is president of Full Metal Minerals TSXV:FMM and former chairperson of Underworld Resources, object of a $140-million takeout by Kinross Gold TSX:K. CFO Canon Bryan is a Lakeland Resources adviser, CFO of Terrestrial Energy, which is developing a Generation-IV nuclear reactor, and co-founder of other companies including Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC and NioCorp Developments TSXV:NB.

USR’s goal is to build a portfolio “at deeply discounted valuations” while awaiting a recovery in uranium prices.

Uranium Energy Corp reports permitting progress

Permitting advances have moved two southern Texas projects forward, Uranium Energy Corp reported October 1. For the Burke Hollow in-situ recovery project, the mine permit, aquifer exemption and two disposal well applications have reached the technical review stage at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The company has also submitted a radioactive material licence application to the TCEQ.

Regarding its Palangana ISR operation, UEC received draft permits for the mine area, aquifer exemption expansion and a production area authorization, all intended to increase capacity. The company received a draft radioactive material licence amendment.

In mid-September UEC announced a preliminary economic assessment for its Anderson project in Arizona. Last April the company released a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. With over 20 projects in the western U.S. and two in Paraguay, UEC runs the Palangana mine, Hobson processing plant and advanced-stage Goliad and Burke Hollow projects in Texas.

UEX closes $3-million placement

On September 29 UEX Corp TSX:UEX reported it closed a $3.08-million private placement originally offered up to $2 million. Cameco waived its right to maintain its approximately 21.95% interest in the company.

In early September UEX announced a $2.5-million, 10,000-metre winter campaign for its Hidden Bay project in the eastern Basin. The company reported results from the Laurie and Mirror River JV in June, its Black Lake JV in April and its flagship Shea Creek JV last November.

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

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