Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 1, 2015
by Greg Klein
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Saskatchewan’s number two for mining jurisdictions worldwide
The province has held a top 10 position for at least five years, but last week Saskatchewan reached second place in a global survey of miners and explorers. The Fraser Institute study released February 24 rated jurisdictions for a number of factors, with the most important attributes making up the Investment Attractiveness Index. There sits Saskatchewan, second only to Finland.
The index considers responses for two separate categories, giving a 60% weight to geology and 40% to public policy. As Macdonald-Laurier Institute managing director Brian Lee Crowley told ResourceClips.com, reserves aren’t much good without policies that allow responsible development. Some comments quoted by the Fraser Institute bear that out.
“In Saskatchewan, ‘Duty to Consult’ is the responsibility of government, not the company. Something like the Ring of Fire fiasco in Ontario would not happen in Saskatchewan.”
“Good geoscientific support and permitting procedures which allow for timely planning and efficient support from provincial administration in addressing land access and Amerindian issues.”
“Saskatchewan is open to uranium exploration.”
Speaking to the Regina Leader-Post, survey director Kenneth Green said, “In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims.”
More good words came from provincial Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Clearly, there is a very good resource here in the province, whether it’s in potash, uranium or other minerals that we mine here in Saskatchewan,’’ the Leader-Post quoted him. “We’ve been able to create a business climate here in Saskatchewan that’s positive. There’s a good workforce in Saskatchewan, a trained workforce, as well.’’
Four other Canadian jurisdictions made the top 10 for investment attractiveness. Additionally the survey showed a significant improvement in Canada’s median score on the Policy Perception Index.
NexGen adds third high-grade section to Rook 1’s Arrow zone
Having discovered another high-grade section of the Arrow zone with Rook 1’s best angled hole yet, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE assigned new names to the project’s features. A1, A2 and A3 designate three mineralized shears trending northeast to southwest. The latest hole, AR-15-39, found composite mineralization totalling 89.15 metres within 436.5 metres that started at 433.5 metres in downhole depth. Scintillometer readings above 10,000 counts per second coincided with “dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” the company stated February 24.
The results, from a handheld device that scans drill core for gamma radiation, are no substitute for the still-pending assays. Readings of 10,000 cps or more are called “offscale” due to the limitations of a previous model.
Drilled at a -70 dip between AR-15-37 and -38, the new hole went offscale for seven metres at A2, reinforcing “the continuity of semi-massive to massive pitchblende” in that shear. A3 revealed another 9.75 offscale metres, representing “a 200-metre down-dip extension from high-grade uranium assay intervals in drill holes AR-14-08 and -13,” NexGen added.
One week earlier the company released two holes extending mineralization 81 metres southwest along strike from Rook 1’s best hole so far—angled or vertical and “amongst the best drill results” in the Athabasca Basin.
Both holes revealed “significant dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” with AR-15-37 giving composite radiation readings for 76 metres within a 264.5-metre section beginning at 405 metres in downhole depth. That included an offscale composite of 9.35 metres.
AR-15-38 showed composite mineralization of 82.35 metres within a 247.5-metre section starting at 474 metres, with a composite 4.5 metres above 10,000 cps.
NexGen also reported its third rig began drilling 400 metres northeast along Arrow’s strike. That’s where a radon-in-lake-water anomaly, 480 metres long by 20 to 150 metres wide, is “optimally situated along the southeast-dipping VTEM conductor [and] projected to reach the unconformity.”
As of February 24, drilling hit mineralization in 37 of 39 Arrow holes, with 5,519 metres of the 18,000-metre winter program complete. The zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization as shallow as 100 metres and as deep as 817.5 metres in vertical depth.
Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.
Ever modest, NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said the zone “is quickly becoming a significant discovery on a world scale with relatively very few holes drilled.”
Fission hits high grade west of Triple R resource
Sunday’s not the usual day to release news of this nature. But March 1 begins PDAC 2015, so what better time to assert bragging rights? Whatever the reason, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU chose the day to announce a radioactive find 555 metres west of its Triple R deposit. The news reinforces interest in R600W, the most westerly of Patterson Lake South’s four zones, where five previous holes showed only low-grade mineralization.
Scintillometer readings for land-based hole PLS15-343 showed 65.5 metres of radiation starting at 105.5 metres in downhole depth, including a continuous 8.85 metres over 10,000 counts per second “with peaks up to 52,900 cps at shallow depth,” the company reported. A second radioactive interval of four metres began at 342.5 metres.
As explained in the NexGen item above, scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Readings above 10,000 cps are often called “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.
Technical problems terminated the hole at 368 metres “in moderately altered semi-pelitic gneiss,” Fission stated.
R600W’s strike runs 30 metres with a north-south lateral width up to about 20 metres. The project’s four zones extend for a 2.24-kilometre potential strike along the PL-3B conductor. The two middle zones, R00E and R780E, comprise the Triple R resource that shook the market in January. In mid-February Fission announced nine holes that expand R780E, by far the project’s largest zone.
The $10-million, four-rig winter agenda calls for 35 holes on Triple R and R600W, along with 28 holes on regional targets, for a total of about 20,230 metres.
Lakeland Resources bolsters its Basin portfolio
Now with 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has enlarged what was already one of Saskatchewan’s largest exploration portfolios. New acquisitions announced February 20 include two land packages in the southeastern Basin’s Key Lake area, which gave up over 200 million pounds of uranium by 2002 and still hosts the Key Lake mill.
One of the area acquisitions, the KLR property, features “a significant number of historic conductors within basement rock types and at least two unexplained radiometric anomalies,” Lakeland stated. Sampling of surface rocks and lake and stream sediment brought results up to 691 ppm uranium. Historic drilling revealed 0.12% U3O8 across 0.1 metres. The new turf complements Lakeland’s existing Key Lake-region properties.
Six new claims sit adjacent to Lakeland holdings in the southwestern Basin’s Carter Lake area. The company also gained ground in the Mathews Lake area, north of Lake Athabasca and within basement rocks of the Beaverlodge Domain.
The Carson Lake property lies beyond the Basin’s northeastern margin but within the Wollaston Domain, which hosts most of the Basin’s currently operating mines.
South of the Basin, along the highly prospective Cable Bay shear zone, Lakeland picked up Black Birch East. Historic work on the 26,389-hectare property “showed a number of electromagnetic conductors and radiometric anomalies roughly coincident with the CBSZ.”
The acquisitions result from two transactions, subject to TSXV approval. One set of properties costs $40,880 and 1.12 million shares. A set of two other properties calls for $32,636 and 326,350 shares. Both transactions include a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy back for $2 million per property.
In late January the company began drilling its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Other drill-ready projects include Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern margin and Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s.
In December Takara Resources TSXV:TKK took out a 50% option on Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Last year’s private placements brought Lakeland over $5.1 million.
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