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Posts tagged ‘Ashburton Ventures Inc (ABR)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 10th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 2 to 8, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission find sixth zone with 525-metre step-out west of PLS discovery

Almost exactly a year ago joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced their Patterson Lake South discovery hole in what came to be known as zone R00E. Since then drilling from ice or barge extended east along the lake, finding five zones along a 1.23-kilometre trend. Now initial results from a $2.25-million, 11-hole, 3,700-metre land-based extension to the 2013 summer program have found a sixth zone, R600W, 525 metres west of the discovery.

The 50/50 JV bases its claim on scintillometer results—which measure gamma radiation up to 9,999 counts per second and are no substitute for lab assays—for two holes released November 4.

Hole PLS13-116 was sunk at a dip of -74 degrees, reaching 323 metres in total downhole depth, encountering basement bedrock at 106.4 metres. Results show:

  • 300 to 310 cps over 1 metre, starting at 143 metres in downhole depth

Collared from the same location but with better results, PLS13-118 went vertical to 314 metres and hit basement at 97.2 metres. The shallower depth “possibly suggest[s] structural faulted off-set between the holes,” the companies stated. Results show:

  • <300 to 680 cps over 9 metres, starting at 174.5 metres

  • <300 to 750 cps over 3 metres, starting at 186 metres

  • 314 to 5,550 cps over 8 metres, starting at 191.5 metres

  • 650 to 880 cps over 1 metre, starting at 222 metres

  • 380 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 254.5 metres

True widths were unavailable. Assays, as well as downhole radiometric probe results, are pending.

The targets result from a radon in sediment anomaly found last summer, which “may be associated with inferred north-south cross-cutting structures. This anomaly lies along an east-northeast trend, parallel and just north of the PL-3B EM conductor,” according to the JV. The companies plan further drilling to focus on this zone, which moves activity closer to the high-grade radioactive boulder field that sparked the PLS rush.

Non-compliant quote of the week

Despite all the verifiably positive news, Alpha disregarded geological best practices and NI 43-101 disclosure rules by distributing this semantically confused whopper about PLS, courtesy of a magazine called ResourceWorld:

“No uranium resource/reserves figures have been inferred from the status of the project as yet, but it can be implied that PLS will become a standalone operation with a minimum 50 million pounds of U3O8.”

International Enexco, Denison report three holes from Bachman Lake

Four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin, JV partners International Enexco TSXV:IEC and Denison Mines TSX:DML have wrapped up their 2013 Bachman Lake drill program. Three holes reported November 4 tested two of the property’s three conductors.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 2 to 8, 2013

One hole intersected the ML-1 conductor, finding “a large graphitic shear zone in contact with granite gneiss, a favourable host for mineralization warranting additional drilling,” Enexco stated.

An intersection of the CR-2 conductor “confirm[s] that the dominant clay species is illite with some dravite, both of which are commonly elevated near unconformity-related mineralization.” The partners are considering follow-up drilling.

A sandstone alteration zone encountered by the third hole suggests “it may have just overshot the favourable conductive basement horizon.”

Now that Enexco has earned its 20% interest, both companies will fund further work on a pro-rata basis. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator on the 11,419-hectare property. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco has a pre-feasibility study underway on its 100%-held Contact copper project.

Ashburton’s Phase I exploration finds three anomalous areas at Sienna West

Disruptions by the animal kingdom notwithstanding, a radon survey on Ashburton Ventures’ TSXV:ABR Sienna West project found three anomalous areas for follow-up work. Of 35 cups that were buried to measure radon gas, eight were dug up by wildlife. But some of the others identified areas of interest, the company stated on November 4.

In addition, 12 previously reported radioactive boulders have now been analysed, with two showing 12.4 and 184.5 parts per million uranium. The latter was found in an area with high radon counts.

Ashburton also announced the resignation of director Phil Taneda.

The Sienna project comprises the 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of PLS and the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguously north of PLS.

Western Athabasca Syndicate announces winter plans for Preston Lake

With its summer field program complete, a four-company alliance prepares for winter at the PLS-proximal Preston Lake property. Work so far consisted of rock, soil, radon and biogeochemical sampling, as well as airborne electromagnetic, magnetic and radiometric surveys, the companies announced November 5. The Western Athabasca Syndicate consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

Still to come are final results. But the campaign identified eight potential corridors with 15 drill target areas to be refined with ground gravity, EM and radon surveys between December and February. The companies anticipate drilling to begin in March. So far only about half of the alliance’s 246,643-hectare land package has been explored.

Energy Fuels suspends Arizona mine development, updates corporate news

Blaming litigation and low prices, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR has suspended construction of its Canyon mine in Arizona, the company announced November 5. Legal action by environmentalists and local natives challenges the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine. With all surface infrastructure complete, the company has put underground development on hold until December 2014, or earlier if a court decides on the merits of the case.

According to Associated Press, low uranium prices had put the project “on standby status before, from 1992 until work resumed earlier this year.” The news agency added, “The mine sits in a nearly [404,680-hectare] area that was placed off limits to new mining claims in January 2012. Companies with existing claims that were proven to have sufficient quantity and quality of mineral resources could be developed.”

Canyon has an inferred resource of 82,800 tons averaging 0.98% for 1.63 million pounds U3O8. The deposit is part of Energy Fuels’ Arizona Strip project, acquired when the company bought out Denison’s American assets in June 2012. Canyon had been slated for production in 2015.

In another November 5 announcement rather lacking in specifics, Energy Fuels stated it had applied “to be listed on a recognized U.S. stock exchange.” The same day the company’s post-consolidation shares began trading on the TSX and OTCQX following a 1:50 reverse split agreed to the previous week. The company also changed its fiscal year-end from September 30 to December 31.

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 3rd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission hit 5.98% U3O8 over 17.5 metres, including 19.51% over 5.5 metres

With so many scintillometer results announced already, assays for the same holes can be anti-climactic. But that’s the way Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have orchestrated their Patterson Lake South campaign, now giving observers a near sense of déjà vu. Assays from four holes announced October 29 add little to the news of August 8, although results from the lab are much more reliable than those from the hand-held radiation-detecting gizmo. The assays come from R00E, the farthest southwest of the project’s five zones.

Hole PLS13-074

  • 0.13% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 2.5 metres, starting at 65 metres in downhole depth

PLS13-076

  • 0.09% over 2 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.08% over 1.5 metres, starting at 183 metres

  • 0.16% over 4.5 metres, starting at 186.5 metres

PLS13-077

  • 0.39% over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres

  • 0.13% over 15.5 metres, starting at 73 metres

PLS13-079

  • 5.98% over 17.5 metres, starting at 83 metres

  • (including 19.51% over 5 metres) (Update: On November 4 the JV partners corrected the intercept width from 5.5 metres to 5 metres.)

True widths were unavailable. Three of the holes were vertical, while 079 dipped at -75 degrees. That hole expands the zone’s high-grade southern area, the companies stated, while all four holes confirm R00E’s east-west strike at 165 metres. The zone remains open in all directions.

With the summer barge-based campaign complete, attention now turns to a land-based program west of R00E. Fission acts as project operator on the 50/50 joint venture until its acquisition of Alpha closes. Fission shareholders will vote on the deal’s spinout aspect on November 28.

(Update: On November 4 the JV announced a sixth PLS zone west of the discovery. Read more.)

Rio Tinto plans winter drilling at Purepoint’s Red Willow

Purepoint Uranium Group TSXV:PTU announced plans on October 29 by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for 2,500 metres of drilling at Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare property on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern edge. Rio identified targets based on historic drill logs and more recent geophysical and geochemical work. The company built a 28-person camp last summer.

Depth to unconformity in the area varies from zero to 80 metres, Purepoint stated. The company says five major deposits—JEB, Midwest, Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Millennium—“are located along a NE to SW mine trend that extends through the Red Willow project.”

Rio has so far spent about $2.25 million out of a $5-million commitment to earn an initial 51% interest by December 31, 2015. The giant’s Canadian subsidiary may earn 80% by spending $22.5 million by the end of 2021.

In early October Purepoint announced a winter drill campaign for the Hook Lake JV held 21% by Purepoint and 39.5% each by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada.

Strong Q3 financials surprise Cameco shareholders

Despite historic low uranium prices, Cameco came out with Q3 earnings far beyond the same period last year. In his October 29 statement, president/CEO Tim Gitzel attributed the success to a contracting strategy “providing us with higher average realized prices that are well above the current uranium spot price.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

Rabbit Lake was one of three Cameco operations that received
10-year licence renewals the same week that the company
surprised investors with an especially strong quarterly report.

Adjusted net earnings for three months ending September 30 came to $208 million, a 324% increase over Q3 2012 or, at 53 cents a share, a 342% increase. Year-to-date figures came to $295 million (up 48%) and 75 cents a share (up 47%).

Gitzel added that Cameco’s “starting to see some of the cost benefits of the restructuring we undertook earlier” and plans to “take advantage of the opportunity we see in the long term.”

However the company’s statement noted “there have been some deferrals of future projects due to uranium prices insufficient to support new production. The deferrals will not directly impact the near-term market, but could have an effect on the longer term outlook for the uranium industry. Complicating the supply outlook further is the possibility of some projects, primarily driven by sovereign interests, moving forward despite market conditions.”

The company forecast strong long-term fundamentals, mostly to China which has “reaffirmed its substantial growth targets out to 2020 and indicated plans to pursue further growth out to 2030. Their growth is palpable as construction on two more reactors began during the third quarter, bringing the total under construction to 30.”

As for Cameco’s long-delayed Cigar Lake mine, the company’s sticking to its current plan of Q1 2014 production and Q2 milling.

But while junior exploration flourishes, especially in the Athabasca Basin, the major plans a 15% to 20% cut in exploration spending this year.

Three Cameco operations get 10-year licence renewals

Licences for Cameco’s Key Lake, McArthur River and Rabbit Lake operations have been renewed for 10 years, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced October 29. The CNSC granted the extensions after three days of public meetings that heard from the company, 27 interveners and CNSC staff. The commission agreed to Cameco’s request for 10-year renewals, twice the previous term.

MillenMin finds radioactive outcrops on east Basin properties, reports AGM results

MillenMin Ventures TSXV:MVM completed initial field work at two eastside Basin properties, the 2,759-hectare Highrock Lake NE and 1,648-hectare Smalley Lake W. Work included prospecting, outcrop mapping and examination of previously found mineralization, the company announced October 28.

Grab samples from radioactive outcrops on both properties have been sent for assays. MillenMin first announced its foray into uranium last May and has staked 11 claims totalling about 18,983 hectares in and around the Basin.

On October 31 the company reported AGM results with directors re-elected, auditors re-appointed and other business approved.

Declan options northeastern Alberta property

Southwest of the Basin’s Alberta extremity, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has optioned the 50,000-hectare Firebag River property. Previous geophysical survey data “shows a complex pattern of magnetic lows and highs, truncated or offset in the northern part of the property by the Marguerite River Fault,” Declan stated on October 29. Exploration in 1977 “confirmed the presence of a southwest-oriented fault zone and a geochemical anomaly with 11 ppm cobalt in lake sediments atop this structure,” the company added.

The deal would have Declan paying $85,000, issuing five million shares over two years and spending $3 million over three years. The optioner retains a 2% NSR on metals and a 4% gross overriding royalty on non-metallic commodities.

In September Declan announced an option to acquire the Patterson Lake Northeast property. The company plans to engage Dahrouge Geological Consulting to explore its uranium properties.

Rockgate takeover offer: Denison softens conditions, extends deadline

Denison Mines TSX:DML advanced its attempted takeover of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT by lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares. In an October 30 statement Denison also extended the offer’s deadline again, this time to November 18, and dropped conditions related to staff retention and consulting agreements.

The same day Rockgate said insiders agreed not to exercise their options unless another company comes up with a better offer. Denison had requested a cease trade order on 11 million Rockgate options granted on September 30, which Denison termed “improper defensive tactics.” The British Columbia Securities Commission didn’t agree. But rather than risk Denison withdrawing its offer, Rockgate insiders “put the interests of the shareholders of Rockgate before their own personal interests and agreed to amend the terms of the options,” company president/CEO Karl Kottmeier said.

The tone of the companies’ statements has warmed considerably since Kottmeier labelled Denison’s offer an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” Denison president/CEO Ron Hochstein thanked Kottmeier and the Rockgate board “for their contributions to allowing the offer to proceed towards a successful conclusion.”

Meanwhile Rockgate continues prefeasibility work on its flagship Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali.

Read how Denison’s offer defeated Rockgate’s proposed merger with Mega Uranium.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland Resources’ JV partner New Dimension to drill for gold

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on October 31 an imminent drill campaign of at least 1,800 metres by JV partner New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR on the Midas gold property in north-central Ontario. Lakeland optioned the project to New Dimension in September in order to focus on Saskatchewan uranium exploration. But Lakeland will retain a 30% interest in Midas carried to an initial 43-101 resource estimate.

I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

“New Dimension is a great group to work with and the deal was easy to do,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium. The onus is on them to explore that project and we share in any benefits that result.”

The previous week Lakeland closed a private placement for a total of $1,057,718 and announced the appointment of Basin veteran John Gingerich to the company’s advisory board. Field work continues on Lakeland’s Riou Lake uranium project.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 14 to 20, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission and Alpha sign acquisition agreement, Denison challenges Mega for Rockgate

Another burst of merger and acquisition activity hit the markets last week. Joint September 18 statements from Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced a definitive agreement for the former’s acquisition of the latter. The proposed Mega Uranium TSX:MGA/Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT merger, however, took a surprising turn with Denison Mines’ TSX:DML unsolicited pitch for Rockgate. Denison’s September 17 announcement claimed a 38% premium over Mega’s offer, based on the previous day’s closing prices.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 14 to 20, 2013

In addition to taking a run at Rockgate, Denison filed a revised
43-101 report for six deposits on its Mutanga property in Zambia.

The Fission/Alpha rationale is to put their 50/50 joint venture under a single owner, creating a company solely focused on Patterson Lake South and presumably a more attractive takeover target. Their other properties would go to two newly created spincos. Should Denison’s offer succeed, the company would spin out its African assets along with Rockgate’s advanced-stage Mali project. That would leave Denison focused on the Athabasca Basin.

Read more about these proposals and other uranium M&A news.

(Update: On September 24 Rockgate terminated its proposed merger with Mega. Read more.)

PLS assay backlog grows as Fission/Alpha release more scintillometer results

Step-out drilling confirmed strong mineralization in Patterson Lake South’s newest zone, Alpha and Fission stated on September 16. The JV partners released scintillometer readings for two new holes on zone R945E, the fourth of four zones along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend.

The hand-held device measures drill core gamma rays in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Hole PLS13-092 was collared roughly 10 metres north of existing holes. It reached a total downhole depth of 377 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres without encountering sandstone. Some highlights include:

  • <300 to 1,400 cps over 3 metres, starting at 157.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres

  • <300 to 1,800 cps over 11 metres, starting at 192.5 metres

  • 460 to 2,500 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 238 metres

PLS13-096 was collared about 15 metres grid west of PLS-084, replacing it as the zone’s most southwesterly hole. It found no sandstone, hit the basement unconformity at 56.5 metres and stopped at 365 metres. Highlights include:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 42.5 metres, starting at 135.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 310 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 185.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 235.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 249 metres

True widths weren’t available. The two holes were drilled at -88 and -89 degree angles respectively, making downhole depths close to vertical.

The $6.95-million program calls for 44 holes totalling 11,000 metres, along with geophysics. These results bring the summer’s drilling to 27 holes totalling 8,488 metres. So far just one of the holes has had lab assays released. Scintillometer readings have been reported for 18 holes this summer.

Denison files combined resources for Mutanga property in Zambia

Denison has filed a new NI 43-101 report to replace two previous reports for its Mutanga property in Zambia, the company announced on September 16. The New Mutanga Report follows an Ontario Securities Commission review of a resource filed in March 2012 for the property’s Dibwe East deposit. The OSC declared that report non-compliant because it didn’t include all resource estimates and material information for the property as a whole. Denison’s new report incorporates information covered in a 2009 report on the Mutanga and Dibwe deposits, as well as the 2012 info for Dibwe East.

Of the project’s six deposits, only Mutanga shows measured, indicated and inferred categories. Mutanga Extension, Mutanga East, Mutanga West, Dibwe and Dibwe East have inferred pounds only. Combined, the estimate shows:

  • a measured resource of 1.88 million tonnes averaging 0.048% for 2 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • an indicated resource of 8.4 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 5.8 million pounds

  • inferred resources totalling 65.2 million tonnes averaging 0.029% for 41.4 million pounds

The 457.3-square-kilometre property is about 200 kilometres south of the capital city of Lusaka, near the Zimbabwean border.

The previous week, Denison updated two Athabasca Basin projects with a new resource for Waterbury Lake and more high-grade assays from Wheeler River.

Lakeland Resources options gold project to focus on Athabasca uranium

Now a pure play uranium explorer, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK optioned a north-central Ontario gold property to New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR, the companies announced September 16. New Dimension may earn a 70% interest in the Midas project by paying $100,000, spending $1.2 million and issuing 1.5 million shares. New Dimension must spend $300,000 on exploration by December 31.

We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.—Roger Leschuk, corporate communications manager for Lakeland Resources

The 2,112-hectare road-accessible property has already seen ground magnetics, induced polarization and 16 drill holes that partially defined two gold-bearing zones, with 14 holes showing gold mineralization. Among the assays was 5.92 grams per tonne gold over 4.7 metres, starting at 45.7 metres in depth and including 8.88 g/t over 2.6 metres.

“We get to maintain an interest in a property that looks very encouraging to say the least,” Lakeland corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk tells ResourceClips.com. “The people who are picking it up are a very good group and they see this as potentially becoming their flagship property. The great part about it for Lakeland is we retain a 30% interest all the way potentially to a new discovery. We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.”

A fall drill program is expected to begin shortly, the companies stated.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Forum announces fall/winter plans for its PLS-adjacent Clearwater project

In a September 17 report, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC updated its Clearwater project, which underwent ground radiometric prospecting, lake sediment geochemical surveys and soil radon surveys in late August and early September. The radon survey found anomalous zones immediately southwest of the adjacent PLS property, the company stated. Forum now plans further prospecting of radiometric anomalies, as well as an expanded radon survey to cover areas with electromagnetic conductors on strike with the PLS conductive trend. Autumn is scheduled for ground EM surveys and early winter for ground gravity work to identify drill targets for the 9,910-hectare property in late January.

One week earlier Forum said its private placement raised $2.59 million.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 24 to 30, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals <br />asked for more time to consider its proposal Patterson Lake South” width=”400″ height=”300″ />
<p class=Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals
asked for more time to consider its proposal.

This week’s Patterson Lake South news came not from the field or an assay lab but from the boardrooms. Separate August 26 news releases from 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW revealed that talks had been underway about the former taking over the latter.

It transpired that after the market closed on Friday, August 23, Fission gave Alpha until the following Sunday afternoon to respond to Fission’s all-share offer, then valued at $7.26 per Alpha share or about $170.44 million. When Alpha asked for more time to consider, Fission went public, saying it “will consider making a formal offer directly to Alpha’s shareholders.”

By press time August 31, neither company had made further announcements on the subject.

Read more about Fission’s proposal and Alpha’s response.

Read commentator Tommy Humphreys’ suggestions for a combined Fission/Alpha team.

Update: On September 3 both companies announced a letter of intent for Fission to acquire Alpha. Read more.

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR has wrapped up Phase I exploration at its 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of the PLS discovery, the company announced on August 28. “Numerous” radioactive boulders showed gamma ray readings above 200 counts per second, with some measuring 1,500 to 1,800 cps. About 20 boulders will be assayed, the company stated. In addition 40 radon detector cups were placed, to be retrieved for analysis after 30 days.

Ashburton also cited historic, non-43-101 Geological Survey of Canada sediment samples from two lakes on the property that showed results in the 98th percentile of 909 samples from roughly 16,000 square kilometres of northwestern Saskatchewan. The lakes are two kilometres apart, suggesting the results “are not an isolated occurrence,” the company added.

The Sienna project includes the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguous with PLS’s northern boundary. Two weeks earlier Ashburton reported a crew found radioactive boulders there, which were sent for assays, and placed radon cups. The company plans to identify drill targets for Sienna’s next phase.

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

Drilling has begun at Bachman Lake, an 11,419-hectare property about four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin. The three-hole, 1,900-metre program will cost JV partners Denison Mines TSX:DML and International Enexco TSXV:IEC $570,000, the latter announced on August 26. The helicopter-supported campaign will test three conductors that lie 2.5 to five kilometres apart.

Enexco may earn a 20% interest by funding $500,000 by year-end. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco’s 100% Contact copper project now undergoes pre-feasibility.

Fission finds “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on North Shore

On the northwestern Basin, airborne geophysics found two “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on Fission’s North Shore property, the company reported August 29. “The northern anomalous region occurs within a 1.5-kilometre by 0.5-kilometre area and contains several parallel trends up to 300 metres,” the company stated. Another anomaly about seven kilometres southwest ranges between one to 10 kilometres wide and up to three kilometres long. The company added that radiometrics suggest some of the larger anomalies “are likely to be part of the outcrop/sub-crop, as opposed to boulders.”

Fission credited the find to its patent-pending System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits, which the company says is the same technology that found the PLS boulder field. In August Fission’s collaborator on the system, Special Projects Inc, flew a 12,257-line-kilometre magnetic and radiometric survey at 50-metre line-spacing over the entire property. The system can distinguish between radioactivity released by uranium, thorium or potassium, as well as determine the relative concentration of each element, Fission stated.

Along with further data analysis, the company plans to follow up with mapping and prospecting. The property underwent a seven-hole, 1,260-metre drill program in 2007 and 2008. Fission has interests in seven Basin uranium projects and one in Peru.

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE announced August 27 that advanced discussions are underway with the state-owned mining company of Chubut province, Argentina, to form a JV. The proposal would combine U3O8’s Laguna Salada uranium-vanadium project with adjoining concessions held by Petrominera Chubut SE, onto which U3O8 believes its deposit extends. The company said the deal would also “establish a framework for potential development of the Laguna Salada deposit in compliance with the stringent requirements of the current provincial mining law.” The project has a preliminary economic assessment scheduled later this year.

Having acquired Calypso Uranium last May, U3O8 holds Argentina’s two largest uranium deposits. The country plans to bring a third reactor online this year, boosting its proportion of nuclear energy to 9%, while a fourth reactor is out for tender and a fifth is being planned, U3O8 stated. Argentina currently imports all of its nuclear fuel.

In Colombia, U3O8’s Berlin project has a December PEA for a potential uranium mine with phosphate, vanadium, nickel and rare earths credits. The company also has a uranium project in Guyana.

Boss Power/Morning Star dispute stalls $30-million settlement

A $30-million settlement dating to October 2011 is being held up by a dispute between its beneficiaries. After the British Columbia government suddenly banned uranium and thorium exploration in 2009, the province eventually settled Boss Power’s TSXV:BPU lawsuit out of court. But a condition required the company to surrender its exploration properties, the Blizzard properties and the peripheral B claims. According to an August 19 news release from Morning Star Resources, the settlement hasn’t closed because Boss included those claims in the settlement “without the knowledge and consent of the B claims owner,” Anthony Beruschi.

An August 27 Boss news release acknowledged Beruschi, “sole director and president of Morning Star” and a former Boss director, as “beneficial owner of the B claims.”

Boss’ news release claimed Beruschi “appears determined to extract more than his fair share of the settlement proceeds” and “now appears to be leveraging media and threats of a board replacement to obtain payment for his B claims.”

Morning Star’s August 19 statement said Beruschi “has privately presented several fair offers to Boss’ management and the board to enable Boss to deliver the B claims under the settlement” and accused Boss of “a refusal to negotiate in good faith.”

Morning Star said it will present its own slate of nominees for election to Boss’ board at a meeting Morning Star expects to be held by mid-November “so that it can promptly close the $30-million settlement.” Morning Star stated that it and its affiliates hold about 33% of Boss’ shares.

Boss countered it will “continue its efforts to reach an agreement with Mr. Beruschi while at the same time pursuing court proceedings to allow the settlement proceeds to be paid into court and the settlement to complete.”

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Michael England, CEO of Ashburton Ventures and Cariboo King Resources, discusses the area play around Zenyatta Ventures’ Albany graphite project

August 27th, 2013

…Read More

Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 18th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 10 to 16, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission add fourth zone, extend PLS strike to 1.02 kilometres

Barely into their current $6.95-million campaign, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW once again grabbed the market’s attention by reporting a fourth zone at Patterson Lake South on August 15. With off-scale scintillometer readings for one hole 165 metres grid east of zone R780E, the new zone gets the informative but unsentimental name R945E. The quartet of zones now extends along a 1.02-kilometre trend.

The hand-held scintillometer measures drill core gamma radioactivity in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading of 9,999 cps. The results are not assays, which are pending. A downhole probe will also be used to measure radioactivity. Some highlights for hole PLS13-084 include:

  • <300 to 800 cps over 4 metres, starting at 104.5 metres in vertical depth
  • <300 to 1,500 cps over 7 metres, starting at 132.5 metres
  • <300 to 3,700 cps over 35.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • <300 to 5,100 cps over 7 metres, starting at 198 metres
  • <300 to 4,500 cps over 12.5 metres, starting at 209.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 18 metres, starting at 234 metres.

True widths were unavailable. The hole reached a total depth of 302 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres. Drilling continues on this hole.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

On the left are barges supporting two of three drills, part of Patterson
Lake South’s $6.95-million, 44-hole, 11,000-metre campaign.

The target was chosen after radon water sampling found an anomaly parallel to a conductor and along strike of the project’s other zones. The 50/50 joint venture partners emphasized that the mineralization’s full potential “will not be fully realized until a complete fence of holes is completed across this anomaly.”

Three days earlier the JV reported its first summer hole from R780E, showing the zone’s “widest continuous and strongest results.” Drilled 10 metres grid south of a previous hole, it extends the zone’s width to about 45 metres at that point. Highlights from PLS13-080 include:

  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 48.5 metres, starting at 122.5 metres in downhole depth
  • <300 to 2,000 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 173.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 236 metres
  • <300 to 5,400 cps over 3 metres, starting at 298 metres.

True thicknesses weren’t available. The hole reached a total of 347 metres, hitting the basement unconformity at 54 metres. With an 89-degree dip, downhole depths approximate vertical depths. Still to come are lab assays and results from a downhole radiometric probe.

Like PLS13-084, the target was chosen to test an anomaly found by radon sampling, this one “within a resistivity low corridor proximal to an inferred north-south cross-cutting structure.”

On August 16 Fission announced the appointment of Ted Clark to its executive advisory board. Clark is chief of the Clearwater River Dene Nation and owner of Big Bear Contracting Ltd.

NexGen drills PLS-adjacent Rook 1, increases private placement again

Adjacently northeast of PLS, a two-drill, 3,000-metre campaign has begun on NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE Rook 1 project. Targets were identified and refined following airborne and ground geophysics that found overlapping anomalies, according to the August 16 announcement. NexGen expects to find basement rock at 65 to 100 metres in depth. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to late September.

What began as a $1.78-million private placement offered on July 29 has, after three increases, now reached nearly $5 million. The company doubled the offer to $3.53 million on August 1, increased it to $4.12 million on August 14 and, the following day, raised that to $5 million. This “third and final increase” now boosts the offer to 14.28 million units at $0.35 for gross proceeds up to almost $5 million.

Each unit consists of one share and one-half warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable for a share at $0.55 for 18 months. Raising the $5 million would leave NexGen with about $9 million cash on hand.

On the Basin’s east side, the company is earning a 70% interest in the Radio project, two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposits. Assays are pending from Radio’s 3,473-metre summer program.

Skyharbour closes $425,000 private placement, now fully funded for two years

Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH closed a private placement of 5.31 million flow-through units at $0.08 for $425,000 on August 14. Each flow-through unit consists of one flow-through share and one non-transferable non-flow-through warrant exercisable at $0.10 for two years. No finder’s fees were paid.

As part of the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package, Skyharbour is now fully financed for its portion of a $6-million, two-year program, president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com.

“The first phase of work, the airborne surveys, is complete,” he points out. “Fieldwork started ahead of schedule to test a target we’re excited about. We’ll be doing some radon surveying, geochemical sampling and prospecting, among other field techniques. We hope to have all the results in by the end of October.”

Referring to the Alpha/Fission discovery of a fourth PLS zone, Trimble says, “Clearly they’re dealing with a very powerful geological event that created this deposition of uranium. That has implications for the surrounding properties. Another point is the success they’re having with these indicators—the radon anomalies, the boulder train discovery. They’re having huge success with their methodology and the specific targets they’re drilling. That’s important for companies at an earlier stage, and I think Alpha and Fission have shown the market the significance of pre-drilling exploration and reconnaissance work. There’s a lot of value you can put into a project even before you get the drill rigs there.”

The syndicate, which includes Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY, has “about 150 years of uranium exploration experience focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Trimble adds. Skyharbour’s Rick Kusmirski, for example, “has over 40 years in the field and his area of expertise is the Athabasca Basin. He was exploration manager for Cameco [TSX:CCO], he took over the helm at JNR Resources, made a discovery and got bought out by Denison [TSX:DML]. Bob Marvin, our other geologist, also has decades of experience with extensive work in the uranium space. Then there’s the other three companies, each with at least one geologist and the focus has been on uranium expertise.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Lakeland offers $1.25-million private placement, plans Riou Lake exploration

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK offered private placements up to $1.25 million on August 16. The pure play uranium exploration company announced up to 10 million units at $0.10 for gross proceeds of $1 million, with each unit consisting of one share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for one year. Another two million flow-through units at $0.125 consist of one flow-through share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for a year. Proceeds will go to Athabasca Basin exploration and general working capital.

With nine uranium properties, Lakeland’s initial focus will be the Gibbon’s Creek area of its Riou Lake project on the northern Basin’s edge, says corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk. “It’s already had work done on it so we have a lot of historic data to go through. Because it’s on higher ground we can drill year-round. We’ve got existing data, so we can work from that and possibly be drilling as early as October.”

Two of Lakeland’s properties are in the eastern Basin, with the other seven in the north-central and northeastern Basin. “The Basin’s trends run from southwest to northeast. The early discoveries were on the eastern side of the Basin, on the Wollaston trend. That goes into Manitoba and finishes in Nunavut. The next trend is at Patterson Lake South, where the Alpha/Fission story is happening. Our properties on the northeast side of the Basin are part of that trend. So it’s not inconceivable that we could find something similar. The previous Riou Lake operator did find a boulder grading 11% uranium, the drilling found some very similar things, so we’re very excited about that.”

Gibbon’s Creek offers other attractions, Leschuk adds. “It’s not only on high ground but it’s very shallow to the basement rock. We’re talking maybe 50 metres down, so our drilling is going to be very shallow and very cheap to drill. Only a few kilometres away there’s a community called Stony Rapids, so we don’t have to set up a camp. We can hire people from the community who can drive to and from work, so our costs will be even lower. Our money will go a long, long way. We’re looking at 1,500 to 2,000 metres initially but we’ll get a big bang for our buck. We’re looking forward to that.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 11th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 3 to 9, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha report 4 PLS holes, R00E zone still open

So far this summer, three previous step-outs have extended the middle of Patterson Lake South’s trio of zones. On August 8 Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released scintillometer results from four new holes in the southern-most zone, which remains open along strike and width. Along with the results came some interesting speculation about the mineralization.

The hand-held gamma-ray scintillometer readings, which are no substitute for assays, measure radiation from drill core in counts per second. Anything over 9,999 cps is off scale.

A 15-metre step-out testing the western extent of the zone, hole PLS13-074 was drilled to 203 metres in approximate vertical depth, encountering sandstone at 60.9 metres and a basement unconformity at 66 metres:

  • 550 to 1,050 cps over 1 metre, starting at 65 metres in approximate vertical depth
  • 370 cps over 1 metre, starting at 105 metres.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 3 to 9, 2013

The other three holes tested the zone’s centre. Hole PLS13-076 was drilled to 267 metres in approximate vertical depth, encountering sandstone at 54 metres and the basement unconformity at 61.4 metres:

  • <300 to 2,700 cps over 14 metres, starting at 177.5 metres in approximate vertical depth.

Hole PLS13-077 was drilled to 259.5 metres in downhole depth, encountering sandstone at 56 metres and the basement unconformity at 61.4 metres:

  • 340 to 7,500 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres in downhole depth
  • <300 to 4,000 cps over 15 metres, starting at 73.5 metres.

Hole PLS13-079 was drilled to 218 metres in downhole depth, encountering no sandstone but hitting the unconformity at 59 metres:

  • 340 to >9,999 cps over 18.5 metres, starting at 82.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5,700 to >9,999 cps over 6.5 metres)
  • 300 to 490 cps over 2 metres, starting at 119 metres.

The 50/50 joint venture partners stated the mineralization “may have been derived from a high-energy erosion of mineralization exposed at the top of a body of basement mineralization on the floor of the Devonian sea. It does not have the characteristics of hydrothermal mineralization such as is seen in the basement mineralization elsewhere.”

Alpha’s news release added, “The Devonian cover appears to be patchy and the uranium boulders in the boulder field down ice did not show any evidence of association with Devonian sandstone lithologies. This is significant as it opens the possibility that the source of the uranium boulders may be located in a nearby window in the Devonian veneer where basement mineralization was scoured by the overriding till sheet as it was pushed towards the west-southwest by the ice. The uranium mineralization encountered to date in the three zones of high-grade mineralization was not the source of the large uranium boulder field down ice.”

The boulder train discovery, announced in summer 2011, brought assays up to 39.6% uranium oxide (U3O8). Since then drilling has attempted to find the motherlode that spawned the glacial migration.

With $6.95 million to spend, the partners continue their 44-hole, 11,000-metre drilling and ground geophysics campaign. Fission acts as project operator until April 2014, when it swaps with Alpha.

UEX releases Shea Creek drill results, updates Douglas River and Hidden Bay

UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced the first five holes from Shea Creek’s summer program on August 6 and also provided updates about its Douglas River and Hidden Bay projects.

Results came from downhole probes measuring gamma radiation, with two holes in the Kianna East zone finding basement mineralization. Hole SHE-142 was drilled to a total downhole depth of 1,056 metres, reaching the unconformity at 726.5 metres:

  • 0.2% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 3.4 metres, starting at 885.3 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.35% over 1.2 metres)
  • 0.34% over 2.9 metres, starting at 907.9 metres
  • 0.85% over 22.3 metres, starting at 915.2 metres
  • (including 1.14% over 8.8 metres)
  • (which includes 5.93% over 1.4 metres).

Hole SHE-142-1 reached 1,083 metres in downhole depth, striking the unconformity at 727.4 metres:

  • 0.23% over 1.6 metres, starting at 939.4 metres.

True widths were unavailable. Hole SHE-142 expands the zone approximately 15 metres east of the previously reported SHE-118-24 that found 1.55% eU3O8 over 19.9 metres starting at 943.7 metres, the company stated. Mineralization remains open east and southeast of SHE-142. Hole SHE-142-1 stepped out approximately 35 metres north of SHE-118-24.

Three holes sunk in the Anne South zone to test a prospective conductor found no significant results. UEX holds a 49% interest in the Shea Creek JV, in which AREVA Resources Canada acts as project operator. The companies have now incorporated their 49%/51% Douglas River JV into the Shea Creek project, saying mineralization extends from Shea Creek’s northern boundary into the contiguous Douglas River property. Shea Creek sits about nine kilometres south of the former Cluff Lake mine, a 22-year operation that produced over 64 million pounds of U3O8.

The Athabasca Basin’s third-largest resource after Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO McArthur River and Cigar Lake, Shea Creek’s April update showed:

  • an indicated category of 2.07 million tonnes averaging 1.48% for 67.66 million pounds U3O8
  • an inferred category of 1.27 million tonnes averaging 1.01% for 28.19 million pounds.

UEX also announced it has shelved its 100%-held Hidden Bay project until spot and long-term uranium prices pick up. In February 2011 the company issued a preliminary economic assessment for the eastside Basin property’s Horseshoe and Raven deposits.

Western Athabasca Syndicate begins PLS-area fieldwork ahead of schedule

Backed by a four-company strategic alliance, fieldwork has begun on the PLS-area’s largest land package. On August 8 Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced completion of VTEM plus and radiometric surveys over their Western Athabasca Syndicate Project. After an initial review the companies decided on immediate follow-up work.

The package totals 287,130 hectares, with 275,361 hectares in the vicinity of the Fission/Alpha near-surface, high-grade discovery. On reviewing early survey data, the alliance expanded the survey for a total of 4,840 line-kilometres of VTEM plus and 4,400 line-kilometres of radiometrics to search for conductive anomalies, boulder trains and in-situ mineralization. The surveys focused on the syndicate’s Preston Lake property just south, southeast and west of PLS.

“Originally we were planning on having a field crew up there later in August,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com. “Now we’ve decided to send them up this weekend because we’re very, very encouraged with what we’ve seen initially.”

One area of Preston Lake especially caught their attention. “There were quite a few targets but this one really lit up,” Trimble says. “So we made the decision to expedite the program and begin the fieldwork immediately. We’ll be employing the same techniques that worked for Alpha and Fission.”

While geophysicist Phil Robertshaw works out a more detailed interpretation of the airborne surveys, ground work will consist of water and soil radon sampling, biogeochemistry, lake sediment and soil sampling, prospecting and scintillometer surveying.

“By the end of September or early October we’ll have spent $1.5 million, with each company contributing towards its 25% earn-in. The four companies with their respective geological teams are working harmoniously on this,” he adds.

“We’re now focused on the northern part of Preston Lake, but we have a large land package. As a four-company syndicate we have more ability to finance and explore. There’s certainly a lot of blue sky potential elsewhere on our properties.”

The current phase should last until early October, he explains. “Then we’ll decide what to do in the fall. There’s still a lot of work that can be done that time of year. Obviously we don’t want to drill just anywhere but if we can get definitive drill targets by then, winter would be the ideal time to drill. The earlier we can get these targets, the better. And that’s the goal.”

Combined, the four companies have agreed to fund $6 million of exploration over two years. Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator.

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 28th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 20 to 26, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Denison reports best grade/interval result from high-grade Wheeler River

A radiometric probe has found the most impressive result so far from Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River project in the eastern Athabasca Basin. Of four holes reported July 24, one showed the project’s highest grade-times-thickness calculation.

Three holes at the Phoenix A deposit showed:

  • 43.2% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 10.3 metres, starting at 401.6 metres in vertical depth
  • 16.4% over 1.7 metres, starting at 403.5 metres
  • 13% over 3.1 metres, starting at 403.7 metres.

Roughly 2.1 kilometres from the Phoenix deposits, one hole at the 489 zone showed:

  • 0.3% over 3.2 metres, starting at 411.1 metres.

Intercepts are approximate true widths. The company explained eU3O8 as “radiometric equivalent uranium oxide calculated from a total gamma downhole probe.” Radiometric probes are not chemical assays.

The Phoenix A drill holes tested for possible extensions of the deposit’s higher-grade domain, defined as approximately 20% U3O8. Using a 0.8% cutoff, the December 2012 resource estimate for Phoenix A showed:

  • an indicated category of 133,500 tonnes averaging 15.8% for 46.5 million pounds U3O8
  • an inferred category of 6,300 tonnes averaging 51.7% for 7.2 million pounds.

With the same 0.8% cutoff, the Phoenix B deposit showed:

  • an indicated category of 19,000 tonnes averaging 14.1% for 5.9 million pounds
  • an inferred category of 5,300 tonnes averaging 3.5% for 400,000 pounds.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 20 to 26, 2013

With continued drilling, Denison hopes to expand
Wheeler River’s high-grade resource.

Combined, Wheeler River’s resource comes to 52.4 million pounds indicated and 7.6 million pounds inferred.

With 15 of 23 holes in three areas now complete, drilling continues. Wheeler is held 60% by project operator Denison, 30% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 10% by JCU (Japan-Canada Uranium) Exploration.

This summer will also see Denison busy at seven other Basin properties: Waterbury Lake (held 40% by the Korea Electric Power Corp), Packrat, South Dufferin, Johnston Lake and Moon Lake (held 45% by Uranium One TSX:UUU, which is expected to be taken private by the Russian state-owned company ARMZ in Q3).

WASP extends VTEM-Plus, advances radiometrics on PLS-area’s largest package

A four-company strategic alliance announced progress on its airborne surveys over the Patterson Lake South-area’s largest land package. Jointly funded by Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project totals 287,130 hectares, with 275,361 hectares in the vicinity of the near-surface, high-grade PLS discovery of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU.

A VTEM-Plus survey has flown 720 line-kilometres in addition to the original 4,120-line-kilometre survey. The additional coverage consisted of infill and extension of conductive anomalies and structural features identified in preliminary data, the syndicate reported on July 23. Meanwhile Goldak Airborne Surveys is wrapping up a 4,400-line-kilometre radiometric program at 200-metre line spacing to measure radioactivity in outcrops and boulder trains. Goldak compiles the data using a proprietary digital acquisition system.

“We should have complete interpretation done by [geophysicist] Phil Robertshaw in early or mid-August,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com. “That will delineate the highest-priority targets for fieldwork but we’ve already had boots on the ground doing some preliminary surveying and prospecting. We plan to have a small team back there in early August and that will lead to the full-fledged field program that will commence probably in late August.”

With the four companies earning 25% each, the alliance plans to spend $6 million over two years. “The syndicate is a real advantage to budget,” Trimble points out. “Skyharbour’s obligation is just one-sixth of that. The same with Athabasca Nuclear and then Lucky Strike and Noka pay just one-third each, so it’s not onerous for any one company. It makes the project a lot more viable, especially in these tough markets. And we’re really starting to see the synergies pay off here with the different geologists and their contact base. Their networks are open too.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

VTEM-Plus, radiometric collaboration flies Aldrin’s Triple M

The VTEM-Plus and radiometric surveys also cover PLS-area properties held by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC, a money-saving collaboration announced in May. On July 24 Aldrin also reported the program completed VTEM-Plus infill lines and began radiometrics using 100-metre line spacing over its Triple M property.

Scheduled for August is radon sampling as well as follow-up work on any anomalies found by the radiometrics. The company hopes to start drilling next January to test basement conductors reported in June.

NexGen expands PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE has doubled its drill plans for Rook 1, the company announced July 24. With two rigs scheduled to start in mid-August, the campaign now calls for approximately 20 holes totalling 3,000 metres, twice the amount announced in May. Land-based, shallow drilling will test targets identified by airborne VTEM and ground gravity and DC resistivity surveys in the property’s southwestern section, immediately northeast of PLS. NexGen interprets a conductor to extend from the Fission/Alpha discovery into southwestern Rook 1.

In June NexGen began a 4,000-metre campaign on its Radio project, part of a 70% earn-in on the property adjacent to Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit.

Fission, Azincourt announce summer program for Patterson Lake North

Immediately north of Patterson Lake South lies, of course, Patterson Lake North. On July 22 joint venture partners Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ announced a $530,000 summer program to start in early August.

Following up on “conductive areas of interest” found by a previous survey, an airborne VTEM max will fly 303 line-kilometres at 400-metre line spacing over the approximately 25,000-hectare property’s northern half. That will be followed by a single-line 6.3-line-kilometre ground magnetotellurics survey. The property’s southern portion will get a ground TDEM survey. The partners hope results will help identify targets for a drill campaign anticipated for next winter.

The companies say PLN sits within a large gravity low structural corridor that incorporates PLS, the former Cluff Lake mine and the Shea Creek deposits of UEX Corp TSX:UEX and AREVA Resources Canada. Additionally PLN shows EM anomalies that might be interpreted as an extension of the Saskatoon Lake EM conductor associated with Shea Creek.

Azincourt may earn 50% of PLN by paying $4.75 million in cash or shares and spending $12 million by April 2017. Fission gets a 2% NSR and acts as project operator. Fission has already spent about $4.7 million exploring PLN. Earlier this month the company applied for a patent on its “System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 20th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 13 to 19, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Step-out hole extends PLS zone by 15 metres

The first hole of Patterson Lake South’s summer program found 85.5 metres of “the most abundant off-scale mineralization of any hole drilled on the property,” stated Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU president/COO Ross McElroy. In dual announcements made July 18, Fission and 50/50 joint venture partner Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW said scintillometer readings show the step-out extends the R390E zone 15 metres grid west. R390E is the middle of three zones along an 850-metre northeast-southwest trend.

Although its readings aren’t substitutes for assays, the scintillometer determines radioactivity by measuring gamma ray particles in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading of more than 9,999 cps. Results for PLS13-072 show:

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 13 to 19, 2013

Alpha/Fission’s $6.95-million summer drill program has begun,
with the first hole extending one zone by 15 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 85.5 metres, starting at 62 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1,100 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres)
  • (and including 5,000 to >9,999 cps over 6.9 metres)
  • (and including <300 to 8,600 cps over 5 metres)
  • (and including <300 to 720 cps over 2.5 metres).

Assays are pending. True widths weren’t available. Drilling on the hole was suspended due to mechanical failure. All PLS holes will get a radiometric probe to assess radioactivity more accurately.

Interestingly, the drill found no Devonian sandstone between the overburden and the basement bedrock, which started at 55.7 metres’ depth. “This may be a result of the RC rig casing past the overburden and bedrock contact, and so the presence or absence of Devonian sandstone is inconclusive,” stated Alpha’s news release. “Alternatively, the lack of Devonian sandstone and presence of shallower mineralization may indicate that the bedrock source of the high-grade uranium boulders is possibly approaching further to the west of PLS13-072. Other step-out drill holes may resolve this.”

The program uses two diamond rigs in addition to the reverse circulation drill. With a $6.95-million budget, the 44-hole, 11,000-metre drill campaign and ground geophysics surveys continue on the 31,000-hectare property two kilometres from Highway 955.

Fission applies for boulder-finding patent

Along with collaborator Special Projects Inc, Fission wants to patent the system used to discover the PLS high-grade uranium boulder field. Calling it “an invention entitled System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits,” Fission announced the application on July 16.

The company explained that radiometric surveys can be affected by a number of variables including weather, topography and cosmic activity, as well as more controllable factors such as sensor height and aircraft speed. The invention “is particularly sensitive to addressing these variables,” Fission stated.

The news release didn’t specify the invention of new technology.

Forum extends Key Lake-area holdings

Towards the Athabasca Basin’s southeast corner, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC picked up the Highrock South property, adding another 1,381 hectares to its Key Lake area holdings. The company’s July 17 announcement states the property “is a continuation of the prospective Key Lake/Black Forest conductive trend” that hosted Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO former deposits and the geology “compares favourably” with PLS. Highrock South lies about 15 kilometres south of the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Forum pays $2,500, issues 25,000 shares and grants a 2% NSR. The company holds six other projects totalling over 90,000 hectares in the area, as well as other projects in Saskatchewan and Nunavut’s Thelon Basin.

Brades moves into Athabasca Basin

Brades Resource TSXV:BRA marked its Saskatchewan entry with the Lorne Lake acquisition announced July 16. The approximately 39,450-hectare property shows “extensive regional faulting and lineaments and covers one of only three identified cross-cutting major fault structures located in the western Athabasca Basin,” as well as “favourable magnetic geophysical data,” the company stated.

In return, Brades will issue a total of 3.5 million shares to two vendors including Ryan Kalt, who will also get a 2% NSR. On closing the deal, Kalt becomes a company insider.

On July 19 Brades announced the appointment of Evany Hung as CFO, replacing Christopher Cherry. The company also holds the 14,133-hectare BRC porphyry copper-gold property in northwestern British Columbia.

Noka retains Dahrouge Geological Consulting

On July 18 Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced it retained Dahrouge Geological Consulting to manage and explore Noka’s Athabasca Basin properties. Dahrouge and its predecessor, Halferdahl & Associates, have over 40 years’ experience with mineral projects, including over 30 years in uranium, Noka stated. The announcement credited Jody Dahrouge and his team with “the conceptualization and acquisition of several uranium properties within the Athabasca Basin, most notably these include such projects as Waterbury Lake (J zone), Patterson Lake and in part Patterson Lake South.”

Noka’s properties include Clearwater and Athabasca North, as well as a 25% earn-in on the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project, a four-company strategic alliance with Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY that’s exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package.

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Paladin reports quarterly revenue of $107.4 million, record production

Paladin Energy’s TSX:PDN quarterly report, released July 16, showed sales revenue for three months ending June 30 of US$107.4 million. The company sold 2.32 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) at an average price of $46.22 a pound.

Both of the company’s mines achieved quarterly production records. Langer Heinrich in Namibia produced 1.35 million pounds U3O8 while Kayelekera in Malawi gave up 789,430 pounds for a combined 2.14 million pounds, up 8% from the previous quarter. Fiscal 2013 production met guidance with 8.25 million pounds. The fiscal 2014 forecast ranges from 8.3 million to 8.7 million pounds.

The company also stated it had cut production costs by 9% at Langer Heinrich and 24% at Kayelekera, compared with June 2012. Paladin has been negotiating the sale of a minority interest in Langer Heinrich.

As for the company’s other projects, its Michelin property in Labrador has more exploration planned for summer and a resource update scheduled for next quarter. At Western Australia’s Manyingee project, work continues on an updated resource and hydrogeological modelling. Exploration on its Agadez property in Niger, however, has been suspended following the May 23 terrorist attacks that hit a military barracks and a uranium mine operated by AREVA.

In April Paladin became sole owner of the Angela project in Northern Territory, with an inferred resource of 30.8 million pounds, after buying Cameco’s 50% interest. Paladin also holds other Australian properties.

Cameco wants Canada to allow foreign ownership, Paladin concurs

Cameco “has broken ranks with the Canadian government by taking the position that Australian companies should be able to wholly own uranium mines in the country,” reported Australia’s Financial Review (subscription required) on July 15. Not surprisingly the journal added that John Borshoff, managing director/CEO of Australia’s Paladin, “says Canada must heed the words of one of its biggest companies and prioritize lifting restrictions on foreign ownership.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 15th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 8 to 14, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

With production slated for Q4, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO got the final go-ahead to mine Cigar Lake uranium on June 13. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission issued the mining licence following a 1990s environmental assessment, a stalled construction phase and a one-day public hearing. “The licensed facilities include underground mine workings accessed by two mine shafts, a surface load-out facility, waste management systems, a mine water management system and associated site facilities,” the CNSC stated. Cameco expects jet-boring to begin this summer.

The world’s second-largest known high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake’s bounty holds:

  • proven reserves of 233,600 tonnes averaging 22.31% uranium oxide (U3O8) for 114.9 million pounds U3O8
  • probable reserves of 303,500 tonnes averaging 15.22% for 101.8 million pounds.

Those reserves give Cigar Lake a 15-year lifespan. With full production expected in 2018, it’s expected to give up 18 million pounds annually.

Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

A Cameco crew installs freeze pipes at Cigar Lake
to protect against seeping water and leaking radiation.

The peak of construction could employ up to 500 workers, while production would require about 250 people. Jet-boring will extract the highly radioactive material using water pressure to carve underground caverns and push an ore slurry to underground grinding and thickening circuits, then to surface. The ground first must be frozen to prevent water seepage and radiation leakage. Processing will take place at the McClean Lake mill, 69 kilometres away.

Construction actually began in 2005. But the project hit delays due to flooding in 2006 and 2008. Cameco finally dewatered the workings in 2010 and restored the underground infrastructure the following year.

Located near Waterbury Lake on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern margin, Cigar Lake is a four-way joint venture in which project operator Cameco holds 50.025%, AREVA Resources Canada 37.1%, Idemitsu Canada Resources 7.875% and TEPCO Resources 5%. Another JV, the McClean Lake mill is held 70% by operator AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines TSX:DML and 7.5% by OURD Canada.

Pele Mountain increases Eco Ridge inferred U3O8 136%, REO 130%

Replacing a previous uranium-rare earths resource in the project’s July 2012 preliminary economic assessment, Pele Mountain Resources TSXV:GEM released a June 10 update for its Eco Ridge project in Elliot Lake, Ontario. The resource now shows:

  • an indicated category of 22.74 million tonnes averaging 0.045% U3O8 and 1,606 parts per million total rare earth oxides for 22.55 million pounds U3O8 and 80.51 million pounds REO, or 49.83 million pounds U3O8-equivalent
  • an inferred category of 36.56 million tonnes averaging 0.047% U3O8 and 1,554 ppm REO for 37.62 million pounds U3O8 and 125.25 million pounds REO, or 81.84 million pounds U3O8-equivalent.

The inferred numbers represent a 130% increase in total REO and a 136% jump in U3O8. The indicated category rose 10% in both REO and U3O8. The update shows “substantial increases in critical REO resources including neodymium, dysprosium, yttrium, terbium and europium oxides, as well as in scandium oxide resources,” the company stated.

Pele Mountain added that two higher-grade zones start at surface, which could allow higher-grade production during the first years of mining.

Working in Elliot Lake between 1956 and 1996 Rio Algom, later incorporated into BHP Billiton, and Denison produced over 300 million pounds of U3O8 and significant quantities of yttrium and heavy REO from deposits similar to that of Eco Ridge, Pele Mountain stated. The mining camp is about 160 kilometres west of Sudbury.

Aldrin increases resolution of PLS-area airborne geophysics

Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN will add infill lines to an airborne geophysics survey already underway over the Patterson Lake South area. Announced June 12, the decision will increase resolution from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing over conductive anomalies found on the company’s 12,001-hectare Triple M property. Aldrin interprets the anomalies as linear basement conductors over three kilometres long, parallel to a magnetically defined fault.

The company holds a 70% option on Triple M, which sits nine kilometres south and 11 kilometres west of the PLS discovery. High-grade, near-surface results from the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU 50/50 JV excited interest in the area in and around the Basin’s southwestern rim. The helicopter-borne VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey already underway is a joint project that’s flying contiguous properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC (formerly Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK), Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH. Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each hold a 25% earn-in option on Skyharbour’s properties.

Aldrin stated the infill lines will help locate drill targets for early winter 2014.

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