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Posts tagged ‘Ashburton Ventures Inc (ABR)’

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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North ROK euphoria fizzles

June 6th, 2013

Colorado Resources’ results fall short of phenomenal but the area play looks resilient

by Greg Klein

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Despite additional intercepts of wide mineralization, June 6 assays from Colorado Resources TSXV:CXO failed to meet soaring hopes set by North ROK’s very first hole. That northwestern British Columbia discovery excited anticipation of a project comparable to Imperial Metals’ TSX:III Red Chris project, 15 kilometres east. But while Colorado’s stock has since suffered, a still-strong market cap and recent activity by other companies suggest the area play may yet endure.

The June 6 announcement gave results for three holes, with NR13-003 showing:

  • 0.21% copper and 0.55 grams per tonne gold over 152.4 metres, starting at 1.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.31% copper and 1.04 g/t gold over 52 metres).

NR13-003 was drilled at a -80 degree dip towards the northeast from the same location as discovery hole NR13-001, which was sunk at a -45 degree dip in the same direction. NR13-004 was drilled 100 metres southeast of the discovery hole, showing:

  • 0.4% copper and 0.5 g/t gold over 205.2 metres, starting at 158.8 metres
  • (including 0.56% copper and 0.68 g/t gold over 131 metres).
Colorado Resources’ results fall short of phenom, but area play looks resilient

North ROK’s first assays suggested boundless horizons, but three more holes from the early-stage project stifled enthusiasm.

True widths weren’t available. Hole NR13-002, drilled 350 metres west of the discovery hole, found no significant results. The company stated it “may have not been drilled deep enough or at the correct azimuth to adequately test the IP chargeability anomaly that is now better understood with the new detailed geophysics.”

Ongoing induced polarization surveys have so far shown an area 1,200 by 1,200 metres open to the south of the chargeability anomaly where the holes were drilled. The survey also found an area 500 by 1,000 metres open to the north of another chargeability anomaly one kilometre north of the drill holes. “To date less than 5% of the area of these geophysical anomalies has been tested by drilling,” the company stated. “Given these highly encouraging results and better understanding of the system, Colorado is planning an expanded drill program to commence shortly.”

Evidently investors expected better. The discovery hole reported April 25 produced a market-shattering 0.51% copper and 0.67 g/t gold over 333 metres, starting at 2 metres. That included a 242-metre interval of 0.63% copper and 0.85 g/t gold.

All that from the very first hole. Fuelling the excitement was Red Chris, only 15 kilometres away, where Imperial Metals’ open pit is scheduled for production in mid-2014. The project boasts reserves of 301 million tonnes averaging 0.359% copper and 0.274 g/t gold.

Consequently North ROK rocketed Colorado stock from an April 24 close of $0.16 to a May 21 high of $1.74. But by June 6 the shares opened on $1.17, down from a June 5 high of $1.34, then continued to fall. The stock closed June 6 on $0.80, albeit an improvement over the day’s low of $0.66 and far above the pre-discovery $0.16.

Disappointment notwithstanding, the area play may yet have a busy summer in store. Other companies attracted by the region’s porphyry copper-gold potential include Entourage Metals TSXV:EMT, which on June 3 announced its 100% option on the 6,499-hectare Odin copper-gold property, 22 kilometres north of North ROK and 35 kilometres from Red Chris.

The same day Victory Ventures TSXV:VVN announced drilling had begun on its 448-hectare Copau property, 11 kilometres northeast of Red Chris, to test a prospective IP anomaly.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 1st, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 25 to 31, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha outdo their best R00E-zone assay at PLS

Having previously announced their best interval yet from Patterson Lake South’s R00E zone on May 16, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced an even better assay on May 27: 8.57% U3O8 over 20.5 metres. Results for two closely spaced infill holes show:

Hole PLS13-059

  • 3.61% U3O8 over 6.5 metres, starting at 55.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.99% over 2.5 metres)
  • 8.57% over 20.5 metres, starting at 65.5 metres
  • (including 17.78% over 9.5 metres).

Hole PLS13-041

  • 0.13% over 5 metres, starting at 63.5 metres
  • 5.54% over 13.5 metres, starting at 83.5 metres
  • (including 17.08% over 3.5 metres).

Additionally hole PLS13-058, 10 metres north of a hole reported in November, showed:

  • 0.11% over 4 metres, starting at 63.5 metres
  • 0.18% over 17 metres, starting at 70.5 metres.

True widths weren’t available.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Last winter’s drilling continues to produce
high-grade assays for Patterson Lake South.

The results show mineralization is continuous for 120 metres along strike and open in both directions, the 50/50 joint venture partners reported. “We now have high-grade intersections in both the western and eastern areas of the zone, which demonstrates the expansive nature of the mineralization at R00E,” stated Fission president/COO Ross McElroy. “The spectacular quality of these results is further proof that the zone hosts high grades similar to those we’ve found at zone R390E.”

The previous week the JV partners announced a $6.95-million summer program for their celebrated flagship.

Fission/Alpha bolster their teams

The JV partners expanded their staff too. On May 29 Alpha announced two appointments to its advisory board. Charles E. Roy brings over 30 years of experience with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO, where he helped supervise seven discoveries.

Alan R. Graham, a former New Brunswick minister of natural resources and energy, has served on the Atomic Energy Control Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. He was “involved in the permitting and oversight of nearly all of the producing uranium mines in the Athabasca Basin,” Alpha stated.

Fission followed two days later with two appointments of its own. Director William V. Marsh spent 15 years working on drilling programs for Chevron. He was a director of Predator Capital, Wolf Capital and, up to its $35.18-million sale to Green Dragon Gas in 2008, Pacific Asia China Energy.

Executive advisory board member Anthony Milewski is a senior adviser to Reuben Brothers Resources, a principal at Black Vulcan Resources and a director of several private and public resource companies who has “particular interest in physical uranium trading and industry supply and demand dynamics,” Fission stated.

Yellowjacket now Athabasca Nuclear Corp, raises $310,160

The company previously known as Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK announced AGM results on May 30, including a new name: Athabasca Nuclear Corp TSXV:ASC. In addition, shareholders appointed Ryan Kalt chairman, with director Tim Termuende taking his place on the audit committee.

The company also completed the first tranche of a $600,000 private placement announced April 30, raising $310,160 through 2.58 million units at $0.12. Each unit consists of one share and a warrant for a half share. Each entire warrant allows a share purchase for $0.20 for 18 months. Kalt nabbed 1.6 million units, increasing his stake to about 22.3% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Allied forces airborne over PLS region

[Lucky Strike and Noka Resources] bring valuable technical expertise, proven management teams and financial capital to help create synergies in the field and corporately. Our geological teams plan to employ the refined exploration methodology that led to the Alpha/Fission PLS discovery to further increase our chances of making a new discovery while saving costs and time.—Jim Pettit, director of
Skyharbour Resources

Following the May 24 announcement from then-Yellowjacket/now-Athabasca Nuclear, three more companies announced their participation in a joint geophysical survey on their contiguous PLS-area properties. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC each issued separate statements this week saying the VTEM-Plus system/magnetic gradiometer survey was underway. Citing Alpha’s 43-101 technical report filed in April, Aldrin stated the Alpha/Fission team used a similar survey to define conductors associated with their high-grade, near-surface PLS intercepts.

In a statement accompanying his May 27 news release, Skyharbour director Jim Pettit referred to recently announced earn-ins with Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX. The partners “bring valuable technical expertise, proven management teams and financial capital to help create synergies in the field and corporately,” Pettit explained. “Our geological teams plan to employ the refined exploration methodology that led to the Alpha/Fission PLS discovery to further increase our chances of making a new discovery while saving costs and time. We believe this partnership and structure offer the best prospects for vectoring in on a new uranium discovery in the Athabasca region while at the same time mitigating company-specific risk.”

Zadar options five more projects, appoints adviser

In a deal including over $15 million in exploration data, Zadar Ventures TSXV:ZAD optioned an additional five Basin properties from a subsidiary of Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM. The package totals 67,561 hectares, Zadar stated on May 29. Four projects called Pasfield Lake, Stony Road, Riverlake and Highrock live in the eastern Basin, while the west-side West Carswell property lies 11 kilometres from Shea Creek, the Basin’s third-largest resource, a 49% UEX Corp TSX:UEX and 51% AREVA Resources Canada project. All five properties have seen geophysical work and drilling.

In return Zadar pays $50,000 and issues Canterra two million shares. Canterra also gets a 2% NSR on each property, half of which Zadar may buy back for $1 million per project.

On May 30 Zadar announced the appointment of Jeremy Brett to its advisory board. A senior geophysicist with MPH Consulting, Brett’s 18 years of experience includes uranium exploration in the Athabasca, Thelon, Baker Lake and Otish basins.

Ashburton readies Sienna North and West campaign, drops CanAlaska option

Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR announced on May 30 Phase I plans for its Sienna North and West projects in the PLS area. The program calls for surveying and cutting grids, scintillometer tests, soil sampling, radon surveys and float prospecting. Work is expected to begin within weeks.

The news release suggested the company might also participate in the joint airborne survey now being conducted for Athabasca Nuclear, Skyharbour, Aldrin and Forum.

Not solely fixated with uranium, on May 28 Ashburton announced it staked claims adjacent to Doubleview Capital’s TSXV:DBV Hat copper-gold property in northwestern British Columbia. At the same time Ashburton said it was pulling out of an option to acquire two more PLS-area properties from CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV.

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Athabasca Basin report

April 27th, 2013

Who’s doing what in the super-charged Saskatchewan uranium play

by Greg Klein

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Denison gets Fission Energy, spinco Fission Uranium gets Patterson Lake South

It’s a done deal, both companies announced April 26. Denison Mines TSX:DML closed its acquisition of Fission Energy TSXV:FIS. The latter company stops trading at the close of April 29 but a new outfit, Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU, is expected to begin trading on May 1. (Update: Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU began trading on April 30, 2013.) Fission Uranium will retain the Fission Energy team and their most celebrated asset, a 50% interest in Patterson Lake South.

For each Fission Energy share, holders get 0.355 of a Denison share, a full Fission Uranium share and, for good measure, one ten-thousandth of a penny. The new company also gets about $17 million from Denison, a handy sum to continue its share of PLS drilling while shopping for other properties.

The acquisition went much as planned except for a late decision to change the new company’s stock ticker to FCU. It was originally registered as FUC.

Read more about the Denison/Fission acquisition here.

Patterson Lake South rolls out the results

Patterson Lake South, meanwhile, continues to shock and awe the market with near-surface results showing off-scale scintillometer readings and high-grade assays about every week—at least.

Athabasca Basin report

Just a couple of examples: An April 22 announcement reported assays of 6.57% U3O8 over 53 metres, including 29.26% over 10.5 metres. The intercept started at a downhole depth of 95 metres. Only two days later came assays of 6.26% over 49.5 metres, including 35% over 6 metres, starting at 66 metres in downhole depth.

A 50/50 joint venture between Fission Energy and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, the PLS discovery sparked the current staking rush around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Alpha filed an NI 43-101 technical report for the property on April 14.

Read more about the Patterson Lake South discovery here and here.

Read more about the Athabasca Basin staking rush here.

Alpha private placement closes at $12.28 million

While Fission Uranium starts off with about $17 million from Denison, its JV partner-to-be, Alpha Minerals, has just picked up $12.28 million. On April 25 the company announced completion of 1.2 million flow-through shares at $4.40 each and 1.75 million units at $4. Each unit consists of one non-flow-through share and half of a warrant. Each whole warrant will be exercisable at $5 for 24 months.

The private placement was originally offered up to $7.28 million, but was increased by $5 million on April 9.

NexGen now on the TSXV

Its reverse takeover with Clermont Capital complete, NexGen Energy Ltd TSXV:NXE made its Venture debut on April 23. NexGen interprets its flagship Radio property to be on the same structural trend as Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit and Denison’s Waterbury Lake J-zone. NexGen holds an option to acquire an initial 70%, then the remaining 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Another NexGen standout is Rook 1, immediately northeast of Patterson Lake South.

Under a JV within a JV, NexGen and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC have an option to earn 30% each of the Northwest Athabasca project, currently held 87.5% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 12.5% by AREVA Resources. On April 10 project operator Forum announced completion of a 3,500-metre program that hit uranium mineralization in eight of 17 holes.

Last November NexGen picked up 10 Canadian uranium properties from Mega Uranium TSXV:MGA. On April 22 Mega acquired an approximately 25.2% interest in NexGen, which currently has about $6 million on hand.

Read more about NexGen here and here.

As for Waterbury and the J-zone …

In the eastside Basin neighbourhood of Radio and Roughrider, Waterbury Lake is now held 60% by Denison, a result of its Fission Energy acquisition. A consortium headed by the Korean power utility Kepco holds the remaining 40%.

Last winter Fission Energy sunk 68 holes totalling over 21,000 metres to define and expand the project’s J-zone. Scintillometer results announced April 5 showed mineralization in 35 holes. Assays are pending for this final stage of a three-year, $30-million campaign.

Forum to fly Clearwater

In addition to its NexGen collaboration, Forum plans an airborne magnetic and electromagnetic survey over its 100%-held, 9,910-hectare Clearwater property immediately southwest of Patterson Lake South. Funding comes from a $500,000 private placement that closed April 23.

Denison drills turn Wheeler River

On the Basin’s east side, winter drilling at Denison’s 60% Wheeler River project completed 14,577 metres in 27 holes. On April 24 the company announced it had extended the new 489 zone along strike by 65 metres. The zone lies 2.1 kilometres from the project’s Phoenix deposits, which Denison calls “the most significant new uranium discovery in the Athabasca Basin in many years.”

Denison acts as project operator for partners Cameco, which holds a 30% interest, and JCU (Japan-Canada Uranium) Exploration, which holds 10%.

Lakeland stakes more land

Now a “pure play uranium exploration company focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on April 25 it had staked three more properties. The Small Lake, Hawkrock Rapids and Circle Lake properties total 54,745 hectares in the northern and northeastern Basin.

The news followed an April 2 announcement that Lakeland staked two other northern Basin properties, the 9,645-hectare Otherside and 35,429-hectare Riou Lake. All five properties, totalling nearly 100,000 hectares, were chosen on the basis of previous work by former operators. Lakeland intends to study historic data prior to planning a work program.

The company has also signed a non-binding letter of intent for eight other Basin properties totalling about 190,000 hectares.

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The uranium rush is on

March 22nd, 2013

Saskatchewan’s southwestern Athabasca Basin hosts a staking stampede

by Greg Klein

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This could be just what the beleaguered exploration sector needs—a good old-fashioned staking rush. And that’s exactly what’s going on in northern Saskatchewan’s uranium-rich Athabasca Basin. Although the market hasn’t fully caught on, companies are flocking into the area, drawn by the sensational Fission Energy TSXV:FIS and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW discovery at Patterson Lake South.

Saskatchewan’s southwestern Athabasca Basin hosts a staking stampede

A major uranium discovery has diverted explorers’ attention
to an under-explored region of northern Saskatchewan.

The Basin’s no stranger to frenetic activity. It last happened in the early and mid-part of the century’s first decade. But that was on the east side, whose mines now comprise one of the world’s most important sources of uranium. This time the stampede is to the west side, some of it a little outside the Basin. Among the driving forces are Saskatchewan’s new online staking system, an increasingly optimistic supply-demand scenario and an escalating stream of news from the Fission/Alpha 50/50 JV.

That started in July 2011, when boulder field samples brought assays as high as 39.6% U3O8. By November 2012, drilling confirmed the discovery not only with high grades but—in glaring contrast to the Basin’s east side—shallow mineralization. This year’s step-outs have the sector wondering just how big this might be. Not surprisingly, other explorers aren’t content to watch from the sidelines.

“We were quick to jump in there,” says Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH manager of corporate development and communications Jordan Trimble. His company snapped up five properties totalling nearly 80,000 hectares, one of the area’s largest packages according to a March 20 announcement. Two of the properties lie 27 kilometres and 35 kilometres north of the PLS discovery, another two 15 kilometres south and the fifth 90 kilometres east.

“We have a connection with a guy from Calgary who was one of the first prospectors in there,” Trimble points out. “Given that you can now stake online, it’s incredibly cheap. We got that land package for about 30 cents an acre. Packages of land have been offered to me in the last few days in the same area, comparable properties for upwards of $10 an acre. So already I think we’ve created value just with the acquisition at the cost we did.”

Last December’s inauguration of Saskatchewan’s e-registry was “certainly part of it,” he says. “But online staking or no online staking, there’s no shadow of doubt in my mind that this area would have seen a staking rush, given the [PLS] discovery. It’s a one-of-a-kind discovery.”

Michael Schuss concurs. The president/CEO of Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN says Patterson Lake South “is probably going to be one of the biggest discoveries in Canadian history. I wouldn’t call us ambulance-chasers by nature, but we saw the opportunity and thought we better move on it.”

Just one day before Skyharbour’s announcement, CIN revealed it nabbed a 20-claim, 25,225-hectare package in the same district. Like Skyharbour, the company’s looking at further nearby acquisitions.

Of all the news pouring out of the Fission/Alpha project, Schuss singles out the February 19 announcement of 57.5 metres of mineralization from a step-out 385 metres on strike. The JV partners were “either extremely lucky or it’s so big you couldn’t miss it. I think that’s what kicked off the staking rush.

“The excitement of Patterson Lake South is a discovery outside the traditional Athabasca Basin,” Schuss maintains. “It shouldn’t have been there. The staking has gone way beyond south of the basin. That’s something we haven’t seen before. It’s an exciting time in the industry.”

He credits people like Fission director Jody Dahrouge and Alpha director Warren Stanyer, who were among the PLS visionaries. “At first it was wildcatting at best,” Schuss says. “To go from concept to discovery in four years is an exceptional timetable. That’s part of the excitement. It also shows that in Canada you can still find major deposits in places that people drive right over.” Highway 955 cuts through PLS on its way to the former Cluff Lake uranium mine.

Schuss adds, “The staking rush is a nice feeling for a change because we probably haven’t had one in Canada since Voisey’s Bay, about 20 years ago.”

And the excitement brings a new focus to some companies.

“Skyharbour had been dormant for two years, looking for deals,” explains Trimble. “We waited patiently through a real tough market, researched uranium, saw it from the perspective of both current equity valuations in the space and the lack of what you could call saturation. You don’t have as many uranium companies clamouring for investor dollars.”

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