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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 1st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 1, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Saskatchewan’s number two for mining jurisdictions worldwide

The province has held a top 10 position for at least five years, but last week Saskatchewan reached second place in a global survey of miners and explorers. The Fraser Institute study released February 24 rated jurisdictions for a number of factors, with the most important attributes making up the Investment Attractiveness Index. There sits Saskatchewan, second only to Finland.

The index considers responses for two separate categories, giving a 60% weight to geology and 40% to public policy. As Macdonald-Laurier Institute managing director Brian Lee Crowley told, reserves aren’t much good without policies that allow responsible development. Some comments quoted by the Fraser Institute bear that out.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to February 27, 2015

A province founded on agriculture, Saskatchewan became one of
the world’s leading mining jurisdictions thanks to geology and policy.

“In Saskatchewan, ‘Duty to Consult’ is the responsibility of government, not the company. Something like the Ring of Fire fiasco in Ontario would not happen in Saskatchewan.”

“Good geoscientific support and permitting procedures which allow for timely planning and efficient support from provincial administration in addressing land access and Amerindian issues.”

“Saskatchewan is open to uranium exploration.”

Speaking to the Regina Leader-Post, survey director Kenneth Green said, “In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims.”

More good words came from provincial Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Clearly, there is a very good resource here in the province, whether it’s in potash, uranium or other minerals that we mine here in Saskatchewan,’’ the Leader-Post quoted him. “We’ve been able to create a business climate here in Saskatchewan that’s positive. There’s a good workforce in Saskatchewan, a trained workforce, as well.’’

Four other Canadian jurisdictions made the top 10 for investment attractiveness. Additionally the survey showed a significant improvement in Canada’s median score on the Policy Perception Index.

Read more about Canada’s performance in the global mining survey.

Download the survey.

NexGen adds third high-grade section to Rook 1’s Arrow zone

Having discovered another high-grade section of the Arrow zone with Rook 1’s best angled hole yet, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE assigned new names to the project’s features. A1, A2 and A3 designate three mineralized shears trending northeast to southwest. The latest hole, AR-15-39, found composite mineralization totalling 89.15 metres within 436.5 metres that started at 433.5 metres in downhole depth. Scintillometer readings above 10,000 counts per second coincided with “dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” the company stated February 24.

The results, from a handheld device that scans drill core for gamma radiation, are no substitute for the still-pending assays. Readings of 10,000 cps or more are called “offscale” due to the limitations of a previous model.

Drilled at a -70 dip between AR-15-37 and -38, the new hole went offscale for seven metres at A2, reinforcing “the continuity of semi-massive to massive pitchblende” in that shear. A3 revealed another 9.75 offscale metres, representing “a 200-metre down-dip extension from high-grade uranium assay intervals in drill holes AR-14-08 and -13,” NexGen added.

One week earlier the company released two holes extending mineralization 81 metres southwest along strike from Rook 1’s best hole so far—angled or vertical and “amongst the best drill results” in the Athabasca Basin.

Both holes revealed “significant dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” with AR-15-37 giving composite radiation readings for 76 metres within a 264.5-metre section beginning at 405 metres in downhole depth. That included an offscale composite of 9.35 metres.

AR-15-38 showed composite mineralization of 82.35 metres within a 247.5-metre section starting at 474 metres, with a composite 4.5 metres above 10,000 cps.

NexGen also reported its third rig began drilling 400 metres northeast along Arrow’s strike. That’s where a radon-in-lake-water anomaly, 480 metres long by 20 to 150 metres wide, is “optimally situated along the southeast-dipping VTEM conductor [and] projected to reach the unconformity.”

As of February 24, drilling hit mineralization in 37 of 39 Arrow holes, with 5,519 metres of the 18,000-metre winter program complete. The zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization as shallow as 100 metres and as deep as 817.5 metres in vertical depth.

Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.

Ever modest, NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said the zone “is quickly becoming a significant discovery on a world scale with relatively very few holes drilled.”

Fission hits high grade west of Triple R resource

Sunday’s not the usual day to release news of this nature. But March 1 begins PDAC 2015, so what better time to assert bragging rights? Whatever the reason, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU chose the day to announce a radioactive find 555 metres west of its Triple R deposit. The news reinforces interest in R600W, the most westerly of Patterson Lake South’s four zones, where five previous holes showed only low-grade mineralization.

Scintillometer readings for land-based hole PLS15-343 showed 65.5 metres of radiation starting at 105.5 metres in downhole depth, including a continuous 8.85 metres over 10,000 counts per second “with peaks up to 52,900 cps at shallow depth,” the company reported. A second radioactive interval of four metres began at 342.5 metres.

As explained in the NexGen item above, scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Readings above 10,000 cps are often called “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

Technical problems terminated the hole at 368 metres “in moderately altered semi-pelitic gneiss,” Fission stated.

R600W’s strike runs 30 metres with a north-south lateral width up to about 20 metres. The project’s four zones extend for a 2.24-kilometre potential strike along the PL-3B conductor. The two middle zones, R00E and R780E, comprise the Triple R resource that shook the market in January. In mid-February Fission announced nine holes that expand R780E, by far the project’s largest zone.

The $10-million, four-rig winter agenda calls for 35 holes on Triple R and R600W, along with 28 holes on regional targets, for a total of about 20,230 metres.

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources bolsters its Basin portfolio

Now with 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has enlarged what was already one of Saskatchewan’s largest exploration portfolios. New acquisitions announced February 20 include two land packages in the southeastern Basin’s Key Lake area, which gave up over 200 million pounds of uranium by 2002 and still hosts the Key Lake mill.

One of the area acquisitions, the KLR property, features “a significant number of historic conductors within basement rock types and at least two unexplained radiometric anomalies,” Lakeland stated. Sampling of surface rocks and lake and stream sediment brought results up to 691 ppm uranium. Historic drilling revealed 0.12% U3O8 across 0.1 metres. The new turf complements Lakeland’s existing Key Lake-region properties.

Six new claims sit adjacent to Lakeland holdings in the southwestern Basin’s Carter Lake area. The company also gained ground in the Mathews Lake area, north of Lake Athabasca and within basement rocks of the Beaverlodge Domain.

The Carson Lake property lies beyond the Basin’s northeastern margin but within the Wollaston Domain, which hosts most of the Basin’s currently operating mines.

South of the Basin, along the highly prospective Cable Bay shear zone, Lakeland picked up Black Birch East. Historic work on the 26,389-hectare property “showed a number of electromagnetic conductors and radiometric anomalies roughly coincident with the CBSZ.”

The acquisitions result from two transactions, subject to TSXV approval. One set of properties costs $40,880 and 1.12 million shares. A set of two other properties calls for $32,636 and 326,350 shares. Both transactions include a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy back for $2 million per property.

In late January the company began drilling its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Other drill-ready projects include Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern margin and Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s.

In December Takara Resources TSXV:TKK took out a 50% option on Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Last year’s private placements brought Lakeland over $5.1 million.

Read more about Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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February 17th, 2015

China is effectively consuming all of the world’s newly mined gold supply GoldSeek
Will the iron ore war cease as big miners tighten their grip? NAI 500
The great porphyry copper deposits of Arizona Geology for Investors
Eric Sprott: Expect physical gold backing of currencies within next decade Stockhouse
Daniela Desormeaux: Hedge against short-term cycles with lithium Streetwise Reports
Obama administration ups USGS budget as demand returns Industrial Minerals
Currency wars heat up as central banks race to cut rates Equities Canada

February 13th, 2015

The great porphyry copper deposits of Arizona Geology for Investors
Eric Sprott: Expect physical gold backing of currencies within next decade Stockhouse
Chris Powell: “What’s left of Canada’s Social Credit movement” launches legal action against Bank of Canada GoldSeek
Daniela Desormeaux: Hedge against short-term cycles with lithium Streetwise Reports
Obama administration ups USGS budget as demand returns Industrial Minerals
Gold M&A heats up in Canada NAI 500
Currency wars heat up as central banks race to cut rates Equities Canada

Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 5th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission strikes 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, delays maiden resource

All assays are in but Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) highly anticipated resource for Patterson Lake South seems to have been put off. The milestone was originally scheduled for this month but in a December 1 statement president/COO Ross McElroy said, “We expect to be able to release preliminary results by early 2015.” Meanwhile the company announced last summer’s final 18 delineation holes, again flaunting the PLS trademark of high grades at shallow depths.

This batch comes entirely from R780E, by far the biggest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. R780E itself now extends about 164 metres at its widest point and 905 metres in strike, remaining open in all directions. The upcoming resource will focus on zones R780E and R00E.

Some of the best December 1 assays follow.

Hole PLS14-275

  • 0.2% U3O8 over 26 metres, starting at 137.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.26% over 2 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

A summer of round-the-clock drilling brought the
final assays prior to Patterson Lake South’s first resource.

  • 0.31% over 9 metres, starting at 171 metres
  • (including 1.96% over 1 metre)


  • 13.84% over 10 metres, starting at 71.5 metres
  • (including 29.29% over 4.5 metres)


  • 0.48% over 13 metres, starting at 117.5 metres
  • (including 1.17% over 4.5 metres)


  • 0.83% over 30 metres, starting at 131 metres
  • (including 2.09% over 10.5 metres)

  • 1.24% over 6.5 metres, starting at 163.5 metres
  • (including 2.5% over 2.5 metres)


  • 0.4% over 14.5 metres, starting at 251.5 metres
  • (including 1.02% over 4 metres)


  • 0.54% over 9 metres, starting at 177 metres
  • (including 3.84% over 1 metre)

  • 2.61% over 9 metres, starting at 257.5 metres
  • (including 8.61% over 2.5 metres)


  • 0.96% over 7.5 metres, starting at 287.5 metres
  • (including 2.56% over 2 metres)

  • 0.36% over 15 metres, starting at 299 metres


  • 7.91% over 21.9 metres, starting at 61.1 metres
  • (including 17.3% over 9.5 metres)

  • 0.42% over 30.5 metres, starting at 86.5 metres

  • 1.49% over 4.5 metres, starting at 96 metres


  • 3.72% over 64.5 metres, starting at 133.5 metres
  • (including 32.53% over 6.5 metres)


  • 2.34% over 11 metres, starting at 198.5 metres
  • (including 11.74% over 2 metres)


  • 0.8% over 10.5 metres, starting at 61 metres
  • (including 1.77% over 4 metres)

  • 0.27% over 21 metres, starting at 111 metres


  • 0.7% over 33 metres, starting at 174 metres
  • (including 2.21% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 2.2% over 4 metres)


  • 0.52% over 22.5 metres, starting at 184 metres
  • (including 1.39% over 3 metres)

  • 2.21% over 5.5 metres, starting at 210 metres
  • (including 6.76% over 1.5 metres)


  • 1.51% over 13.5 metres, starting at 246.5 metres
  • (including 2.38% over 5 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

Fission noted that scissor drilling brought “vastly improved strength of mineralization on section 735E.” Oriented opposite to the south-to-north holes, they “provide geometry control and confirmation on the mineralization.” One scissor hole hit the star assay for this batch, 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, in an area that had previously seen only moderate results, the company stated.

With assays for 22 exploration holes still pending and a winter program in the planning stages, speculation remains on whether the company will spend more time testing the property’s lesser-known areas.

Denison drills 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres at Wheeler River

The final batch of assays from Gryphon’s summer season at Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) Wheeler River property revealed the zone’s highest grade so far, 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres. Announced December 2, that hole was also the deepest, making down-plunge extensions a priority for the next round of drilling, scheduled to start next month.

As usual, the chemical assays generally show better grades than the previously reported U3O8-equivalents that came from a downhole gamma probe.

Some highlights include:

Hole WR-571

  • 8.8% U3O8 over 2.5 metres, starting at 757.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 1.9% over 1 metre, starting at 761.5 metres


  • 2.5% over 1 metre, starting at 651.1 metres

  • 9.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 1.8% over 1 metre, starting at 714.5 metres

  • 2.1% over 1 metre, starting at 717.5 metres


  • 22.2% over 2.5 metres, starting at 768 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 779 metres


  • 5% over 2 metres, starting at 665 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 14.6% over 2 metres, starting at 696.5 metres


  • 2.7% over 2 metres, starting at 626.5 metres

The company estimates true widths at about 75%.

Wheeler River’s summer program comprised 20 holes totalling 14,937 metres, all of it at or near the newly discovered Gryphon zone.

Meanwhile, as a result of metallurgical testwork from the project’s Phoenix deposit, “a high-purity yellowcake product was produced that met all ASTM C967-13 specifications,” Denison stated. The sample grade was 19.7% U3O8, close to the average for Phoenix, which hosts 70.2 million pounds indicated.

The company closed a $14.99-million private placement in August.

With a 60% interest in Wheeler River, Denison acts as project operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% of the 11,720-hectare southeastern Athabasca Basin property, leaving JCU (Canada) Exploration with the other 10%.

Lakeland Resources boosts portfolio, offers $1.88-million private placement

All acquired by staking, four new properties and five property expansions announced by Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK on November 19 increase the company’s portfolio by 40,218 hectares in and around the Basin.

The five expansions cover targets identified by historic data. Among the highlights is the 4,753-hectare addition to Lazy Edward Bay, which underwent extensive field work last summer. Now totalling 31,128 hectares, the project features eight exploration trends, many of them drill-ready. Other additions came to Lakeland’s Riou Lake, Hawkrock Rapids, Small Lake and Fedun Lake properties.

Of the new land, the 1,508-hectare Carter Lake property covers part of the Carter Lake Structural Corridor, parallel to the Patterson Structural Corridor hosting the discoveries of Fission and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE.

If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO of Lakeland Resources

Cable Bay, a 1,077-hectare property on the Basin’s southern rim, benefits from extensive geophysics showing a trend of graphitic meta-sedimentary rocks in the basement, below 10 metres or less of Athabasca sandstone.

The 6,479-hectare Highrock property on the Basin’s southeastern margin features a moderately strong conductor that has yet to see follow-up work.

Extending beyond the Basin’s eastern rim, the 8,889-hectare Wright River project underwent an airborne survey showing a radiometric anomaly in the property’s centre. Regional lake sediment samples have graded up to 61 ppm.

Early new year plans include a 1,500-metre program on Star/Gibbon’s Creek, two adjacent properties forming one project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Also drill-ready are Lazy Edward Bay and, east of Star/Gibbon’s, Newnham Lake. More funding is expected from a $1.88-million private placement announced December 4.

“There’s not that much ground left to be had in the Basin,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells “Most of what we see as quality ground is not available. If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

NexGen plans 18,000 metres for Rook 1, updates other properties

Funded by an $11.5-million private placement that closed last month, NexGen plans a three-rig, 18,000-metre program to start in January. Work will focus on Rook 1’s Arrow zone and along strike to the northeast and southwest, but will also test some of the project’s regional targets, the company stated on December 3. An infill ground gravity survey will precede the drilling.

Now complete are airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys over Rook 1 as well as additional nearby land that has had little or no previous mention from NexGen, the “SW2 property portfolio which includes Bishop 1 and 2, Meanwell and R-7 claims.” Winter plans include a radon-in-water survey.

NexGen also updated what it calls its “SW3 project portfolio (Rook 2, Sandhill and Dufferin).” Rook 2 and Sandhill underwent airborne gravity surveys. Dufferin got airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys, as did the eastern Basin Madison and 2Z Lake properties.

Rook 1 covers all the southwestern Basin’s major uranium-bearing conductor corridors, according to the company. Still pending are assays from 16 summer holes on Arrow. In October the company claimed one of the Basin’s best-ever drill results.

UEC reports 77% increase in Burke Hollow’s inferred resources

Seven trends at Uranium Energy Corp’s (NYSE MKT:UEC) Burke Hollow project in Texas now have total inferred resources of 2.9 million tons averaging 0.09% for 5.12 million pounds U3O8. About 14,152 metres of drilling in 526 holes were used to calculate the 77% increase. UEC has three additional areas of the property under consideration for drilling.

Burke Hollow, potentially an in-situ recovery operation, has an application for a radioactive material licence and mine permit currently under review.

The 7,824-hectare project lies about 80 kilometres from the company’s Hobson processing plant, the centrepiece of UEC’s “hub and spoke” properties. The portfolio includes the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad ISR development project and nearly two dozen exploration projects, two in Paraguay and the rest in the western U.S. The company released a preliminary economic assessment for its Anderson uranium project in Arizona last September, as well as a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado last April.

On December 2 UEC stated it secured US$5.6 million of surety bonds to replace the same amount in reclamation deposits for future decommissioning. The bonds “require cash collateral of $1.7 million, allowing for the release of $3.9 million of previously restricted cash to the company.”

Last March the company received a two-year extension on a $20-million loan.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 4th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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Fission continues PLS main zone’s perfect score, gets conditional approval for TSX listing

In a week that saw Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU win conditional approval to move up to the TSX big board, the company maintained this season’s 100% hit rate at Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone. All seven holes released September 29 returned wide mineralization. The main zone now boasts 61 successes out of 61 summer holes.

The results come from a hand-held device used to measure drill core for radiation. They’re no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Among the most recent batch’s highlights, hole PLS14-290 revealed intervals totalling a composite 97.5 metres of mineralization, the shallowest beginning at 113.5 metres in downhole depth. PLS14-298 showed a composite 84 metres, with the shallowest intercept starting at 146.5 metres. PLS14-296 came up with a 94.5-metre composite, with one interval starting at 96 metres. True widths weren’t available.

An innovation to the summer program has been angled drilling from barges over the lake. Now Fission’s emphasizing three “scissor” holes, each sunk north to south at an opposite azimuth to a south-to-north hole. The purpose is to “provide geometry control and confirmation on the mineralization.” PLS14-290, for example, “intersected well-developed mineralization … in an area that had previously only seen moderate results.”

By far the biggest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike, R780E shows a continuous strike of 930 metres and, at one point, a lateral width of 164 metres. The project’s mineralization sits within a metasedimentary lithologic corridor bounded to the south by the PL-3B basement electromagnetic conductor.

Still to come are assays to replace the summer’s radiometric results, as well as assays for the final dozen of last winter’s 92 holes. December’s still the target for a maiden resource.

Fission greeted October 3 by announcing conditional approval for a TSX listing. The company anticipates big board trading on or about October 8, retaining its FCU ticker.

In an interview posted by Stockhouse October 3, Fission chairperson/CEO Dev Randhawa contrasted Saskatchewan’s stability with that of other uranium-rich jurisdictions like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Niger. Verifying his intention to sell the project, Randhawa told journalist Gaalen Engen, “We have about six or seven Asian and North American companies in the midst of due diligence who are interested in doing private placement and/or taking over the company.”

The previous week Fission closed a $14.4-million private placement and released regional PLS drill results.

Field work and drilling approach for Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek flagship

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

Scintillometer in hand, a geologist prospects
for radiometric anomalies over the Star uplift.

Announced September 29, the termination of an option with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN gives Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK full control of its 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek project, which features boulder samples up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the Athabasca Basin’s highest-ever radon readings. Three days later Lakeland released rock and soil sample results from its adjacent Star property, showing gold, platinum and palladium, as well as some rare earths and low-grade uranium. Especially when considered for their proximity to a structural lineament that runs through both properties, the results show similarities to major Basin discoveries of high-grade uranium, the company states. With the two properties on the Basin’s north-central margin united as one project, Lakeland has additional field work planned for autumn. That leads up to a drill program slated to begin this winter, if not sooner.

Jody Dahrouge, president of Dahrouge Geological Consulting, told of geophysical data showing “a major regional structural lineament that’s about 30 or 40 kilometres in length, and it’s been reactivated many times over 100 million years or more. This is a key ingredient to every uranium deposit in the Athabasca Basin…. Having it reactivated time and time again allows multiple generations of fluid to flow along that structure and deposition of perhaps multiple ore bodies.”

He identified three mineralizing systems within five to 10 kilometres of the structure. The Star uplift, a basement outcrop about 700 metres by 350 metres, was the location of many of the samples showing gold and platinum group elements, along with some rare earths and low-grade uranium.

A massive alteration zone about a kilometre south had historic drill results up to 1,500 parts per million uranium. A few kilometres farther sits the boulder field that graded up to 4.28% U3O8. “Clearly something’s going on and clearly it’s related to the structure,” Dahrouge said.

With drill permits in place, road access from a nearby community, shallow depths, high ground that can be worked year-round and a healthy treasury, Lakeland now plans the next stage of an extensive exploration program for its flagship.

Read more about Lakeland’s Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 13 to 19, 2014

by Greg Klein

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NexGen ends season with high-grade assays from Rook 1

A summer of largely successful drilling has come to a close at NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) Rook 1 project. Patterson Lake South’s neighbour got 33 holes totalling 18,885 metres, with 24 of the holes focusing on the Arrow zone. Radiometric results for the final two holes, released September 17, confirm the 515-metre strike for a zone that’s 215 metres wide and open in all directions. At the same time NexGen released the season’s first batch of assays, which the company said confirms mineralization indicated by previously reported radiometrics.

The last two holes were sunk vertically 15 metres northeast and southwest from the project’s previously released “landmark.” One hole found intersections totalling 123.9 metres of mineralization (not true width), with the shallowest intercept starting at 328.15 metres in vertical depth. The other showed a composite total of 107.9 metres of mineralization starting at 186 metres in depth.

These results come from a hand-held device that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. They’re no substitute for assays, which have yet to come for most of the season’s holes.

But assays for six earlier holes also released September 17 correlate well with the previously reported radiometric results, NexGen stated. Some highlights include:

Hole RK-14-31

  • 0.13% U3O8 over 28.2 metres, starting at 292.5 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 13 to 19, 2014

  • 0.38% over 5.55 metres, starting at 618.1 metres

  • 0.29% over 3.9 metres, starting at 639.1 metres

  • 5.91% over 1.3 metres, starting at 650.8 metres

Hole RK-14-32

  • 0.17% over 7.6 metres, starting at 502.2 metres

  • 0.65% over 1.35 metres, starting at 514.3 metres

Hole RK-14-34

  • 0.12% over 96.75 metres, starting at 181.25 metres

  • 6.56% over 1.2 metres, starting at 540 metres

  • 0.12% over 3.7 metres, starting at 606.3 metres

  • 0.67% over 3.6 metres, starting at 621.9 metres

Hole RK-14-35

  • 0.21% over 2.85 metres, starting at 524.35 metres

  • 0.9% over 3.3 metres, starting at 600.55 metres

Hole RK-14-37

  • 0.1% over 7.5 metres, starting at 386.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 13.5 metres, starting at 401 metres

  • 1.08% over 18.25 metres, starting at 456.8 metres

  • 1.96% over 3.05 metres, starting at 482.4 metres

  • 2.66% over 0.65 metres, starting at 499.3 metres

  • 1.24% over 2 metres, starting at 505.45 metres

  • 1.31% over 11.85 metres, starting at 522.4 metres

  • 0.17% over 5.8 metres, starting at 541.2 metres

  • 5.35% over 4.6 metres, starting at 569.6 metres

Hole RK-14-39

  • 0.9% over 3.55 metres, starting at 540.7 metres

True widths were unavailable.

Thirty of 32 holes sunk on the Arrow zone over two seasons have shown mineralization. But not so with the project’s regional drilling, where five holes proved barren. The company still hopes they’ll show pathfinder elements.

Boasting a working capital of $6.5 million, NexGen’s now planning its winter campaign.

Uranium Energy Corp releases PEA for Anderson project

An Arizona project amenable to conventional mining and heap leach recovery would require low capital costs to produce a total of 16 million pounds of uranium over 14 years, according to a preliminary economic assessment announced September 16 by Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC.

Quoting all amounts in U.S. dollars, assuming a uranium price of $60 and using a 10% discount rate, the study calculated the Anderson project’s after-tax net present value at $76.4 million and the internal rate of return at 42%. With uranium at $65 a pound, the NPV comes to $101.1 million with a 50% IRR.

The initial capex comes to $43.9 million with an additional $8 million for four years of pre-production including development drilling, designing the mine and heap leach operation, as well as permitting. Another $87.6 million would be needed through years four to eight as the operation makes the transition from open pit to highwall and underground mining.

Heap leach recovery would produce a resin which would be processed at Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill in Utah.

The project has indicated resources showing 15.5 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent for an open pit and another 1.5 million pounds underground. The inferred resources have 2.5 million pounds eU3O8 in the pit and 9.5 million pounds underground.

Future studies will examine vanadium as a byproduct.

UEC operates the Palangana in-situ recovery mine, Hobson processing plant and advanced-stage Goliad and Burke Hollow projects in Texas. Last April the company completed a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. UEC holds over 20 projects in the western U.S. and two more in Paraguay.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 23rd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission widens main zone, plans more step-outs, arranges $12.5-million bought deal

Although infill drilling has been the priority for Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) summer program, two step-outs have widened Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, inspiring a 10-hole addition to the campaign. Radiometric results for nine holes released August 18 include one that extended the zone about 30 metres north and another 15 metres south. All nine holes returned wide mineralization, the company stated.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

R780E is the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west.

These results, which are no substitute for assays, come from a handheld scintillometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second. Last month Fission replaced its old model, which maxed out at 9,999 cps, with a new-fangled gadget capable of measuring up to 65,535 cps. But the company still refers to anything above four nines to be “off-scale.”

By that standard several intervals were well off-scale, with a few reaching past 60,000 cps.

Another innovation introduced last month is barge-based angled drilling, allowing a better understanding of the geometry of mineralization beneath the lake. Encouraged by the widening of R780E, Fission plans another 10 step-outs. That adds 4,700 metres to a summer agenda now expected to total 25,000 metres in 73 holes.

There seems to be little worry about paying for all that. On August 18 Fission announced a $12.52-million bought deal that’s expected to close around September 23. Roughly three months later comes the maiden resource’s due date.

Winter assays reported August 13 further boosted confidence in R780E, while a summer exploration hole released two days earlier showed interesting radiometric results 17 kilometres away. Read more.

NexGen steps out to widen Rook 1’s Arrow zone

If any company can compete with Fission’s top spot as the Athabasca Basin’s number one newsmaker, it might be next-door neighbour NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Four “aggressive” step-out holes have extended the company’s Rook 1 Arrow zone from 180 metres to 215 metres in width for a zone that’s 515 metres in strike and open in all directions. The northwest-southeast fence of drilling announced August 20 has also revealed “multiple sub-vertical stacked mineralized shear zones” increasing the company’s hopes of finding additional high-grade areas.

One of the five holes failed to find significant mineralization.

Like Fission’s August 18 news, the results come from scintillometer readings that don’t substitute for assays, which are pending.

So far 25 of 27 Arrow holes totalling 15,318 metres have shown mineralization. Another three holes at Area A, however, failed to find anomalous radioactivity. They tested an electromagnetic conductor that NexGen interprets to be PL-3B, which hosts the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources updates three projects, appoints uranium veteran to board

As a busy summer progresses, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK reported a new addition to its board and further work on one of the largest portfolios in and around the Basin. On August 20 the company announced the appointment of director Steven Khan, a veteran of Canadian investment and corporate governance with specific experience in raising funds and forging joint ventures for uranium companies. The next day Lakeland released a progress update for three of its projects.

The projects are Star, Lazy Edward Bay and Fond du Lac on the northern, southern and eastern margins of the Basin respectively. “That’s the shallowest depth—the depth to the unconformity becomes more shallow as you get closer to the Basin’s margin,” explains president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “At Gibbon’s Creek our target depths are between about 80 and 120 metres below surface. We hope the others will fall into that kind of range so we’ll be drilling 150- to 200-metre holes.”

At the Star property, crews from Dahrouge Geological Consulting have just wrapped up six days of sampling and mapping. They picked up some 73 rock samples and 124 soil samples around a basement outcrop that’s shown anomalous concentrations of gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as highly anomalous uranium. The combination suggests a strong hydrothermal system.

“Those are typical pathfinders for uranium in the Basin,” says Armes. “At Patterson Lake South they had gold grades running two or three grams. So with the first pass on our exploration program in late 2013 we had gold grades of four or five grams.”

Lakeland holds a 100% earn-in option on Star, which has year-round road access from the town of Stony Rapids a few kilometres away.

Now that permits have arrived, mobilization to Lazy Edward Bay should begin ASAP, he adds. Under initial scrutiny will be the BAY trend, actually two parallel conductive trends, which will undergo a RadonEx survey. Field crews will also search out boulders or other signs of unconformity-style mineralization.

“We have Lazy Edward drill targets already but a lot of them were defined by yesterday’s technology,” Armes explains. “We’ll use RadonEx and other work to re-interpret the historic data to better define targets.” In all, the property has six known trends.

Lakeland adviser Rick Kusmirski knows the property from his time as president/CEO of JNR Resources. “He dug up some historic data which is very helpful to identify areas to focus on. There’s some historic areas we want to re-visit.”

Also in line for RadonEx is Fond du Lac, initially targeting a coincident geochemical and conductive target. Geologist and Lakeland director Neil McCallum thinks historic work “missed it by a couple of hundred metres,” Armes says.

But while the summer activity continues, he also looks further ahead “from a treasury standpoint as well as our projects. We’re convinced that 2015 is going to see a significant move in uranium prices. If we ever re-visit 2006 and 2007 levels, when there were 50, 60, 70 juniors active, we hope to be ready and get as many drill programs going as possible through the joint venture and prospect generator model, along with any programs we focus on 100% ourselves.”

[Khan’s JV work with Sumitomo and Kepco] was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.—Steven Khan, director
of Lakeland Resources

Just one day before the exploration update, Lakeland announced Steven Khan’s appointment as director. His background includes key positions with uranium companies Energy Fuels TSX:EFR, Strathmore Minerals and Fission Uranium’s predecessor, Fission Energy. He helped found the latter company, holding the role of executive VP. Khan served as president/chairperson of Strathmore Minerals until last year’s takeover by Energy Fuels, where he stayed on as a director until recently.

Khan played an instrumental part in the negotiating team that brought Japan’s Sumitomo Corp into a JV on Strathmore’s Roca Honda project in New Mexico. He also helped bring the Korea Electric Power Corp into two other JVs, with Strathmore on the Gas Hills project in Wyoming and with Fission, leading to the Waterbury Lake discovery.

Khan has nearly 20 years of experience in all aspects of the Canadian investment industry, including fundraising for early-stage private and public companies.

A confluence of factors convinced him to join Lakeland, he says. “I’ve had a long-term relationship with some of the company’s principals and I’ve always been interested in returning to the Athabasca Basin arena after I left Fission Energy in 2010. Strathmore was more focused on the U.S., where I spent the last number of years. That combination of moving back to the Basin, working with a group of people I respect and seeing a number of properties that have potential presented an opportunity for me.”

He says his work with Sumitomo and Kepco “was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.”

Khan thinks Asian companies might revive their previous interest in early-stage explorers. “Before Fukushima they were attracted to earlier-stage projects like Fission had at the time, as well as more advanced projects like those of Strathmore in the U.S. When uranium prices come back I think they’ll be forced to return to earlier-stage projects because most of the advanced projects will have been tied up.”

As for uranium’s current price, “its resurgence has been muted and is taking longer than expected. But I think that in the medium to longer term, demand will certainly outstrip supply.”

“I’m quite excited about getting involved with the Lakeland team and I think the opportunity for the sector is attractive,” Khan emphasizes. “I think there’s going to be more Athabasca Basin discoveries and that bodes well for companies like Lakeland that are properly positioned and properly financed. So for me the timing is good and the interplay of several factors is favourable.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 10th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Paladin releases Labrador infill results, plans Q2 resource update

From Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt, Paladin Energy TSX:PDN announced winter infill drilling results on May 7. Thirteen holes sunk 3,871 metres into the Michelin deposit, with each hole finding mineralization and six revealing significant intervals, the company stated. The best results showed:

Hole M14-151

  • 0.109% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 10 metres, starting at 302 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

Paladin considers Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt “one of the
few remaining under-explored uranium districts globally.”

Hole M14-154

  • 0.14% over 15 metres, starting at 214 metres

  • 0.13% over 8 metres, starting at 256 metres

Hole M14-156

  • 0.095% over 12 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole M14-158

  • 0.096% over 16 metres, starting at 191 metres

Hole M14-162

  • 0.102% over 28 metres, starting at 348 metres

Hole M14-163

  • 0.114% over 9 metres, starting at 355 metres

Information about true widths wasn’t provided. The deposit remains open in both directions and at depth. On the agenda is a Q2 resource update in which Paladin hopes the last few years of drilling will boost confidence as well as produce a small size increase.

Michelin’s resource currently shows:

  • measured: 7.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 13.06 million pounds U3O8

  • indicated: 23 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 54.06 million pounds

  • inferred: 16 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 36.09 million pounds

Adding in five other deposits within 50 kilometres of a potential Michelin mill, the CMB project totals:

  • measured: 8.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 15.1 million pounds

  • indicated: 32 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 68.7 million pounds

  • inferred: 29.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 53 million pounds

Three kilometres south of Michelin, two holes totalling 561 metres failed to find depth extensions to the Rainbow deposit. But Paladin considers the Michelin-Rainbow trend highly prospective as a result of radiometric surveying, mapping, prospecting and some drilling. Interpretation of a 608-line-kilometre ground magnetic survey will help guide exploration in the Michelin vicinity. More drilling is planned for next winter.

Paladin holds interests in five other exploration projects in Australia and another in Niger. Last February, declining prices forced the company to place its Kayelekera mine in Malawi on care and maintenance. Paladin hopes to close the sale of a 25% interest in its Langer Heinrich flagship in Namibia in June.

Northwest Manitoba radon-in-water might be second only to PLS, MPVC says

Having reported results of a land-based radon survey last month, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO announced preliminary but optimistic findings from a radon-in-water survey at its Northwest Manitoba project on May 7. “To the author’s knowledge” only Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South has shown higher readings for a water-based survey, MPVC stated. More detailed analysis could change the results by about 10% either way.

Of the 1,399 samples from Maguire Lake, 41 showed results above 100 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), 14 went beyond 200 pCi/L, eight exceeded 300 pCi/L and four surpassed 400 pCi/L.

The readings extend linear trends identified in last month’s land-based survey results, MPVC added.

Still to come are results from a ground gravity survey to fill in areas missed by a 2012 survey. The area has also undergone an airborne magnetic/VLF/radiometric survey in 2006 and an airborne VTEM survey in 2007.

Among future work, the company plans to scan drill cuttings with a high-resolution gamma spectrometer system to “detect young uranium which is not radioactive and therefore not detectible with other field instruments…. The detection of anomalous young uranium, radon or lead 210 ascending along fractures would signal the presence of a uranium deposit at depth.” Drilling might descend as far as 1,000 metres in search of deeper deposits.

Previous prospecting in the area has found in-situ mineralization up to 9.5% U3O8 and boulders grading above 65%.

The company’s 80% option with CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV calls for $3.2 million worth of exploration on the 143,603-hectare project by 2015.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports initial Preston drill results

The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate announced preliminary results from seven holes totalling 1,571 metres on their Preston property’s Swoosh target May 6. Five holes showed elevated radioactivity measured by a handheld spectrometer and a downhole probe. The project’s best hole so far, PN14007, found 12 radioactive intervals, one of them 1,432 counts per second over 0.75 metres (not true width). The results are no substitute for assays, which are expected in early June.

The alliance consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

Six holes reached downhole depths between 200 and 350 metres while poor drilling conditions eliminated one hole. But all seven “intersected a broad, hydrothermally altered and reactivated structural zone,” the syndicate stated. The six-kilometre-long Swoosh was defined by gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, and surficial geochemical anomalies.

This month the companies plan at least one hole on each of two other targets, Fin and CHA. Swoosh is slated for additional field work and drilling later this year.

Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator on the 246,643-hectare Preston property, which the syndicate credits with 15 prospective targets.

Anfield collects Colorado claims

Anfield Resources TSXV:ARY has once again expanded its western U.S. turf with 239 unpatented mining claims on federal land in Colorado. As a result the company now “has access to mineral rights” on more than 7,082 hectares in historic uranium and vanadium districts in Colorado and Utah, according to the May 8 announcement.

Subject to approvals, Anfield gets the claims from Alamosa Mining Corp for 1.95 million shares and three years of payments totalling US$600,000.

The company previously announced Utah acquisitions in March and January. All the Utah and Colorado claims lie within a 193-kilometre radius of Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill. Anfield also holds claims in Arizona.

European Uranium refines portfolio sale, intends to pursue other assets

On May 9 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU announced that the planned sale of its entire portfolio has reached a share purchase agreement with Forte Energy that replaces the companies’ previous binding heads of agreement. As in the original deal, the ASX/AIM-listed company issues EUU 915.93 million shares, valued at $7.5 million, and pays EUU $1 million. The latter retains a 1% production royalty.

But the new arrangement calls for the shares to be issued in instalments to avoid breaching the Australia Takeovers Prohibition. On closing, EUU would get 19.9% of the shares with the rest following “from time to time.”

Nor will EUU distribute Forte shares to its own shareholders. Instead it will sell some of them over time to fund its operations. EUU stated the deal would provide initial funding to pursue options or acquisitions “in multiple commodities in the general European area.”

The Forte deal came together shortly after EUU’s planned merger with Portex Minerals CSE:PAX fell through. EUU’s portfolio consists of two Slovakian uranium projects.

The company closed a $100,000 private placement with Forte in mid-April.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 27th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 19 to 25, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium completes winter delineation, releases Patterson Lake South drill results

Delineation drilling, the focus of Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) winter 2014 Patterson Lake South program, has come to its seasonal end. While one rig worked outside the main mineralized area, four others sunk 82 infill holes, roughly 85% of the 30,000-metre campaign, since mid-January. As a result PLS now consists of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open at both east and west. Along with its April 24 announcement Fission Uranium released radiometric results for the last dozen holes. Two days earlier the company reported assays for nine others.

Ten of the 12 latest holes came from zone R780E, the third of the five east-west zones. With a total of 77 holes so far, R780E has about 855 metres in strike and up to about 95 metres in lateral width. Seven of the latest 10 holes showed substantial intercepts reaching the maximum possible reading of 9,999 counts per second on a hand-held scintillometer that measures radiation from drill core. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending for these holes.

R1620E, at the eastern extent and declared a new zone earlier this month after just one hole, now has a second which showed 38.5 metres (not true width) ranging from under 300 cps to 3,500 cps. Ironically for the discovery zone, R00E gave up just half a metre of 490 cps.

Assays released two days earlier included yet another PLS “best yet”—this time “the widest high-grade interval to date,” which helped PLS14-187 nearly equal a previously recorded best hole. This nine-hole batch marks the third set of assays, totalling 22 holes, for the winter campaign. Like the previous week’s dozen holes, all nine came from R780E. Some of the best results showed:

Hole PLS14-138

  • 0.2% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34 metres, starting at 73 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 19 to 25, 2014

  • 0.4% over 3.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

  • 1.04% over 17 metres, starting at 170 metres
  • (including 2.88% over 4.5 metres)


  • 0.15% over 30 metres, starting at 130 metres

  • 0.28% over 8.5 metres, starting at 199 metres


  • 0.1% over 19.5 metres, starting at 22.5 metres

  • 0.28% over 7.5 metres, starting at 254.5 metres


  • 0.13% over 27.5 metres, starting at 89.5 metres

  • 0.97% over 22.5 metres, starting at 132 metres
  • (including 2.24% over 7.5 metres)

  • 1.34% over 2.5 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.4% over 7.5 metres, starting at 203.5 metres

  • 0.22% over 8 metres, starting at 218 metres


  • 2.18% over 47 metres, starting at 132 metres
  • (including 4.3% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 14.27% over 2 metres)

  • 1.04% over 4 metres, starting at 237 metres
  • (including 3.64% over 1 metre)

  • 3.19% over 2 metres, starting at 254 metres


  • 0.15% over 28.5 metres, starting at 115 metres


  • 0.31% over 6 metres, starting at 125.5 metres

Best of the batch and second-best overall was PLS14-187:

  • 5.98% over 102.5 metres, starting at 63 metres
  • (including 27.2% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 12.93% over 10.5 metres)
  • (and including 14.12% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 16.92% over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 16.14% over 4.5 metres)

  • 2.59% over 9 metres, starting at 218.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided. “Mineralization is both located within and associated with a metasedimentary lithologic corridor, bounded to the south by the PL-3B basement electromagnetic conductor,” Fission Uranium added.

The $12-million winter agenda also calls for geophysics. And no, there’s still no word on when Fission Uranium might unveil its maiden resource.

Lakeland Resources acquisition expands Lazy Edward Bay project

Out of Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) portfolio of 16 uranium properties in and around the Athabasca Basin, Lazy Edward Bay has taken on greater prominence. A three-claim, 4,475-hectare acquisition announced April 24 expands the project to 26,375 hectares. The new turf also adds two conductive trends, giving Lazy Edward a total of six around the Basin’s southern margin.

Subject to TSXV approval, the 100% interest will cost Lakeland $5,000, 250,000 shares and a 2% gross revenue royalty.

Of the two additional conductive trends, the Ponderosa consists of two parallel graphitic trends, each about 2.5 kilometres long, Lakeland stated. Ground EM surveys and seven holes tested the trend in 1989, with more EM and another hole following in 2001.

The Jack trend extends from the original Lazy Edward property, tripling the trend to about 5.1 kilometres. In 2007 it underwent a ground fixed loop transient EM survey but hasn’t been drilled.

Historic work has sunk at least 53 holes on Lazy Edward’s six trends but, with each ranging between five and seven kilometres long, they remain under-explored. One hole on the Bay trend assayed 770 ppm uranium, along with anomalous pathfinder metals. Depths to the unconformity along the Basin’s southern edge range from zero to 350 metres.

“As a result of the historic and recent exploration on the property, all six trends are considered drill ready,” the company stated.

Among other projects in Lakeland’s portfolio is Gibbon’s Creek, a joint venture with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN that features surface boulders grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the highest radon readings ever measured in the Basin.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Aldrin reports initial findings from Triple M’s initial four holes

With drilling suspended by snowmelt, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN reported preliminary results from the first four holes on its PLS-adjacent Triple M property. All four “intersected alteration, structures and breccia zones within a metasedimentary rock succession including elevated radioactivity counts in a graphitic fault zone,” the company stated on April 22. Assays have yet to come.

With less than 25% of the planned 4,000-metre program complete, the quartet tested the Forrest Lake fault. Aldrin plans at least four more holes over the same fault “moving towards the most intense part of the basement conductive anomaly” before starting on the Anticline target.

Drilling could resume on the 12,000-hectare property in as little as two weeks, the company added.

NexGen adds to eastern Basin holdings

The size of the property wasn’t divulged. Nor was its name. But NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE announced an eastside Basin acquisition and option on April 25. Subject to approvals, NexGen gets a 75% interest in five claims by issuing Long Harbour Exploration TSXV:LHC shares worth $135,000. NexGen’s option on the other 25% would require additional shares worth $45,000. Value would be calculated by the volume-weighted average for five days before closing. The property remains subject to a 2% NSR and 2% gross overriding royalty. The claims lie “in close proximity” to NexGen’s Thorburn Lake property.

On April 22 the company implemented a shareholder rights plan.

Late last month NexGen wrapped up winter drilling at its southwestern Basin Rook 1 flagship by announcing radiometric results for the project’s best hole so far.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 22nd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Denison signs LOI to acquire International Enexco, finds new Wheeler River zone

The expansionist Denison Mines TSX:DML announced another potential acquisition with a letter of intent to take over one of its joint venture partners, International Enexco TSXV:IEC. The March 19 after-market announcement had Denison chairperson Lukas Lundin saying his company “continues to focus on becoming the pre-eminent exploration company in the Athabasca Basin.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

The acquisition of JV partner Enexco would give Denison full ownership
of Bachman Lake, one of the company’s priority projects.

The plan of arrangement would exchange each Enexco share for 0.26 of a Denison share plus an undetermined portion of a spinco or subsidiary that would hold Enexco’s assets outside the Basin.

The deal would have Enexco shareholders owning about 2.1% of Denison. The latter company already holds about 8.4% of Enexco, along with another 1.8 million warrants.

The LOI includes a non-solicitation covenant on the part of Enexco, while Denison has the right to match any superior proposal.

The two companies JV together on the 11,419-hectare Bachman Lake property four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Basin. Enexco holds a 20% interest. Operator Denison describes the project as one of the company’s highest priorities “due to its location in the southeast Athabasca Basin and the presence of strong conductors, graphitic basement and sandstone alteration.”

Mann Lake, another JV 20 klicks northeast, is held 30% by Enexco, 52.5% by Cameco and 17.5% by AREVA Resources Canada. The 3,407-hectare property lies on trend between Cameco’s Read Lake and Denison’s 60%-held Wheeler River projects.

In Nevada, Enexco’s 100%-held Contact copper project is currently working towards feasibility.

Denison’s most recent acquisition closed in January, after the company grabbed Rockgate Capital to thwart its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Rockgate’s directors initially characterized Denison’s manoeuvre as an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” As a result Denison gained the advanced-stage Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali. The company had said it intended to spin out its non-Athabasca projects.

Enexco valued the combined Denison/spinco offers at $0.64 for an Enexco share, a 63% premium over its March 19 close of $0.39, after having been trading between a 52-week low of $0.23 and a 52-week high of $0.48. But by March 21 close the stock had reached $0.53. With 47.79 million shares outstanding, the company had a market cap of $22.68 million.

Denison closed March 19 on $1.74 and March 21 on $1.72. With 484.68 million shares outstanding, its market cap came to $833.65 million.

One day after the LOI announcement, Denison’s Wheeler River JV returned to prominence with a high-grade hole from the newly found Gryphon zone, three kilometres northwest of the Phoenix deposit.

The one interval reported, from hole WR-556, showed:

  • 3.7% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 12.6 metres, starting at 691 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 9.7% over 4.6 metres)

True thickness was about 70%. The results come from a downhole radiometric probe which, although more accurate than a scintillometer, are no substitute for assays.

As project operator, Denison targeted two historic holes where it found “a basement wedge that has been faulted up into the sandstone and then encountered a large interval of graphitic basement, within which is a zone of alteration and mineralization 140 metres down-dip of the old drill holes.”

Gryphon’s mineralization lies “approximately 200 metres beneath the sub-Athabasca unconformity and is open in both strike directions and down-dip,” the company added.

In late February Denison released radiometric results for eight holes on the Phoenix deposit and briefly updated some other projects.

Fission Uranium merges two more zones at Patterson Lake South

Back on the subject of M&A, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU might be considered an acquisition waiting to happen. On March 17, for the second time in less than two weeks, the company said it merged two zones at Patterson Lake South, evidently part of its ambition to demonstrate one big deposit before the company gets swallowed by a bigger fish.

Radiometric results closed an approximately 60-metre gap, joining zone R585E to its former neighbour to the west, R390E. The project now has five zones, three of them high-grade, along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike. The $12-million winter program’s primary goal is to delete the word “potential.”

The news followed a March 5 announcement that drilling had merged two other zones into R780E and a March 10 announcement of the project’s second-strongest radiometric results. Of eight holes released March 17, five showed intervals of 9,999 counts per second, the highest possible reading on the hand-held scintillometer that measures radioactivity from drill core. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Maximum readings for three holes showed composites of 15.25 metres, 7.14 metres and 5.85 metres. Of all mineralized intercepts, the interval closest to surface began at 60 metres in downhole depth, while the deepest stopped at 373 metres.

Of the three high-grade zones, R00E shows a 165-metre strike and lateral width up to about 45 metres. About 135 metres east, the newly expanded R390E has an approximately 390-metre strike and lateral width up to about 50 metres. About 75 metres east again, R780E shows an approximately 300-metre strike and lateral width up to about 95 metres.

Two additional zones, R1155E and R600W, sit at the eastern and western ends of the 1.78-kilometre stretch.

Fission Uranium has four drills trying to connect the high-grade zones and a fifth exploring outside the mineralized area just south of the Basin.

Lakeland/Declan JV announces Gibbon’s Creek plans, Lakeland closes oversubscribed $2.83-million financing

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

Boulder samples at the Lakeland/Declan Gibbon’s Creek JV assayed up to 4.28% U3O8, while radon measurements returned some of the Basin’s highest results.

One day after announcing imminent exploration plans for its Gibbon’s Creek project, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK closed an oversubscribed private placement for $2.83 million. With JV partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN spending a first-year commitment of $1.25 million on their Gibbon’s flagship, Lakeland can now turn to its 14 other Basin projects.

Gibbon’s is about to get a ground electromagnetic survey to confirm historic work prior to an anticipated drill program of up to 15 shallow holes totalling 2,500 metres. Results released in January from the 12,771-hectare project showed some of the highest radon gas levels ever measured in the Basin, along with surface boulders grading up to 4.28% U3O8. The property is about a 10-minute drive from the northern Basin town of Stony Rapids.

Lakeland’s other properties dot the northern, eastern and southern sections of the Basin.

“Several of our projects are at that stage where we just need to do line-cutting, resistivity and RadonEx to identify drill targets,” president/CEO Jonathan Armes told “But with all these projects, we know we can’t do them all. We’ll continue to develop other joint venture possibilities, while at the same time compiling data on the projects to identify those we want to focus on.”

Read more about Gibbon’s Creek and Lakeland’s 15-property Basin portfolio.

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