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Posts tagged ‘AREVA (ARVCF)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 19th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 12 to 18, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission upgrade R780E zone; final barge drilling shows zones open in all directions

Actual lab assays, not scintillometer readings, show the best results so far from Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, giving it high-grade status similar to the R390E zone. Announced by 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW on October 17, some highlights from hole PLS13-080 include:

  • 6.93% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 43 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 26.73% over 2 metres)
  • (and including 15.63% over 14 metres)

  • 0.28% over 5 metres, starting at 175.5 metres

  • 0.48% over 6 metres, starting at 236.5 metres

  • 1.98% over 2.5 metres, starting at 245 metres

  • 0.16% over 11 metres, starting at 290 metres
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 12 to 18, 2013

Alpha Minerals VP of exploration
Garrett Ainsworth surveys a PLS core shack.

True widths weren’t available. The hole reached a total depth of 347 metres, encountering basement bedrock at 54 metres. At an 89-degree dip, downhole depths are close to vertical.

One day earlier the JV reported more scintillometer results, largely the stock in trade of this campaign’s announcements, for the final 10 holes drilled from barges. The hand-held device measures drill core for gamma radiation up to an off-scale reading over 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

The two companies didn’t always report results the same way. Some highlights from Alpha’s chart include:

R390E zone, hole PLS13-104

  • <300 to <9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 98 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 131 metres

R780E zone

Hole PLS13-097

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 49.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

  • 340 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 228.5 metres

Hole PLS13-101

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 17 metres, starting at 179 metres

Hole PLS13-105

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 18.5 metres, starting at 113 metres

Hole PLS13-107

  • <300 to 8,400 cps over 24.5 metres, starting at 138.5 metres

Hole PLS13-108

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 20 metres, starting at 152 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 21 metres, starting at 174.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 6.5 metres, starting at 228 metres

Hole PLS13-109

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 105.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 34 metres, starting at 136 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 15 metres, starting at 197 metres

Again, true widths were unavailable. Dips ranged from -85 to -89 degrees.

Alpha noted that the five zones remain open in all directions and continuity is possible between some or all of the “zones.”

The quotation marks might reflect Alpha’s previous doubt that a fifth zone had been confirmed. But elsewhere in the company’s October 16 news release Alpha refers unequivocally to five zones.

Now Fission’s the more cautious partner. Two additional holes stepped out 195 metres grid east of the most easterly zone, R945E. Although mineralization wasn’t strong, Alpha said the results extend the PLS trend by 210 metres to 1.23 kilometres. Fission, on the other hand, said the holes may extend the strike at least 200 metres. Presumably these little differences will be forgotten once Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha, which might take place in November.

Meanwhile the recently extended campaign continues with 11 land-based holes, totalling 3,700 metres, west of the lake.

NexGen finds three mineralized holes at Rook 1, plans winter drilling

With Rook 1’s Phase I now complete, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported probe results for three of 12 widely spaced holes on October 16. Like the scintillometer, the downhole probe measures gamma radiation in counts per second while assays are pending. Some highlights include:

Hole RK-13-03

  • 350 to 508 cps over 0.8 metres, starting at 131.9 metres in downhole depth

  • 345 to 1,143 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 149.9 metres

Hole RK-13-05

  • 380 to 4,379 cps over 2.7 metres, starting at 215.7 metres

  • 347 to 1,771 cps over 1.7 metres, starting at 219.2 metres

Hole RK-13-06

  • 481 to 2,297 cps over 2.1 metres, starting at 151.8 metres

True widths weren’t available. The three holes targeted three parallel conductors, one of them interpreted to be the same conductor hosting the PLS discoveries 2.1 kilometres southwest.

NexGen plans “a significantly large” winter drill campaign near the mineralized holes and on targets identified by geophysics.

The company’s portfolio includes a 70% option on the northeastern Athabasca Basin Radio project two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits. Assays are pending from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre program, which wrapped up in July.

Kivalliq to buy Nunavut uranium project in $275,000 deal

On the southern boundary of Nunavut’s Baker Lake Basin, Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV will acquire a 93,991-hectare property from Pacific Ridge Exploration TSXV:PEX. Subject to approvals, the deal has Kivalliq paying $55,000 to Pacific Ridge, issuing the company 600,000 shares at a deemed price of $0.25 and investing $70,000 by purchasing 1.4 million Pacific Ridge units at $0.05. Each unit would consist of one share and one-half warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable at $0.10 for a year, Kivalliq announced October 15.

The 100% acquisition doesn’t include any diamonds found on the property.

Previous work on the Baker Basin project included $7.1 million of exploration in 2006 and 2007. Among the results were:

KZ zone

  • 0.31% U3O8 over 11.5 metres, starting at 79.5 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 0.56% over 5.5 metres)

  • 0.27% over 5.8 metres, starting at 36 metres

True widths were unknown.

Lucky 7 zone

  • 0.3% over 17.3 metres, starting at 232.2 metres

  • (including 0.51% over 9 metres)

True widths were estimated between 50% and 70% of intercepts.

Four zones haven’t been fully evaluated, according to Kivalliq. The company plans to compile project data before planning additional work. The property lies 60 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake.

About 165 kilometres farther south, Kivalliq’s 137,699-hectare Angilak project has inferred resources of 43.3 million pounds U3O8, 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper. The company reported new geochemical and metallurgical results in September.

Pacific Ridge focuses on projects in the Yukon’s White Gold and Klondike districts.

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5,000 march against French uranium miner in Niger

October 15th, 2013

by Frik Els | October 12, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

Thousand of protestors marched against French uranium miner AREVA in the remote town of Arlit in Niger on October 12.

AREVA has been operating in Niger for more than 50 years with two currently producing sites, Somair and Cominak, and its long-term deal with the government of Niger is up for renegotiation at the end of 2013.

5,000 march against French uranium miner in Niger

The roughly 5,000 protesters in Arlit were out in support of a Niger government audit to determine how to better distribute revenues from the two mines, Reuters reports:

“We’re showing AREVA that we are fed up and we’re demonstrating our support for the government in the contract renewal negotiations,” Azaoua Mamane, an Arlit civil society spokesman, said in an interview with a private radio station.

“We don’t have enough drinking water while the company pumps 20 million cubic metres of water each year for free. The government must negotiate a win-win partnership,” Mamane said.

The two mines together produce 4,500 tonnes of uranium for export to France. Another project at Imouraren, which will be the largest uranium mine in Africa, is set to start operations in 2015.

The Somair mine was back to full production in August, after a suicide attack in May killed one worker and injured 14.

Prices for uranium are languishing at eight-year lows of $34 a pound and have not recovered since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan despite more than 70 reactors being built around the world, 29 of them in China.

Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 12th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 5 to 11, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission expand summer drilling, lengthen strike by 15 metres

Having mostly conducted barge drilling east of their Patterson Lake South discovery, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW now plan to head west with a $2.25-million, 11-hole, 3,700-metre, land-based expansion to their current campaign. The 50/50 joint venture partners will take advantage of their buoyant financing as lake conditions change with the season.

Previous drilling on the area between 360 and 860 metres west of the R00E zone showed clay alteration, anomalous radioactivity and elevated uranium results, according to the companies’ October 7 announcements. The area has also undergone electromagnetic and DC resistivity mapping, as well as a more recent RadonEx survey. The latter found anomalous radon levels north of the PL-3B EM conductor, an intriguing find since R00E zone mineralization has been situated consistently north of the same conductor.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 5 to 11, 2013

A successful summer of exploration and financing motivated Alpha
and Fission to expand their current Patterson Lake South campaign.

In total, the expansion brings the PLS summer budget to $9.2 million, with 49 holes totalling 14,700 metres.

Two days after that announcement, the JV reported results from the opposite side of PLS, the eastern-most hole of the eastern-most zone. And while finding new superlatives for the project can’t always be easy, the partners aren’t without inspiration. This time they say scintillometer readings show “the largest accumulation of mineralized intervals in any drill hole at PLS to date.”

The results come from a hand-held device that measures drill core gamma ray particles in counts per second up to a maximum off-scale reading of over 9,999 cps. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Drilled to a total depth of 368 metres, PLS13-099 found the basement unconformity at 59.8 metres without encountering sandstone. The results show:

  • <300 to 640 cps over 4.5 metres, starting at 101 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 105 metres, starting at 108.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 30.5 metres, starting at 222.5 metres

  • 500 to >9,999 cps over 1 metre, starting at 256.5 metres

  • <300 to 1,000 cps over 3 metres, starting at 278 metres

True widths weren’t available. With a dip of -88 degrees, downhole depths are close to vertical.

This is the fourth of four holes sunk so far in zone R945E, which parallels the PL-3B conductor and coincides with the project’s strongest radon-in-water anomaly. The hole extends the strike length by 15 metres to 1.035 kilometres.

Fission acts as project operator. The company expects to close its acquisition of Alpha as early as November 2013.

Forsys updates Namibian resources

Forsys Metals’ TSX:FSY Norasa project in Namibia moved closer to production with a resource update announced October 7. The news release provided separate cutoff grades of 0.01% for the Valencia deposit and 0.016% for the Namibplaas deposit, but combined the tonnage and contained pounds for both deposits. The resource shows:

  • a measured category of 17 million tonnes averaging 0.02% for 7 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • an indicated category of 221 million tonnes averaging 0.019% for 96 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 50 million tonnes averaging 0.019% for 22 million pounds

Both deposits remain open along strike and at depth, the company stated.

The project has a reserve estimate scheduled for Q1 2014 release and feasibility for Q3. Assuming positive results, funding and other hurdles are cleared, the company hopes to begin construction late next year and start commercial open pit production in Q2 2016.

Fission/Azincourt find eight-kilometre conductive trend, announce plans for PLN

Along with JV partner Fission, Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ announced airborne VTEM results from their PLS-adjacent Patterson Lake North project on October 8. Conductive basement rocks trending north-south for eight kilometres on the property’s northern section represent “the possible extension of the Saskatoon Lake Conductor system which hosts the Shea Creek uranium deposits,” the companies stated. Additional data is now being gathered through a ground magnetotelluric survey.

Still to come is a ground EM survey for the central part of the property to target a conductive metasedimentary belt that coincides with a structural offset at the unconformity. On the project’s southern area, another ground EM survey will follow up on a prospective trend parallel to the PLS discovery. The team has also collected 16 outcrop and 56 soil samples, and re-logged historic core.

Winter drilling will include eight to 10 holes totalling 2,500 to 3,000 metres. Fission acts as project operator with Azincourt earning a 50% interest. Highway 955 bisects the 27,408-hectare property.

Purepoint plans Hook Lake winter drill campaign

Following up on last winter’s drilling, Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU plans to sink more Hook Lake holes, focusing on the same conductive trend that hosts the PLS discovery about five kilometres away. EM surveying has identified three prospective structural corridors, each with multiple conductors, Purepoint added. The program will consist of about 5,000 metres with a $2.5-million budget, according to an October 8 announcement. But it wasn’t clear whether those numbers include previous work.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in Hook Lake. JV partners Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada each hold 39.5%. Purepoint has interests in 10 other active Athabasca Basin projects, the company states.

Aldrin to acquire 49,275-hectare Basin property, offers $1-million private placement

Under an agreement announced October 8, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN will buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property, three contiguous blocks around the Basin’s south-central rim. One of them sits adjacent to Cameco’s Centennial property. The deal has Aldrin paying $75,000 and issuing a total of five million shares to four vendors who retain a 3% NSR or, should the property produce diamonds, a 3% gross overriding royalty on the gems. A similar diamond provision was part of Aldrin’s 70% PLS-adjacent Triple M acquisition from the same vendors last April.

Aldrin also announced a private placement offering up to 10 million units at $0.10 for gross proceeds of $1 million. Each unit consists of one share and one warrant exercisable at $0.20 for a year. Proceeds will go to Triple M exploration and general working capital.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 11th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Athabasca Syndicate begins PLS-area fieldwork ahead of schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate.

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France’s AREVA running at full capacity after May suicide attack

August 8th, 2013

by Ana Komnenic | August 7, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

France’s uranium miner AREVA has resumed operations at its Somair mine in Niger after a suicide attack in May killed one worker and injured 14.

France’s AREVA running at full capacity after May suicide attack

Somair is running at full capacity two months ahead of schedule, Olivier Wantz, a manager at AREVA, told France’s L’Express.

Production had not been completely interrupted after the incident. Extraction resumed one day after the attack and one of two processing lines was back in order by mid-June. On Wednesday the second line was back in business.

In 2012, Somair reported production of 3,000 tonnes of uranium, which amounts to about two-thirds of the country’s output, Mining Weekly reports.

AREVA has been operating in Niger for more than 40 years with two sites, Somair and Cominak, currently producing. Another project is set to begin extracting in 2015.

Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

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 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 15 to 21, 2013

by Greg Klein

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NexGen drills Radio, prepares for Rook 1 geophysics

No longer virgin territory, NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE eastside Athabasca Basin Radio property is now undergoing its first-ever drill program. In a June 20 release, the company said a 4,000-metre campaign had begun on its flagship project adjacent to and about two kilometres on trend from Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit, which hosts 17.2 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) indicated and 40.7 million pounds inferred.

The program will test interpreted geophysical anomalies along strike with the Roughrider deposits through the interpreted shear zone towards Radio’s centre, NexGen stated. Drilling began three weeks ahead of schedule and, depending on ground conditions, could continue to late July. NexGen holds a 70% earn-in on the 847-hectare property, with an option to earn the other 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Also on NexGen’s agenda is a soon-to-begin DC resistivity survey on the southern part of Rook 1, adjacent to the northeast of, and along strike with, the Patterson Lake South project of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU. Repeated high-grade, near-surface results from the 50/50 joint venture drew other explorers into the PLS area near the Basin’s southwestern rim. NexGen’s survey is intended to identify targets for a 1,500-metre program planned to begin in August.

Two conductive anomalies found on Aldrin Resource’s Triple M

At another project adjacent to PLS, ongoing airborne geophysics have so far found two conductive anomalies on Aldrin Resource’s TSXV:ALN Triple M property. In a June 18 announcement, the company interpreted the anomalies as “parallel basement conductive trends analogous to conductors associated with” the Fission/Alpha discovery.

Triple M’s conductive trends are two kilometres and 3.5 kilometres long. The latter “closely parallels a magnetic linear suggesting a basement fault and has localized anomalous conductivity along the entire trend. The two-kilometre conductor trend has sharp magnetic contacts flanking the strong conductive centre,” Aldrin stated. Similar features are found at PLS and most of the Basin’s high-grade uranium mineralization, the company added.

The VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey continues, a joint operation that’s flying contiguous PLS-area properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, 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.

On June 12 Aldrin announced it was adding infill lines to increase the resolution of its survey from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing. The company holds a 70% option on the 12,001-hectare Triple M property.

Fission plans summer program for North Shore property in Alberta

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

On the Alberta side of the Basin, Fission Uranium’s North Shore
property has a summer program that includes geophysics,
prospecting and radon surveys.

Saying “there are still many underexplored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” Fission announced plans for its North Shore property on June 17. Located in Alberta on the Basin’s northwestern edge, the project was waiting completion of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, a provincial environmental and land use study. This summer’s program now includes a high-resolution airborne radiometric survey as well as ground prospecting, geophysics and radon surveys.

The 55,160-hectare property features several anomalous uranium showings in boulders and outcrop, including sandstone boulders grading up to 1.39% U3O8, the company stated.

Lakeland appoints David Hodge and Ryan Fletcher directors

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced two appointments to its board of directors June 21. With over 17 years’ experience managing and financing publicly traded companies, David Hodge is president of project generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC and a director of Western Potash TSX:WPX, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE and Pasinex Resources CNSX:PSE. His approach emphasizes team-building, consultation and leadership, as well as a reliance on expert advice.

Ryan Fletcher serves as president/CEO/director of Montan Capital TSXV:MO.P and as a director of Zimtu. He’s been responsible for identifying and sourcing projects, structuring companies and investments, raising capital, business development and marketing.

The newcomers replace Robert Duess and Daniel Wilson, whom Lakeland thanked for their contributions. The company holds nine Basin properties totalling over 100,000 hectares.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 8th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 1 to 7, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Final assays wrap up rewarding winter at Patterson Lake South

In a sense, the project’s been making history all along. But Patterson Lake South’s winter drill program is now history in another sense, with assays reported for 17 final holes. Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released the results June 5, with the latter company’s president/CEO Ross McElroy calling the campaign “one of the most impressive uranium exploration programs I’ve ever seen or been a part of,” citing “huge intersections and high grades.” He forgot to mention near-surface depths.

Fifteen holes represent closely spaced infill drilling in the project’s three zones. Here are some highlights.

R00E zone

  • 4.63% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6 metres, starting at 61.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 6.86% over 4 metres)
  • 0.12% over 2.5 metres, starting at 51 metres
  • 0.36% over 1.5 metres, starting at 52 metres.

R390E zone

  • 1.15% over 63.5 metres, starting at 82 metres
  • (including 9.51% over 2 metres)
  • 1.39% over 23.5 metres, starting at 110 metres
  • (including 4.34% over 6 metres)
  • 0.26% over 21 metres, starting at 77 metres
  • (including 0.75% over 5 metres)
  • 0.43% over 10.5 metres, starting at 125.5 metres
  • (including 1.37% over 2 metres).

R780E zone

  • 1.22% over 7 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 3% over 2.5 metres)
  • 0.57% over 10 metres, starting at 166 metres
  • (including 1.87% over 2.5 metres)
  • 0.2% over 15.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • 0.4% over 4.5 metres, starting at 109.5 metres.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 1 to 7

True widths weren’t provided. Two additional holes tested regional targets but failed to find significant mineralization. The 50/50 joint venture partners claim an 82% drill strike rate that discovered two new zones as well as expanding the R00E zone.

Drilling’s scheduled to resume in early July, fuelled by a $6.95-million budget. Fission remains project operator until April 2014, when Alpha resumes the role.

Fission stakes new ground, says “still many underexplored areas” in Basin

Having helped bring fame to the area in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim, Fission’s also looking at the Basin’s northwest and northeast. That’s where the company staked three properties announced in a June 3 news release.

On the Basin’s north-central edge, the 15,373-hectare Beaver River property “includes most of the known electro-magnetic conductors in the area,” the company stated. Surface samples have shown grades of 3.66%, 3.37% and 2.93% U3O8.

Fifteen kilometres west of Uranium City, in an area steeped in mining history, the 1,188-hectare Thompson Lake has provided grab samples of 2.23% and 0.11% U3O8.

At 2,941 hectares, Manitou Falls has six radiometric anomalies and multiple conductors identified in historic data.

Fission has Beaver River slated for summer fieldwork to determine winter drill targets.

Forum, NexGen hit 39.5 metres of 0.152% at NW Athabasca

Another JV with drill results, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE released more assays from their Northwest Athabasca project on June 5. The holes tested the Otis West zone, immediately south of historic Maurice Bay, which has a non-43-101 deposit of 680 tonnes averaging 0.6% U3O8.

Assay highlights show:

  • 0.152% U3O8 over 39.5 metres, starting at 131 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.211% over 24.5 metres)
  • 0.166% over 3.5 metres, starting at 125.5 metres
  • 0.243% over 0.5 metres, starting at 96.8 metres
  • 0.185% over 0.5 metres, starting at 101.5 metres.

True widths weren’t available. Mineralization remains open at depth and to the east, with future drilling planned to follow the Otis fault, parallel to the Maurice Bay fault, eastward. The companies added, “This is the fourth target drilled on the property that has intersected basement-hosted uranium mineralization typical of uranium deposits in the western Athabasca Basin such as Patterson Lake South, Cluff Lake and Shea Creek.”

The partners are earning 30% each of the project from Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO 87.5%. AREVA Resources Canada holds the remaining 12.5%. Forum acts as project operator.

Forum issues options

The same day Forum also reported that it granted insiders options on a total of 800,000 shares at $0.40 for five years.

Skyharbour appoints Jordan Trimble president/CEO/director, looks for fourth JV partner

A June 5 dispatch from Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH announced Jordan Trimble’s appointment as president, CEO and board member. James Pettit is now board chairman. Donald Huston has resigned as president/CEO but remains a director.

Trimble holds a bachelor of science with a minor in commerce, is a 2013 Level II CFA candidate and has completed the Canadian Securities Course and Technical Analysis Course offered through the Canadian Securities Institute, as well as several courses in geology, exploration and mining. In his work with numerous TSXV-listed companies he has specialized in corporate finance and strategy, shareholder communications, marketing, structuring deals and raising capital.

Trimble was heavily involved in Skyharbour’s decision to move into the Basin after considering other properties around the world. “The strategy was quite simple,” he says. “It was to go in there as early and as cheaply as we could, accumulate a large land position and employ this joint venture model to fund exploration and also create synergies with the partner companies. With our geological team I staked the first 100,000-acre land package and thereafter we acquired the other 300,000 acres that culminated in the total package.”

Having brought on Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX to earn 25% each of the properties, Skyharbour is now looking for a fourth company. “With risk spread across four companies, four very capable technical teams, some really bright geologists, a methodology similar to what worked for Fission and Alpha, and this large land package, we can improve the chances of finding the next big discovery,” Trimble says. “We’re still working towards a final syndicate and JV structure and should have everything done within the next month or two.”

Skyharbour is currently taking part in a group airborne geophysical survey of PLS-area properties with Forum, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC.

Lakeland picks up four properties, drops eight others

Reinforcing its reputation as a “pure play uranium exploration company” focused on the Basin, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced four more acquisitions on June 5.

Among the company’s first priorities are two optioned properties untested by modern exploration techniques. The 211-hectare South Pine project sits adjacent to Lakeland’s Riou Lake property in the northern Basin. Pre-1982 work found a 2.5-kilometre basement conductor and non-43-101 drill results up to 0.15% U3O8 over 0.13 metres immediately above the unconformity. In the northeastern Basin, the 1,681-hectare Perch Lake property hosts a four-kilometre basement conductive trend and an unexplained uranium radiometric anomaly, the company stated.

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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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Aspirations and energy

May 28th, 2013

Chris Berry discusses emerging economies, uranium and the Athabasca Basin at WRIC 2013

by Greg Klein

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It’s through his work with House Mountain Partners that Chris Berry came to his niche, energy metals. His presentations and Morning Notes articles show fascination with the interplay of macro-economic forces, geo-politics and the natural resource sector, “especially the junior mining natural resource sector because that’s where we see so much wealth-generation and wealth-creating opportunity, the current market notwithstanding.” On May 26 he focused on uranium, its growing demand and jurisdictional risk at Vancouver’s World Resource Investment Conference 2013.

Chris Berry: I think uranium is, across the entire commodity complex, one of the only true contrarian plays I see out there.

Chris Berry: “I think uranium is, across the entire commodity complex, one of the only true contrarian plays I see out there.”

Berry sees two opposing global forces putting the West at a disadvantage to the East, but not without potential for Western companies and their investors. He describes Western economies as “treading water” with sagging employment, industrial production, purchasing power, capital utilization and GDP growth. If the “largesse” of money-printing ended, “you would essentially pull the rug out from under these industrialized economies.”

Contrast that with the emerging economies, not just Brazil, Russia, India and China, but also countries like Indonesia and Colombia. Their middle classes keep growing. Even so, they’re increasingly aware that their standard of living doesn’t compare to that of the developed world. Essential to their aspirations is cheap, reliable energy, Berry maintains. That makes a “long-term case for commodity demand, in particular energy metals.”

As he explains, there’s “hundreds of millions, if not billions of people who live at say 10% to 20% of our quality of life and they want what we have. They want iPads, they want iPods, they want refrigerators… that implies infinite demand for finite resources. I’m not going to tell you that all trees grow to the sky and copper’s going to go to $9 a pound and lithium’s going to go to the roof. That’s not how markets work.”

But the world’s witnessing a phenomenon “that we call convergence. Emerging countries understand what we have and how we got there and they’re tailoring their economies to join us.”

That leads him to “four metals that I’m focusing on right now—scandium, cobalt, tungsten and uranium.” He emphasized the latter. “I think uranium is, across the entire commodity complex, one of the only true contrarian plays I see out there.”

Media coverage following Fukushima, however, has “clouded the longer-term issue.”

The very considerable nuclear infrastructure already in place provides very considerable incentive to maintain existing capacity. “Decommissioning any of these reactors comes at a very steep cost,” Berry explains. Citing info from the Nuclear Energy Institute, he said decommissioning can take years and could cost up to $1 billion per reactor. With about 436 reactors in operation, he asks whether governments and taxpayers would foot the bill to shut them down and build wind, solar or natural gas infrastructure instead.

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