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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 7th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 31 to June 6, 2014

by Greg Klein

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NexGen assays improve on radiometric results from Rook 1’s Arrow

Where previous radiometric results found uranium mineralization in seven of eight holes, the Arrow zone at NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) Rook 1 project now shows mineralization in all eight, according to assays released June 2. The company interprets the results to reveal “multiple parallel, steeply dipping, high-grade uranium mineralization zones within broader mineralized zones” and “continuity of uranium mineralization between holes.” The best results include:

Hole RK-14-30

  • 2.94% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 475 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5.81% over 2.6 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 31 to June 6, 2014

  • 2.51% over 10 metres, starting at 508 metres
  • (including 5.84% over 0.5 metres)
  • (and including 10.26% over 1.7 metres)

  • 1.51% over 4.9 metres, starting at 549.4 metres
  • (including 12.5% over 0.4 metres)

  • 1.61% over 8.4 metres, starting at 570.6 metres
  • (including 8.57% over 0.25 metres)
  • (and including 11.6% over 0.35 metres)
  • (and including 5.1% over 0.3 metres)

Hole RK-14-27

  • 1.04% over 29 metres, starting at 235 metres
  • (including 23.5% over 0.4 metres)
  • (and including 9.42% over 1.1 metres)

Hole RK-14-21

  • 0.37% over 5.75 metres, starting at 517.25 metres
  • (including 5.77% over 0.25 metres)

True widths weren’t provided.

Some of the intercepts showed “very minor” intervals of elevated copper and lead but “potentially deleterious elements such as arsenic, selenium, cadmium and mercury generally constitute only background levels,” NexGen stated. “Arrow is essentially a mono-mineralic uranium deposit without noticeable deleterious metals or waste.”

Winter drilling at Rook 1 consisted of 17 holes totalling 7,442 metres but February’s Arrow discovery suddenly shifted focus to the new area. Arrow’s potential strike currently reaches about 215 metres, open in all directions and at depth, NexGen has stated. More drilling’s planned for summer on the property adjacently east of Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Denison releases two high-grade Wheeler River assays, outlines summer plans

Also improving on previous radiometric results—and not for the first time at that project—Denison Mines TSX:DML released assays for two holes at Wheeler River’s new Gryphon zone on June 3:

Hole WR-556

  • 15.3% U3O8 over 4 metres, starting at 697.5 metres in downhole depth

Hole WR-560

  • 21.2% over 4.5 metres, starting at 759 metres

True widths were estimated at about 75%. The zone remains open in both strike directions and at depth, Denison stated.

In April the company released a batch of high-grade assays from Zone A of Wheeler’s Phoenix deposit, three kilometres southeast of Gryphon. A Phoenix resource is expected this month. But summer drilling will concentrate on Gryphon, which is slated for an 18-hole, 14,000-metre program. “Most of the drilling will consist of 50-metre step-outs along strike and down dip of the new discovery,” Denison stated. “Some of the holes will also complete drill fences 800 metres along strike to the northeast and southwest of Gryphon.” Work begins in mid-June.

With a 60% interest in the project, Denison acts as operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% while JCU (Canada) Exploration holds the remainder.

Drills will also turn at three other Denison interests this summer. Crawford Lake and Bachman Lake, two more Denison-operated projects, get follow-up work on alteration zones found last year and on anomalies revealed by last winter’s geophysics. Denison holds 100% of Crawford and 80% of Bachman, where International Enexco TSXV:IEC holds the rest.

On June 4 Enexco security holders approved their company’s takeover by Denison.

Exploration drilling at the McClean Lake project will test geophysical anomalies near the McClean South deposit. McClean Lake is held 22.5% by Denison, 70% by project operator AREVA Resources Canada and 7.5% by OURD Canada. In all, the four properties get about 21,000 metres of drilling.

Additionally, Denison has geophysics planned for five properties.

Last month the company announced a $15-million budget for Canadian exploration focusing on the eastern Athabasca Basin.

UEX reports drill results from Laurie and Mirror River JV

UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced drill results from its Laurie and Mirror River projects on June 5. Joint venture partner AREVA Resources Canada acts as operator on both, located about 35 and 55 kilometres respectively east of PLS.

Five holes totalling 1,803 metres at Laurie failed to find significant radioactivity or geochemical values. But they did confirm existence of three conductors at the unconformity and found a large fault zone which will be tested for possible up-dip continuation at the unconformity.

Nor was significant radioactivity encountered in three Mirror River holes totalling 1,579 metres, although one of two conductors was confirmed.

However the projects “remain vastly underexplored and have extensive untested EM conductors that warrant additional drilling,” UEX stated.

Another western Basin project, Erica now undergoes a ground tensor magneto-telluric survey to further examine a conductive trend found by previous geophysics.

All three projects are part of a seven-property, 116,137-hectare western Basin JV package held 49.1%/50.9% by UEX and AREVA Resources Canada. Major UEX projects consist of Shea Creek and Hidden Bay, the former also held 49.1%/50.9% with AREVA, the latter held 100% by UEX. In April the company reported six holes from Black Lake, a JV with Uracan Resources TSXV:URC.

On June 6 UEX announced shareholders re-elected their board and approved management resolutions.

Pistol Bay announces winter drill results from C-5

On June 4 Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST released assays for two of six holes from last winter’s 3,344-metre campaign at the C-5 property, where Rio Tinto Canada Uranium Corp acts as operator. Results for hole 14CBK003 showed:

  • 0.054% U3O8 over 1.5 metres, starting at 366 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.071% over 0.5 metres)

Located 50 metres northeast and along strike, 14CBK005 showed:

  • 0.041% over 0.32 metres, starting at 379.82 metres

  • 0.022% over 1 metre, starting at 385 metres

True widths weren’t provided. Due to high core loss, assays for 14CBK003 “are not considered truly reflective of the mineralization,” Pistol Bay stated.

The C-4, C-5 and C-6 properties comprise a JV with Rio covering 1,624 hectares adjoining the Denison/Cameco/JCU Wheeler River project. Rio has earned 55% by paying Pistol Bay $147,000 and spending $1 million on exploration so far. The mining giant’s subsidiary may increase its stake to 75% by spending another $1 million by year-end.

Pistol Bay also holds interests in copper-gold properties contiguous with Colorado Resources’ (TSXV:CXO) North ROK discovery and Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Red Chris mine in British Columbia, and in a graphite property in Ontario.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 6th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 29 to April 4, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium stretches strike with new zone at Patterson Lake South, closes $28.75-million financing

Step-out drilling has added a new zone to Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South, shortly after infill drilling had merged other zones. Announced March 31, zone R1620E lies 465 metres east of R1155E, extending the project’s potential strike from 1.78 kilometres to 2.24 kilometres.

The results come from a hand-held scintillometer that measures gamma radiation from drill core in counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 29 to April 4, 2014

The road to Patterson Lake South, where Fission has four
of its five rigs trying to merge zones into one big deposit.

Six new holes all showed mineralization, with the new zone’s inaugural hole, PLS14-196, revealing a 30-metre interval ranging between 300 cps and 6,100 cps starting at 99 metres in downhole depth. The maximum that the scintillometer can measure is 9,999 cps. Drilling on PLS14-196 continues.

Among other holes, PLS14-190, south of zone R1155E, “suggests that further step-outs to the south may be prospective,” the company stated.

Starting from the west, zone R600W has both a 30-metre east-west strike and a 30-metre north-south lateral width. About 510 metres east, discovery zone R00E has a strike of approximately 165 metres and a lateral width up to about 45 metres. Another 135 metres east sits R780E, with about 855 metres in strike and up to about 95 metres in lateral width.

Neighbouring 75 metres east, R1155E so far has just three mineralized holes. Fission Uranium declared the new zone, 465 metres east again, on the basis of a single hole over conductor PL-3C, “the suspected 1.3-kilometre-long strike extension of the mineralized PL-3B conductor” at an interpreted cross-fault, the company added.

So far 63 of a planned 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres have been sunk. The winter budget comes to $12 million but on April 1 the company announced its most recent private placement closed with gross proceeds of $28.75 million.

Three days later Fission Uranium granted insiders 6.5 million options at $1.65 for five years.

NexGen’s best-ever hole extends strike at Rook 1’s Arrow zone

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE ended its Rook 1 winter drill program with a “massive” step-out showing the project’s best hole yet. Results for three holes released March 31 lengthen the strike to about 215 metres, open to the southwest.

The winter campaign comprised 17 holes totalling 7,442 metres, but it wasn’t until late February that the Arrow discovery diverted attention to this new zone of the PLS-adjacent project. A second hole in early March contributed to the company’s optimism. In all, seven of eight Arrow holes so far have found significant mineralization.

The results come from a hand-held spectrometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second. As is the case with Fission Uranium’s scintillometer readings, the results are no substitute for assays, which NexGen expects to see in about six weeks.

NexGen reports radiometric readings differently than Fission Uranium, providing a more detailed breakdown of small intercepts.

The step-out, hole RK-14-30, found a composite 47.2 metres (not true widths) of anomalous intercepts at least 0.05 metres wide measuring over 500 cps. A total of 8.3 metres surpassed the spectrometer’s maximum possible reading of 9,999 cps. Mineralization began at 84.15 metres in downhole depth, with the deepest intercept stopping at 701.45 metres.

RK-14-29 also revealed many small intercepts, with the first starting at 50.6 metres in downhole depth and the last ending at 569 metres.

RK-14-28 intercepts started at 87 metres in downhole depth, with the last ending at 549 metres.

Having closed an $11.5-million bought deal the previous week, NexGen now has about $15 million to spend. Spring breakup work will include detailed petrography and petrophysics before drilling resumes in the summer.

Denison drills 17.3% eU3O8 over 4.2 metres at new Wheeler River zone

Denison Mines TSX:DML reported a second hole on April 2 that supports last month’s discovery of the Gryphon zone at the Wheeler River JV. WR-560 was drilled 40 metres along the up-dip extension of the first hole, revealing one especially high-grade interval. The results come from a downhole probe that measures radiation in uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8). Although the probe is more accurate than a scintillometer or spectrometer, its readings are no substitute for assays. Nevertheless they show:

  • 0.1% eU3O8 over 1.3 metres, starting at 653.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.1% over 4.1 metres, starting at 676.2 metres

  • 17.3% over 4.2 metres, starting at 757.9 metres

  • 0.3% over 2.6 metres, starting at 770.7 metres

True widths are estimated at about 75%. Denison interprets these results “to be a new lens in the footwall, about 50 metres northwest of the high-grade intersection in WR-556,” Gryphon’s discovery hole. Mineralization lies approximately 200 metres beneath the unconformity and remains open in both strike directions and at depth, the company stated.

With spring break-up underway, drilling is expected to resume in early June, largely focusing on the new find. Gryphon is three kilometres northwest of the project’s Phoenix deposit, which produced a batch of drill results in February.

Denison holds a 60% interest in Wheeler and acts as operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% and JCU (Canada) Exploration the rest.

Declan picks up six Alberta and Saskatchewan properties

Calling it a “six-pack” of new properties, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN announced a package of Alberta and Saskatchewan acquisitions in and around the Basin on April 1. Totalling roughly 101,000 hectares, the properties include Maurice Creek in Alberta, immediately northwest of the Northwest Athabasca project, a JV involving Cameco, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and NexGen that hosts the historic Maurice Bay deposit.

Two other Alberta properties, Maybelle North and Richardson River, “cover potential northerly extensions to the structure which is host to a significant uranium deposit at Dragon Lake along the Maybelle River shear zone,” Declan stated.

The other properties are Archer Lake and Jackfish Creek, also in Alberta, and Thorburn Lake in Saskatchewan.

The optioner gets $25,000 and 2.5 million shares on TSXV approval, another $125,000 within a year and a 3% gross overriding royalty with a 1% buyback clause for $1 million. To keep the properties in good standing Declan must spend $225,000 by April 17.

Declan also announced changes to its board, which now consists of David Miller, Wayne Tisdale, Michelle Gahagan, Hikmet Akin, Gordon King, Jamie Newall and Craig McLean.

Declan’s flagship is Gibbon’s Creek, a joint venture with Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK.

International Enexco reports new radiometric results from Mann Lake

The latest hole from its Mann Lake JV suggests the project has at least 300 metres of mineralized trend within the footwall of the western conductor target, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated April 3. The results come from a downhole radiometric probe and are no substitute for assays.

Sunk 150 metres north of the project’s best interval so far, hole MN-065 showed:

  • an average 3.67% eU3O8 over 1.2 metres, starting at 689.8 metres in downhole depth

  • (including an average 6.51% over 0.7 metres)

  • (which includes an average 11.02% over 0.3 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

So far eight holes have tested about 1.8 kilometres of the target, which the company says remains prospective for its entire 3.1-kilometre length. Enexco anticipates follow-up drilling next winter along the conductor and on other areas. The southeastern Basin project is operated by JV partner Cameco, which holds 52.5%, leaving Enexco with 30% and AREVA Resources Canada 17.5%.

But how long Enexco will be involved depends on the outcome of Denison’s most recent acquisition activities. The two companies signed a letter of intent last month for an all-share deal that would give Denison all of Enexco’s Basin properties while spinning out the others. The companies currently JV on another southeastern Basin property, Bachman Lake.

Uracan/UEX drill results suggest prospective target at Black Lake

Black Lake partners Uracan Resources TSXV:URC and UEX Corp TSX:UEX reported the first six holes from their northern Basin JV on April 2, with one mineralized hole suggesting a new target. BL-148 showed:

  • 0.13% U3O8 over 0.5 metres, starting at 275 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.04% over 0.5 metres, starting at 299.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 1 metre, starting at 317 metres

True widths weren’t provided. The three intervals occur up to 19 metres below a footwall unconformity between the basement and sandstones, representing a mineralization style that “has not been encountered previously in this area of the property and represents a new prospective target,” the companies stated.

Next in line is a ground DC resistivity survey to precede further drilling and field work. Uracan may earn 60% of the 30,381-hectare project from UEX, which holds an 89.99% interest. AREVA Resources Canada holds the remaining 10.01%. UEX acts as operator.

Previous Black Lake drilling has found intervals as high as 0.69% over 4.4 metres, starting at 310 metres in downhole depth, 0.79% over 2.82 metres, starting at 310 metres, and 0.67% over 3 metres, starting at 274 metres.

The property borders Gibbon’s Creek, where JV partners Lakeland and Declan have reported boulder samples grading up to 4.28% and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 9th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 1 to 7, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium merges two zones, narrows gap between two others at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium merges two zones, narrows gap between two others at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium has four of its five rigs trying
to fill the gaps in the now six-zone PLS project.

With several zones stretched along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike at Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU obviously wants to find one big, shallow, high-grade deposit. That dream came closer to reality with radiometric results released March 5 and 7. Zones R780E and R945E are now one, forever intertwined, while the gap between two zones to the west has been narrowed.

Scintillometer results from 20 holes released March 5 show mineralization at depths as shallow as 54 metres and as deep as 459 metres. Thirteen holes showed off-scale intervals, reaching the maximum 9,999 counts per second on the hand-held device that measures drill core for gamma radiation. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Apart from the hope of merging more zones—the goal of this winter’s drill program—Fission Uranium sees expansion potential. The best hole of this batch was the most easterly of the newly merged zone, which “bodes extremely well for high-grade expansion to the east.”

Two days later Fission Uranium unveiled scintillometer results for four more holes, each from a different zone, starting with R780E and moving west to the discovery zone. The interval nearest to surface started at 51 metres and the deepest ended at 276 metres. Intervals from one hole showed a total of 16.18 metres of off-scale radioactivity, while another hole gave up an off-scale composite of 2.65 metres. The gap between R390E and R585E has been narrowed to about 60 metres.

With 36 of the planned 85 winter holes complete, Fission Uranium claims a 100% hit rate. The company has one rig exploring outside the mineralized trend and four others attacking the gaps between these six zones:

The discovery zone, R00E, has a 165-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 45 metres. About 135 metres east, R390E has a 255-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 50 metres. Sixty metres east again, R585E has a 75-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 20 metres. About 105 metres east, R780E now has an approximately 270-metre strike, as a result of subsuming R945E. The lateral width reaches up to about 90 metres.

R780E’s geology “is similar to other zones,” Fission Uranium stated, “consisting of mineralization primarily associated with sequences of steeply south-dipping pelitic lithology with localized mylonites and cataclasites.”

Two other zones at the eastern and western extremities, R1155E and R600W, bring the potential strike to 1.78 kilometres.

Two weeks earlier Fission Uranium released lab assays from R585E that showed the project’s best hole ever—or maybe that should be “so far.”

Update: On March 10 Fission released its “second-best” radiometric results from PLS. Read more.

NexGen announces $10-million bought deal for Athabasca Basin exploration

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 1 to 7, 2014

With Fission Uranium’s PLS rigs in the background, NexGen drills Rook 1.

A $10-million bought deal for NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reinforces the company’s new prominence in Athabasca Basin uranium exploration. Announced March 4, the private placement follows news of radiometric results from a new area of the company’s Rook 1 project, which is adjacent to PLS.

Subject to approvals, the deal involves 22.3 million units at $0.45 and gives the underwriters an option to buy an additional 15%. Each unit consists of a share and one-half warrant, with each entire warrant exercisable at $0.65 for two years. Proceeds will go to Basin exploration, working capital and general corporate purposes.

NexGen’s stock took off with the February 19 release of radiometric readings from the first hole in Rook 1’s Arrow area, which the company called “a totally new zone of uranium mineralization.” The news propelled the company from a 52-week low of $0.225 to a 52-week high of $0.65 in two days. The stock closed March 7 at $0.49.

Meanwhile NexGen has moved its other rig to Arrow to focus two drills on the new area.

NexGen holds several properties in the Basin. But it has yet to release results from last summer’s nine-hole campaign on the Radio project, where the company has a 70% earn-in.

NexGen expects to close the bought deal by March 26.

Zadar announces 2014 plans for PNE and Pasfield projects

With permit applications submitted, Zadar Ventures TSXV:ZAD announced plans for two projects on March 3. The 15,292-hectare PNE, about 11 kilometres northeast of PLS, has about 3,500 metres scheduled for winter and summer drilling, along with ground-based geophysics. Previously identified radon anomalies and conductive trends will help determine targets.

Plans for the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property, within the Cable Bay shear zone in the east-central Basin, include airborne and ground geophysics and a proposed 3,800 metres of drilling “followed by a staged program of uranium exploration culminating in [a] 32,000-metre drilling program,” the company stated.

Pasfield Lake is one of a number of properties that Zadar acquired from Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM late last year.

Noka Resources/Alpha Exploration begin radon surveys on Carpenter Lake

Radon surveys on lake water and sediment have begun at Carpenter Lake on the Basin’s south-central edge. Announced March 4 by Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, the four-to-five-week agenda will include sampling from about a thousand locations over a 16-kilometre stretch of the Cable Bay shear zone, which the companies have described as a “major regional shear zone with known uranium enrichment.”

Spring and summer plans for the 20,637-hectare property include high-resolution airborne radiometrics to search for near-surface uranium boulders, followed by ground prospecting and geochemical sampling. The work is part of the Alpha Minerals spinco’s 60% earn-in from Noka, a member of the Western Athabasca Syndicate that plans to drill its PLS-vicinity Preston Lake property this month.

Late last month Noka closed a $1.13-million private placement. Alpha Exploration announced plans for other projects in December and January.

Hodgins Auctioneers pursues Basin uranium claims

A company specializing in auctioning equipment and real estate has signed a conditional agreement to acquire uranium interests in the Basin. Under a deal announced March 6 with Majesta Resources Inc, Hodgins Auctioneers TSXV:HA would get a 25% interest in a 39,125-hectare contiguous package that comes within 10 kilometres of the Key Lake mill.

Apart from TSXV approval, the transaction hinges on raising a $350,000 private placement.

An initial 25% would cost Hodgins $100,000 in cash or debt, two million shares and $300,000 in exploration spending. An additional 35% would require an extra four million shares and $400,000 in spending. A further 30% would call for another $400,000 cash or debt and two million shares.

Hodgins attributed a “low cost relative to similar transactions in the area due to the relationship between two of the insiders of the corporation and the party which owns the mineral claims.” Majesta would act as project operator.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 17th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013

by Greg Klein

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New Argentinian discovery might hold district-wide potential, says U3O8 Corp

Roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit in Argentina, U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said it’s discovered a new area with the district’s “highest uranium-vanadium grades found to date.” La Rosada shows district-scale potential for Laguna Salada-style mineralization in near-surface, soft gravels, the company stated on November 12. But in addition, chip samples from adjacent basement rock show grades ranging from 0.01% to over 0.79% uranium oxide (U3O8). That might indicate a source of the gravel’s mineralization.

The extremely shallow, fine-sand mineralization potentially offers low-cost extraction through continuous surface mining, the company maintained. Screening tests at Laguna Salada, moreover, concentrated over 90% of the uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass.

Vertical channel samples starting less than a metre from surface show a weighted average of 0.15% U3O8 and 0.08% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Some highlights show:

  • 0.12% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.7 metres

  • 0.13% U3O8 and 0.05% V2O5 over 0.5 metres

  • 0.25% U3O8 and 0.09% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 1.18% U3O8 and 0.52% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

  • 0.24% U3O8 and 0.08% V2O5 over 1.5 metres

Highlights from horizontal channel sampling of the basement rock show:

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.6 metres

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 0.16% U3O8 and 0.07% V2O5 over 0.2 metres

  • 0.79% U3O8 and 0.26% V2O5 over 0.1 metre

  • 0.17% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

The company didn’t provide the depth to basement.

Further near-surface exploration is planned south of the discovery while the basement calls for systematic trenching to determine its “potential as a target in its own right,” U3O8 stated. Planned for year-end completion is Laguna Salada’s preliminary economic assessment and a hoped-for joint venture with a state-owned company holding adjacent claims.

Laguna Salada has a 2011 resource estimate showing:

  • an indicated category of 47.3 million tonnes averaging 0.006% U3O8 and 0.055% V2O5 for 6.3 million pounds U3O8 and 57.1 million pounds V2O5

  • an inferred category of 20.8 million tonnes averaging 0.0085% U3O8 and 0.059% V2O5 for 3.8 million pounds U3O8 and 26.9 million pounds V2O5

Elsewhere U3O8 has completed a PEA for its Berlin uranium-polymetallic project in Colombia and holds two earlier-stage projects in Argentina and Guyana.

Fission/Alpha release results from two PLS zones, lengthen strike by 15 metres

Releasing both scintillometer readings and assays the same week, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU provided a prompt update from their current Patterson Lake South drilling as well as results from last summer’s campaign. On November 12 the 50/50 joint venture partners said they’ve confirmed the sixth zone announced last week, extending it 15 metres east and 10 metres north. Two days later they reported five more holes bearing high grades from R390E, the third most-easterly zone along what’s now a 1.8-kilometre trend.

Starting with the newly discovered R600W zone, the partners reported readings from a handheld device that measures gamma ray particles from core in counts per second, maxing out at an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Both holes were sunk at -89 degrees, making downhole depths close to vertical. Hole PLS13-121 reached a total depth of 248 metres, encountering just a bit of sandstone at 98.7 metres before hitting the basement unconformity at 99 metres. Some of the better results show:

  • <300 cps to >9,999 cps over 11.3 metres, starting at 98.7 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 600 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 141 metres

Hole PLS13-122 totalled 332 metres in depth, reaching the basement unconformity at 100 metres without finding sandstone. Some highlights show:

  • <300 cps to 800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 101.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 510 cps over 4 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • 430 cps to 1,900 cps over 1 metre, starting at 158.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Turning to zone R390E and real lab assays, some highlights show:

Hole PLS13-078

  • 0.66% U3O8 over 30 metres, starting at 85 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 7.62% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 7.5 metres, starting at 128 metres

Hole PLS13-081

  • 0.19% over 18.5 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • Hole PLS13-085

  • 0.93% over 22 metres, starting at 82.5 metres

  • (including 4.07% over 4 metres)

Hole PLS13-086

  • 1.93% over 43 metres, starting at 81.5 metres

  • (including 9.91% over 5 metres)

Hole PLS13-087A

  • 0.28% over 4 metres, starting at 45.5 metres

  • 0.4% over 8.5 metres, starting at 63.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 16.5 metres, starting at 92.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. Dips strayed no more than six degrees from vertical.

With $2.25 million funding an 11-hole, 3,700-metre extension to the summer/fall campaign, land-based work now focuses on the R600W area while waiting for the lake to freeze. Meanwhile more assays are expected from the previous barge-based drilling to the east.

Alpha acquisition vote looms; Fission and Dahrouge square off in legal battle

November 28’s the day when Fission and Alpha shareholders vote on the latter’s acquisition by the former. Mentioned in the companies’ joint November 15 update was a barely publicized legal dispute between Fission and Dahrouge Geological Consulting, its principals and a related company.

Seeking unspecified damages, Fission filed a notice of civil claim on July 29 alleging “breach of fiduciary duties and knowing assistance in breach of the same.” On November 8 the defendants filed a counter-claim with “allegations of breaches of British Columbia securities laws, slander, wrongful interference, improper assignment and improper variation of obligations. The relief being sought in the counter-claim includes unspecified losses and damages, declarations of ownership in relation to certain mineral permits and claims, declarations concerning the enforceability of certain assignments, injunctions preventing the defendants by way of counter-claim from disparaging certain mineral permits and claims, interest and costs.”

The account of the defendants’ counter-claim comes from a draft version reported in Fission and Alpha circulars dated October 30. Neither claim has been tested in court.

International Enexco/Cameco/AREVA plan winter drilling at Mann Lake

A three-way JV intends to start the new year with a $2.9-million drill program for the eastside Athabasca Basin Mann Lake project. Up to 18 holes will evaluate three types of targets—the area footwall to the western axis of the C trend, remaining targets along the main C trend and conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated on November 13. The company holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, along with AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%) and Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%).

This year’s drilling totalled 21 holes for 15,721 metres, focusing on the C conductor, which Enexco describes as a six-kilometre-long section of a regional trend extending from Cameco’s McArthur River mine to Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River deposit.

The previous week Enexco reported three holes from the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake, a 20/80 JV with Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco. The latter also keeps busy with pre-feasibility work at its 100%-held Contact copper project in Nevada.

Aldrin reports radon results from Triple M

With its Triple M property’s surface radon survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN announced some results from 527 sample sites on November 14. The findings show elevated values over more than one kilometre of a VTEM bedrock conductor, which the company interprets as a steeply south-dipping fault zone. “The most intense portion of this radon anomaly reaches a high value of 1.68 pCi/m²/s [picocuries per square metre per second] and extends for more than 200 metres, comprising a priority drill target,” Aldrin stated.

The company added that the fault zone parallels the conductor hosting the PLS discovery on the Alpha/Fission project adjacent to and northeast of Triple M. North of the fault zone, and parallel to it, sits a second VTEM basement conductor with radon values up to 1.18 pCi/m²/s.

The previous week Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been increased to $1.5 million. The company has also previously announced an agreement to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.

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Boss Power slate wins board election in battle with Beruschi over B claims

November 15th, 2013

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2013

The contest was bitter and the results close but a slate backed by Boss Power TSXV:BPU management won the company’s November 14 election to board of directors. Rival nominees had been presented by Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi. The conflict grew out of a $30-million settlement with the province of British Columbia following B.C.’s sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009. To get the cash, Boss must turn over certain exploration claims to the province. Included are the B claims, which are held by Beruschi. The two sides differ widely in their estimation of the claims’ price.

[The new board will] seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.—Boss Power

Boss offered $1.55 million. Beruschi wanted $4 million. In early October Beruschi offered to let a court decide the claims’ value if Boss directors would resign.

Boss initially refused. But later that month, after Beruschi nominated his own slate, Boss responded with five new nominees of its own and a proposal to expand the board from three to five directors. Denunciations from both sides built a crescendo up to November 14. The outcome seemed uncertain—Beruschi said Morning Star and its affiliates hold about a third of Boss shares.

Boss’ nominees won, but only with 53.95% each. They are:

  • Dev Randhawa, CEO/chairman of Fission

  • Chartered accountant Donald Siemens

  • Geologist Ron Stewart

According to Boss’ October 22 circular, the new board will “seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.” Because of the delays, the government has threatened to rescind the $30-million out-of-court settlement.

By press time Boss acting CEO Ron Netolitzky hadn’t responded to an interview request. Beruschi was unavailable for comment November 15 but indicated he would speak with ResourceClips.com the following week.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 10th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 380 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 254.5 metres

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

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

Non-compliant quote of the week

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

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

International Enexco, Denison report three holes from Bachman Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashburton also announced the resignation of director Phil Taneda.

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

Western Athabasca Syndicate announces winter plans for Preston Lake

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

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

Energy Fuels suspends Arizona mine development, updates corporate news

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

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

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

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

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 3rd, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

Hole PLS13-074

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

PLS13-076

  • 0.09% over 2 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.08% over 1.5 metres, starting at 183 metres

  • 0.16% over 4.5 metres, starting at 186.5 metres

PLS13-077

  • 0.39% over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres

  • 0.13% over 15.5 metres, starting at 73 metres

PLS13-079

  • 5.98% over 17.5 metres, starting at 83 metres

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

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

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

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

Rio Tinto plans winter drilling at Purepoint’s Red Willow

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

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

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

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

Strong Q3 financials surprise Cameco shareholders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Cameco operations get 10-year licence renewals

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

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

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

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

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

Declan options northeastern Alberta property

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

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

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

Rockgate takeover offer: Denison softens conditions, extends deadline

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland Resources’ JV partner New Dimension to drill for gold

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

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

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

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

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 26th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 19 to 25, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Forum reports radon results from PLS-adjacent Clearwater

Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC released soil and water radon surveys from its Clearwater project adjacently southwest to Patterson Lake South. Soil results “are similar and higher than those located immediately west” of the PLS R00E zone, according to Forum’s October 22 announcement. Radon surveys played an important role in identifying drill targets at R00E and east along trend. The Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU joint venture now plans autumn drilling west of R00E while waiting for freeze-up.

Forum’s results for three grids show:

  • Bear grid: Up to 1.33 picocuries per square metre per second (pCi/m2/s)

  • West Bear grid: Up to 1.08 pCi/m2/s

  • Mungo grid: Up to 0.92 pCi/m2/s

Additionally, a small lake in the Mungo grid returned up to 18 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), “which is considered to be very anomalous when compared with a maximum value of 12 pCi/L immediately over the Patterson Lake South deposits,” Forum stated. The company added that 428 samples were taken “over areas with electromagnetic conductors and over the interpreted extension of the Patterson Lake structure that hosts the PLS deposits.”

Near-term plans include a ground gravity survey over the same areas and possibly further radon studies prior to setting targets on the 9,910-hectare property for a drill campaign to begin in late January.

Lakeland Resources appoints expert adviser, closes second tranche

In joining the Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK advisory board, Athabasca Basin veteran John Gingerich returns to some familiar turf. With over 30 years’ experience, the geoscientist worked for Eldorado Nuclear from 1979 to 1986, spending most of that time in the north-central Basin exploring property now held by Lakeland, the company stated on October 23. Additionally he served in the Noranda group’s senior management, founded Geotechnical Business Solutions and chairs both the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization’s exploration division and the Ontario Geological Survey’s advisory board.

The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway. Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes says Gingerich “co-ordinated exploration activities from Stony Rapids to Fond du Lac, on properties we’re now exploring, so he’s quite familiar with that neck of the woods. But at that time they didn’t have some of the technologies we now have in the way of geophysics and radon surveys. He said it was tough determining where to drill back in those days. But he certainly feels there’s potential based on the historic findings. He’s also trying to dig up some additional historic work besides the data we’ve already found. He’s definitely a valuable addition to our board, given his experience up there.”

Gingerich joins two other industry authorities on Lakeland’s advisory board, Richard Kusmirski and Thomas Drolet.

Lakeland also announced the closing of a second and final tranche of its private placement, bringing in $318,948 for a total of $1,057,718 to fund further work. Activity focuses on the Gibbon’s Creek target of the Riou Lake property.

“The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway,” Armes says. “Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months. We also retained an interest in the gold project we vended to New Dimension Resources [TSXV:NDR], which will likely be drilled in the next few weeks. That’s a bonus side story for us while we continue our focus on the Basin. So things are going extremely well.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Rockgate reluctantly recommends Denison bid, Denison extends deadline

It’s an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid,” according to Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors. So it was with obvious reluctance that they recommended shareholders accept the offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML. Nearly five weeks of effort failed to find a superior proposal, Rockgate announced October 21.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 19 to 25, 2013

A crew prepares to drill a target on
Rockgate’s flagship Falea project in Mali.

But three days later, and just one day before its offer was to expire, Denison extended the deadline to November 1. Denison stated that, while its bid remains open for acceptance, the company needed time to remedy change of control protections that Rockgate had provided to employees and consultants: “In light of these actions, the conditions to Denison’s takeover bid offer cannot be fulfilled.”

Read more about Denison’s offer, Rockgate’s response and the failed merger with Mega Uranium.

Read about other uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Zadar completes PNE Phase II, grants options

Results are pending but Phase II exploration at Zadar Ventures’ TSXV:ZAD PNE project has wrapped up, the company announced October 22. Work included scintillometer prospecting, boulder mapping and radon surveys over nine areas. The company added that an eight-kilometre conductive trend on the adjacent Patterson Lake North project announced earlier this month by JV partners Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ marks a “very positive development” for the 15,292-hectare PNE property.

Zadar also announced 100,000 incentive options at $0.25 for two years.

Last month the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property on the Athabasca Basin’s east side.

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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

October 6th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Lakeland Resources begins Riou Lake ground campaign

Field work has begun at Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Riou Lake project along the Athabasca Basin’s north-central rim. In an October 2 announcement the company outlined the agenda for its Gibbon’s Creek target, just three kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids. Initial work will consist of surface prospecting and boulder sampling, soil gas radon surveying, line-cutting and ground DC resistivity geophysics, with the goal of identifying winter drill targets.

The campaign follows eight months of preparation in which Lakeland studied a volume of previous data, director Ryan Fletcher tells ResourceClips.com. “There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco,” he says. “We’ve been going over their information.”

There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco. We’ve been going over their information.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

Eldorado found numerous boulders grading up to 4.9% uranium oxide (U3O8) and soil samples between five and 10 parts per million uranium, compared to background levels up to 1 ppm. Geophysics showed a gravity low measuring about three kilometres by one kilometre at the end of a conductive zone over 15 kilometres long.

Fourteen historic holes found anomalous radioactivity, geochemistry or both. With the benefit of recent modelling, assays reveal a structural co-corridor up to one kilometre long and 100 metres wide. UEX Corp TSX:UEX flew its $3-million airborne geophysics in 2005, but Lakeland is the first to bring modern ground exploration techniques to the project.

Among Gibbon’s attractions are shallow depths to the unconformity, Fletcher points out. “They’re about 50 metres to 200 metres, which means more holes for our shareholders’ money. If we get a discovery it’s more likely to be open pittable, which would mean better economics and a more strategic project for M&A. That’s what Patterson Lake South had. They went from boulder results to radon results, then they found a high-grade, near-surface discovery.”

Apart from historic data and shallow targets, Fletcher cites other cost-saving potential. “Our crews are based out of the community of Stony Rapids, just a few kilometres from Gibbon’s. A year-round highway, power and all the infrastructure for exploration are basically right adjacent to the target.”

With the program managed by Athabasca veterans Dahrouge Geological Consulting, Fletcher looks forward to a steady stream of news. “For a brand new, smaller market cap company, investors are going to start getting a lot of information from the field.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Fission closes $11.25-million private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

An $11.25-million private placement will fund Fission’s
Patterson Lake South exploration once the Alpha acquisition closes.

Assuming all approvals fall into place, a bought-deal private placement will bring $11.25 million to Patterson Lake South’s future sole owner. On October 3 Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 7.5 million subscription receipts, exchangeable into flow-through shares, at $1.50. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 15%.

Proceeds will be held in escrow until Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, currently a 50/50 joint venture partner in PLS, and spins out its other properties. The subscribers won’t receive shares in the spinco. The entire amount’s designated for PLS exploration.

Read more about Fission’s acquisition of Alpha.

Rockgate considers alternatives to takeover by Denison

Still studying their options following an unsolicited takeover bid from Denison Mines TSX:DML, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors on October 1 urged their shareholders to take no action until further notice.

Denison offered 0.192 of its share for each Rockgate share, a proposal strong enough to defeat a previously proposed Rockgate merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Nevertheless Rockgate’s board emphasized that Denison proposed a change of control, as opposed to a “merger of equals with Mega.”

Rockgate added that “in the absence of a preliminary economic assessment or other study, mining companies are commonly valued on an enterprise value/pound U3O8 multiple.” Denison’s offer works out to “a $0.09/lb multiple which is significantly below the average multiple of $4.37/lb paid on other relevant, development uranium transactions completed post the Fukushima accident,” Rockgate stated. Since September 27 “the implied Denison offer has declined a further 11%.”

Rockgate further stated that Denison sought conditions that weren’t “subject to a materiality threshold or other objective criteria, but provide Denison with sole discretion” whether to proceed. “In addition, the minimum tender condition of 90% is very high….”

Meanwhile, Rockgate added, it’s in discussion with other potential buyers, having been unable to respond to one approach when the non-solicitation agreement with Mega was in effect.

Rockgate promised to update shareholders no later than one week before the Denison offer’s October 25 expiry date.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing offers for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Karoo signs LOI for three Zambian projects

Karoo Exploration TSXV:KE announced a letter of intent September 30 to acquire a portfolio of Zambian uranium properties from ASX-listed African Energy Resources. Under the deal Karoo would pay US$2 million and issue shares and warrants worth $500,000 at a share price “based on any offering completed by Karoo concurrent with this acquisition.”

The package includes the Chirundu, Kariba Valley and North Luangwa Valley projects. African Energy, which focuses on its Botswana coal assets, has a JORC-compliant resource for two Chirundu deposits with open pit potential. The Njame deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 2.7 million tonnes averaging 0.035% for 2.1 million pounds U3O8

  • an indicated category of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 0.025% for 2.1 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 6.6 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 3.5 million pounds

The Gwabe deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 1.3 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 700,000 pounds

  • an indicated category of 3.6 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 2.5 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 800,000 tonnes averaging 0.018% for 300,000 pounds

Karoo holds five uranium exploration licences in southern Tanzania. The company began trading on September 4 following a reverse takeover involving United Uranium.

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