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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 26th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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3.78% U3O8 over 49 metres helps Fission build Patterson Lake South

High grades and wide intervals at relatively shallow depths continue to characterize Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South. Of eight holes released July 21, all showed mineralization, six substantially. Three standout assays boasted 3.78% U3O8 over 49 metres, 3.96% over 40 metres and 5.34% over 25.5 metres. The entire octet came from R780E, the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that remains open to the east and west. Some highlights include:

Hole PLS14-192

  • 0.53% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 51 metres, starting at 110 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.36% over 5.5 metres)

  • 0.48% over 12.5 metres, starting at 191.5 metres
  • (including 1.27% over 4 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 19 to 25, 2014

PLS14-193

  • 1.62% over 2 metres, starting at 162 metres

PLS14-194

  • 0.86% over 2.5 metres, starting at 187 metres

PLS14-195

  • 0.64% over 4.5 metres, starting at 244 metres
  • (including 2.81% over 1 metre)

PLS14-197

  • 0.81% over 8 metres, starting at 87.5 metres
  • (including 3.65% over 1.5 metres)

  • 5.34% over 25.5 metres, starting at 102.5 metres
  • (including 15.81% over 5 metres)
  • (and including 8.4% over 4 metres)

  • 1.24% over 3.5 metres, starting at 151 metres

  • 2.61% over 13 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • (including 20.04% over 1.5 metres)

  • 2.17% over 2.5 metres, starting at 175.5 metres

PLS14-198

  • 3.96% over 40 metres, starting at 95 metres
  • (including 10.35% over 14 metres)

PLS14-199

  • 0.11% over 6.5 metres, starting at 209 metres

  • 0.42% over 10.5 metres, starting at 233.5 metres
  • (including 3.07% over 1 metre)

PLS14-200

  • 3.78% over 49 metres, starting at 109.5 metres
  • (including 9.34% over 10 metres)
  • (and including 26.32% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 9% over 3.5 metres)

  • 1.16% over 5 metres, starting at 221 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

PLS14-199, along with the previously released PLS14-189 which included 1.93% over 15 metres, sits on the eastern edge of R780E. Their assays prompted Fission to suggest the possibility of closing a 75-metre gap between R780E and R1155E to the east. R780E currently has a strike length of about 855 metres.

While laboratory boffins analyze the final two dozen holes from last winter’s 92, Fission’s field crew continues with a 63-hole, 20,330-metre summer campaign. About 30% of the program will be exploration. But the priority is to delineate a maiden resource scheduled for December.

Ur-Energy reports 8.81 million pounds eU3O8 M&I at Shirley Basin

Ur-Energy TSX:URE released a resource estimate on July 22 for what it calls a “well-defined, high-grade uranium roll front deposit at very favourable production depths.” In the vicinity of the company’s Lost Creek in-situ recovery operation, the Wyoming property came with Ur-Energy’s discount acquisition of Pathfinder Mines. The resource was broken down into two areas:

Fab trend

  • measured: 1.06 million tonnes averaging 0.28% for 6.57 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8)

  • indicated: 413,674 tonnes averaging 0.12% for 1.08 million pounds

Area 5

  • measured: 176,900 tonnes averaging 0.24% for 947,000 pounds

  • indicated: 84,367 tonnes averaging 0.11% for 214,000 pounds

The M&I total for both areas comes to 8.81 million pounds eU3O8.

The estimate was based on approximately 3,200 historic holes totalling about 366,000 metres sunk before 1992 and on Ur-Energy’s confirmation drilling that finished last May. Resources start at an average depth of about 95 metres. The company stated it’s “moving at a rapid pace to advance the data collection programs necessary to support amendment applications to the existing mining permits and licences.”

The previous week Ur-Energy announced its Lost Creek plant recovered 116,707 pounds U3O8 in Q2. The company set its Q3 production target at 200,000 pounds.

Two new properties expand Lakeland Resources’ Basin-area portfolio

Two more acquisitions announced July 21 solidify Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) position as one of the largest landholders in and around the Athabasca Basin. Both projects benefit from previous exploration but show greater potential with more recent methodology.

The 20,218-hectare Newnham Lake property sits contiguous to Lakeland’s Karen Lake project around the Basin’s northeastern rim. Depth to the basement rock is expected to be from zero to around 100 metres, the company stated.

Newnham Lake covers parts of a roughly 25-kilometre-long folded and faulted conductive trend that attracted over 140 drill holes by 1984. But, following the understanding of the time, most holes stopped less than 25 metres past the sub-Athabasca unconformity. More recent knowledge of the Basin’s basement-hosted unconformity-style deposits brings new potential to the project.

Previous work did show extensive alteration and anomalous geochemistry along with highly anomalous uranium, nickel and other pathfinders. Several targets remain to be tested.

When we do see that price turnaround that’s been forecast for 2015, we expect to see more joint venture interest in our projects. There’s not a whole hell of a lot of ground left to be had.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

Historic lake and stream sediment samples from Karen Lake, a Lakeland property contiguously northeast, also revealed uranium, nickel and other pathfinders. Historic overburden samples showed over 1% uranium.

Southeast of Newnham and just beyond the Basin, the approximately 21,000-hectare Hatchet Lake sits east of Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Although Hatchet covers part of an interpreted extension of the same basement graphitic meta-sedimentary basin, it’s seen little exploration.

As uranium continues to struggle near record-low prices Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes sees this as “a good time to get value for money, advance projects to the drill-ready stage and ideally secure partners to take them to the next level.”

“When we do see that price turnaround that’s been forecast for 2015, we expect to see more joint venture interest in our projects,” he adds. “There’s not a whole hell of a lot of ground left to be had. When companies come back to the table, they’re going to have to partner up. That’s the kind of opportunity we’ll be looking for.”

Helping evaluate the properties are Lakeland advisers with long experience in the Basin. Richard Kusmirski is a veteran of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and JNR Resources, which became a Denison Mines TSX:DML acquisition. John Gingerich’s background includes Noranda and Eldorado Nuclear, a predecessor of Cameco. They’re working with a new generation of geos from Dahrouge Geological Consulting that includes Lakeland director Neil McCallum.

“They’re compiling all the historic data and reinterpreting it in view of what we know today,” Armes says. “It’s an interesting dynamic to see the guys, old and young, bantering about. It brings new ideas on how to approach things.”

Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in Newnham Lake by paying $100,000 and issuing 2.5 million shares over two years. The vendor retains a 2.5% gross overriding royalty with a 1% buyback provision. Hatchet Lake goes for $13,500, 500,000 shares and a 2.5% GORR, again with a 1% buyback.

The company remains cashed up with approximately $2.5 million in the till, Armes points out. “In the meantime we’ll have some exploration news coming this summer.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 14th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 7 to 13, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

For the $123 million spent on it so far, the project has a resource showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred. It also has an underground exploration permit issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. But Quebec’s moratorium on uranium activity has finally caused Strateco Resources TSX:RSC to shut down its Matoush camp in the province’s Otish Basin. Now with a $1.4-million financing that the company hopes will save its TSX listing, Strateco’s focusing on a Saskatchewan project acquired from Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

Now mothballed, Strateco’s Matoush project has a 2012 resource
showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and
19.22 million pounds inferred.

In a June 12 announcement, Strateco attributed Matoush’s cost-cutting closure to Quebec’s refusal to issue an exploration permit. Some of the project’s facilities and equipment have been sold. The company has already launched legal action over the permit refusal.

Strateco also closed a private placement to try to prevent a TSX delisting. The company raised $1.4 million from Sentient Executive GP IV, an insider.

Meanwhile a Strateco subsidiary, SeqUr Exploration Inc, issued just under 15 million Strateco shares to take on the Jasper Lake package, a 60% option on four eastern Athabasca properties totalling 45,271 hectares that Strateco negotiated with Denison late last year. SeqUr also closed a $100,000 private placement with Sentient. The subsidiary plans exploration “in the coming months.”

Two days before the Strateco announcements a Quebec inquiry into uranium mining and exploration was challenged again, this time by a group of 70 “scientists and professionals from industry and academia.” In an open letter distributed June 10, the group questioned the inquiry chairperson’s neutrality as well as the utility of the proceedings.

Quebec’s environmental watchdog, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), began hearings last month in a process expected to last 12 to 18 months. Until a decision is made whether to allow uranium activity, the moratorium imposed in March 2013 remains in effect. But Labrador, Greenland and Queensland have “recently lifted moratoria that they now perceive as unjustified,” the group maintained.

Calling Louis-Gilles Francoeur’s appointment as chairperson “perplexing,” the open letter stated, “Throughout his career, Mr. Francoeur has tended to echo uranium industry critics. The BAPE is an institution founded on the principle of absolute neutrality. What would become of the BAPE’s credibility if a former mining executive were appointed chairman of the commission?”

Francoeur was selected during the province’s previous Parti Quebecois government.

“Exploration for and development of any mineral, including uranium, cannot go against the public interest,” the group pointed out. But, the signatories argued, “We are heading into a process that was borne of uranium fear-mongering fuelled by an archaic and biased view of the mining industry.” They questioned whether the hearings, with a price tag they peg at over $2 million, “should even be held.”

Quoting November 2013 poll numbers, the group said Saskatchewan’s uranium industry has the support of about 80% of the population, “including 76% of people in the communities and reserves of northern Saskatchewan, where the uranium mines are found.”

The group also noted some environmentalists support nuclear energy, as indicated by “the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme and free from suspicion of complicity with industry.”

The 70 concluded that the industry already faces strict regulations. “It is impossible for any uranium deposit to be developed, and then mined, without the project meeting the most stringent standards and being subject to public hearings,” they stated. “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a globally recognized agency with no ties to industry, sets the standards and has permanent monitoring and, if needed, enforcement powers over all nuclear industry activities.”

The communique follows a similar challenge last month by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association. The organization called for Francoeur to be replaced, describing his previous statements on the subject as “prejudicial and non-scientific.” A coalition of Quebec natives, doctors and environmentalists, however, have argued for an outright ban on the industry.

Last month Strateco, which has previously stated its intention to take part in the BAPE inquiry, threatened legal action should Quebec not replace Francoeur.

Denison closes acquisition of International Enexco

Its takeover by Denison complete, International Enexco delisted on June 10. Expansionist Denison now holds former Enexco assets in the eastern Athabasca Basin consisting of a 30% interest in Mann Lake and an additional 20% in Bachman Lake, giving Denison full control over the latter project. The company now shares the Mann Lake joint venture with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%).

A spinco gets Enexco’s U.S. non-uranium properties including the Contact copper project, which approaches pre-feasibility in Nevada.

The transaction went through without the public acrimony that initially ensued when Denison snatched Rockgate Capital from its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA late last year. At the time, Denison stated its intention to spin out its foreign assets and concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

February 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 8 to 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium reports more off-scale radiometrics from Patterson Lake South

Having suddenly dumped its final Patterson Lake South summer assays the previous week, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reverted to its scintillometer strategy on February 10. As is often the case, some intervals are showing off-scale readings.

“Off scale” means the hand-held device reaches its maximum measure of gamma ray particles at 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will likely follow in weeks or months. For more accurate radiometric readings, Fission Uranium also uses a downhole gamma probe. But the company hasn’t been releasing those results.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 8 to 14, 2014

Of seven holes from four zones, six showed off-scale intervals. Among the most impressive, hole PLS14-132 showed a total of 6.1 metres above 9,999 cps within 134 metres of mineralization that occurred between downhole depths of 71.5 metres to 263 metres.

PLS14-131 came up with a total of 1.9 metres of off-scale readings within 125.5 metres of mineralization between depths of 145 to 420 metres.

PLS14-136 gave up a total of 2.26 off-scale metres within 49.5 metres of mineralization between depths of 86.5 to 284.5 metres.

Drilling was vertical and true interval widths weren’t provided.

Lateral widths increased for parts of all four zones, in some cases doubling along specific grid lines.

Along with geophysics, the 90-hole, 30,000-metre winter program will take about $12 million out of this year’s $20-million budget. Although the current campaign focuses on trying to connect five high-grade zones, no target date has been announced for an initial resource estimate. Toll Cross Securities analyst Tom Hope notes that because the project’s “far from existing mills, Fission will need to delineate a 100-million-pound resource.”

Uracan, UEX, AREVA get drill turning at northern Basin’s Black Lake

Near the Athabasca Basin’s northern rim, drilling has resumed at the 30,381-hectare Black Lake project. The $650,000 program calls for about 3,000 metres, Uracan Resources TSXV:URC reported February 11. Project operator UEX Corp TSX:UEX has an 89.99% interest with AREVA Resources Canada holding the remainder. Uracan has an option to earn 60% from UEX. Found throughout the property are “prospective fault structures offsetting the unconformity (reverse faulting on the main conductor, southeast-northwest cross structures),” Uracan stated.

Previous drilling has found intervals as high as 0.69% uranium oxide (U3O8) 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.

UEX wholly owns six Basin projects and has joint ventures in another eight. Resource estimates have been completed for Shea Creek and Hidden Bay.

Black Lake borders Gibbon’s Creek, where Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK and option partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN last month reported boulder samples grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

VTEM finds conductive anomalies on Makena’s Patterson project

Initial geophysical data from a VTEM max electromagnetic survey over Makena Resources’ TSXV:MKN Patterson prospect shows two distinctive anomalous zones, the company reported February 14. “Of particular note is the relationship of the conductive zones associated with the breaks in the magnetic pattern,” stated geologist Karl Schimann. “These breaks are often associated with uranium mineralization.” The company is considering ground EM and drilling to follow up.

Makena optioned a 50% stake in the project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV last August. The prospect totals 6,687 hectares divided into three PLS-vicinity claim blocks, one of them adjacent to Fission Uranium’s property.

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