Thursday 27th October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘Canadian International Minerals Inc (CIN)’

Replenishing reserves

December 11th, 2014

With a decade of diamond demand outgrowing supply, Canada’s a target for new sources

by Greg Klein

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Diamonds: Global supply and demand

Miners of other commodities might welcome half of the diamond dilemma. Forecasts see continued market growth for another decade. But production will taper off. That’s the 10-year prognosis from Bain & Company and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Meanwhile another report from the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines addresses the need to maintain production in the Northwest Territories, the world’s third-largest source of diamonds by value and home to a busy exploration scene.

The December 9 Bain study, which generally agrees with a September report from De Beers, expects an average 4% to 5% compound annual growth in rough diamond demand to 2024 driven largely by India, the U.S. and especially China. Supply growth, on the other hand, should lag behind at 3.5% to 4% up to 2019, then fall to somewhere between 1.5% and 2% for another five years.

With a decade of diamond demand outgrowing supply, Canada’s a target for new sources

The world’s largest source of new production would be Gahcho Kué, the De Beers/Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV joint venture slated for 2016 production in the NWT’s Lac de Gras region. The mine’s expected to produce between five and six million carats annually to 2020.

Bain forecasts Lukoil’s Grib mine in Russia at four to 4.5 million carats a year when it begins operation in 2016. After that would come the Karpinsky-1 pipe at ALROSA’s Lomonosov project in Russia, expected to yield about three million carats annually after reaching commercial production in 2015. Stornoway Diamond’s (TSX:SWY) Renard project in Quebec, slated for 2016 commercial production, should be good for another 1.5 million carats a year. Looking farther ahead, Rio Tinto’s (NYSE:RIO) Bunder mine in India is projected to yield another three million carats annually on reaching full production in 2020 or 2021.

“Other new mines under development are relatively small; each is projected to produce one million or fewer carats annually,” the report states.

“Because it takes seven to 10 years to develop a mine, even if major new deposits were discovered within the next few years, there would not be enough time to bring them to full production by the end of the forecast period,” the study adds.

Diamond supply: The Canadian outlook

The supply/demand imbalance notwithstanding, jewelry retailers show increasing eagerness to trace diamonds to ethical sources, Bain points out.

Among those sources is Canada, renowned for high-quality, conflict-free stones. Diamond mining now takes place in Ontario and the NWT, with Quebec expected to join soon and Saskatchewan another possible contender. Output from just three mines in Lac de Gras ranks the NWT region third globally for diamond production by value.

Of those three, Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati is projected to run out of ore in 2019, according to the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines. The chamber gives the Dominion/Rio Diavik operation a life expectancy to 2024 and De Beers’ Snap Lake until 2028.

Rio has since announced plans to bring Diavik’s A-21 deposit online. Yet the chamber maintains A-21’s expected to maintain current production, not extend mine life.

Ekati’s best chance for a stay of execution is the Jay project, “the largest diamondiferous resource in North America,” according to Dominion, and a potential extension of 10 or more years to the Ekati operation. Should environmental approval arrive by the end of 2015, Dominion hopes to begin operations by 2019.

Diamond exploration: The juniors move in

Not surprisingly, it’s up to the juniors to meet growing demand. Since Canadian diamonds are found in kimberlites and kimberlites tend to come in clusters, most exploration takes place near known deposits—with the hope that nearby kimberlites will also contain diamonds.

The hottest hotbed of activity is the NWT, especially around Gahcho Kué. Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI holds turf on three sides of the project. Last month the company mobilized for more exploration and delineation drilling on Kelvin, one of the Kennady North project’s four diamond-bearing kimberlites. Diamond recovery results are expected by year-end from two more mini-bulk samples.

Another Gahcho Kué neighbour, Prima Diamond TSXV:PMD holds the 42,000-hectare Godspeed Lake project immediately south of the mine-to-be. Forty kilometres northwest of Gahcho Kué and 35 kilometres east of Snap Lake, Prima holds the 14,000-hectare Munn Lake project. A 581-kilogram sample from one Munn Lake kimberlite gave up 226 diamonds while a 42-kilogram sample from another revealed 14 diamonds. Prima also optioned the Orion diamond property, 2,275 hectares in Quebec’s Otish Corridor, north of Stornoway’s upcoming operation.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Cameco suspends Millennium mine proposal

Declining uranium prices have forced Cameco Corp TSX:CCO to postpone its Millennium mine proposal. On May 16 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated a public hearing for a licence application scheduled for June had been adjourned at Cameco’s request. A brief message on the company’s website blamed “poor economic conditions in world uranium markets.”

Figures from 2009 credited the project with an indicated resource of 46.8 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) averaging 4.53% uranium. A 2013 environmental impact statement forecast an initial 10-year lifespan, but anticipated extensions if further resources were found. Ore would have been shipped 36 kilometres south to the Key Lake mill, held 83% by Cameco and 17% by AREVA Resources Canada.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

Although just last month Cameco expressed optimism in uranium’s
long-term outlook, the company blamed market conditions as it
withdrew its Millennium licence application.

Uranium prices have continued their slide to new record lows. Although there’s no spot price for the metal, UX Consulting’s most recent indicator, published May 12, came to $29 a pound.

In last month’s Q1 report, Cameco expressed optimism about the long-term outlook, expecting “an increase in annual uranium consumption from today’s 170 million pounds to about 240 million pounds” over the next decade.

In March Cameco finally put its Cigar Lake mine into production, nine years after construction began and 33 years after its discovery.

The CNSC left the door open for Cameco to make a future request that its licence application be considered by the commission, which would then call a public hearing.

Fission Uranium hits 30 metres of 2.58% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU unloaded assays for eight more holes from Patterson Lake South on May 13, all of them from the R780E zone. This week’s star, PLS14-158, marks the eastern-most R780E hole for which assays have been released, boosting the company’s optimism in the deposit’s eastward potential. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-141

  • 0.72% U3O8 over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.04% over 3 metres)

  • 0.77% over 6 metres, starting at 187.5 metres
  • (including 2.31% over 1.5 metres)


  • 0.26% over 14 metres, starting at 145 metres

  • 0.41% over 5 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.5 metres)


  • 0.79% over 19 metres, starting at 127.5 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.46% over 7.5 metres, starting at 151.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
  • (including 1.43% over 1 metre)

  • 2.07% over 3 metres, starting at 208 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)


  • 1.83% over 3.5 metres, starting at 154.5 metres
  • (including 2.9% over 2 metres)

  • 0.63% over 5 metres, starting at 192.5 metres


  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres


  • 2.94% over 7 metres, starting at 219 metres
  • (including 5.58% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.22% over 19.5 metres, starting at 285.5 metres


  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres


  • 0.72% over 8 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • 2.58% over 30 metres, starting at 152 metres
  • (including 22.02% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 8.57% over 5 metres)

  • 6.85% over 10 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 12.23% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.53% over 4.5 metres, starting at 253.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t provided. R780E is the middle of five zones, and the largest of all five, along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open both to the east and west. With assays released for 30 winter holes so far, lab results are pending for approximately 62 more.

Although winter exploration drilling fell short of exciting, the season’s focus was on infill drilling to define a maiden resource that will—on some unspecified date—debut to an intensely curious audience.

Powertech files Kyrgyzstan resource held 80% by proposed merger partner, updates South Dakota licence challenge

Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE has filed an inferred resource for the Kyzyl Ompul licence in Kyrgyzstan, the company announced on May 13. The 42,379-hectare project is held 80% by Azarga Resources Ltd, which plans to merge with Powertech. The resource uses a 0.01% cutoff to show 15.13 tonnes averaging 0.022% for 7.51 million pounds U3O8 inferred.

Powertech described the Kok Moinok main zone as about 700 metres along an east-west strike, 600 metres north-south and 10 to 30 metres in depth. The report also included two conceptual exploration target area estimates.

Although Powertech acknowledged that access to the project was blocked by political unrest in 2005 and 2010, the company maintained that “the main risk factors at this stage are commodity prices….”

Last year Kyrgyzstan managed to fall a few spots to the very bottom of the Fraser Institute’s policy perception index and achieved near-bottom rankings for several other categories in the annual poll of mining professionals. But a May 7 Financial Post article by Peter Koven pointed out that despite public opposition, social unrest and ongoing government policy threats, Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan mine “continues to run and churn out cash.”

The Kyzyl Ompul licence expires at the end of 2015. Read more about the Powertech/Azarga merger here and here.

On May 14 Powertech updated events following a challenge to its operating licence for the company’s Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota. In oral hearings the previous day, opponents questioned procedures followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine the importance of possible native religious sites in the area.

As the hearings continue, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether Dewey-Burdock’s licence becomes effective or remains on hold until a formal hearing in August. Read more about the licence challenge.

MPVC begins drilling Maguire Lake target at NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun at MPVC Inc’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced May 14. While winter conditions persist, a diamond drill will focus on Maguire Lake. Preliminary radon measurements from the lake reported the previous week were, to the company’s knowledge, second only to PLS for a water-based survey. MPVC will also bring in a rotary air blast drill, which is intended to test shallow targets quickly.

With ground gravity survey results now in hand, the company has filled in gaps between three earlier sets of data, extending previously identified gravity lows and discovering new gravity lows.

To earn 80% of the 143,603-hectare project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 22nd, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • (including 9.7% over 4.6 metres)

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

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

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

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

Fission Uranium merges two more zones at Patterson Lake South

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 15th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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Innovation overcomes epic struggle to put Cameco’s Cigar Lake into production



With an ore grade 100 times the world average, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO overcame tremendous challenges to put Cigar Lake into production. Indeed the project’s first ore shipment on March 13 suggests that high grade is the mother of invention.

Among other tribulations, flooding in 2006 and 2008 stalled the eastern Athabasca Basin mine, which dates back to a 1981 discovery and began construction in 2005. Last year’s planned start-up hit another delay with leaks from tanks built to hold the run-of-mine slurry. Around the same time the McClean Lake mill faced delays of its own with modifications to the leaching circuit.

Cameco devised innovative techniques of bulk freezing and jet boring to extract the deposit lying 410 to 450 metres below surface, “where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks.”

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

The jet boring tunnel at Cigar Lake, which Cameco calls “among
the most technically challenging mining projects in the world.”

To prevent flooding, the company freezes the ore and surrounding rock “by circulating a brine solution through freeze holes drilled from both surface and underground.”

To extract the ore, Cameco developed a method of high-pressure water jet boring “after many years of test mining” that keeps operators safely distant from the enormously high-grade deposit.

The company’s targeting 18 million pounds a year at full production, making it the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine after the Cameco/AREVA (70%/30%) McArthur River operation. But even 33 years after Cigar Lake’s discovery, the company anticipates further difficulties: “As we ramp up production, there may be some technical challenges which could affect our production plans.”

As of December 31, Cigar Lake capital expenditures came to $2.6 billion. Over 600 people will staff the mine.

Milling will take place at McClean Lake, 70 kilometres northeast. Operator AREVA Resources Canada says the plant “is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tonnes as early as 2018.”

Cigar Lake shows proven and probable reserves averaging 18.3% for 216.7 million pounds U3O8. Measured and indicated resources average 2.27% for 2.2 million pounds. The inferred resource averages 12.01% for 98.9 million pounds.

Cigar Lake is a joint venture of Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources (5%).

The McClean Lake JV consists of AREVA (70% ), Denison Mines TSX:DML (22.5%) and OURD Canada (7.5%).

Read more about Cigar Lake here and here.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results, $25-million bought deal

Patterson Lake South’s momentum continued on March 10 as Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released its third batch of radiometric readings in five days—this time boasting one hole with “the second strongest off-scale results recorded at PLS to date, placing it amongst the best holes drilled in the Athabasca Basin.” The four new holes also continue the winter program’s 100% hit rate and further encourage the company’s quest to connect the six zones along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results

Fission uses a hand-held scintillometer to measure
radiation from drill core prior to receiving lab assays.

The most recent star hole is PLS14-164, whose intervals showed a total of 30.08 metres of off-scale readings at 9,999 counts per second, the maximum amount of gamma radiation that the hand-held scintillometer can measure. The readings, taken from drill core, are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Another hole showed a composite 2.1 metres of off-scale radioactivity. Of the four holes, the mineralized intercept closest to surface started at 56 metres, while the deepest stopped at 380.5 metres.

Oddly enough, Fission Uranium’s March 10 release says one of the new holes “has narrowed the distance between zones R390E and R585E to approximately 60 metres.” That’s the same distance between the same zones reported by the company on March 7.

Already 40 holes have been completed in the $12-million winter campaign that began in mid-January. The company plans about 85 or 90 holes totalling around 30,000 metres on the ice-bound lake before spring. While one rig explores outside the mineralized area, Fission Uranium hopes its four other drills will fill the gaps between the project’s six zones.

Just before the March 10 closing bell Fission Uranium announced a $25-million bought deal. A syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 15.65 million warrants, exercisable for one share each, at $1.60. The company expects to close the private placement by April 1. The underwriters may buy an additional 15%.

Fission Uranium surpassed its 52-week high March 10, opening three cents above its previous close, reaching $1.71 and then settling on $1.67 when trading was halted at the company’s request minutes before the $25-million announcement.

Trading resumed the following day. The company closed March 14 on $1.59. With 330.12 million shares outstanding, Fission Uranium had a market cap of $524.89 million.

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

Core from RK-14-27 shows pitchblende within
brecciated shear at 253.8 metres in downhole depth.

With radiometric results from a second hole on Rook 1’s Arrow prospect, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE repeated last month’s success. On March 13 the company released dozens of tiny intervals ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 metres that showed “significant” readings over 500 counts per second. One intercept of 15.05 metres (not true width) showed almost continuous significant results.

The measurements, which are no substitute for assays, were obtained by scanning drill core with a hand-held radiation detector.

Significant intervals for RK-14-27 started at 224.45 metres in downhole depth and ended at 435.9 metres. Drilling stopped at 576 metres. About a dozen small intervals hit the device’s maximum possible reading of 10,000 cps. Arrow’s mineralization now extends at least 32 metres down dip across two holes, NexGen stated.

Three other holes failed to find significant radiation but “analysis of structures in these holes meant that hole 27 was successfully planned to intersect the interpreted mineralized zones both along strike and down dip.” The company plans to sink RK-14-29 40 metres southwest along strike. Now in progress, RK-14-28 is testing a gravity low roughly 200 metres west of RK-14-27.

The company has two drills working the Arrow area, now the focus of the PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project. A third rig will join by summer.

On March 10 NexGen stated it filed a preliminary short form prospectus regarding the previously announced $10-million bought deal, which the company expects to close on or about March 26.

Fission 3.0 stakes 42,000 additional hectares in and around the Basin

Three acquisitions and one property expansion add nearly 42,000 hectares to Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) portfolio. Announced March 13, the newly staked properties indicate “there remain many under-explored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” according to COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy.

Not all the new turf actually lies within the Basin. But neither does PLS. The 20,826-hectare Perron Lake property is about 20 kilometres north of the Basin and has benefited from regional lake sediment sampling that showed strong uranium anomalies.

The 9,168-hectare Cree Bay property sits within the northeastern Basin, where historic airborne geophysics suggest potential for hydrothermal and structure-related deposits.

Within the southeastern Basin, the 4,354-hectare Grey Island property is located about 70 kilometres from Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Manitou Falls enlarges by 7,589 hectares to a total of 10,529 hectares. The northeastern Basin property was originally staked last May when the spinco was just a gleam in Fission Uranium’s eye. Historic data shows six radiometric anomalies and multiple basement electromagnetic conductors.

Fission 3.0’s portfolio now numbers nine Saskatchewan and Alberta properties in and around the Basin and one in Peru’s Macusani uranium district.

Purepoint finds new zone at Hook Lake JV

March 10 news from Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU heralded a new zone of mineralization at its Hook Lake joint venture five kilometres northeast of PLS. Although two of four holes failed to find mineralization, the other two prompted the company to move its second rig to the new Spitfire zone.

The single interval released from hole HK14-09 showed:

  • 0.32% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 208.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.1% over 0.5 metres)

Thirty metres northwest, HK14-11 showed:

  • 0.11% over 2 metres, starting at 197.9 metres

  • 0.05% over 3 metres, starting at 201.9 metres

  • 0.57% over 0.9 metres, starting at 210.6 metres

True widths weren’t provided. These holes were drilled at a -70 degree dip.

All four holes targeted the 2.9-kilometre D2 electromagnetic conductor, which features “a large magnetic low, possibly indicative of hydrothermal alteration,” said VP of exploration Scott Frostad. “Now that the D2 conductor has been shown to be associated with uranium mineralization, we will increase our drilling efforts towards the northeast where geophysics suggests there is a more structurally complex setting.”

Purepoint stated D2 comprises part of the Patterson Lake conductive corridor, the same conductive trend targeted by Fission at PLS.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare project and acts as operator for partners Cameco (39.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%). The work is part of a $2.5-million, 5,000-metre campaign that began in late January.

In early February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

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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

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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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 30th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 23 to 29, 2013

by Greg Klein

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December 6 expected for Fission to finish Alpha acquisition; Fission spinco gets court approval

Now that both companies have put it to a vote, Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW goes to the TSXV and Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench for final approval. The 50/50 Patterson Lake South joint venture partners announced overwhelming support at their respective meetings on November 28. The companies expect final approval on December 6.

The Fission tally was 99.55% from shareholders and 99.6% from security holders. Alpha’s enthusiasm was slightly more restrained, with 83.18% shareholder and 85.72% security-holder support.

Assuming final approvals come through, the arrangement will put the celebrated PLS uranium project under a single takeover target… er, company. Alpha and Fission will each create a spinco for their non-PLS assets.

Court approval for Fission’s spinco was announced November 29. Itself a spin-out resulting from last April’s Fission Energy acquisition by Denison Mines TSX:DML, Fission Uranium calls the new entity Fission 3.0. Each Fission Uranium shareholder gets one new share of post-arrangement PLS-holding Fission Uranium as well as a share of Fission Mach III, expected to start trading December 10.

Read more about the takeover.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

PLS regional drilling disappoints but Fission/Alpha end campaign triumphantly

Two of the final 11 autumn holes at PLS confirmed continuity along a 30-metre strike at the project’s recently discovered sixth zone. But nine others failed to find significant radioactivity, according to scintillometer results released by Fission and Alpha on November 27. The non-mineralized nonet, sunk further west of the project’s western-most R600W zone, might please only an anti-nuke activist. Nevertheless “varying degrees of secondary hydrothermal alteration were present in all holes, thus providing encouragement for the prospectivity of the western strike extension” of the PL-3B EM conductor corridor. R600W remains open in all directions, the partners maintain.

Their hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum of 9,999 counts per second. These results are no substitute for assays, which are still to come. But don’t hold your breath—so are assays for 40 holes drilled last summer.

Of the two mineralized holes, PLS13-123 reached a total depth of 260 metres, encountering sandstone at 90.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 100 metres. Some highlights show:

  • <300 to 1,200 cps over 20 metres, starting at 95 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 5,100 cps over 7.5 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • 320 to 2,300 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 142.5 metres

Hole PLS13-124 found sandstone at 97.5 metres and the basement unconformity at 99 metres before stopping at 257 metres. Highlights include:

  • 450 to 5,500 cps over 6.5 metres, starting at 97.5 metres

  • <300 to 1,300 cps over 7.5 metres, starting at 114 metres

  • <300 to 2,500 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 197 metres

True widths weren’t available. With dips of -87 and -89 degrees respectively, the two holes’ downhole depths are close to vertical.

The 11 land-based holes bring an end to this drill program, most of which took place from barges over the lake. Fifty-three holes totalling 16,485 metres found six near-surface zones along a 1.76-kilometre trend. Ending the season on a triumphant note, Alpha president Ben Ainsworth said the 12-month campaign nearly equalled “what was completed in four years of work on Hathor’s Roughrider discovery.”

Research report examines Lakeland Resources as company acquires additional Basin property

Just one day after a research report was released on Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK, the company reported expansionary plans in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Announced November 27, a JV teams the company with Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV on two claims totalling 1,092 hectares. The new turf sits adjacently north of the Gibbon’s Creek target, focal point of Lakeland’s Riou Lake property.

The acquisition takes place while results are pending from autumn field work at Gibbon’s Creek. “Based on preliminary findings we decided it was important that we acquire that ground,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells “Star Minerals is focused on a rare earth project north of the Basin so the agreement works well for both companies.”

Gibbon’s autumn campaign, including boulder sampling, line-cutting, a RadonEx survey and a ground DC resistivity survey, has just wrapped up, he adds. “We’re putting all the data together and we’ll get that out imminently.”

A distinct topographical feature of the new property is an uplifted block of basement rock that “highlights the evidence for structural offsets, a key feature of known unconformity-type uranium deposits,” Lakeland stated. Historic work by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-predecessor Eldorado Nuclear found several anomalous soil samples around the uplifted block measuring up to 0.01% uranium. Trenching by Eldorado showed concentrations of rare earths that might also indicate unconformity-type uranium mineralization. The property has also undergone 14 historic drill holes.

Lakeland plans to follow up on the previous work while reviewing Gibbon’s Creek data to identify drill targets. “We still have two other priority projects, South Pine bordering Riou Lake on the west, and Perch Lake farther east,” Armes says. “There’s lots more field work we can do, even during winter. Both radon and resistivity can be carried out during the winter, so we’re not limited to fair weather programs.”

Gibbon’s Creek and the new claims also benefit from close proximity to the town of Stony Rapids, a few kilometres away. Apart from the new acquisition, Lakeland has a portfolio of nine properties totalling over 100,000 hectares in the northern and eastern Basin.

Under the JV agreement, Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in the two additional claims by paying Star $60,000 and issuing 600,000 shares over 12 months. Star retains a 25% buy-back option for four times the exploration expenditures up to 90 days following a resource estimate.

One day before the announcement, prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC released a report on Lakeland. Written by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill, it places Lakeland in the context of Athabasca Basin exploration, the nuclear energy industry and the outlook for uranium prices. Presented as both research and opinion, Hamill’s work shows a shareholder’s perspective—Lakeland is a core holding of Zimtu.

So a degree of self-interest can be acknowledged. But the breadth of research goes far beyond Lakeland, its people and projects, providing a level of detailed scrutiny not often applied to early-stage companies.

Download the Lakeland Resources research report.

Read more about Derek Hamill’s research.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

UEX announces final Shea Creek results, initial 2014 uranium exploration plans

North from PLS along Highway 955, and 13 kilometres south of the Cluff Lake past-producer, a year’s drilling has wrapped up at Shea Creek. UEX Corp TSX:UEX reported final results for two concurrent programs reported November 27.

UEX picked up the entire $2-million tab for drilling around the Kianna deposit while funding $1.27 million of $2.6 million sunk into property-scale exploration as part of the company’s 49%/51% JV with AREVA Resources Canada.

Results were given in uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) using readings from a downhole radiometric probe which were calibrated with an algorithm calculated by comparing previous probe results with assays.

The most promising results came from the Kianna deposit. Kianna East hole SHE-142-3 reached a total depth of 1,065 metres, finding the unconformity at 736.9 metres and expanding the zone to the south. Highlights show:

  • 0.99% eU3O8 over 5.3 metres, starting at 961.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)

In addition, UEX credited hole SHE-135-16 with a northwest expansion to Kianna East. Ending at 1,038 metres’ depth, the hole found the unconformity at 750.5 metres. Some of the better results show:

  • 0.16% over 5.2 metres, starting at 956 metres
  • (including 0.41% over 0.9 metres)
  • (and including 0.49% over 0.7 metres)

  • 0.48% over 3 metres, starting at 979.9 metres

Kianna North hole SHE-135-17 hit the unconformity at 732.2 metres before stopping at 1,059 metres, expanding the zone’s eastern extension of basement-hosted mineralization. Highlights include:

  • 0.33% over 9.4 metres, starting at 724.6 metres
  • (including 0.5% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 0.53% over 4.4 metres)

  • 0.8% over 31.5 metres, starting at 848.8 metres
  • (including 3.29% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 3.22% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 4.05% over 4.1 metres)

Of 10 exploration holes that tested two conductors, eight failed to find significant results. Two holes at Anne South showed these results:

  • 0.14% over 0.9 metres, starting at 765.4 metres

  • 0.21% over 0.9 metres, starting at 748.4 metres

(True widths were unavailable for all holes.)

Four of the 10 holes confirmed the Saskatoon Lake East conductor’s location, providing a new target area parallel to the roughly three-kilometre trend hosting Shea’s four deposits. Combined, they comprise the Basin’s third-largest resource after Cameco’s McArthur River and Cigar Lake, showing:

  • indicated: 2.07 million tonnes averaging 1.48% for 67.66 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred: 1.27 million tonnes averaging 1.01% for 28.19 million pounds

Still undecided are next year’s plans for Shea Creek, where AREVA acts as project operator. UEX states work will depend on Q1 capital market conditions.

But another November 27 announcement reported a $2-million budget for three western Basin projects. Plans include about 4,000 metres of drilling to test EM conductors at the Laurie and Mirror River projects, and a 50.4-line-kilometre ground tensor magnetotelluric survey at the Erica project. Work is expected to start in January. By that time ownership will be divided approximately 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by AREVA, again acting as operator.

Among other UEX projects, its 100%-held Hidden Bay on the Basin’s east side has three deposits totalling:

  • indicated: 10.37 million tonnes averaging 0.16% for 36.62 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred: 1.11 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 2.71 million pounds

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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 “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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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission extend one PLS zone, disagree about certainty of a “fifth zone”

The news from Patterson Lake South continues to impress—even when the joint venture partners don’t interpret it quite the same way. Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU says a 150-metre step-out found a “fifth high-grade zone.” Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW prefers to call it a “potential” fifth high-grade zone. Either way, the September 23 news was one of three announcements last week that included an extension to an existing zone’s strike length.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Patterson Lake South now has a fifth zone—or a
potential fifth zone, depending on whom you listen to.

The new or potential new zone sits about halfway between the R390E and R780E zones, which are either the second and third of four zones, or the second and fourth of five zones, along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend. With luck future drill results will bring Alpha into agreement with Fission, thereby simplifying sentence structure.

Hole PLS13-085 was collared 150 metres grid east of R390E, reached a depth of 317 metres and struck the basement unconformity at 62.4 metres without encountering sandstone. Preliminary results come from a hand-held scintillometer, which measures radiation up to an off-scale level of more than 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Some highlights showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 33.5 metres, starting at 67 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,200 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 111 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres, starting at 123 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. With a -89 degree dip, downhole depths were close to vertical depths.

Two days later, and with greater unanimity, the 50/50 partners released assays for holes that had previously reported scintillometer readings. Ranking as one of the best PLS holes so far, PLS13-072 reached a total depth of 209 metres. It found no sandstone and struck the basement unconformity at 55.7 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 8.15% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 19.28% over 7.5 metres)

  • (and including 21.53% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 98.5 metres

  • 0.57% over 8.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • (including 1.61% over 2.5 metres)

  • 2.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 137 metres

  • (including 10.65% over 1 metre)

With an -89 degree dip, the depths were close to vertical.

PLS13-073 struck sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 53 metres, before stopping at 248 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 0.25% over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 0.92% over 3 metres)

  • 0.59% over 10 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • (including 4.81% over 1 metre)

True thicknesses are still to come.

When their scintillometer readings were reported earlier (here and here), the two holes extended R390E’s strike 15 metres grid west and 15 metres grid east respectively. But on September 27 the JV announced a further extension, bringing the zone’s strike to about 255 metres and suggesting the possibility “of extending the zone south along the entire length of the corridor as it becomes further delineated.” Here are some highlights from the eight holes reported:

Hole PLS13-087A reached a total depth of 227 metres, encountering sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 50.9 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 68.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,100 cps over 17 metres, starting at 98 metres

Hole PLS13-088 reached a total depth of 296 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 54.3 metres.

  • <300 to 9,800 cps over 23.5 metres, starting at 80 metres in downhole depth

  • 400 to 8,100 cps over 8 metres, starting at 135 metres

Hole PLS13-094 reached a total depth of 272.3 metres, encountering sandstone at 50.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.4 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

Hole PLS13-095 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 47.6 metres and the basement unconformity at 51.7 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 68 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 7 metres, starting at 93.5 metres

  • <300 to 5,800 cps over 33 metres, starting at 116 metres

Hole PLS13-100 reached a total depth of 263 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.3 metres.

  • 790 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 53 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 8,000 cps over 20 metres, starting at 99.5 metres

  • <300 to>9,999 cps over 8.5 metres, starting at 134 metres

Hole PLS13-102 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 58.3 metres and the basement unconformity at 58.8 metres.

  • <300 to 6,000 cps over 29 metres, starting at 103 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

Again, true thicknesses were unavailable. With dips ranging from -84 to -89 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Assays are pending for these holes but this summer’s drilling has extended R390E more than four-fold from last winter’s 60-metre strike.

Fission acts as project operator on the current $6.95-million program. On September 18 the partners signed a definitive agreement for Fission’s acquisition of Alpha and sole control over PLS, with the companies’ other assets to be spun out into two separate companies.

Rockgate rejects Mega merger, mulls Denison deal and other possibilities

Just one day before their shareholders were to vote on a merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors scuttled the proposal. Although a “superior” offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML led to their September 24 announcement, Rockgate directors expressed reservations, said they needed more time for due diligence and expressed interest in receiving other offers.

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

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Rockgate delineates Falea project’s 880 zone in Mali

Meanwhile work continues on the object of those affections, Rockgate’s Falea flagship in southwestern Mali. On September 26 the company released assays from four holes on the 880 zone, which was discovered last fall. The results show:

  • 0.59% U3O8, 45.7 grams per tonne silver and 0.17% copper over 2.7 metres, starting at 301.4 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.06% U3O8, 118.3 g/t silver and 0.78% copper over 2 metres, starting at 303 metres

  • 0.12% U3O8, 86.3 g/t silver and 0.52% copper over 3 metres, starting at 320 metres

  • 0.17% U3O8, 17.1 g/t silver and 0.16% copper over 4 metres, starting at 304.5 metres

  • (including 1.13% U3O8, 96 g/t silver and 1.14% copper over 0.5 metres)

Intercepts are estimated at 96% to 100% of true widths. Mineralization remains open in several directions, the company stated.

This year’s 19-hole, 5,910-metre program included 14 holes totalling 4,563 metres on the 880 zone’s 500-metre strike length. Another five holes totalling 1,347 metres tested the project’s Central zone. The 880 zone has yet to be included in Falea’s resource estimate. Released last December, it shows:

  • a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% U3O8 for 4.29 million pounds U3O8, with 3.52 million ounces silver and 6.05 million pounds copper

  • an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% U3O8 for 25.29 million pounds U3O8, with 24.43 million ounces silver and 68.17 million pounds copper

  • an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% U3O8 for 15.69 million pounds U3O8, with 8.91 million ounces silver and 81.19 million pounds copper

Rockgate plans to incorporate the 880 zone into an updated resource, likely to coincide with a pre-feasibility study scheduled for completion early next year. The company says it’s been “entirely unaffected” by last year’s military coup and this year’s fighting between French troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels.

NexGen completes two-thirds of Rook 1 drilling, awaits Radio assays

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Brecciated core from NexGen Energy’s Rook 1 drill program.

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE updated its PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign September 25. With 3,000 metres planned, the company has sunk eight holes totalling 1,957 metres on an area about 700 metres along interpreted extensions of the PLS 3B conductor and a parallel conductor approximately 800 metres east.

“All holes intersected varying types of structural zones in basement lithologies, ranging from small fractures through to wide, heavily brecciated material,” the company stated. Scintillometer readings found intercepts of elevated levels in several holes, while all eight holes reached shallow basement rock at downhole depths ranging from 48.7 metres to 82.6 metres. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to October. Winter drilling is planned for the same area.

Assays are still pending from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at Radio, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits on the northeastern Basin. In late August NexGen closed $5 million in private placements.

Canadian International Minerals options two claim groups to Rio Grande;
Rio Grande offers $900,000 private placement, grants options

Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN announced on September 24 it optioned Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV a 75% interest in the Britts Lake East and Firebag East/Descharme claims about 35 kilometres southwest of PLS. Under the agreement Rio Grande would pay a total of $100,000 and issue Canadian International 500,000 shares. Rio Grande would also spend $250,000 by year one, $500,000 by year two and $1.5 million by year three. The companies didn’t specify whether those are aggregate or separate yearly figures.

Canadian International retains a 2% NSR, of which Rio Grande may buy half for $1 million. Canadian International will act as project operator on a planned winter campaign to include radon and helium surveys, as well as lake sediment sampling on the 18,041-hectare package.

Canadian International also holds a 50% interest in each of two other Saskatchewan uranium prospects, the 4,639-hectare Coflin Lake property and the 34,762-hectare Clearwater property.

On September 25 Rio Grande announced a private placement of up to $900,000, consisting of six million units at $0.10 and another 2.5 million units at $0.12. The company also granted 900,000 options to insiders at $0.12 for five years.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports radon and radiometric anomalies at Preston Lake

A four-company strategic alliance focused on the PLS area’s Western Athabasca Syndicate project reported anomalous radon and scintillometer findings on September 26. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY stated an initial radon-in-water survey found nine of 291 samples measuring over 23 picocuries per litre, with the highest reaching 98 pCi/L. The anomalies appear as both clusters and discrete point anomalies, the companies added. Fission and Alpha based their initial PLS drill targets on these measurements of radon gas.

Additionally, WASP’s 217-kilometre scintillometer survey found 25 areas radiating over 1,000 cps, more than twice the typical background level. More Phase II results are pending while Phase III field work continues with the intention of identifying drill targets.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 25th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 18 to 24, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission plan $6.95-million campaign for Patterson Lake South

A review of uranium activity from Saskatchewan and beyond

With three rigs, three barges and $6.95 million, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have a busy summer planned for Patterson Lake South. The 44-hole, 11,000-metre campaign announced May 21 will focus on delineating and expanding three zones of high-grade, near-surface uranium mineralization. Additional targets southwest and northeast of the 850-metre trend come courtesy of a radon survey. Ground geophysics will follow up on two “highly prospective” areas spotted by an airborne survey over the property’s southwest and southeast areas. The agenda also includes environmental baseline studies and sampling for metallurgical tests.

The 50/50 joint venture partners patted each other on the back for finding mineralization in 82% of their targets during a winter campaign that attracted widespread attention in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Their discoveries sit 3.8 kilometres to 4.6 kilometres from one of the Basin’s largest known high-grade boulder fields.

Companies collaborate on PLS-region flyover

Six companies are pooling their money to fund a joint airborne geophysical survey in the PLS area. A May 24 announcement from Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK said Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Aldrin Resources TSXV:ALN, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN will join Yellowjacket on the study that begins May 26.

Yellowjacket will focus a 2,000-line-kilometre VTEM-Plus time domain system and 2,000-line-kilometre radiometric survey on parts of its 83,600-hectare Preston Lake project 26 kilometres southeast of the PLS discovery area. VTEM-Plus will search for basement conductors similar to the structures hosting the PLS discoveries while radiometrics will hunt down uranium boulder trains and in-situ mineralization. Although reports will come in daily, full results along with interpretation are scheduled for late July.

Historic Preston Lake work found anomalous uranium in lake sediment, as well as graphitic faults associated with sulphides and anomalous radioactivity. Rock samples of up to 5.4 parts per million uranium might indicate “either the down-ice glacial transport of uranium boulders from source or an in-situ source of uranium,” Yellowjacket stated.

The company’s Preston Lake and Patterson East properties total over 158,200 hectares, making Yellowjacket the PLS area’s largest claim holder. YJK also holds six other Basin properties. On the agenda for its May 29 AGM is a proposed name change to Athabasca Nuclear Corp. (Update: On June 6, 2013, Yellowjacket Resources began trading as Athabasca Nuclear Corp TSXV:ASC.)

We have a plan in place to attack this as a team. With the three companies combined we have a number of highly qualified geologists who have collectively been up in this part of Canada for a long time, so we have many, many years of exploration expertise behind us.—Jordan Trimble, Skyharbour Resources manager of corporate development and communications

Survey participant Skyharbour benefits from the money and expertise of two additional companies, SYH manager of corporate development and communications Jordan Trimble points out. The earn-ins announced last week allow Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each a 25% interest in Skyharbour’s portfolio of seven Basin properties, six in the PLS region. In return Lucky Strike and Noka each pay Skyharbour $100,000 and fund $500,000 of exploration a year for two years.

“In this market especially, the financial capital they’re providing is hugely beneficial,” Trimble says. “We have a plan in place to attack this as a team. With the three companies combined we have a number of highly qualified geologists who have collectively been up in this part of Canada for a long time, so we have many, many years of exploration expertise behind us. This is just the start of the program. There’ll be lots more news to come.”

UEX offers $3.175-million private placement

Already holding about $10.6 million in cash, UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced on May 24 a private placement of 6.35 million flow-through shares at $0.50 for proceeds of $3.175 million. An additional 1.85 million flow-through shares may be issued under the same terms should Cameco Corp TSX:CCO exercise its right to maintain an approximately 22.58% interest in UEX. The company hopes to close the placement by June.

UEX holds 17 Basin projects totalling 264,363 hectares including its 49.9% interest in Shea Creek, the Basin’s third-largest uranium resource. The UEX portfolio includes nine other JVs with AREVA and one with both AREVA and Japan-Canada Uranium (JCU). UEX holds a 100% interest in the other six.

NexGen hires ex-Hathor/Rio geos, plans Radio drill campaign

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE snagged more expertise with two new hires announced May 22. Senior geologist James Sykes moved from Denison Mines TSX:DML to Hathor Exploration and from Hathor to Rio Tinto when the latter bought Hathor and its Roughrider deposit in 2011 for $654 million. Sykes is credited with building the 3D geological model of the Roughrider system that led to the discovery of the Roughrider East and Far East deposits.

Exploration geologist Matthew Schwab has a similar background. A member of the Hathor team that explored Roughrider and defined its mineralized zones, he also comes to NexGen via Rio.

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