Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 2 to 8, 2013
by Greg Klein
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Alpha/Fission find sixth zone with 525-metre step-out west of PLS discovery
Almost exactly a year ago joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced their Patterson Lake South discovery hole in what came to be known as zone R00E. Since then drilling from ice or barge extended east along the lake, finding five zones along a 1.23-kilometre trend. Now initial results from a $2.25-million, 11-hole, 3,700-metre land-based extension to the 2013 summer program have found a sixth zone, R600W, 525 metres west of the discovery.
The 50/50 JV bases its claim on scintillometer results—which measure gamma radiation up to 9,999 counts per second and are no substitute for lab assays—for two holes released November 4.
Hole PLS13-116 was sunk at a dip of -74 degrees, reaching 323 metres in total downhole depth, encountering basement bedrock at 106.4 metres. Results show:
- 300 to 310 cps over 1 metre, starting at 143 metres in downhole depth
Collared from the same location but with better results, PLS13-118 went vertical to 314 metres and hit basement at 97.2 metres. The shallower depth “possibly suggest[s] structural faulted off-set between the holes,” the companies stated. Results show:
- <300 to 680 cps over 9 metres, starting at 174.5 metres
- <300 to 750 cps over 3 metres, starting at 186 metres
- 314 to 5,550 cps over 8 metres, starting at 191.5 metres
- 650 to 880 cps over 1 metre, starting at 222 metres
- 380 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 254.5 metres
True widths were unavailable. Assays, as well as downhole radiometric probe results, are pending.
The targets result from a radon in sediment anomaly found last summer, which “may be associated with inferred north-south cross-cutting structures. This anomaly lies along an east-northeast trend, parallel and just north of the PL-3B EM conductor,” according to the JV. The companies plan further drilling to focus on this zone, which moves activity closer to the high-grade radioactive boulder field that sparked the PLS rush.
Non-compliant quote of the week
Despite all the verifiably positive news, Alpha disregarded geological best practices and NI 43-101 disclosure rules by distributing this semantically confused whopper about PLS, courtesy of a magazine called ResourceWorld:
“No uranium resource/reserves figures have been inferred from the status of the project as yet, but it can be implied that PLS will become a standalone operation with a minimum 50 million pounds of U3O8.”
International Enexco, Denison report three holes from Bachman Lake
Four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin, JV partners International Enexco TSXV:IEC and Denison Mines TSX:DML have wrapped up their 2013 Bachman Lake drill program. Three holes reported November 4 tested two of the property’s three conductors.
One hole intersected the ML-1 conductor, finding “a large graphitic shear zone in contact with granite gneiss, a favourable host for mineralization warranting additional drilling,” Enexco stated.
An intersection of the CR-2 conductor “confirm[s] that the dominant clay species is illite with some dravite, both of which are commonly elevated near unconformity-related mineralization.” The partners are considering follow-up drilling.
A sandstone alteration zone encountered by the third hole suggests “it may have just overshot the favourable conductive basement horizon.”
Now that Enexco has earned its 20% interest, both companies will fund further work on a pro-rata basis. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator on the 11,419-hectare property. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco has a pre-feasibility study underway on its 100%-held Contact copper project.
Ashburton’s Phase I exploration finds three anomalous areas at Sienna West
Disruptions by the animal kingdom notwithstanding, a radon survey on Ashburton Ventures’ TSXV:ABR Sienna West project found three anomalous areas for follow-up work. Of 35 cups that were buried to measure radon gas, eight were dug up by wildlife. But some of the others identified areas of interest, the company stated on November 4.
In addition, 12 previously reported radioactive boulders have now been analysed, with two showing 12.4 and 184.5 parts per million uranium. The latter was found in an area with high radon counts.
Ashburton also announced the resignation of director Phil Taneda.
The Sienna project comprises the 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of PLS and the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguously north of PLS.
Western Athabasca Syndicate announces winter plans for Preston Lake
With its summer field program complete, a four-company alliance prepares for winter at the PLS-proximal Preston Lake property. Work so far consisted of rock, soil, radon and biogeochemical sampling, as well as airborne electromagnetic, magnetic and radiometric surveys, the companies announced November 5. The Western Athabasca Syndicate consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.
Still to come are final results. But the campaign identified eight potential corridors with 15 drill target areas to be refined with ground gravity, EM and radon surveys between December and February. The companies anticipate drilling to begin in March. So far only about half of the alliance’s 246,643-hectare land package has been explored.
Energy Fuels suspends Arizona mine development, updates corporate news
Blaming litigation and low prices, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR has suspended construction of its Canyon mine in Arizona, the company announced November 5. Legal action by environmentalists and local natives challenges the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine. With all surface infrastructure complete, the company has put underground development on hold until December 2014, or earlier if a court decides on the merits of the case.
According to Associated Press, low uranium prices had put the project “on standby status before, from 1992 until work resumed earlier this year.” The news agency added, “The mine sits in a nearly [404,680-hectare] area that was placed off limits to new mining claims in January 2012. Companies with existing claims that were proven to have sufficient quantity and quality of mineral resources could be developed.”
Canyon has an inferred resource of 82,800 tons averaging 0.98% for 1.63 million pounds U3O8. The deposit is part of Energy Fuels’ Arizona Strip project, acquired when the company bought out Denison’s American assets in June 2012. Canyon had been slated for production in 2015.
In another November 5 announcement rather lacking in specifics, Energy Fuels stated it had applied “to be listed on a recognized U.S. stock exchange.” The same day the company’s post-consolidation shares began trading on the TSX and OTCQX following a 1:50 reverse split agreed to the previous week. The company also changed its fiscal year-end from September 30 to December 31.
Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production.
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