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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)

PLS14-143

  • 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)

PLS14-144

  • 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)

PLS14-148

  • 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

PLS14-149

  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

PLS14-150

  • 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

PLS14-157

  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

PLS14-158

  • 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

May 10th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Paladin releases Labrador infill results, plans Q2 resource update

From Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt, Paladin Energy TSX:PDN announced winter infill drilling results on May 7. Thirteen holes sunk 3,871 metres into the Michelin deposit, with each hole finding mineralization and six revealing significant intervals, the company stated. The best results showed:

Hole M14-151

  • 0.109% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 10 metres, starting at 302 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

Paladin considers Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt “one of the
few remaining under-explored uranium districts globally.”

Hole M14-154

  • 0.14% over 15 metres, starting at 214 metres

  • 0.13% over 8 metres, starting at 256 metres

Hole M14-156

  • 0.095% over 12 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole M14-158

  • 0.096% over 16 metres, starting at 191 metres

Hole M14-162

  • 0.102% over 28 metres, starting at 348 metres

Hole M14-163

  • 0.114% over 9 metres, starting at 355 metres

Information about true widths wasn’t provided. The deposit remains open in both directions and at depth. On the agenda is a Q2 resource update in which Paladin hopes the last few years of drilling will boost confidence as well as produce a small size increase.

Michelin’s resource currently shows:

  • measured: 7.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 13.06 million pounds U3O8

  • indicated: 23 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 54.06 million pounds

  • inferred: 16 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 36.09 million pounds

Adding in five other deposits within 50 kilometres of a potential Michelin mill, the CMB project totals:

  • measured: 8.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 15.1 million pounds

  • indicated: 32 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 68.7 million pounds

  • inferred: 29.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 53 million pounds

Three kilometres south of Michelin, two holes totalling 561 metres failed to find depth extensions to the Rainbow deposit. But Paladin considers the Michelin-Rainbow trend highly prospective as a result of radiometric surveying, mapping, prospecting and some drilling. Interpretation of a 608-line-kilometre ground magnetic survey will help guide exploration in the Michelin vicinity. More drilling is planned for next winter.

Paladin holds interests in five other exploration projects in Australia and another in Niger. Last February, declining prices forced the company to place its Kayelekera mine in Malawi on care and maintenance. Paladin hopes to close the sale of a 25% interest in its Langer Heinrich flagship in Namibia in June.

Northwest Manitoba radon-in-water might be second only to PLS, MPVC says

Having reported results of a land-based radon survey last month, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO announced preliminary but optimistic findings from a radon-in-water survey at its Northwest Manitoba project on May 7. “To the author’s knowledge” only Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South has shown higher readings for a water-based survey, MPVC stated. More detailed analysis could change the results by about 10% either way.

Of the 1,399 samples from Maguire Lake, 41 showed results above 100 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), 14 went beyond 200 pCi/L, eight exceeded 300 pCi/L and four surpassed 400 pCi/L.

The readings extend linear trends identified in last month’s land-based survey results, MPVC added.

Still to come are results from a ground gravity survey to fill in areas missed by a 2012 survey. The area has also undergone an airborne magnetic/VLF/radiometric survey in 2006 and an airborne VTEM survey in 2007.

Among future work, the company plans to scan drill cuttings with a high-resolution gamma spectrometer system to “detect young uranium which is not radioactive and therefore not detectible with other field instruments…. The detection of anomalous young uranium, radon or lead 210 ascending along fractures would signal the presence of a uranium deposit at depth.” Drilling might descend as far as 1,000 metres in search of deeper deposits.

Previous prospecting in the area has found in-situ mineralization up to 9.5% U3O8 and boulders grading above 65%.

The company’s 80% option with CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV calls for $3.2 million worth of exploration on the 143,603-hectare project by 2015.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports initial Preston drill results

The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate announced preliminary results from seven holes totalling 1,571 metres on their Preston property’s Swoosh target May 6. Five holes showed elevated radioactivity measured by a handheld spectrometer and a downhole probe. The project’s best hole so far, PN14007, found 12 radioactive intervals, one of them 1,432 counts per second over 0.75 metres (not true width). The results are no substitute for assays, which are expected in early June.

The alliance consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

Six holes reached downhole depths between 200 and 350 metres while poor drilling conditions eliminated one hole. But all seven “intersected a broad, hydrothermally altered and reactivated structural zone,” the syndicate stated. The six-kilometre-long Swoosh was defined by gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, and surficial geochemical anomalies.

This month the companies plan at least one hole on each of two other targets, Fin and CHA. Swoosh is slated for additional field work and drilling later this year.

Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator on the 246,643-hectare Preston property, which the syndicate credits with 15 prospective targets.

Anfield collects Colorado claims

Anfield Resources TSXV:ARY has once again expanded its western U.S. turf with 239 unpatented mining claims on federal land in Colorado. As a result the company now “has access to mineral rights” on more than 7,082 hectares in historic uranium and vanadium districts in Colorado and Utah, according to the May 8 announcement.

Subject to approvals, Anfield gets the claims from Alamosa Mining Corp for 1.95 million shares and three years of payments totalling US$600,000.

The company previously announced Utah acquisitions in March and January. All the Utah and Colorado claims lie within a 193-kilometre radius of Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill. Anfield also holds claims in Arizona.

European Uranium refines portfolio sale, intends to pursue other assets

On May 9 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU announced that the planned sale of its entire portfolio has reached a share purchase agreement with Forte Energy that replaces the companies’ previous binding heads of agreement. As in the original deal, the ASX/AIM-listed company issues EUU 915.93 million shares, valued at $7.5 million, and pays EUU $1 million. The latter retains a 1% production royalty.

But the new arrangement calls for the shares to be issued in instalments to avoid breaching the Australia Takeovers Prohibition. On closing, EUU would get 19.9% of the shares with the rest following “from time to time.”

Nor will EUU distribute Forte shares to its own shareholders. Instead it will sell some of them over time to fund its operations. EUU stated the deal would provide initial funding to pursue options or acquisitions “in multiple commodities in the general European area.”

The Forte deal came together shortly after EUU’s planned merger with Portex Minerals CSE:PAX fell through. EUU’s portfolio consists of two Slovakian uranium projects.

The company closed a $100,000 private placement with Forte in mid-April.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 27th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium completes winter delineation, releases Patterson Lake South drill results

Delineation drilling, the focus of Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) winter 2014 Patterson Lake South program, has come to its seasonal end. While one rig worked outside the main mineralized area, four others sunk 82 infill holes, roughly 85% of the 30,000-metre campaign, since mid-January. As a result PLS now consists of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open at both east and west. Along with its April 24 announcement Fission Uranium released radiometric results for the last dozen holes. Two days earlier the company reported assays for nine others.

Ten of the 12 latest holes came from zone R780E, the third of the five east-west zones. With a total of 77 holes so far, R780E has about 855 metres in strike and up to about 95 metres in lateral width. Seven of the latest 10 holes showed substantial intercepts reaching the maximum possible reading of 9,999 counts per second on a hand-held scintillometer that measures radiation from drill core. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending for these holes.

R1620E, at the eastern extent and declared a new zone earlier this month after just one hole, now has a second which showed 38.5 metres (not true width) ranging from under 300 cps to 3,500 cps. Ironically for the discovery zone, R00E gave up just half a metre of 490 cps.

Assays released two days earlier included yet another PLS “best yet”—this time “the widest high-grade interval to date,” which helped PLS14-187 nearly equal a previously recorded best hole. This nine-hole batch marks the third set of assays, totalling 22 holes, for the winter campaign. Like the previous week’s dozen holes, all nine came from R780E. Some of the best results showed:

Hole PLS14-138

  • 0.2% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34 metres, starting at 73 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 19 to 25, 2014

  • 0.4% over 3.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

  • 1.04% over 17 metres, starting at 170 metres
  • (including 2.88% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-139

  • 0.15% over 30 metres, starting at 130 metres

  • 0.28% over 8.5 metres, starting at 199 metres

PLS14-140

  • 0.1% over 19.5 metres, starting at 22.5 metres

  • 0.28% over 7.5 metres, starting at 254.5 metres

PLS14-145

  • 0.13% over 27.5 metres, starting at 89.5 metres

  • 0.97% over 22.5 metres, starting at 132 metres
  • (including 2.24% over 7.5 metres)

  • 1.34% over 2.5 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.4% over 7.5 metres, starting at 203.5 metres

  • 0.22% over 8 metres, starting at 218 metres

PLS14-146

  • 2.18% over 47 metres, starting at 132 metres
  • (including 4.3% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 14.27% over 2 metres)

  • 1.04% over 4 metres, starting at 237 metres
  • (including 3.64% over 1 metre)

  • 3.19% over 2 metres, starting at 254 metres

PLS14-147

  • 0.15% over 28.5 metres, starting at 115 metres

PLS14-151

  • 0.31% over 6 metres, starting at 125.5 metres

Best of the batch and second-best overall was PLS14-187:

  • 5.98% over 102.5 metres, starting at 63 metres
  • (including 27.2% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 12.93% over 10.5 metres)
  • (and including 14.12% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 16.92% over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 16.14% over 4.5 metres)

  • 2.59% over 9 metres, starting at 218.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided. “Mineralization is both located within and associated with a metasedimentary lithologic corridor, bounded to the south by the PL-3B basement electromagnetic conductor,” Fission Uranium added.

The $12-million winter agenda also calls for geophysics. And no, there’s still no word on when Fission Uranium might unveil its maiden resource.

Lakeland Resources acquisition expands Lazy Edward Bay project

Out of Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) portfolio of 16 uranium properties in and around the Athabasca Basin, Lazy Edward Bay has taken on greater prominence. A three-claim, 4,475-hectare acquisition announced April 24 expands the project to 26,375 hectares. The new turf also adds two conductive trends, giving Lazy Edward a total of six around the Basin’s southern margin.

Subject to TSXV approval, the 100% interest will cost Lakeland $5,000, 250,000 shares and a 2% gross revenue royalty.

Of the two additional conductive trends, the Ponderosa consists of two parallel graphitic trends, each about 2.5 kilometres long, Lakeland stated. Ground EM surveys and seven holes tested the trend in 1989, with more EM and another hole following in 2001.

The Jack trend extends from the original Lazy Edward property, tripling the trend to about 5.1 kilometres. In 2007 it underwent a ground fixed loop transient EM survey but hasn’t been drilled.

Historic work has sunk at least 53 holes on Lazy Edward’s six trends but, with each ranging between five and seven kilometres long, they remain under-explored. One hole on the Bay trend assayed 770 ppm uranium, along with anomalous pathfinder metals. Depths to the unconformity along the Basin’s southern edge range from zero to 350 metres.

“As a result of the historic and recent exploration on the property, all six trends are considered drill ready,” the company stated.

Among other projects in Lakeland’s portfolio is Gibbon’s Creek, a joint venture with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN that features surface boulders grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the highest radon readings ever measured in the Basin.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Aldrin reports initial findings from Triple M’s initial four holes

With drilling suspended by snowmelt, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN reported preliminary results from the first four holes on its PLS-adjacent Triple M property. All four “intersected alteration, structures and breccia zones within a metasedimentary rock succession including elevated radioactivity counts in a graphitic fault zone,” the company stated on April 22. Assays have yet to come.

With less than 25% of the planned 4,000-metre program complete, the quartet tested the Forrest Lake fault. Aldrin plans at least four more holes over the same fault “moving towards the most intense part of the basement conductive anomaly” before starting on the Anticline target.

Drilling could resume on the 12,000-hectare property in as little as two weeks, the company added.

NexGen adds to eastern Basin holdings

The size of the property wasn’t divulged. Nor was its name. But NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE announced an eastside Basin acquisition and option on April 25. Subject to approvals, NexGen gets a 75% interest in five claims by issuing Long Harbour Exploration TSXV:LHC shares worth $135,000. NexGen’s option on the other 25% would require additional shares worth $45,000. Value would be calculated by the volume-weighted average for five days before closing. The property remains subject to a 2% NSR and 2% gross overriding royalty. The claims lie “in close proximity” to NexGen’s Thorburn Lake property.

On April 22 the company implemented a shareholder rights plan.

Late last month NexGen wrapped up winter drilling at its southwestern Basin Rook 1 flagship by announcing radiometric results for the project’s best hole so far.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 6th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 0.1% over 4.1 metres, starting at 676.2 metres

  • 17.3% over 4.2 metres, starting at 757.9 metres

  • 0.3% over 2.6 metres, starting at 770.7 metres

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

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

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

Declan picks up six Alberta and Saskatchewan properties

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Enexco reports new radiometric results from Mann Lake

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

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

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

  • (including an average 6.51% over 0.7 metres)

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

True widths weren’t available.

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

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

Uracan/UEX drill results suggest prospective target at Black Lake

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

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

  • 0.04% over 0.5 metres, starting at 299.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 1 metre, starting at 317 metres

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 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 ResourceClips.com. “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 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

March 2nd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 22 to 28, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Radiometric results divert NexGen’s focus to new area of Rook 1

Following up on last week’s market-moving news, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported more radiometric readings from the first hole on the Arrow area of its Rook 1 project. Obviously inspired by the results, the company has moved its other rig to Arrow “until additional rigs can be sought to drill the other 11 western-located Rook 1 target areas,” according to the February 24 statement.

Once again NexGen has found dozens of “significant”—if tiny—intervals of uranium mineralization from hole RK-14-21. By “significant,” NexGen means at least 0.05 metres reading over 500 counts per second, a measure of gamma radiation from drill core by a hand-held scintillometer. The significant readings started at 207.8 metres in downhole depth and ended at 583.55 metres. Drilling stopped at 663 metres. Two intervals maxed out the scintillometer at 10,000 cps.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 22 to 28, 2014

Radiometric results from a single hole have turned
NexGen’s attention to the Arrow area of Rook 1.

The readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. But an additional spectrometer scan “confirmed that all radiometric activity is due to uranium, with minimal or no thorium input.” Further encouragement came from three intercepts showing visible pitchblende.

Now in progress are two more holes, one collared from the same location but at a more shallow angle and another 30 metres northeast along strike. Now under revision is the company’s original 6,000-metre plan for the Patterson Lake South-adjacent project. Arrow has become the target.

On February 26 NexGen reported it closed a previously announced two-year extension to its 70% earn-in on the northeastern Athabasca Basin Radio project. Assays have yet to be released from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre program, which wrapped up last July.

Denison reports Wheeler River drill results, updates other projects

A downhole radiometric probe found high-grade uranium oxide-equivalent results for a new batch of holes at Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) flagship Wheeler River project. The company holds a 60% interest and acts as operator in the southeastern Basin joint venture, with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holding 30% and JCU (Canada) Exploration 10%. Collars for eight holes released February 26 were spaced over roughly 240 metres of the closely drilled zone A of the Phoenix deposit. The best intercepts show:

Hole WR-548

  • 29.61% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 6.5 metres, starting at 407.9 metres in vertical depth

Hole WR-550

  • 18.37% over 4.7 metres, starting at 407.3 metres

Hole WR-545

  • 16.98% over 3.1 metres, starting at 403.3 metres

Hole WR-539

  • 11.63% over 3.5 metres, starting at 401.6 metres

Hole WR-538

  • 2.14% over 5.1 metres, starting at 392.4 metres

  • 0.87% over 3.3 metres, starting at 403.8 metres

  • 1.36% over 1.4 metres, starting at 408.2 metres

  • 0.11% over 2.1 metres, starting at 426.4 metres

With vertical drilling and “roughly” horizontal mineralization, the company considers intercept widths equal to true widths. Assays will presumably follow these radiometric readings, which are no substitute for lab work.

So far 13 of 28 winter holes have been finished at zone A and an exploration target called the K zone. The latter showed no significant mineralization but Denison declared itself encouraged by “sandstone and basement alteration in three of seven wide-spaced drill holes, which will likely warrant follow-up drilling.” This winter rigs will also target Wheeler’s 489 zone, Phoenix North, K North and two DC resistivity-low anomalies, the company added. The project lies about 35 kilometres from the Key Lake mill.

In other Denison updates reported February 26, 10 holes at Hatchet Lake failed to find significant mineralization. The company will evaluate geochemical data before planning further work.

Ten holes at Moore Lake followed Hatchet’s example. Electromagnetic and DC resistivity surveys are slated for winter. Denison currently has drills turning at its Park Creek, Bell Lake and Waterbury Lake projects in campaigns scheduled for March completion.

Kivalliq announces ore-sorting and metallurgical progress at Angilak in Nunavut

Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV says metallurgical and ore-sorting tests from the Lac 50 deposit of its Angilak property provide encouraging news for the Nunavut project’s economics. Announced February 27, tests showed better than 95% uranium recovery in a 48-hour leach cycle, the ability to recycle all the primary alkaline leach reagents and production of 70% yellowcake meeting industry standards for uranium concentrate. The presence of boron and magnesium was “marginally higher than penalty levels but significantly below reject levels,” the company stated. Optimization tests continue.

Dilution could be reduced through radiometric ore sorting prior to milling. Tests showed a cumulative uranium recovery of 96.7% out of 49.2% of the extracted rock. In other words, 50.8% of the rock was rejected with loss of only 3.3% of uranium. The tests also showed 94.1% recovery from just 15.9% of the rock, when 84.1% of rock was rejected with a loss of only 5.9% of uranium.

“The testing reflects the high-grade uranium characteristics at Lac 50 where the majority of uranium mineralization occurs as disseminations and veins of massive pitchblende within the carbonate and hematite alteration zone” comprising the inferred resource, the company stated.

The resource boasts Canada’s highest grade outside the Athabasca Basin. Released in January 2013, the inferred category uses a 0.2% cutoff to show 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% for 43.3 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8). The inferred resource also shows 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper. Kivalliq operates the 137,699-hectare project, 225 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Kivalliq picked up another Nunavut property in October and moved into Saskatchewan last January.

Forum starts 3,000 metres at Clearwater

Adjacently southwest of PLS, drilling has begun at Forum Uranium’s (TSXV:FDC) 9,910-hectare Clearwater project. According to its February 26 statement, the company plans about 3,000 metres in 12 to 15 shallow holes between 100 and 200 metres in depth. Around 11 targets were chosen by previous surveys including ground gravity, airborne EM and radon work.

Initial drilling will focus on the project’s northern claim. Forum stated the central and southern claims require further ground gravity, ground EM and radon surveys to define targets.

The previous week Forum’s portfolio increased with the Fir Island acquisition east of Stony Rapids on the Athabasca Basin’s northeastern rim.

Lakeland Resources offers $2 million private placement for Basin exploration

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced a private placement up to $2 million on February 24. The offer consists of three million flow-through units at $0.25 and 5.92 million non-flow-through units at $0.21. Each flow-through unit consists of one flow-through share and one-half non-flow-through warrant. Each warrant is exercisable for 12 months at $0.30. Non-flow-through units consist of one share and one warrant, also exercisable at $0.30 for a year.

Proceeds go to Athabasca Basin exploration, corporate development and general and administrative purposes.

In January Lakeland announced its 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek project showed high-grade boulders up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the highest radon readings ever measured in the Basin. As part of a 70% four-year earn-in, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has committed $1.25 million to exploration this year.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

February 1st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission envisions possibility of “one very large zone” at Patterson Lake South

Ever in search of new superlatives for Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU claims its best hole yet for total composite (not continuous) off-scale scintillometer readings. The company released results on January 27 for the first five holes of winter drilling, which it said narrowed the gaps between high-grade zones R390E and R945E, the third to sixth of seven zones along a 1.78-kilometre strike. All five holes produced off-scale readings, prompting company president/COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy to say the news provides “further evidence that the system consists of one very large zone.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

Week one of winter work has given Fission a superlative start.

The hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum off-scale reading above 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will likely follow in weeks or months.

Among the best holes, PLS14-129 showed a continuous 9.5 metres above 9,999 cps, among a total of 36.72 metres of off-scale results. Total mineralization came to 111.5 metres between downhole depths of 56 metres and 268 metres.

PLS14-126 showed 3.09 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 64.5 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 131 metres and 374 metres.

PLS14-125 showed 1.96 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 88 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 70 metres and 240.5 metres.

One week earlier the company announced the start of its winter campaign, in which five rigs will drill 30,000 metres in 90 holes, most of them in effort to connect five high-grade zones. Along with geophysics, the current program will use up about $12 million of this year’s $20-million budget.

Cameco’s $450-million cash infusion excites acquisition anticipation

Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO $450-million asset sale could have implications for Athabasca Basin juniors. On January 31 the uranium giant announced an agreement to sell its 31.6% interest in Bruce Power to Borealis Infrastructure, a branch of the Ontario Municipal Employees pension fund. Bruce Power operates Candu reactors at a 930-hectare site on Lake Huron capable of generating 6,300 megawatts. The sale will allow Cameco to “continue to reinvest in our core uranium business where we see strong potential for growth,” according to president/CEO Tim Gitzel.

Fission Uranium chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa told Bloomberg the sale “certainly gives Cameco a war chest to go after some names and we’re very happy to hear that.” Randhawa’s recently restructured company comprises the Basin’s most likely takeover target. A maiden resource from its closely watched project is expected this year.

Reuters, on the other hand, said Gitzel is “in no rush” to spend the loot. “We’ve got significant uranium pounds under our control and we’re just waiting for the market to improve,” the news agency quoted him. “As the uranium market improves as we believe it will over the next period of time—years, I would say—we want to be ready.”

According to the Financial Post, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck “noted that Cameco had more than enough liquidity to cover its uranium growth plans before this deal. But this gives it greater flexibility to grow as uranium demand rises in the future.”

On the other hand a tax dispute could cost Cameco up to $850 million, plus interest and penalties.

Although the sale’s effective date was December 31, 2013, the deal remains subject to waiver of the right of first offer held by three other Bruce Power partners.

Purepoint announces drilling at Hook Lake JV; issues new and reprices old options

A $2.5-million, two-rig, 5,000-metre campaign has begun at Purepoint Uranium’s TSXV:PTU Hook Lake project. Of three prospective corridors on the 28,683-hectare property, drilling will focus on the same electromagnetic trend that hosts the PLS discovery five kilometres southwest, the company stated on January 30.

With a 21% interest in Hook Lake, Purepoint acts as project operator in joint venture with Cameco and AREVA Resources Canada, which hold 39.5% each.

On January 30 Purepoint also announced 2.51 million options to insiders at $0.075 for five years. The following day the company stated 1.94 million options granted last April would be repriced from $0.10 to $0.07.

In November Purepoint announced winter drilling plans for Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare project on the Basin’s eastern rim. Rio Tinto NYE:RIO acts as operator under an option to earn 51% by spending $5 million before the end of 2015.

International Enexco announces drilling at Mann Lake JV

Another Cameco/AREVA JV partner, International Enexco TSXV:IEC announced January 27 that a $2.9-million program has begun on the eastern Basin’s Mann Lake property. Up to 18 holes and 13,000 metres will test three types of targets—a footwall to the western axis of the property’s main C trend, conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor and the remaining undrilled C trend targets, Enexco reported on January 27.

Cameco, with a 52.5% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, acts as operator. Enexco and AREVA hold 30% and 17.5% respectively. Enexco’s share of the $2.9 million amounts to $870,000, most of which comes from a $750,000 private placement that closed in December. The company also has a 20%/80% JV with Denison Mines TSX:DML on the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake project. Denison owns 7.4% of Enexco, which is also pursuing pre-feasibility at its wholly owned Contact copper project in Nevada.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

January 25th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 18 to 24, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium resumes Patterson Lake South drilling, focuses on delineation

Nature takes its annual repose as winter settles on Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Feathered flocks have flown to finer climes, leaving their four-footed furry friends to wander the white wilderness or succumb to seasonal slumber. Days are short but, as darkness descends, aurora borealis performs its passionate pantomime, twisting and twirling, shining and shimmering, in heavenly hues of silvery green and blue.

Purple runs the prose. And drilling resumes on Patterson Lake South.

With a few additions, that’s the gist of a January 20 announcement from Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU. The company expects to spend $12 million on PLS this season, part of the year’s $20-million budget. Five rigs will sink 90 holes totalling 30,000 metres. With seven zones open in all directions and situated along a 1.78-kilometre strike, Fission Uranium plans to direct about 80% to 85% of its drilling to the gaps between five high-grade zones. Additionally, exploration drilling will test electromagnetic conductors following interpretation of ground geophysics and radon results.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 18 to 24, 2014

Last year’s Patterson Lake South activity, pictured here,
will be dwarfed by this year’s $12-million winter campaign.

All that infill drilling can only heighten anticipation of a maiden resource, although the company has yet to set a target date. But to tease the market even more, Fission Uranium couldn’t resist stating its property “remains highly prospective for several kilometres, both in the immediate area of known mineralization and along strike in both the WSW and ENE directions.”

The company also granted insiders five-year options on 8.4 million shares at $1.20. The previous week Fission Uranium released assays from six holes drilled last summer.

NexGen Energy begins 6,000-metre Rook 1 program

With a geophysical interpretation that might validate closeology, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE has begun winter drilling at Rook 1, adjacently northeast of PLS. Two rigs will sink about 6,000 metres on the property, which the company says includes an interpreted extension of the 3B conductor that hosts Fission Uranium’s near-surface, high-grade discovery. Targets will follow up on three widely spaced holes from last summer that found mineralization in an area spanning 1.6 by 1.2 kilometres, according to the January 20 announcement. Further drilling will test areas already identified by VTEM, magnetics, ground gravity and DC resistivity surveys. One large structural zone will undergo additional ground gravity.

Recent financings have contributed to the company’s $7.8-million bank account, which has about $3 million slated for the flagship’s winter campaign. The previous week NexGen announced an extension to its 70% option on the Radio project in the northeastern Basin. Results have yet to be released from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre summer program.

Azincourt and Fission 3.0 start 3,000 metres at Patterson Lake North

Also adjacent to PLS, a drill’s turning at the Patterson Lake North joint venture of Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ and Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU, the companies announced in separate statements on January 20 and 21. The latter company, which holds the non-PLS assets spun out of Fission Uranium, acts as operator on the million-dollar program. The agenda includes a radon-in-water survey, ground geophysics and eight to 10 holes totalling about 3,000 metres over previously identified conductors.

The campaign’s focal points are Hodge Lake in PLN’s south-central area, the west-central Harrison Lake and Broach Lake in the southeast. Azincourt is earning a 50% interest in the 27,408-hectare project. The previous week Azincourt closed a $2-million cash-and-share deal with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and Vena Resources TSX:VEM to acquire two uranium properties in Peru.

TAD to begin Athabasca exploration with airborne geophysics

Having been diverted by other area plays, TAD Mineral Exploration TSXV:TJ “finally” starts work on the 4,000 hectares it staked in the PLS area last April. On January 20 the company announced an impending VTEM max program. TAD also holds claims near Colorado Resource’s TSXV:CXO North ROK copper-gold project in British Columbia and Zenyatta Ventures’ TSXV:ZEN graphite project in central Ontario.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

by Greg Klein

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News flash: Fission Uranium releases assays—actual lab assays—from Patterson Lake South

Frenetic as activity has been at Patterson Lake South, assays have been trickling in at a most leisurely pace. Results released by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU on December 18 come from three holes that were drilled last summer and had scintillometer results reported in August and September. The backlog of assays, from about 50 holes, can only increase speculation about when the project’s maiden resource might appear and what it might show.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

Even so, these results continue to impress with high-grade, near-surface intervals. Taken from R945E, the most easterly of six zones along a 1.78-kilometre trend, some of the better assays show 7.91% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 metres, 1.59% over 40 metres and 3.69% over 13.5 metres. One Russian doll interval-within-an-interval-within-an-interval graded 43.7% over 0.5 metres.

Highlights show:

Hole PLS13-084

  • 0.11% U3O8 over 8 metres, starting at 129.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.27% over 25.5 metres, starting at 156.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 7 metres, starting at 195 metres

  • 0.13% over 12.5 metres, starting at 206.5 metres

  • 3.69% over 13.5 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 9.12% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 7.27% over 4.5 metres)

Hole PLS13-092

  • 0.84% over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres
  • (including 1.62% over 4 metres)
  • (and including 6.22% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.15% over 7.5 metres, starting at 196 metres

Hole PLS13-096

  • 0.3% over 7.5 metres, starting at 98 metres

  • 1.59% over 40 metres, starting at 138 metres
  • (including 14.22% over 3 metres)

  • 2.4% over 11 metres, starting at 186 metres
  • (including 6.91% over 2 metres)

  • 7.91% over 14 metres, starting at 249.5 metres
  • (including 18.2% over 5.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.7% over 0.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. Drilling was vertical or near-vertical, with dips of 90, -88 and -89 degrees respectively.

The previous week, PLS’s now sole owner closed a $12.87-million financing for the project’s “most aggressive drill program to date” with about 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres, along with further geophysics. Winter is not a quiet time in the Athabasca Basin.

Lakeland recruits more expertise while planning Gibbon’s Creek winter program

Two more Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK appointments bring additional experience to the company’s management and board. December 16 and 19 announcements reported Neil McCallum joining as director and Frances Petryshen as corporate secretary.

McCallum, a project manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, has served a number of companies with target generation, hiring, logistics, land management, data compilation, project reviews and management.

“Among the first Basin projects I worked on was staking the Waterbury Lake project that started with Strathmore Minerals and turned into Fission Energy,” McCallum says. Fission Energy’s 60% interest in Waterbury was the main impetus for Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition of the company earlier this year. The project’s J zone now shows an indicated resource of 291,000 tonnes averaging 2% for 12.81 million pounds U3O8.

“Also with Dahrouge, I worked on the Patterson Lake project, which morphed into Patterson Lake South,” McCallum adds. “Part of that work back in 2004 was digging through historic data, looking for projects that had been passed over by some of the major companies. So I’ve been familiar with the Basin since that time.”

His involvement in a variety of projects with prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC led him to Lakeland, a Zimtu core holding, about a year ago. “Having worked with Zimtu and Ryan Fletcher, I found I like the way he operates. He’s similar to me in that he’s a young guy who thinks outside the box. When you work with different projects and different teams you can look at the Basin from a different angle. I think that’s what people like Ryan and myself bring to the table—a bit of a different perspective.”

We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

As a Lakeland director, McCallum will play a wider role in the company than before. “A big part of Lakeland’s goal is to find projects either by staking or linking up with other companies,” he explains. “So a lot of what I’ll do is review those projects on a technical basis to make informed decisions.”

Fletcher reinforces those comments. “Our group has worked with Neil for several years now and I’ve seen the impact he’s had on other projects. But he’s also focused a lot on uranium and the Athabasca Basin. He has a talent for looking at historic data, filing through the assessment reports and putting it all into context. He’s already been helping with project management on our Gibbon’s Creek/Riou Lake project, but now he’s joining the board to represent shareholders and drive shareholder value.”

As corporate secretary Frances Petryshen brings 25 years of experience specializing in corporate compliance and governance for public, private and not-for-profit organizations. She’s been a director and officer with several public and private companies including CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV, where she worked from 2007 to 2012.

Petryshen is an accredited director and a fellow with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, where she currently serves as director and chairperson of the British Columbia branch.

“Her appointment is another important step towards adding the right people to deliver as we grow the company and expand our exploration and activity in the Athabasca,” said Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Frances will be an important contributor and a trusted adviser and associate to our team.”

The news follows several recent Lakeland announcements including the appointments of mining specialists Sam Wong as CFO and Canon Bryan as adviser, JVs with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN and Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV, and a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.

With summer/autumn field work complete, planning now takes place for the 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek winter campaign. “We’ll be very active throughout the new year as well,” Fletcher says. “We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.”

Mega Uranium to get Energy Fuels’ interest in Bayswater; EFR signs KEPCO agreement

Under a share swap announced December 19, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR signed an agreement to exchange all its Bayswater Uranium TSXV:BYU stock with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA for 1.7 million newly issued Mega shares. Energy Fuels got the 11.5% interest in Bayswater on taking over Strathmore Minerals in September. Subject to all approvals, the co-signers expect to close the transaction by January 17.

The companies are hardly unacquainted. Energy Fuels is already a Mega shareholder. Mega, meanwhile, owns about 17% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Although Mega lost its bid for Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT in October, the following month it picked up 28% of the ASX-listed Toro Energy in return for Mega’s Lake Maitland pre-development project in Western Australia. Energy Fuels holds a 5% gross production royalty on the Reno Creek uranium project, which last March reached pre-feasibility under a Bayswater affiliate.

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production. In November the company suspended development of its Canyon mine in Arizona due to low commodity prices and legal action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine.

On December 17 the company announced a strategic relationship agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corp. But details were lost in Energy Fuels’ vaguely written news release.

Ur-Energy offered 50% discount on Pathfinder Mines, AREVA to get 5% royalty

A revised agreement offers Ur-Energy TSX:URE a half-price deal on Pathfinder Mines and its two former Wyoming mines with historic resources. The acquisition was originally priced at US$13.25 million in July 2012. Now, “in recognition of current market conditions,” AREVA affiliate COGEMA Resources will let go of Pathfinder for approximately $6.625 million in return for a 5% gross royalty on Pathfinder’s Shirley Basin property. The royalty remains subject to caps depending on uranium’s price. Ur-Energy has already put $1.325 million into escrow. Some other details have yet to be negotiated, the company stated.

Three days after that December 16 announcement, the company reported a private placement expected to close on December 20 for approximately $5.18 million. The money was earmarked for the Pathfinder acquisition.

Earlier in December Ur-Energy reported a first shipment of 35,000 pounds U3O8 left its Lost Creek mine in Wyoming. Lost Creek’s resource update was released in November.

In late October the company closed a $34-million Wyoming state loan after having previously borrowed $35 million from RMB Australia Holdings Ltd.

Uranium exploration finds frac sand potential on Declan Resources’ Firebag River

Initial field work by Dahrouge Geological Consulting shows potential for high-quality frac sand on Declan Resources’ Firebag River property in northeastern Alberta, the company announced December 18. Samples from depths of less than two metres revealed “high silica content, quality sphericity and roundness values, and a high percentage of sand falling within the preferred 20/40 and 40/70 mesh sizes,” Declan stated.

Using figures from consulting firm PacWest, a December 2 Wall Street Journal report says oil and gas companies have boosted sand demand 25% since 2011, with another 20% increase expected over the next two years.

Declan intends to follow up on the finding “along with its principal objective of uranium exploration” at the 50,000-hectare property just southwest of the Basin. One day earlier the company released silver-copper results from its Nimini Hills property in Sierra Leone. In early December Declan signed a JV on Lakeland Resources’ Gibbon’s Creek project, a four-year option which would inject an extra $1.25 million into the property’s 2014 drill program.

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