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Posts tagged ‘Fission Energy Corp (FIS)’

Athabasca Basin report

April 27th, 2013

Who’s doing what in the super-charged Saskatchewan uranium play

by Greg Klein

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Denison gets Fission Energy, spinco Fission Uranium gets Patterson Lake South

It’s a done deal, both companies announced April 26. Denison Mines TSX:DML closed its acquisition of Fission Energy TSXV:FIS. The latter company stops trading at the close of April 29 but a new outfit, Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU, is expected to begin trading on May 1. (Update: Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU began trading on April 30, 2013.) Fission Uranium will retain the Fission Energy team and their most celebrated asset, a 50% interest in Patterson Lake South.

For each Fission Energy share, holders get 0.355 of a Denison share, a full Fission Uranium share and, for good measure, one ten-thousandth of a penny. The new company also gets about $17 million from Denison, a handy sum to continue its share of PLS drilling while shopping for other properties.

The acquisition went much as planned except for a late decision to change the new company’s stock ticker to FCU. It was originally registered as FUC.

Read more about the Denison/Fission acquisition here.

Patterson Lake South rolls out the results

Patterson Lake South, meanwhile, continues to shock and awe the market with near-surface results showing off-scale scintillometer readings and high-grade assays about every week—at least.

Athabasca Basin report

Just a couple of examples: An April 22 announcement reported assays of 6.57% U3O8 over 53 metres, including 29.26% over 10.5 metres. The intercept started at a downhole depth of 95 metres. Only two days later came assays of 6.26% over 49.5 metres, including 35% over 6 metres, starting at 66 metres in downhole depth.

A 50/50 joint venture between Fission Energy and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, the PLS discovery sparked the current staking rush around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Alpha filed an NI 43-101 technical report for the property on April 14.

Read more about the Patterson Lake South discovery here and here.

Read more about the Athabasca Basin staking rush here.

Alpha private placement closes at $12.28 million

While Fission Uranium starts off with about $17 million from Denison, its JV partner-to-be, Alpha Minerals, has just picked up $12.28 million. On April 25 the company announced completion of 1.2 million flow-through shares at $4.40 each and 1.75 million units at $4. Each unit consists of one non-flow-through share and half of a warrant. Each whole warrant will be exercisable at $5 for 24 months.

The private placement was originally offered up to $7.28 million, but was increased by $5 million on April 9.

NexGen now on the TSXV

Its reverse takeover with Clermont Capital complete, NexGen Energy Ltd TSXV:NXE made its Venture debut on April 23. NexGen interprets its flagship Radio property to be on the same structural trend as Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit and Denison’s Waterbury Lake J-zone. NexGen holds an option to acquire an initial 70%, then the remaining 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Another NexGen standout is Rook 1, immediately northeast of Patterson Lake South.

Under a JV within a JV, NexGen and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC have an option to earn 30% each of the Northwest Athabasca project, currently held 87.5% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 12.5% by AREVA Resources. On April 10 project operator Forum announced completion of a 3,500-metre program that hit uranium mineralization in eight of 17 holes.

Last November NexGen picked up 10 Canadian uranium properties from Mega Uranium TSXV:MGA. On April 22 Mega acquired an approximately 25.2% interest in NexGen, which currently has about $6 million on hand.

Read more about NexGen here and here.

As for Waterbury and the J-zone …

In the eastside Basin neighbourhood of Radio and Roughrider, Waterbury Lake is now held 60% by Denison, a result of its Fission Energy acquisition. A consortium headed by the Korean power utility Kepco holds the remaining 40%.

Last winter Fission Energy sunk 68 holes totalling over 21,000 metres to define and expand the project’s J-zone. Scintillometer results announced April 5 showed mineralization in 35 holes. Assays are pending for this final stage of a three-year, $30-million campaign.

Forum to fly Clearwater

In addition to its NexGen collaboration, Forum plans an airborne magnetic and electromagnetic survey over its 100%-held, 9,910-hectare Clearwater property immediately southwest of Patterson Lake South. Funding comes from a $500,000 private placement that closed April 23.

Denison drills turn Wheeler River

On the Basin’s east side, winter drilling at Denison’s 60% Wheeler River project completed 14,577 metres in 27 holes. On April 24 the company announced it had extended the new 489 zone along strike by 65 metres. The zone lies 2.1 kilometres from the project’s Phoenix deposits, which Denison calls “the most significant new uranium discovery in the Athabasca Basin in many years.”

Denison acts as project operator for partners Cameco, which holds a 30% interest, and JCU (Japan-Canada Uranium) Exploration, which holds 10%.

Lakeland stakes more land

Now a “pure play uranium exploration company focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on April 25 it had staked three more properties. The Small Lake, Hawkrock Rapids and Circle Lake properties total 54,745 hectares in the northern and northeastern Basin.

The news followed an April 2 announcement that Lakeland staked two other northern Basin properties, the 9,645-hectare Otherside and 35,429-hectare Riou Lake. All five properties, totalling nearly 100,000 hectares, were chosen on the basis of previous work by former operators. Lakeland intends to study historic data prior to planning a work program.

The company has also signed a non-binding letter of intent for eight other Basin properties totalling about 190,000 hectares.

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Week in review

April 12th, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for April 6 to 12, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Projects go under, under new Ontario law

“We’re not working in Ontario any longer and, yes, that’s because of these regulations.” Friday’s Toronto Star quoted Wally Rayner, VP of exploration for Mineral Mountain Resources TSXV:MMV, on the provincial Mining Act amendments that took full effect April 1.

Gone is the free entry system. In its place are requirements that companies and individual prospectors file plans with the government for even the earliest-stage work. That’s followed by a minimum 30-day period for public comments. Prospectors and explorers are now specifically required to consult and accommodate aboriginals. “Many find the regulations too onerous for an industry already in dire financial straits,” the Star reported.

A mining and exploration retrospect

Last month, even before the new regs took hold, Solid Gold Resources TSXV:SLD was denied an exploration permit in what the company said “appears to be a politically motivated abuse of power and indicates the unfair political interference that permeates the new exploration regime.” Now trading for a penny, the company has had uneasy relations with a Timmins-region native band.

Last February International Millennium Mining TSXV:IMI backed out of an option on its Hope Lake property, saying “the constraints of Ontario’s modernized Mining Act provided incentive for ending the agreement.”

Mineral Mountain’s Rayner also told the Star that delays jeopardize spending deadlines mandated by flow-through shares. “If the exploration is held up because of consultations or permits, then this whole financing system falls apart,” he said.

The reporter added, “The Ontario Bar Association echoed that concern in a submission to the ministry last year.”

The new act presents problems for natives too. Shawn Batise, executive director of the Wabun Tribal Council, told the Star his group has been overwhelmed with requests for consultation. “Today we got 12 requests, eight yesterday, six the day before, 20 last week…”

As for Quebec …

Over 10,000 people signed a petition expressing concern about possible changes to the province’s royalties structure, the Quebec Mining Association announced on Tuesday. Following a round of talks with industry reps, the Parti Quebecois government now ponders a 5% tax on the gross value of annual mine production and a 30% royalty on yet-to-be-defined “super profits.”

“Quebec has already the highest royalties and corporate tax rates among all the main mineral-producing provinces in Canada,” the QMA stated.

QMA president/CEO Josée Méthot added, “The damage caused to the Quebec economy could be far greater than the benefits derived from an increase in royalties.”

But in Saskatchewan …

One provincial government has actually cut royalties. Saskatchewan’s new system re-evaluates uranium mining costs in a manner that will slash taxes by about $15 million a year, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported on Tuesday. Premier Brad Wall discussed the revamped royalties at the offices of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO, where he joined federal politicians to announce a uranium trade deal with India. Canada had banned uranium exports to the country in 1974, after it used a Canadian-made reactor to create plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

Following a recent and similar deal with China, the India agreement “will mean literally billions of dollars worth of sales of Saskatchewan uranium into these two markets,” the StarPhoenix quoted Wall.

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Looking at uranium

March 27th, 2013

Some perspective on the supply, demand and price scenario

by Greg Klein

Updated March 27, 2013

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Now responsible for roughly 15% of global electricity generation, nuclear energy continues to expand. After the earthquakes and tsunami that caused Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi accident, uranium prices fell from a 2011 high of $72.63 a pound to a low of $41.25 in November 2012. More recently the price has nudged up to a March 25, 2013, level of $42.25. But countries like China, Korea and India plan to add significantly more nuclear generation, while even Japan is re-starting some of its reactors.

Cameco Corp TSX:CCO’s fourth quarter report released February 8 reiterated the company’s view that “the near-term environment for the industry was challenging but that the long-term outlook remained very positive.”

Some perspective on uranium’s supply, demand and price scenario

According to environmentalists like Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, nuclear energy is the world’s most viable source of electricity.

This year’s anticipated end of the Russia/U.S. highly enriched uranium (HEU) program (also known as megatons to megawatts) would remove up to 24 million pounds of annual supply from former Soviet warheads converted to fuel. But Cameco’s forecast also considered the retirement of older reactors in other countries and India’s 2020 nuclear target, which has been scaled down from 20 to 14.6 gigawatts.

As a result, Cameco stated, “While the market continues to evolve, our current estimates project nuclear generating capacity to reach about 510 gigawatts by 2022 from today’s 392 gigawatts, which represents average annual growth of 3%. Of this expected growth, approximately 64 new reactors with 64 gigawatts of generating capacity are under construction today.”

As for prices, there’s “no formal exchange for uranium as there is for other commodities,” explains the Ux Consulting Co. “Uranium price indicators are developed by a small number of private business organizations [like Ux] that independently monitor uranium market activities, including offers, bids and transactions.”

In a November 2012 interview with the Daily Crux, Sprott Global Resource Investments chairman Rick Rule said uranium prices are “irrationally depressed.” The Fukushima accident, he said, took 20 million pounds of annual uranium demand off the market while Japan placed a 15-million-pound surplus on the market. He also noted HEU’s anticipated end in 2013.

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The uranium rush is on

March 22nd, 2013

Saskatchewan’s southwestern Athabasca Basin hosts a staking stampede

by Greg Klein

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This could be just what the beleaguered exploration sector needs—a good old-fashioned staking rush. And that’s exactly what’s going on in northern Saskatchewan’s uranium-rich Athabasca Basin. Although the market hasn’t fully caught on, companies are flocking into the area, drawn by the sensational Fission Energy TSXV:FIS and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW discovery at Patterson Lake South.

Saskatchewan’s southwestern Athabasca Basin hosts a staking stampede

A major uranium discovery has diverted explorers’ attention
to an under-explored region of northern Saskatchewan.

The Basin’s no stranger to frenetic activity. It last happened in the early and mid-part of the century’s first decade. But that was on the east side, whose mines now comprise one of the world’s most important sources of uranium. This time the stampede is to the west side, some of it a little outside the Basin. Among the driving forces are Saskatchewan’s new online staking system, an increasingly optimistic supply-demand scenario and an escalating stream of news from the Fission/Alpha 50/50 JV.

That started in July 2011, when boulder field samples brought assays as high as 39.6% U3O8. By November 2012, drilling confirmed the discovery not only with high grades but—in glaring contrast to the Basin’s east side—shallow mineralization. This year’s step-outs have the sector wondering just how big this might be. Not surprisingly, other explorers aren’t content to watch from the sidelines.

“We were quick to jump in there,” says Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH manager of corporate development and communications Jordan Trimble. His company snapped up five properties totalling nearly 80,000 hectares, one of the area’s largest packages according to a March 20 announcement. Two of the properties lie 27 kilometres and 35 kilometres north of the PLS discovery, another two 15 kilometres south and the fifth 90 kilometres east.

“We have a connection with a guy from Calgary who was one of the first prospectors in there,” Trimble points out. “Given that you can now stake online, it’s incredibly cheap. We got that land package for about 30 cents an acre. Packages of land have been offered to me in the last few days in the same area, comparable properties for upwards of $10 an acre. So already I think we’ve created value just with the acquisition at the cost we did.”

Last December’s inauguration of Saskatchewan’s e-registry was “certainly part of it,” he says. “But online staking or no online staking, there’s no shadow of doubt in my mind that this area would have seen a staking rush, given the [PLS] discovery. It’s a one-of-a-kind discovery.”

Michael Schuss concurs. The president/CEO of Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN says Patterson Lake South “is probably going to be one of the biggest discoveries in Canadian history. I wouldn’t call us ambulance-chasers by nature, but we saw the opportunity and thought we better move on it.”

Just one day before Skyharbour’s announcement, CIN revealed it nabbed a 20-claim, 25,225-hectare package in the same district. Like Skyharbour, the company’s looking at further nearby acquisitions.

Of all the news pouring out of the Fission/Alpha project, Schuss singles out the February 19 announcement of 57.5 metres of mineralization from a step-out 385 metres on strike. The JV partners were “either extremely lucky or it’s so big you couldn’t miss it. I think that’s what kicked off the staking rush.

“The excitement of Patterson Lake South is a discovery outside the traditional Athabasca Basin,” Schuss maintains. “It shouldn’t have been there. The staking has gone way beyond south of the basin. That’s something we haven’t seen before. It’s an exciting time in the industry.”

He credits people like Fission director Jody Dahrouge and Alpha director Warren Stanyer, who were among the PLS visionaries. “At first it was wildcatting at best,” Schuss says. “To go from concept to discovery in four years is an exceptional timetable. That’s part of the excitement. It also shows that in Canada you can still find major deposits in places that people drive right over.” Highway 955 cuts through PLS on its way to the former Cluff Lake uranium mine.

Schuss adds, “The staking rush is a nice feeling for a change because we probably haven’t had one in Canada since Voisey’s Bay, about 20 years ago.”

And the excitement brings a new focus to some companies.

“Skyharbour had been dormant for two years, looking for deals,” explains Trimble. “We waited patiently through a real tough market, researched uranium, saw it from the perspective of both current equity valuations in the space and the lack of what you could call saturation. You don’t have as many uranium companies clamouring for investor dollars.”

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Fission Energy chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa on his company’s planned acquisition by Denison Mines and a proposed uranium exploration spinout

February 19th, 2013

…Read More

Stepping out

February 7th, 2013

Fission Energy/Alpha Minerals expand uranium mineralization in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin

by Greg Klein

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The timing couldn’t have been better for a new uranium discovery. Just as last November’s Patterson Lake South find sparked a staking rush in Saskatchewan’s western Athabasca Basin, several observers forecast a post-Fukushima, post megatons-to-megawatts supply/demand scenario pushing prices up. That same month Rick Rule called the uranium market “irrationally depressed.” Since then Rob Chang forecast “a supply deficit up to 2025,” Chris Berry cited uranium as the mineral with “the brightest future” and Cecil Musgrave said uranium’s long-term fundamentals “have never looked better.” Meanwhile news continues from Patterson Lake South, where a joint venture of Fission Energy TSXV:FIS and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW conducts a busy drill campaign.

Winter drilling at Patterson Lake South has spurred widespread interest in the western Athabasca Basin

Winter drilling at Patterson Lake South has spurred
widespread excitement about the western Athabasca Basin.

On February 7 the companies announced more off-scale scintillometer readings, these ones from shallow step-out holes 15 metres west of a previous hole, itself 10 metres west of the November 5 discovery. The hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in counts per second (cps) to determine radioactivity in drill core. The actual assays have yet to be completed but scintillometer readings for the two holes show:

  • continuous mineralization for 37 metres (stopping at a down-hole depth of 97.5 metres), with 4.35 metres showing off-scale readings over 9,999 cps
  • continuous mineralization for 21 metres (stopping at a down-hole depth of 84 metres), with 0.75 metres showing off-scale readings over 9,999 cps.

“I have to caution investors that these aren’t assays but simply scintillometer readings,” emphasizes Fission chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa. “But we have been pretty consistent in the past.”

Assays released last December showed impressive grades and intervals, also from shallow drilling. Lab results for the holes announced February 7 are expected in three to four weeks. “We’re putting a rush on them and there’ll be more to come. We’ve got 40 holes to do,” he says.

“The most significant thing here is it’s 37 metres of consistent mineralization. That’s a pretty big system. It’s shallow, 37 metres, with nearly four and a half metres off-scale. We’re very excited.”

He adds, “We only put in four holes before we ended last year so this really shows that we’re extending it to the west.” About 8,000 metres are planned for the $4-million winter campaign, starting from the frozen lake. “We’re trying to drill down about 200 metres plus. We’re hitting mineralization at 50, 60 metres but we’re going down to see what’s below that.”

In addition to step-outs to the west, drilling and additional ground geophysics are taking place east of the discovery. The work will last until spring break-up, which usually hits the region in April. “If the best results are found off the lake, we can do a lot of drilling in the summer. But if we find our best results in the lake, we’ll have to be careful about summer drilling,” Randhawa says. Barge work requires helicopter support, boosting costs by about 30%, he explains.

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Spotlight on the juniors

January 21st, 2013

Companies, investors and pundits converge on the 2013 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference

by Greg Klein

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A marketplace of ideas about the market itself—that partly describes the 2013 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. This year the Cambridge House event brings several hundred companies together with prospective investors. But the conference also features about 50 speakers with maybe 50 divergent (although often overlapping) perspectives on the state of the juniors.

Cambridge House calls this Vancouver event the world's largest investor-focused resource exploration conference

Cambridge House calls this Vancouver event “the world’s
largest investor-focused resource exploration conference.”

Among those on hand January 20 were Michael Berry speaking on Obamanomics, Rick Rule on his love for bear markets and Chris Berry on specific critical and strategic commodities for 2013.

Canadian-born Michael Berry, co-founder of Discovery Investing, fell just short of doom and gloom in his cautionary tale about the transformation of United States economics, culture and governance. More than ever before, he said, taxation, deficit spending and redistribution of wealth are firmly entrenched as government polices. The purpose, he stated, was to remake America. The program has disturbing implications for Canada and the rest of the world, he added.

“We have now turned the corner with the second administration of Barack Obama. Politics, not economics, is now the driving force—period, end of story.”

When it comes to boosting its power, U.S. government methods are myriad: Executive orders, challenges to the constitution, the appointment of czars who aren’t checked by the constitution, redistribution of wealth, repression of investment and market manipulation of gold, silver and currency. Outright confiscation, Berry warned, has happened historically and could happen again.

Helping rationalize government policies is a government belief that “anyone in government is smarter than anyone else.” Society, meanwhile, becomes ever more polarized. “It’s not violent yet but it could be violent at some point in the future,” he warned. “It’s happened before.”

The market of course went off the cliff in 1997, so there was the ’97-to-2002 bear market, a truly dismal bear market—when my net worth skyrocketed.—Rick Rule, chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments

But just from an economic viewpoint, the future looks bleak indeed. “Sometime around 2030, which is not all that far in the future, we will have amassed 200% federal debt relative to GDP…. That’s exactly what the Obama administration wants to do…. When that happens, the current structure will not be sustainable and the government will have to step in and reorganize the economy.”

Massive, growing government debt “is the tool the government is using to socialize the economy,” Berry stated. “It’s not a legacy we want to leave to our children. But it is a legacy with great implications for gold and silver.”

To protect themselves, Berry suggested investors “must eschew the dollar and every fiat currency you can think of,” own precious metals and consider other investments including water and infrastructure.

“I think you need to be looking at risk, thinking about risk, and those ten-baggers that will help you tread water as the U.S. moves towards an ultimate socialist state,” he concluded.

Following with good-natured overstatement was Rick Rule, chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments. “There’s basically nothing I could say that would depress you more,” he quipped. But ever the contrarian, Rule added, “It defines me well that when everyone else seems to be depressed, I’m on my way to being elated.”

He predicted the junior bear market—the “nice, ugly bear market,” as he called it—has another 18 to 24 months to go. And for anyone who wants to make money, “it’s an extremely good thing.” It’s time to do some bargain-hunting, he maintained.

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Uranium consolidation

January 16th, 2013

Fission likes Denison’s offer, wants to “do it all again” in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin

by Greg Klein

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(Update: The spin-out company Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU began trading on April 30, 2013.)

Uranium M&A activity continues with Denison Mines’ TSX:DML move to acquire Fission Energy TSXV:FIS. Both companies back the plan, which would help Denison consolidate its position in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Meanwhile Fission management would move into an aggressively “lean and hungry”—but well-financed—spinoff.

A helicopter lands at Waterbury Lake. Under part of the proposal, Denison Mines would get Fission Energy’s 60% stake in the 40,256-hectare uranium project.

A helicopter lands at Waterbury Lake. Under part of the proposal,
Denison Mines would get Fission Energy’s 60% stake in the
40,256-hectare uranium project.

Under the binding letter of intent announced January 16, Denison would get Fission’s 60% interest in the Waterbury Lake uranium project. Fission’s other focal point, its 50% stake in the Patterson Lake South uranium project, would spin out to a new company headed by the Fission team. The deal, which values Fission at $70 million, would offer 0.355 Denison shares for each Fission share. As a result, Fission shareholders would own about 11% of Denison as well as a proportional interest in the newly formed company.

The parties expect consummation by April. The LOI includes a reciprocal break fee of $3.5 million.

Patterson Lake South, located in the western Athabasca Basin, is currently a 50/50 joint venture between Fission and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW. The high-grade, near-surface project has seen a steady stream of encouraging results since its discovery last fall.

In the eastern basin, Fission holds a 60% interest and 2% NSR in Waterbury Lake. A consortium led by the Korean power utility Kepco holds the remaining 40%. Waterbury’s J-Zone is an extension of the Roughrider deposit, which Rio Tinto bought from Hathor Exploration last year for $654 million. Cameco’s TSX:CCO McArthur River and Rabbit Lake mines, as well as its Millennium deposit, lie on the same trend.

Denison would also pick up the rest of Fission’s eastern basin assets, a few more in Quebec and Nunavut, and Fission’s share of two JVs in Namibia.

Denison already commands a strong position in the eastern basin, with 26 projects covering over 330,000 hectares. Included is Denison’s 60% interest in Wheeler River, a JV in which Cameco and JCU Exploration hold 30% and 10% respectively. Also in the eastern basin, Denison holds a 25.17% interest in the Midwest high-grade uranium deposits and a 22.5% stake in the McClean Lake near-surface deposits and mill, one of the world’s largest uranium processing plants.

Last November Denison acquired 13.9% of International Enexco TSXV:IEC, whose assets include Athabasca’s Mann Lake project, a JV in which Cameco holds 52.5% and AREVA 17.5%. Other Denison assets are located in Mongolia and Zambia.

Speaking to ResourceClips, Fission chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa says, “I think Denison’s corporate strategy is to be a dominant player like Cameco and Rio, so they acquired [JNR Resources TSXV:JNN] last fall and now they’re acquiring our asset next to Rio, which is just north of Denison’s Midwest project.”

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Athabasca bound

December 11th, 2012

Clermont Capital and NexGen Energy have big plans for Saskatchewan and Nunavut uranium exploration

by Greg Klein

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(Update: With the reverse takeover of Clermont Capital complete, NexGen Energy Ltd TSXV:NXE began trading on April 23, 2013.)

When boiled down to basics, the formula for exploration success seems simple—all you need is brains, money and projects. In reality, of course, each of those qualities can be elusive. But in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, companies are joining forces to create what they believe will be the region’s “premier uranium exploration company.” That’s the ambition of Clermont Capital Inc TSXV:XYZ.P and NexGen Energy Ltd.

The events began with work on NexGen’s Radio project, continued with Clermont’s capital pool IPO in August and further progressed with NexGen’s November 15 acquisition of 10 Canadian projects from Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Further progress came with an LOI announced November 30, in which NexGen and Clermont would amalgamate to create a new TSXV-trading entity. That, in turn, would follow NexGen closing a minimum $6.6-million private placement. (For more details, as well as comments from Clermont president/CEO/director Arlen Hansen, click here.)

The newly expanded portfolio means “we now have a very dominant position in the Athabasca Basin,” explains NexGen CEO/director Leigh Curyer. “Our strategy is to find assets that are at the shallower sections of the basin and have existing geophysical signatures that make them prospective. While there are 10 properties in the Mega portfolio, each of them made that criteria. They predominantly straddle the unconformity, they’re in the shallower part of the basin, they’ve got existing but not extensive work and we thought they had very strong technical merits.”

Clermont Capital and NexGen Energy have big plans for Saskatchewan and Nunavut uranium exploration

NexGen’s Radio project is one of three Athabasca Basin
focal points in the company’s recently expanded portfolio.

Now with a total of 12 properties, NexGen’s three focal points are Radio, Rook 1 and Northwest Athabasca. “One property has mineralization on it, another two are directly adjacent to significant discoveries. The geological trends that host those discoveries are interpreted to go into our properties. Our properties are even shallower than those with the existing deposits. If they prove to have a discovery, the economics should be comparatively more favourable.”

Although Radio resides in a crowded neighbourhood with prominent neighbours, it’s never been drilled. That’s scheduled to change in January with an approximately 40-hole campaign. Adjacent to the Roughrider deposits that Rio Tinto bought from Hathor early this year for $654 million, Radio is interpreted to sit on the same east-west corridor hosting Roughrider and Fission Energy’s TSXV:FIS J-Zone. Roughrider’s indicated resource totals 17.2 million pounds triuranium octoxide while the inferred category shows 40.7 million pounds U3O8. The J-Zone at Waterbury Lake has an indicated resource of 10.28 million pounds and an inferred resource of 2.74 million pounds U3O8.

NexGen has an option to earn an initial 70% interest in Radio, then the additional 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Rook 1 borders Patterson Lake South, a Fission Energy and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW JV near-surface discovery that’s generated considerable market interest. The NexGen property could be on trend with PLS and, according to some interpretations, might host the bedrock source of a high-grade boulder field associated with the Fission/Alpha discovery. Rook 1 geophysics are underway and, if completed in time, will determine a drill campaign to start this winter.

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Updated Alpha, Fission news: Patterson Lake South uranium assays; Waterbury Lake resource update; Dundee report; private placements

December 7th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningJoint venture partners Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Energy TSXV:FIS announced results on December 5 from their Patterson Lake South uranium property in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Highlights include:

Hole PLS12-022

  • 1.07% triuranium octoxide over 8.5 metres
  • (including 2.63% U3O8 over 2.5 metres)

Hole PLS12-023

  • 0.27% U3O8 over 9.5 metres

Hole PLS12-024

  • 1.78% U3O8 over 18 metres
  • (including 2.49% U3O8 over 12.5 metres)
  • (which includes 4.33% U3O8 over 3.5 metres)
  • (including 11.1% U3O8 over 0.5 metres)

Hole PLS12-025

  • 0.4% U3O8 over 22.5 metres
  • (including 0.85% U3O8 over 4.03 metres)

True widths weren’t provided. All holes were sunk at a -90 degree dip.

The intercept closest to surface began at 57.5 metres while the deepest stopped at 169 metres. Most intercepts were found at down-hole depths above 86 metres. The nine-hole, 1,632-metre program tested conductors approximately three kilometres from a previously announced high-grade uranium boulder field.

Fission president/COO/chief geologist Ross McElroy remarked, “We are extremely pleased with the recent assay results at the PLS discovery that confirm high-grade mineralization within wide intersections at shallow depth. These encouraging results will help direct an aggressive winter program designed to further delineate this zone.”

Fission currently acts as project operator on the 50/50 JV.

Also on December 5, Alpha announced completion of a $4-million private placement made up of 2.66 million units at $1.50. Each unit consists of one share and one half-warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder to buy one share at $1.80 during a 12-month period.

Proceeds will be used to fund Alpha’s share of Patterson Lake South exploration and for general working capital.

On December 5 Dundee Capital Markets issued a report rating Fission a “buy, speculative risk.”

On December 6 Fission released an updated resource for the J-Zone of its Waterbury Lake uranium project, also in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Using a 0.1% cutoff, the resource now shows:

  • an indicated category of 307,000 tonnes averaging 1.52% for 10.28 million pounds U3O8
  • an inferred category of 138,000 tonnes averaging 0.9% for 2.74 million pounds U3O8.

The indicated category now contains approximately 79% of the resource. Fission stated that mineralization lies “within basement rocks proximal to sandstone-basement unconformity. Unconformity mineralization overlaps basement mineralization in the western part of the deposit delineated to date. Average vertical depth to the unconformity is approximately 200 metres.”

Fission holds a 60% interest in Waterbury Lake, with the remainder being held by a consortium lead by Kepco, the Korean power utility.

On December 6 Fission also announced a $3-million bought-deal private placement of 5 million flow-through shares at $0.60. The underwriters may buy additional flow-through shares up to $2 million until 48 hours before the closing date of December 21, 2012. Proceeds will be used for exploration.

On December 7 Fission announced the $3-million bought deal had been increased to $4 million, with 6.67 million flow-through shares at $0.60.

Read a feature story about Alpha Minerals and Fission Energy.

by Greg Klein