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Posts tagged ‘First Uranium Corp (FIU.H)’

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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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 14th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 7 to 13, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Spincos Fission 3.0 and Alpha Exploration debut on TSXV, Fission Uranium plans most aggressive campaign ever

Never mind Fission 3.0’s FUU ticker. When Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU was created out of Fission Energy earlier this year, only a last-minute change prevented that spinco from becoming FUC. And now that Alpha Minerals has delisted to create its spinco, Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, two new companies join the Venture while Patterson Lake South comes under the sole ownership of Fission Uranium, a particularly tempting takeover target.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 7 to 13, 2013

Now with sole control over Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium seems
likely to use winter drilling as a theatrical build-up to a maiden resource.

Fission 3.0 debuted December 10 at $0.12 and quickly shot up to $0.30 before plunging to a $0.135 close. The stock finished December 13 at $0.16. With 152.96 million shares outstanding, Mach III had a $24.47-million market cap.

Alpha Exploration began trading December 12 at $0.45 and reached a daily high of $0.63. But it fell all the way to a $0.30 close. The following day’s finish dropped a penny lower. AEX’s 13.96 million shares represented a market cap of $4.05 million.

Each spinco got $3 million in start-up money from Fission Uranium. Alpha Minerals nominees Warren Stanyer and Kurt Bordian joined Fission Uranium’s board, replacing Frank Estergaard and Jeremy Ross who moved to Fission 3.0 along with Dev Randhawa and Ross McElroy, who lead both Fissions. Alpha Exploration’s management and board remains “substantially the same” as that of Alpha Minerals.

Meanwhile the PLS role played by father/son team Ben and Garrett Ainsworth (ex-Alpha Minerals now Alpha Ex) have won them the 2013 Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia announced on December 12.

Fission 3.0 keeps its predecessor’s uranium focus with six Athabasca Basin-area projects and another in the Macusani region of Peru. Alpha Exploration lists its initial key assets as two gold projects, Mikwam in Ontario and Donna in B.C., as well as Saskatchewan uranium properties.

The spin-outs have hardly diminished Fission Uranium’s attraction, a $12.87-million financing suggests. Announced December 11, the company’s 8.58 million $1.50 subscription receipts have been exchanged for one flow-through share each, a transaction that closed after the Alpha Minerals acquisition.

Evidently emboldened by all that dough, McElroy announced Fission Uranium’s “most aggressive drill program to date at PLS—approximately 30,000 metres in up to 100 drill holes,” the news release quoted him. “Our core focus will be growth, including the specific goal of eliminating the distance between the six identified zones. We will also be testing new targets, using radon sampling on other EM conductors and employing resistivity ground geophysics to help identify additional prospective corridors.”

With assays still pending for over 50 holes, Fission Uranium might be accused of teasing investors prior to a first resource.

Late December 13 the company announced it granted a consultant one million options at $1.10 for two years.

Lakeland Resources bolsters team with Canon Bryan and Sam Wong

Two more appointments add to a busy period of announcements from Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK. On December 9 mining financial professional Canon Bryan joined Lakeland’s advisory board. Two days later another mining specialist, Sam Wong, took the position of chief financial officer.

With Bryan’s appointment Lakeland not only gains additional expertise but renews a relationship that’s already proved successful. Bryan’s resume lists management positions for several public and private companies including Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC, which Bryan co-founded. He also founded Terrestrial Energy Inc, which is developing a commercial molten salt reactor, and operates a merger-and-acquisition consulting service for the uranium sector.

Now he’s working again with people who’ve benefited from his past accomplishments. Lakeland director Ryan Fletcher recalls the genesis for what’s now NioCorp Developments TSXV:NB. “Canon came to us [Zimtu Capital Corp TSXV:ZC] with the idea to go to Nebraska and acquire a niobium project,” Fletcher says. “It was a great project, although difficult because we had to acquire it from 40 farmers. It took quite a while and a bit of money but we were successful.”

I co-founded [Uranium Energy Corp] with three other folks and took it through the hoops. It’s now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and producing uranium in Texas.—Lakeland Resources
adviser Canon Bryan

Known as Elk Creek, NioCorp calls it “the only primary niobium deposit in the U.S., and… the highest-grade, large-tonnage undeveloped deposit in North America.”

Bryan says, “I found the project and Zimtu was able to facilitate funding, so it was a good collaboration and profitable for everyone.”

With Uranium Energy Corp, “I co-founded the company with three other folks and took it through the hoops,” Bryan adds. “It’s now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and producing uranium in Texas. Producing uranium in the U.S. is quite a rare thing. It’s something I’m personally quite proud of.”

He says working with Lakeland renews “a collaboration that’s never really gone away. We’re colleagues in the industry. We agreed it would be a good fit for everybody, very much an organic fit.”

He joins three other well-respected names on Lakeland’s advisory board, all with complementary fields of expertise—John Gingerich, Richard Kusmirski and Thomas Drolet.

“Uranium M&A is my area of expertise,” Bryan says. “So naturally that’s something I would like to bring to the table.”

Wong, Lakeland’s new CFO, holds the same position at Lowell Copper TSXV:JDL and Chesapeake Gold TSXV:CKG. He’s also served as corporate controller at Luna Gold TSX:LGC, where he oversaw the finance division during Luna’s transition from development to commercial production. Wong articled as a chartered accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he specialized in assurance and advisory for mining companies.

In a statement accompanying the December 11 announcement, Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes said Wong brings “strength in financial reporting, strategic planning, corporate governance, equity financings, due diligence for acquisitions and corporate development to our growing team. His attention to detail and in running a tight ship will be another strong asset for Lakeland as we advance as an up-and-coming leader in the Athabasca Basin.”

The appointments follow a flurry of recent news from the uranium explorer, which includes a joint venture with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN that expands Lakeland’s upcoming Gibbon’s Creek drill program, another JV with Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV that increases Lakeland’s portfolio and the publication of a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.

Meanwhile results are pending from last season’s exploration on the Riou Lake/Gibbon’s Creek property in the north-central Basin.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Forum completes ground gravity survey, plans ground EM at Clearwater

A December 11 announcement moves Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC closer to drilling its Clearwater project. With a ground gravity survey finished, around 11 drill targets have been chosen. The survey followed up on previously identified electromagnetic conductors and radon anomalies to find four gravity lows, three of which held several conductors. An early January ground EM survey will further refine targets for drilling that’s expected to start later that month.

In late November Forum released lake sediment samples from the southern area of the 9,910-hectare property. Clearwater lies adjacently southwest of, and on trend with, PLS.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 17th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013

by Greg Klein

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New Argentinian discovery might hold district-wide potential, says U3O8 Corp

Roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit in Argentina, U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said it’s discovered a new area with the district’s “highest uranium-vanadium grades found to date.” La Rosada shows district-scale potential for Laguna Salada-style mineralization in near-surface, soft gravels, the company stated on November 12. But in addition, chip samples from adjacent basement rock show grades ranging from 0.01% to over 0.79% uranium oxide (U3O8). That might indicate a source of the gravel’s mineralization.

The extremely shallow, fine-sand mineralization potentially offers low-cost extraction through continuous surface mining, the company maintained. Screening tests at Laguna Salada, moreover, concentrated over 90% of the uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass.

Vertical channel samples starting less than a metre from surface show a weighted average of 0.15% U3O8 and 0.08% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Some highlights show:

  • 0.12% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.7 metres

  • 0.13% U3O8 and 0.05% V2O5 over 0.5 metres

  • 0.25% U3O8 and 0.09% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 1.18% U3O8 and 0.52% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

  • 0.24% U3O8 and 0.08% V2O5 over 1.5 metres

Highlights from horizontal channel sampling of the basement rock show:

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.6 metres

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 0.16% U3O8 and 0.07% V2O5 over 0.2 metres

  • 0.79% U3O8 and 0.26% V2O5 over 0.1 metre

  • 0.17% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

The company didn’t provide the depth to basement.

Further near-surface exploration is planned south of the discovery while the basement calls for systematic trenching to determine its “potential as a target in its own right,” U3O8 stated. Planned for year-end completion is Laguna Salada’s preliminary economic assessment and a hoped-for joint venture with a state-owned company holding adjacent claims.

Laguna Salada has a 2011 resource estimate showing:

  • an indicated category of 47.3 million tonnes averaging 0.006% U3O8 and 0.055% V2O5 for 6.3 million pounds U3O8 and 57.1 million pounds V2O5

  • an inferred category of 20.8 million tonnes averaging 0.0085% U3O8 and 0.059% V2O5 for 3.8 million pounds U3O8 and 26.9 million pounds V2O5

Elsewhere U3O8 has completed a PEA for its Berlin uranium-polymetallic project in Colombia and holds two earlier-stage projects in Argentina and Guyana.

Fission/Alpha release results from two PLS zones, lengthen strike by 15 metres

Releasing both scintillometer readings and assays the same week, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU provided a prompt update from their current Patterson Lake South drilling as well as results from last summer’s campaign. On November 12 the 50/50 joint venture partners said they’ve confirmed the sixth zone announced last week, extending it 15 metres east and 10 metres north. Two days later they reported five more holes bearing high grades from R390E, the third most-easterly zone along what’s now a 1.8-kilometre trend.

Starting with the newly discovered R600W zone, the partners reported readings from a handheld device that measures gamma ray particles from core in counts per second, maxing out at an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Both holes were sunk at -89 degrees, making downhole depths close to vertical. Hole PLS13-121 reached a total depth of 248 metres, encountering just a bit of sandstone at 98.7 metres before hitting the basement unconformity at 99 metres. Some of the better results show:

  • <300 cps to >9,999 cps over 11.3 metres, starting at 98.7 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 600 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 141 metres

Hole PLS13-122 totalled 332 metres in depth, reaching the basement unconformity at 100 metres without finding sandstone. Some highlights show:

  • <300 cps to 800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 101.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 510 cps over 4 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • 430 cps to 1,900 cps over 1 metre, starting at 158.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Turning to zone R390E and real lab assays, some highlights show:

Hole PLS13-078

  • 0.66% U3O8 over 30 metres, starting at 85 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 7.62% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 7.5 metres, starting at 128 metres

Hole PLS13-081

  • 0.19% over 18.5 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • Hole PLS13-085

  • 0.93% over 22 metres, starting at 82.5 metres

  • (including 4.07% over 4 metres)

Hole PLS13-086

  • 1.93% over 43 metres, starting at 81.5 metres

  • (including 9.91% over 5 metres)

Hole PLS13-087A

  • 0.28% over 4 metres, starting at 45.5 metres

  • 0.4% over 8.5 metres, starting at 63.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 16.5 metres, starting at 92.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. Dips strayed no more than six degrees from vertical.

With $2.25 million funding an 11-hole, 3,700-metre extension to the summer/fall campaign, land-based work now focuses on the R600W area while waiting for the lake to freeze. Meanwhile more assays are expected from the previous barge-based drilling to the east.

Alpha acquisition vote looms; Fission and Dahrouge square off in legal battle

November 28’s the day when Fission and Alpha shareholders vote on the latter’s acquisition by the former. Mentioned in the companies’ joint November 15 update was a barely publicized legal dispute between Fission and Dahrouge Geological Consulting, its principals and a related company.

Seeking unspecified damages, Fission filed a notice of civil claim on July 29 alleging “breach of fiduciary duties and knowing assistance in breach of the same.” On November 8 the defendants filed a counter-claim with “allegations of breaches of British Columbia securities laws, slander, wrongful interference, improper assignment and improper variation of obligations. The relief being sought in the counter-claim includes unspecified losses and damages, declarations of ownership in relation to certain mineral permits and claims, declarations concerning the enforceability of certain assignments, injunctions preventing the defendants by way of counter-claim from disparaging certain mineral permits and claims, interest and costs.”

The account of the defendants’ counter-claim comes from a draft version reported in Fission and Alpha circulars dated October 30. Neither claim has been tested in court.

International Enexco/Cameco/AREVA plan winter drilling at Mann Lake

A three-way JV intends to start the new year with a $2.9-million drill program for the eastside Athabasca Basin Mann Lake project. Up to 18 holes will evaluate three types of targets—the area footwall to the western axis of the C trend, remaining targets along the main C trend and conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated on November 13. The company holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, along with AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%) and Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%).

This year’s drilling totalled 21 holes for 15,721 metres, focusing on the C conductor, which Enexco describes as a six-kilometre-long section of a regional trend extending from Cameco’s McArthur River mine to Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River deposit.

The previous week Enexco reported three holes from the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake, a 20/80 JV with Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco. The latter also keeps busy with pre-feasibility work at its 100%-held Contact copper project in Nevada.

Aldrin reports radon results from Triple M

With its Triple M property’s surface radon survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN announced some results from 527 sample sites on November 14. The findings show elevated values over more than one kilometre of a VTEM bedrock conductor, which the company interprets as a steeply south-dipping fault zone. “The most intense portion of this radon anomaly reaches a high value of 1.68 pCi/m²/s [picocuries per square metre per second] and extends for more than 200 metres, comprising a priority drill target,” Aldrin stated.

The company added that the fault zone parallels the conductor hosting the PLS discovery on the Alpha/Fission project adjacent to and northeast of Triple M. North of the fault zone, and parallel to it, sits a second VTEM basement conductor with radon values up to 1.18 pCi/m²/s.

The previous week Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been increased to $1.5 million. The company has also previously announced an agreement to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 3rd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission hit 5.98% U3O8 over 17.5 metres, including 19.51% over 5.5 metres

With so many scintillometer results announced already, assays for the same holes can be anti-climactic. But that’s the way Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have orchestrated their Patterson Lake South campaign, now giving observers a near sense of déjà vu. Assays from four holes announced October 29 add little to the news of August 8, although results from the lab are much more reliable than those from the hand-held radiation-detecting gizmo. The assays come from R00E, the farthest southwest of the project’s five zones.

Hole PLS13-074

  • 0.13% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 2.5 metres, starting at 65 metres in downhole depth


  • 0.09% over 2 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.08% over 1.5 metres, starting at 183 metres

  • 0.16% over 4.5 metres, starting at 186.5 metres


  • 0.39% over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres

  • 0.13% over 15.5 metres, starting at 73 metres


  • 5.98% over 17.5 metres, starting at 83 metres

  • (including 19.51% over 5 metres) (Update: On November 4 the JV partners corrected the intercept width from 5.5 metres to 5 metres.)

True widths were unavailable. Three of the holes were vertical, while 079 dipped at -75 degrees. That hole expands the zone’s high-grade southern area, the companies stated, while all four holes confirm R00E’s east-west strike at 165 metres. The zone remains open in all directions.

With the summer barge-based campaign complete, attention now turns to a land-based program west of R00E. Fission acts as project operator on the 50/50 joint venture until its acquisition of Alpha closes. Fission shareholders will vote on the deal’s spinout aspect on November 28.

(Update: On November 4 the JV announced a sixth PLS zone west of the discovery. Read more.)

Rio Tinto plans winter drilling at Purepoint’s Red Willow

Purepoint Uranium Group TSXV:PTU announced plans on October 29 by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for 2,500 metres of drilling at Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare property on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern edge. Rio identified targets based on historic drill logs and more recent geophysical and geochemical work. The company built a 28-person camp last summer.

Depth to unconformity in the area varies from zero to 80 metres, Purepoint stated. The company says five major deposits—JEB, Midwest, Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Millennium—“are located along a NE to SW mine trend that extends through the Red Willow project.”

Rio has so far spent about $2.25 million out of a $5-million commitment to earn an initial 51% interest by December 31, 2015. The giant’s Canadian subsidiary may earn 80% by spending $22.5 million by the end of 2021.

In early October Purepoint announced a winter drill campaign for the Hook Lake JV held 21% by Purepoint and 39.5% each by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada.

Strong Q3 financials surprise Cameco shareholders

Despite historic low uranium prices, Cameco came out with Q3 earnings far beyond the same period last year. In his October 29 statement, president/CEO Tim Gitzel attributed the success to a contracting strategy “providing us with higher average realized prices that are well above the current uranium spot price.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

Rabbit Lake was one of three Cameco operations that received
10-year licence renewals the same week that the company
surprised investors with an especially strong quarterly report.

Adjusted net earnings for three months ending September 30 came to $208 million, a 324% increase over Q3 2012 or, at 53 cents a share, a 342% increase. Year-to-date figures came to $295 million (up 48%) and 75 cents a share (up 47%).

Gitzel added that Cameco’s “starting to see some of the cost benefits of the restructuring we undertook earlier” and plans to “take advantage of the opportunity we see in the long term.”

However the company’s statement noted “there have been some deferrals of future projects due to uranium prices insufficient to support new production. The deferrals will not directly impact the near-term market, but could have an effect on the longer term outlook for the uranium industry. Complicating the supply outlook further is the possibility of some projects, primarily driven by sovereign interests, moving forward despite market conditions.”

The company forecast strong long-term fundamentals, mostly to China which has “reaffirmed its substantial growth targets out to 2020 and indicated plans to pursue further growth out to 2030. Their growth is palpable as construction on two more reactors began during the third quarter, bringing the total under construction to 30.”

As for Cameco’s long-delayed Cigar Lake mine, the company’s sticking to its current plan of Q1 2014 production and Q2 milling.

But while junior exploration flourishes, especially in the Athabasca Basin, the major plans a 15% to 20% cut in exploration spending this year.

Three Cameco operations get 10-year licence renewals

Licences for Cameco’s Key Lake, McArthur River and Rabbit Lake operations have been renewed for 10 years, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced October 29. The CNSC granted the extensions after three days of public meetings that heard from the company, 27 interveners and CNSC staff. The commission agreed to Cameco’s request for 10-year renewals, twice the previous term.

MillenMin finds radioactive outcrops on east Basin properties, reports AGM results

MillenMin Ventures TSXV:MVM completed initial field work at two eastside Basin properties, the 2,759-hectare Highrock Lake NE and 1,648-hectare Smalley Lake W. Work included prospecting, outcrop mapping and examination of previously found mineralization, the company announced October 28.

Grab samples from radioactive outcrops on both properties have been sent for assays. MillenMin first announced its foray into uranium last May and has staked 11 claims totalling about 18,983 hectares in and around the Basin.

On October 31 the company reported AGM results with directors re-elected, auditors re-appointed and other business approved.

Declan options northeastern Alberta property

Southwest of the Basin’s Alberta extremity, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has optioned the 50,000-hectare Firebag River property. Previous geophysical survey data “shows a complex pattern of magnetic lows and highs, truncated or offset in the northern part of the property by the Marguerite River Fault,” Declan stated on October 29. Exploration in 1977 “confirmed the presence of a southwest-oriented fault zone and a geochemical anomaly with 11 ppm cobalt in lake sediments atop this structure,” the company added.

The deal would have Declan paying $85,000, issuing five million shares over two years and spending $3 million over three years. The optioner retains a 2% NSR on metals and a 4% gross overriding royalty on non-metallic commodities.

In September Declan announced an option to acquire the Patterson Lake Northeast property. The company plans to engage Dahrouge Geological Consulting to explore its uranium properties.

Rockgate takeover offer: Denison softens conditions, extends deadline

Denison Mines TSX:DML advanced its attempted takeover of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT by lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares. In an October 30 statement Denison also extended the offer’s deadline again, this time to November 18, and dropped conditions related to staff retention and consulting agreements.

The same day Rockgate said insiders agreed not to exercise their options unless another company comes up with a better offer. Denison had requested a cease trade order on 11 million Rockgate options granted on September 30, which Denison termed “improper defensive tactics.” The British Columbia Securities Commission didn’t agree. But rather than risk Denison withdrawing its offer, Rockgate insiders “put the interests of the shareholders of Rockgate before their own personal interests and agreed to amend the terms of the options,” company president/CEO Karl Kottmeier said.

The tone of the companies’ statements has warmed considerably since Kottmeier labelled Denison’s offer an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” Denison president/CEO Ron Hochstein thanked Kottmeier and the Rockgate board “for their contributions to allowing the offer to proceed towards a successful conclusion.”

Meanwhile Rockgate continues prefeasibility work on its flagship Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali.

Read how Denison’s offer defeated Rockgate’s proposed merger with Mega Uranium.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland Resources’ JV partner New Dimension to drill for gold

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on October 31 an imminent drill campaign of at least 1,800 metres by JV partner New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR on the Midas gold property in north-central Ontario. Lakeland optioned the project to New Dimension in September in order to focus on Saskatchewan uranium exploration. But Lakeland will retain a 30% interest in Midas carried to an initial 43-101 resource estimate.

I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

“New Dimension is a great group to work with and the deal was easy to do,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells “I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium. The onus is on them to explore that project and we share in any benefits that result.”

The previous week Lakeland closed a private placement for a total of $1,057,718 and announced the appointment of Basin veteran John Gingerich to the company’s advisory board. Field work continues on Lakeland’s Riou Lake uranium project.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 18th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 10 to 16, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission add fourth zone, extend PLS strike to 1.02 kilometres

Barely into their current $6.95-million campaign, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW once again grabbed the market’s attention by reporting a fourth zone at Patterson Lake South on August 15. With off-scale scintillometer readings for one hole 165 metres grid east of zone R780E, the new zone gets the informative but unsentimental name R945E. The quartet of zones now extends along a 1.02-kilometre trend.

The hand-held scintillometer measures drill core gamma radioactivity in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading of 9,999 cps. The results are not assays, which are pending. A downhole probe will also be used to measure radioactivity. Some highlights for hole PLS13-084 include:

  • <300 to 800 cps over 4 metres, starting at 104.5 metres in vertical depth
  • <300 to 1,500 cps over 7 metres, starting at 132.5 metres
  • <300 to 3,700 cps over 35.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • <300 to 5,100 cps over 7 metres, starting at 198 metres
  • <300 to 4,500 cps over 12.5 metres, starting at 209.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 18 metres, starting at 234 metres.

True widths were unavailable. The hole reached a total depth of 302 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres. Drilling continues on this hole.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

On the left are barges supporting two of three drills, part of Patterson
Lake South’s $6.95-million, 44-hole, 11,000-metre campaign.

The target was chosen after radon water sampling found an anomaly parallel to a conductor and along strike of the project’s other zones. The 50/50 joint venture partners emphasized that the mineralization’s full potential “will not be fully realized until a complete fence of holes is completed across this anomaly.”

Three days earlier the JV reported its first summer hole from R780E, showing the zone’s “widest continuous and strongest results.” Drilled 10 metres grid south of a previous hole, it extends the zone’s width to about 45 metres at that point. Highlights from PLS13-080 include:

  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 48.5 metres, starting at 122.5 metres in downhole depth
  • <300 to 2,000 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 173.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 236 metres
  • <300 to 5,400 cps over 3 metres, starting at 298 metres.

True thicknesses weren’t available. The hole reached a total of 347 metres, hitting the basement unconformity at 54 metres. With an 89-degree dip, downhole depths approximate vertical depths. Still to come are lab assays and results from a downhole radiometric probe.

Like PLS13-084, the target was chosen to test an anomaly found by radon sampling, this one “within a resistivity low corridor proximal to an inferred north-south cross-cutting structure.”

On August 16 Fission announced the appointment of Ted Clark to its executive advisory board. Clark is chief of the Clearwater River Dene Nation and owner of Big Bear Contracting Ltd.

NexGen drills PLS-adjacent Rook 1, increases private placement again

Adjacently northeast of PLS, a two-drill, 3,000-metre campaign has begun on NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE Rook 1 project. Targets were identified and refined following airborne and ground geophysics that found overlapping anomalies, according to the August 16 announcement. NexGen expects to find basement rock at 65 to 100 metres in depth. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to late September.

What began as a $1.78-million private placement offered on July 29 has, after three increases, now reached nearly $5 million. The company doubled the offer to $3.53 million on August 1, increased it to $4.12 million on August 14 and, the following day, raised that to $5 million. This “third and final increase” now boosts the offer to 14.28 million units at $0.35 for gross proceeds up to almost $5 million.

Each unit consists of one share and one-half warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable for a share at $0.55 for 18 months. Raising the $5 million would leave NexGen with about $9 million cash on hand.

On the Basin’s east side, the company is earning a 70% interest in the Radio project, two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposits. Assays are pending from Radio’s 3,473-metre summer program.

Skyharbour closes $425,000 private placement, now fully funded for two years

Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH closed a private placement of 5.31 million flow-through units at $0.08 for $425,000 on August 14. Each flow-through unit consists of one flow-through share and one non-transferable non-flow-through warrant exercisable at $0.10 for two years. No finder’s fees were paid.

As part of the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package, Skyharbour is now fully financed for its portion of a $6-million, two-year program, president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells

“The first phase of work, the airborne surveys, is complete,” he points out. “Fieldwork started ahead of schedule to test a target we’re excited about. We’ll be doing some radon surveying, geochemical sampling and prospecting, among other field techniques. We hope to have all the results in by the end of October.”

Referring to the Alpha/Fission discovery of a fourth PLS zone, Trimble says, “Clearly they’re dealing with a very powerful geological event that created this deposition of uranium. That has implications for the surrounding properties. Another point is the success they’re having with these indicators—the radon anomalies, the boulder train discovery. They’re having huge success with their methodology and the specific targets they’re drilling. That’s important for companies at an earlier stage, and I think Alpha and Fission have shown the market the significance of pre-drilling exploration and reconnaissance work. There’s a lot of value you can put into a project even before you get the drill rigs there.”

The syndicate, which includes Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY, has “about 150 years of uranium exploration experience focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Trimble adds. Skyharbour’s Rick Kusmirski, for example, “has over 40 years in the field and his area of expertise is the Athabasca Basin. He was exploration manager for Cameco [TSX:CCO], he took over the helm at JNR Resources, made a discovery and got bought out by Denison [TSX:DML]. Bob Marvin, our other geologist, also has decades of experience with extensive work in the uranium space. Then there’s the other three companies, each with at least one geologist and the focus has been on uranium expertise.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Lakeland offers $1.25-million private placement, plans Riou Lake exploration

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK offered private placements up to $1.25 million on August 16. The pure play uranium exploration company announced up to 10 million units at $0.10 for gross proceeds of $1 million, with each unit consisting of one share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for one year. Another two million flow-through units at $0.125 consist of one flow-through share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for a year. Proceeds will go to Athabasca Basin exploration and general working capital.

With nine uranium properties, Lakeland’s initial focus will be the Gibbon’s Creek area of its Riou Lake project on the northern Basin’s edge, says corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk. “It’s already had work done on it so we have a lot of historic data to go through. Because it’s on higher ground we can drill year-round. We’ve got existing data, so we can work from that and possibly be drilling as early as October.”

Two of Lakeland’s properties are in the eastern Basin, with the other seven in the north-central and northeastern Basin. “The Basin’s trends run from southwest to northeast. The early discoveries were on the eastern side of the Basin, on the Wollaston trend. That goes into Manitoba and finishes in Nunavut. The next trend is at Patterson Lake South, where the Alpha/Fission story is happening. Our properties on the northeast side of the Basin are part of that trend. So it’s not inconceivable that we could find something similar. The previous Riou Lake operator did find a boulder grading 11% uranium, the drilling found some very similar things, so we’re very excited about that.”

Gibbon’s Creek offers other attractions, Leschuk adds. “It’s not only on high ground but it’s very shallow to the basement rock. We’re talking maybe 50 metres down, so our drilling is going to be very shallow and very cheap to drill. Only a few kilometres away there’s a community called Stony Rapids, so we don’t have to set up a camp. We can hire people from the community who can drive to and from work, so our costs will be even lower. Our money will go a long, long way. We’re looking at 1,500 to 2,000 metres initially but we’ll get a big bang for our buck. We’re looking forward to that.”

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After Japan

April 8th, 2011

Other Uranium Stocks Have Recovered, But Uranium One Lags Behind

By The Highgrade Review

The Japanese disaster, now approaching its one month anniversary, continues to be the only topic of discussion for investors in uranium stocks. The spot price of uranium fell 10%, to $60 per pound immediately after the earthquake and tsunami created a nuclear incident at the Fukushima reactor, sending low levels of radiation drifting south to Tokyo. Prices eventually fell as low as US$49.25 per pound. Perhaps a lesser known fact amongst casual observers is that the price has almost completely recovered. By March 24, it was back to $61.13.

What’s behind the speedy recovery? Many analysts point to a lack of real options for replacing nuclear energy, which supplies 13.5% of the world’s electricity generation. Independent analyst Peter Strachen says the situation will “basically blow over in the next 12 to 18 months, as people realize that there’s no real alternative in the short to medium term, for large, baseload power supply.” Strachen points to a number of new plants being built in India, China and Brazil.

Other Uranium Stocks Have Recovered, But Uranium One Lags Behind

Analysts with The Bedford Report agree. They say that China is currently in the process of quadrupling its uranium consumption to 50 million to 60 million pounds a year and says it plans to build 10 nuclear power plants a year for the next decade. Even as the Japanese crisis hit its darkest hour, with the crisis at Fukushima still not contained, the Obama administration said that “nuclear power will remain a key component of America’s energy mix, despite worldwide anxiety over the safety of reactors.” The US currently has 104 reactors in 31 states.

Raymond James mining analyst Bart Jaworski told the Globe and Mail the disaster has created an opportunity for investors to buy quality uranium stocks at a discount. He said, “We expect this situation to be no different than what happened after the Three Mile Island [1979] and Chernobyl [1986] accidents, where reactor growth continued quite strongly due to the large amount of reactors already in construction phase.”

Two of Jaworski’s favorite picks are Cameco and Paladin Energy. Cameco is down just over 19% since the Japanese disaster, from $36.32 March 11 to $29.25 April 6. Paladin Energy is down about the same, from $4.66 March 11 to $3.82 April 6. A look at other TSX-listed uranium plays reveals similar, or better, numbers. Denison Mines has forfeited a shade over 20% of its pre-Japan price, while First Uranium is down just 8%.

And then there’s Uranium One. Despite a modest recent rally, the Vancouver based miner is still down nearly 33% since the Japanese quake, from $5.96 March 11 to $4.04 April 6.

To read more, “Uranium One lags peers in sector recovery”, Click Here