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Posts tagged ‘49 North Resources Inc (FNR)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 24th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Kivalliq signs LOI with Westham Resources on Saskatchewan Genesis property

Its flagship Angilak project in Nunavut holds Canada’s highest-grade uranium deposit outside the Athabasca Basin. Nevertheless Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV was drawn into Saskatchewan with last January’s acquisition of the 198,763-hectare Genesis project. Now the company plans to bring in Westham Resources TSXV:WHR.P as a funding partner.

Under a letter of intent announced May 21, the capital pool company could acquire an 85% interest in return for 20% of its issued and outstanding shares, $1 million in payments and $5 million in spending over four years. The exploration commitment would include $1 million by year-end and another $1.5 million by August 31, 2016. Kivalliq would act as project operator for at least two years. Kivalliq director Dale Wallster would join Westham’s board.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

Among other conditions, Westham must raise a private placement of at least $2 million.

The property lies northeast of the Basin in the prospective Western Wollaston Tectonic Domain and “covers basement rocks known to host uranium mineralization,” the companies stated. Previous operators and government surveys “outlined over 30 uranium showings that include several uranium-bearing boulder trains.” Based on that data, Kivalliq has identified eight initial targets for geophysics, sediment sampling, soil sampling, mapping and prospecting to be completed by early autumn. The company hopes to follow with a “major” drill program early next year.

Last February Kivalliq reported results of ore-sorting and metallurgical tests from Angilak’s Lac 50 deposit.

UEC adds one Texas property, “releases” another

Still expanding its southern Texas “hub-and-spoke” projects, Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC announced a new acquisition May 20, this one with a permitting advantage. The Longhorn project’s aquifer exemption “eliminates a major permitting hurdle” for a potential in-situ recovery operation, covering the mining zone of interest and allowing for expansion, the company stated. The project’s historic legacy includes drill maps and over 500 logs of gamma radiation data.

UEC compiled the project leases and data “over the last 18 months at a very low cost.”

The company also announced a decision to “release” its Channen project following evaluation of last summer’s drill results.

In April UEC completed a preliminary economic assessment for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. A week before that, the company announced its Burke Hollow ISR project in Texas had begun permitting.

UEC’s southern Texas holdings include the Hobson processing plant, the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad development project and satellite properties. Of its nearly two dozen exploration properties, two are located in Paraguay and the others in the western U.S.

Unity picks up historic Uranium City region property

Twenty-six kilometres southwest of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, the Gulch Mine project comprises Unity Energy’s TSXV:UTY latest acquisition. Announced May 21, the 3,010-hectare property holds an historic, non-43-101 “reserve,” estimated by one source at around 928,796 pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) and by another at 1.65 million pounds. Gulch adjoins properties held by Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU, Red Rock Energy TSXV:RRK and CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV.

A 100% interest will require $1.2 million in payments over 18 months from Unity, which must drill 3,000 metres within three years. The vendor retains a 2.5% gross overriding royalty. Unity may buy back two-fifths for $1.5 million, less any previous royalty payments.

Earlier this month Unity closed a 100% option on the 14,200-hectare Camsell project in the northwestern Basin. In April the company optioned out 50% of its Mitchell Lake project to Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV.

MPVC tests NW Manitoba for uranium, “young” uranium, radon and lead 210

As a rotary air blast drill arrived on site, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO updated its Northwest Manitoba project on May 22. The RAB drill is intended to quickly test shallow targets found by geophysical, geochemical and prospecting work. Drilling will take place over the lake while ice persists.

Two holes of core drilling have failed to convince a gamma ray spectrometer that they contain significant uranium mineralization, MPVC conceded. But “samples of the core are now being tested for radon, ‘young’ uranium and lead 210 which, if present, could signal the presence of uranium mineralization at greater depths.”

The company also reported receiving a letter of support for its one-year drill permit application from the Northlands Denesuline First Nation.

In early May MPVC stated preliminary results from the project’s radon-in-water survey showed, “to the author’s knowledge,” readings second only to Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Contract prices, spending cuts help Ur-Energy withstand uranium’s descent

While uranium sinks to eight-year lows, on May 22 Ur-Energy TSX:URE revised its guidance for this year and next. With mid- and long-term contracts in place, customers have committed to buy approximately 518,000 pounds U3O8 at an average of $51.10 a pound this year, for projected revenues approaching $26.5 million.

As for 2015, the company so far has commitments for 630,000 pounds at an average of $50.10, for projected revenues of $31 million. With spending controls as well as managed production, Ur-Energy expects “to maintain a positive cash position throughout 2014 and 2015.”

Although its processing facility has a nameplate capacity of two million pounds annually, the company plans to keep production tied to contract obligations in 2015 “unless the market demonstrates sustained price improvement.”

Ur-Energy began ISR mining at Lost Creek in Wyoming last August.

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Undaunted by dogma

April 25th, 2014

Kapuskasing Gold wants to prove, once again, that Mike Tremblay’s right about Ontario’s newest gold district

by Greg Klein

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He might have spent over 20 years as a voice crying in the Kapuskasing wilderness, but prospector Mike Tremblay saw his theories validated by a 2010 discovery on property he staked. That was the Borden Lake project in what Probe Mines TSXV:PRB calls Ontario’s newest gold district, the Kapuskasing structural zone. Now as an adviser to Kapuskasing Gold TSXV:KAP, Tremblay wants to open up more of this almost unexplored region.

The Kapuskasing zone sits tantalizingly close to a number of gold camps. Yet it’s received surprisingly little attention. Having grown up in the nearby town of Chapleau, Tremblay says locals often asked, “Why do we have mines all around us but there’s no mines here?” His response: “It was because of this great big Kapuskasing structure that nobody was exploring in.”

Kapuskasing Gold wants to prove, once again, that Mike Tremblay’s right about Ontario’s newest gold district

Tremblay says he was “lucky enough to learn from really smart people, the kind of people who would take you under their wing and teach you.” But something about the region close to home intrigued him. “I always had that contrary, stubborn streak in me, so you couldn’t tell me that something wasn’t possible.”

While working with Noranda Mines he learned about a VMS target that the company walked away from. Tremblay staked it in 1987, lost it at one point, re-staked it and, along with partner Jack Robert, finally sold it to Probe.

That was in March 2010. By June of that year the company had flown a VTEM survey. That summer they hit, eventually announcing a 91-metre intercept averaging two grams per tonne gold from one of six near-surface mineralized holes over a potential 250-metre strike.

Vindicated, Tremblay and his collaborators sought new turf in the Kapuskasing. Meanwhile by January 2013 Probe revealed a global resource of 5.19 million ounces indicated and 1.18 million ounces inferred. In May of last year Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM took a 9.9% stake in Probe. Then in November Tremblay, Robert and Probe won the 2013 Ontario Prospectors Association Award. The OPA credited the “new and unique discovery” to the fact that Tremblay and the others showed themselves “undaunted by dogma.”

Early this year Tremblay and his staking team sold two more properties, “my dream concepts in the area,” to Olympic Resources. He also joined as an adviser, helping transform the company into Kapuskasing Gold.

The acquisitions are Borden North, two claim blocks totalling 6,800 hectares by the Kapuskasing zone’s eastern margin about 60 kilometres north of Probe’s resource, and Rollo, a 7,136-hectare property just east of the zone.

“On Borden North there’s a big S-fold up in the mafic volcanics, so if there was anything it would fatten out in the fold, it would be a structural trap,” Tremblay explains. “When KAP got involved, we staked ground around it to cover all the potential.”

“Rollo was another one that I generated,” he adds. “I once worked with a prospector in his 80s. He was 18 years old in 1933, when they made some big discoveries in the region. So he had intimate knowledge of the area and he told me about this gold showing on a portage on what is now the Rollo project. So when that ground came open, 20 years after he passed on, I remembered he talked about a porphyry on that portage where he panned gold. That was the enticement to get the other guys to put in money.”

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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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Boss Power slate wins board election in battle with Beruschi over B claims

November 15th, 2013

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2013

The contest was bitter and the results close but a slate backed by Boss Power TSXV:BPU management won the company’s November 14 election to board of directors. Rival nominees had been presented by Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi. The conflict grew out of a $30-million settlement with the province of British Columbia following B.C.’s sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009. To get the cash, Boss must turn over certain exploration claims to the province. Included are the B claims, which are held by Beruschi. The two sides differ widely in their estimation of the claims’ price.

[The new board will] seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.—Boss Power

Boss offered $1.55 million. Beruschi wanted $4 million. In early October Beruschi offered to let a court decide the claims’ value if Boss directors would resign.

Boss initially refused. But later that month, after Beruschi nominated his own slate, Boss responded with five new nominees of its own and a proposal to expand the board from three to five directors. Denunciations from both sides built a crescendo up to November 14. The outcome seemed uncertain—Beruschi said Morning Star and its affiliates hold about a third of Boss shares.

Boss’ nominees won, but only with 53.95% each. They are:

  • Dev Randhawa, CEO/chairman of Fission

  • Chartered accountant Donald Siemens

  • Geologist Ron Stewart

According to Boss’ October 22 circular, the new board will “seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.” Because of the delays, the government has threatened to rescind the $30-million out-of-court settlement.

By press time Boss acting CEO Ron Netolitzky hadn’t responded to an interview request. Beruschi was unavailable for comment November 15 but indicated he would speak with ResourceClips.com the following week.

Prima’s TSX Venture debut

April 19th, 2013

Prima Fluorspar advances a critical mineral in a safe jurisdiction

by Greg Klein

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Is this any time to join the TSX Venture? According to Prima Fluorspar Corp TSXV:PF president/CEO Robert Bick, his company’s April 19 trading debut comes at exactly the right time. He maintains Prima has a necessary commodity for a niche market, a big, high-grade, near-surface historic resource, a strong team with past success and the likelihood of future interest from some very big players.

For all that, fluorspar’s hardly well-known. Yet it’s all around us. The lower-priced metallurgical grade finds its way into iron, steel, aluminum and cement. As for the pricier acid grade, modern refrigeration wouldn’t exist without it. Most new medicines rely on its derivatives. An EU-designated critical mineral, fluorspar plays a crucial role in producing a wide range of products we’d rather not live without. As emerging countries improve their living standards, those societies will find fluorspar products increasingly important.

Purple fluorspar right at surface offers encouraging signs for Prima’s Liard project in B.C.

Purple fluorspar right at surface offers encouraging signs
for Prima’s Liard project in B.C.

That probably explains China’s export restrictions. It’s both the fluorspar world’s largest producer and largest consumer, in the latter role mostly as a manufacturer of goods for export. Last year the country produced 61% of global supply, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a slight decrease from the previous year. Mexico produced another 17.5% in 2012, with third-place Mongolia offering a mere 6%, demonstrating the enormous imbalance in world production.

Prices, meanwhile, have climbed 225% between 2005 and 2012.

Despite China’s overwhelming share of production, the country’s expected to become a net importer within five years. As Simon Moores of the authoritative journal Industrial Minerals has explained, country risk was a major factor in fluorspar’s designation as a critical mineral.

Located in a friendly jurisdiction, Prima’s Liard fluorspar project looks all the more appealing. The northern British Columbia property holds 22,500 hectares along the Alaska Highway in a region that is, by B.C. standards, not particularly rugged. And there’s certainly fluorspar in them there hills.

Chemical companies absolutely need what we do and there have been companies in Europe in the past, for example Bayer, who actually did their own fluorspar mining. But chemical companies have no idea what exploration is all about.—Robert Bick, president/CEO
of Prima Fluorspar

Some 3.2 million tonnes grading 32% calcium fluoride (CaF2, also known as fluorite), according to an historic, non-43-101 resource. That’s a big, high-grade—albeit non-compliant—asset that the Prima team plan to prove up and expand. “With fluorspar projects, it’s very difficult to get such high-grade deposits,” says geologist Neil McCallum of Dahrouge Geological Consulting. “And most of the high-grade deposits out there are vein-type deposits where you might only have widths of one or two metres. So we’ve got pretty wide mineralization. What we tested was exposed on surface.”

The 61 historic holes found 20 showings, seven of them major, along a 30-kilometre strike potential. Prima’s preliminary work last fall tested two showings to find channel samples of 23.76% CaF2 over 19.55 metres and 23.49% over 74.55 metres. By spring or early summer McCallum plans to be back with a field crew doing geophysics and setting up a base camp prior to this year’s drill campaign of up to 100 holes and 10,000 metres.

“We’ll mostly do confirmation holes until we get the geophysical results. Then we’ll focus on building resources. What we’re aiming for is something that could be mined cheaply. Having something at surface that’s open-pittable will be important,” McCallum explains.

“With rare earths and a lot of the specialty metals, a project sinks or floats on the right metallurgy,” he adds. “But with most fluorspar deposits, it’s a fairly simple process.” Historic metallurgical tests brought results over 97% CaF2, the threshold for the more expensive, more highly demanded acid grade fluorspar, known as acidspar. More recent improvements in metallurgical science suggest even better results to come, McCallum points out.

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