Monday 5th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘guyana’

NRG Metals completes due diligence on Argentinian lithium properties

November 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 21, 2016

Among the companies active in South America’s Lithium Triangle, NRG Metals TSXV:NGZ has finished due diligence on two properties that would comprise the Carachi Pampa project in northwestern Argentina. Totalling 6,387 hectares, the contiguous properties sit in an area hosting geological features common to other lithium-rich salars in the region, the company stated on November 18. “The lithium target is a paleo salar (basin) at depth that has the potential to host lithium-enriched brines.”

NRG Metals completes due diligence on Argentinian lithium properties

NRG sees potential for lithium-enriched brines
in the Lithium Triangle’s Carachi Pampa project.

Located 40 kilometres from the town of Antofagasta de la Sierra at about 3,000 metres in elevation, the properties have winter access, a paved road 10 kilometres away and nearby services.

NRG has retained experienced lithium explorers Rojas and Associates and Sergio Lopez and Associates to review the project, with Rojas to complete a 43-101 technical report.

The properties are subject to different four-year purchase agreements, according to an LOI announced September 21. With all dollar figures in U.S. currency, one property calls for $120,000 on signing a definitive agreement, $200,000 in each of three annual payments and $600,000 at the end of the fourth year. A 1% NSR applies, which NRG may buy back for $1 million.

The other project would cost $160,000 on signing, $100,000 in two annual payments, $250,000 in year three and $625,000 in year four. Again, the company may buy back the 1% NSR for $1 million.

NRG offered a private placement up to C$1 million. Additionally, the company has negotiations underway on other properties.

In October NRG announced a management team for its Argentinian subsidiary, NRG Metals Argentina S.A. Executive director James Duff has written several 43-101 reports for Argentinian projects and served as COO of McEwen Mining TSX:MUX acquisition Minera Andes and president of South American operations for Coeur Mining NYSE:CDE.

Non-executive director José Gustavo de Castro is a chemical engineer with extensive experience in the evaluation and development of Argentinian lithium projects including the continent’s largest lithium producer, FMC Corp’s Hombre Muerto operation.

Manager of business development and corporate relations José Luis Martin’s 35-year career includes senior positions with Galaxy Lithium S.A. and Rio Tinto’s (NYSE:RIO) Argentinian projects.

Director Jorge Vargas specializes in property, mining and business law in Argentina.

Also last month NRG announced plans to spin out other assets to concentrate on lithium. The portfolio currently includes the LAB graphite project in Quebec and the Groete gold-copper resource in Guyana.

NRG Metals to focus on lithium, plans to spin out other assets

October 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 21, 2016

A new company would take on graphite and gold-copper projects as NRG Metals TSXV:NGZ concentrates on lithium. In a proposed plan of arrangement announced October 21, the company would spin out its Groete gold-copper property in Guyana and its LAB graphite project in Quebec into a newly created subsidiary. NRG shareholders would get shares of the spinco on a pro rata basis.

NRG Metals to focus on lithium, plans to spin out other assets

NRG signed an LOI to acquire the Carachi Pampa
properties in South America’s Lithium Triangle.

Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, the deal would transfer the two properties and pay approximately $150,000 to an entity referred to as GPRL “as well as certain accounts payable attributable to these projects.” Plans call for the spinco to apply for a public listing.

NRG describes Groete as “one of the most easily accessed large gold-copper resources in Guyana, having both deep water and electrical power/support infrastructure within approximately 30 kilometres.” The project has a 2013 resource using a 0.22 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff for a pit shell showing:

  • inferred: 74.8 million tonnes averaging 0.49 g/t gold and 0.12% copper, or 0.66 g/t gold-equivalent, for 1.59 million gold-equivalent ounces

The LAB project sits adjacent and contiguous to Lac des Iles, the largest of North America’s two flake graphite mines. NRG has conducted sampling, metallurgy, airborne magnetics and TDEM surveys, and a ground PhySpy survey on the project.

Last month the company announced two letters of intent to acquire Argentinian properties within South America’s Lithium Triangle and stated it’s “also negotiating on several other lithium opportunities located elsewhere in Argentina and Chile.”

NRG has offered a private placement of up to $1 million.

EM traces strong conductive anomalies on NRG Metals’ Quebec graphite project

July 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | July 21, 2016

Geophysics over a property adjacent to the largest of North America’s two flake graphite mines have stoked the optimism of NRG Metals TSXV:NGZ. All three survey grids showed anomalous results, with one grid revealing two especially strong conductors, the company reported July 21. The findings come from a ground-based time-domain electromagnetic survey known as PhiSpy, which has proven effective in graphite exploration.

The LAB project’s strongest readings came from a grid located 750 metres from an area of historic graphite mining, NRG stated. The two conductive zones run almost parallel, are located very close to each other and measure about 50 by 500 metres. Although final results are pending, initial interpretation gives this area priority for follow-up trenching or drilling.

EM traces strong conductive anomalies on NRG Metals’ Quebec graphite project

NRG Metals’ surface samples graded up to 23.8% Cg on a
property hosting the former Lac Aux Bouleaux graphite mine.

Six grab samples taken from mineralized calc-silicate and paragneiss rock last year assayed between 13% and 23.8% graphitic carbon, averaging 17.2%. Metallurgical tests released last year achieved grades up to 96.7% Cg, “indicating the potential to produce a high-quality graphite concentrate with simple flotation,” the company stated.

The property holds an historic, non-43-101 resource of 1.32 million tonnes averaging 9% Cg based on 79 holes totalling 5,958 metres sunk during the early 1980s.

The road-accessible, 738-hectare property has water, power and technical support available locally.

NRG’s Groete project in Guyana hosts an inferred resource of 74.8 million tonnes averaging 0.49 grams per tonne gold and 0.12% copper for 1.59 million gold-equivalent ounces. The at-surface deposit remains open in all directions.

NRG closed a $225,000 private placement in March followed by another $250,000 in May.

Exploring opportunity

June 17th, 2016

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

by Greg Klein
Next Page 1 | 2

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

 

“There’s excitement in the air,” said Cambridge House International founder Joe Martin. That’s the mood he senses as junior explorers emerge from the downturn. And certainly optimism was evident on June 14 as more than 450 people converged on the Vancouver Commodity Forum for an afternoon of expert talks amid a showcase of two dozen companies. Keynote speakers included Martin, Chris Berry of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online and Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Lithium, not surprisingly, stood out as a commodity of interest. While cautioning against over-enthusiasm for the exploration rush, Berry and Hykawy each affirmed the need for juniors to find new sources of the metal. Cobalt and scandium featured prominently too, as did other commodities including what Kaiser called “the weird metals”—lesser known stuff that’s vital to our lives but threatened with security of supply.

Kaiser also noted he was addressing a crowd larger than his last PDAC audience, another indication that “we’ve turned the corner.”

Attendees also met and mingled with company reps. Potential investors learned about a wide gamut of projects aspiring to meet a growing demand for necessities, conveniences and luxuries.

Presented by Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, the forum’s success will make it an annual event, said company president Dave Hodge. Berry emceed the conference, holding the unenviable task of “making sure Dave stays well-behaved.”

Read interviews with keynote speakers:

Meet the companies

Most companies were core holdings of Zimtu, a prospect generator that connects explorers with properties and also shares management, technical and financing expertise. Zimtu offers investors participation in a range of commodities and companies, including some at the pre-IPO stage.

After sampling high-grade lithium on its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories earlier this month, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY plans to return in mid-July for a program of mapping, exposing spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes, and channel sampling. The company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $318,836 in April. Hidden Lake’s located near Highway 4, about 40 kilometres from Yellowknife and within the Yellowknife Pegmatite Belt.

With one of the Athabasca Basin’s largest and most prospective exploration portfolios, ALX Uranium TSXV:AL has a number of projects competing for flagship status. Among them is Hook-Carter, which covers extensions of three known conductive trends, one of them hosting the sensational discoveries of Fission Uranium TSX:FCU and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. ALX’s strategic partnership with Holystone Energy allows that company to invest up to $750,000 in ALX and retain the right to maintain its ownership level for three years. ALX closed a private placement first tranche of $255,000 last month, amid this year’s busy news flow from a number of the company’s active projects.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD boasts one of northern Canada’s largest 100%-held diamond exploration portfolios. Among the properties are the drill-ready Stein project in Nunavut and others in the Lac de Gras region that’s the world’s third-largest diamond producer by value. North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR holds an option to earn up to 55% of Arctic Star’s Redemption property.

Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA considers its Douay property one of Quebec’s largest and last undeveloped gold projects. The Abitibi property has resources totalling 238,400 ounces of gold indicated and 2.75 million ounces inferred. Now, with $1.1 million raised last month, the company hopes to increase those numbers through a summer program including 4,000 metres of drilling. Douay’s 2014 PEA used a 5% discount rate to forecast a post-tax NPV of $16.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 40%.

Looking for lithium in Nevada, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA now has a geophysics crew en route to its Kibby Basin property, which the company believes could potentially host lithium-bearing brines in a similar geological setting to the Clayton Valley, about 65 kilometres south. Results from the gravity survey will help identify targets for direct push drilling and sampling.

A mineral perhaps overlooked in the effort to supply green technologies, zeolite has several environmental applications. Canadian Zeolite TSXV:CNZ holds two projects in southern British Columbia, Sun Group and Bromley Creek, the latter an active quarrying operation.

With a high-grade, near-surface rare earths deposit hosted in minerals that have proven processing, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE takes its Ashram project in Quebec towards pre-feasibility. The relatively straightforward mineralogy contributes to steady progress in metallurgical studies. Commerce also holds southeastern B.C.’s Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit, which reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Permitted for construction following a 2014 PEA, Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) Carmacks copper-gold-silver project now undergoes revised PEA studies. The agenda calls for improved economics by creating a new leach and development plan for the south-central Yukon property. In central B.C. the company holds the Thor exploration property, 20 kilometres south of the historic Kemess mine.

Next Page 1 | 2

Illicit diamonds

October 16th, 2015

The industry pledges further reform as more accusations hit the Kimberley Process

by Greg Klein

Confidence in the Kimberley Process took another blow with allegations that it’s being used to certify conflict diamonds from Brazil. Environmental degradation and corrupt practices of illegal miners and traders threaten indigenous tribes with “cultural genocide,” journalists Fellipe Abreu and Luiz Felipe Silva wrote in Folha de S.Paulo late last month. An English translation appeared on InsightCrime.org on October 14, two weeks after Amnesty International released a report alleging KP failings in the Central African Republic.

If anything, Brazil’s ban on outsiders mining native lands merely demonstrated the persistence of illegal miners. Having been expelled previously, diamond hunters poured back into the territory of the Cinta-Larga people in the country’s northwest. The rush peaked at over 5,000 miners in 2004, then subsided after natives killed about 29 intruders, Abreu and Silva write. “Since then, mining operations in the area have been closed and re-opened several times.”

The industry pledges further reform as more accusations hit the Kimberley Process

The reporters quote state prosecutor Reginaldo Trindade, who calls the current situation worse than 2004. “In March of this year, there were no less than 500 armed miners who told the Cinta-Larga that they would not leave the indigenous land.” Although natives managed to halt mining in May, “in July the area was retaken by armed miners,” according to Abreu and Silva.

The miners are garimpeiros, mostly working small alluvial operations. Some bring families with them, others bring drugs, guns and prostitutes. Investors supply equipment, bribe state officials and sell the contraband stones, the reporters say.

Collaborating with the illegal industry are Cinta-Larga leaders, the article adds. As for other natives, illegal mining and the sharp practices of those who control it introduce “a systematic process of acculturation. At first grudgingly, the indigenous permitted the mines with conditions, but the large sums of money and their growing consumer habits led to corruption and generated insurmountable debts for the indigenous communities.”

The reporters quote Trindade saying, “The Cinta-Larga people are on the brink of genocide, if not physically, then at least ethnically and culturally.”

Abreu and Silva say the illicit stones can be advertised online, then sold to buyers who sneak into the country on a light plane. Or the diamonds can be smuggled into Venezuela or Guyana. “The advantage in Guyana is that one can get the Kimberley seal—stones that enter a certified legal zone are registered as if they were extracted from there.” Another route to KP certification is to mix the diamonds with those from legitimate mines within Brazil, the reporters allege.

“We have always believed powerful people are involved in the mining,” Trindade tells the journalists. “There are many reports about the involvement of officials from different agencies, politicians, businessmen and even multinationals in [diamond] exploration.”

Obviously there’s money to be made in a country still reeling from the Petrobras scandal, even if few Cinta-Larga benefit. Following the Portuguese conquest, Brazil was the world’s leading supplier of diamonds until the great South African discoveries of the mid-19th century. Abreu and Silva cite highly speculative numbers that claim the native lands might still hold the world’s richest diamond resources.

But if the journalists are accurate about the stones’ journey to market, the article provides another indictment of the Kimberley Process after Amnesty International argued that states and companies use KP “as a fig leaf to reassure consumers that their diamonds are ethically sourced.”

The World Diamond Council is the first to agree that there is more work to be done when it comes to managing the global diamond supply chain. While the vast majority of diamonds contribute a significant benefit to the countries in which they’re produced, as an industry we are committed to staying the course until we reach the goal of zero conflict diamonds.

Amnesty’s claims drew strong criticism, however, with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre challenging the group’s accuracy. The centre said its expert staff conduct thorough checks on all diamonds moving in and out of Belgium. As a result, the AWDC seized two shipments last year from the Central African Republic, focus of the Amnesty report. The companies involved later lost their right to trade in Antwerp, the world diamond capital.

World Diamond Council president Edward Asscher credited KP with removing more than 99% of the world’s conflict diamonds from the market, Bloomberg reported. But in a formal statement the WDC stated it’s “the first to agree that there is more work to be done when it comes to managing the global diamond supply chain. While the vast majority of diamonds contribute a significant benefit to the countries in which they’re produced, as an industry we are committed to staying the course until we reach the goal of zero conflict diamonds.”

The council said it welcomed Amnesty’s recommendations. Among them is a call to broaden the definition of conflict stones, which KP limits to “rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.” Diamond Development Initiative executive director Dorothée Gizenga told Rapaport Magazine that Russia and some Asian countries resist broadening the KP’s mandate. “There are those that don’t even want to hear about human rights,” she said.

Next March representatives of the industry supply chain from miners to retailers will take part in a forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing at the three-day Jewelry Industry Summit in New York.

Read Kimberley Process indicted: Tougher measures needed to end conflict diamond trade, says Amnesty International.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 9th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 2 to 8, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

High grades, wide intervals from neighbours Fission and NexGen

Nearly simultaneous announcements from two adjacent projects once again evoke a sense of wonder about the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South still comes out ahead with an August 7 best result of 12.12% U3O8 over 27 metres. Still, NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) same-day best of 3.42% over 22.35 metres can hardly be dismissed. Fission also retains the shallower depths. But NexGen’s relatively recent Arrow discovery suggests something big might have spread beyond Fission’s 31,039-hectare property.

First, a look at NexGen.

Two days after announcing the “strongest and shallowest mineralization to date” from Rook 1’s Arrow zone, the company rushed to market with two stock-propelling assays from a single hole. Announced August 7, the results come from AR-14-15, the zone’s 15th hole so far. NexGen released the numbers in a sort of Russian doll formation of intervals within intervals, showing ever-higher grades as the widths contracted:

  • 3.42% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 22.35 metres, starting at 564 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 10.72% over 6.85 metres)
  • (which includes 15.74% over 4.5 metres)
  • (which includes 26.1% over 2.6 metres)
  • (which includes 55.8% over 0.45 metres)

  • 1.52% over 32 metres, starting at 594 metres
  • (including 2.98% over 15.85 metres)
  • (which includes 10.4% over 3.15 metres)
  • (which includes 43.7% over 0.35 metres)

True widths weren’t provided but the hole was sunk at a dip of -70 degrees.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 2 to 8, 2014

The assays follow an August 5 batch of radiometric readings. Those eight holes, which included AR-14-15, extend Arrow’s strike by 45 metres to about 515 metres in length for a zone that’s up to 180 metres wide and open in all directions. Encouraged by a near 100% hit rate, the company has increased its summer program from 13,500 metres to 18,500 metres of drilling.

These results come from a handheld scintillometer that measures gamma radiation from drill core in counts per second. They’re no substitute for assays.

The zone’s shallowest finding came from hole AR-14-20, which showed a composite of 51.3 metres of mineralization within a 284.45-metre section starting at 118.55 metres in downhole depth. True widths weren’t provided.

The strongest results came from AR-14-15.

Two regional holes totalling 558 metres at Rook 1’s Area K failed to find mineralization. The company now plans regional drilling at Area A on an electromagnetic conductor that NexGen interprets to be PL-3B, which hosts the PLS discovery. Rook 1 has two other conductors as well.

Not including one abandoned hole, the eight Arrow holes bring the zone’s total to 22 so far. Just one failed to find mineralization. Radiometric results have been reported previously for the first six summer holes, while assays have been released for last winter’s eight-hole campaign.

With Arrow clearly the project’s focus, NexGen has changed Rook 1’s protocol for identifying holes. Arrow hole numbers now begin with the letters AR, while regional holes retain the prefix RK.

AR-14-15’s assay came out with remarkable speed. Both NexGen and Fission use the same lab (SRC Geoanalytical Laboratories in Saskatoon). But while Fission is still releasing assays from last winter’s drilling, months after publishing their radiometric results, NexGen somehow released a summer assay just two days after reporting the same hole’s radiometrics.

Fission hits with six holes from winter, 12 from summer

As has been the case for most of last winter’s PLS drilling, the half-dozen holes released August 7 came from the project’s R780E zone, the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. Fission’s most outstanding results showed:

Hole PLS14-201

  • 2.51% U3O8 over 12 metres, starting at 128 metres
  • (including 5.6% over 5 metres)

  • 12.12% over 27 metres, starting at 149 metres
  • (including 26.41% over 12 metres)

PLS14-205

  • 0.54% over 43 metres, starting at 132.5 metres
  • (including 1.54% over 7.5 metres)

  • 2.65% over 10 metres, starting at 229 metres
  • (including 11.57% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.59% over 35.5 metres, starting at 251.5 metres

PLS14-213

  • 4.05% over 34 metres, starting at 147.5 metres
  • (including 11.37% over 11 metres)

True widths weren’t provided. One additional hole on the R00E zone failed to find significant mineralization. Still to come are assays for another 17 holes from last winter’s 92-hole program.

Like NexGen, Fission’s assays followed radiometric results by two days. And, like NexGen, those measurements expand the size of a zone. Taking advantage of barge-based angle drilling, a new technique first announced the previous week, the crew sunk 12 angled holes into the lake, all of them showing wide mineralization.

Hole PLS14-248 expanded the zone’s eastern half approximately 40 metres south while PLS14-236 showed mineralization about 50 metres north. The usual scintillometer disclaimer applies.

The $12-million, 63-hole summer program continues its progress towards a December resource.

U3O8 Corp Argentinian PEA sees payback in 2.5 years

U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE emphasized low cash costs as the company announced a preliminary economic assessment for its Laguna Salada deposit in Argentina on August 5. The deposit’s characteristics would make it “competitive with low-cost in-situ recovery uranium projects and with high-grade deposits in the Athabasca Basin,” the company stated.

Taking into consideration a vanadium credit and a 3% NSR, cash costs for the 10-year mine life would average $21.62 per pound of uranium. The study estimates even lower initial cash costs of $16.14 a pound as production starts in higher-grade zones, bringing payback in just 2.5 years.

Using U.S. dollars for all figures, the PEA forecast a $134-million capex and used a 7.5% discount rate to calculate a net present value of $55 million and an 18% post-tax internal rate of return. The numbers were based on presumed prices of $60 a pound U3O8 and $5.50 a pound vanadium.

Next Page 1 | 2

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 10th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Paladin releases Labrador infill results, plans Q2 resource update

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

Hole M14-151

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

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

Hole M14-154

  • 0.14% over 15 metres, starting at 214 metres

  • 0.13% over 8 metres, starting at 256 metres

Hole M14-156

  • 0.095% over 12 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole M14-158

  • 0.096% over 16 metres, starting at 191 metres

Hole M14-162

  • 0.102% over 28 metres, starting at 348 metres

Hole M14-163

  • 0.114% over 9 metres, starting at 355 metres

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

Michelin’s resource currently shows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports initial Preston drill results

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

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

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

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

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

Anfield collects Colorado claims

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

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

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

European Uranium refines portfolio sale, intends to pursue other assets

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

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

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

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

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

Next Page 1 | 2

Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Innovation overcomes epic struggle to put Cameco’s Cigar Lake into production

 

 

With an ore grade 100 times the world average, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO overcame tremendous challenges to put Cigar Lake into production. Indeed the project’s first ore shipment on March 13 suggests that high grade is the mother of invention.

Among other tribulations, flooding in 2006 and 2008 stalled the eastern Athabasca Basin mine, which dates back to a 1981 discovery and began construction in 2005. Last year’s planned start-up hit another delay with leaks from tanks built to hold the run-of-mine slurry. Around the same time the McClean Lake mill faced delays of its own with modifications to the leaching circuit.

Cameco devised innovative techniques of bulk freezing and jet boring to extract the deposit lying 410 to 450 metres below surface, “where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

The jet boring tunnel at Cigar Lake, which Cameco calls “among
the most technically challenging mining projects in the world.”

To prevent flooding, the company freezes the ore and surrounding rock “by circulating a brine solution through freeze holes drilled from both surface and underground.”

To extract the ore, Cameco developed a method of high-pressure water jet boring “after many years of test mining” that keeps operators safely distant from the enormously high-grade deposit.

The company’s targeting 18 million pounds a year at full production, making it the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine after the Cameco/AREVA (70%/30%) McArthur River operation. But even 33 years after Cigar Lake’s discovery, the company anticipates further difficulties: “As we ramp up production, there may be some technical challenges which could affect our production plans.”

As of December 31, Cigar Lake capital expenditures came to $2.6 billion. Over 600 people will staff the mine.

Milling will take place at McClean Lake, 70 kilometres northeast. Operator AREVA Resources Canada says the plant “is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tonnes as early as 2018.”

Cigar Lake shows proven and probable reserves averaging 18.3% for 216.7 million pounds U3O8. Measured and indicated resources average 2.27% for 2.2 million pounds. The inferred resource averages 12.01% for 98.9 million pounds.

Cigar Lake is a joint venture of Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources (5%).

The McClean Lake JV consists of AREVA (70% ), Denison Mines TSX:DML (22.5%) and OURD Canada (7.5%).

Read more about Cigar Lake here and here.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results, $25-million bought deal

Patterson Lake South’s momentum continued on March 10 as Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released its third batch of radiometric readings in five days—this time boasting one hole with “the second strongest off-scale results recorded at PLS to date, placing it amongst the best holes drilled in the Athabasca Basin.” The four new holes also continue the winter program’s 100% hit rate and further encourage the company’s quest to connect the six zones along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results

Fission uses a hand-held scintillometer to measure
radiation from drill core prior to receiving lab assays.

The most recent star hole is PLS14-164, whose intervals showed a total of 30.08 metres of off-scale readings at 9,999 counts per second, the maximum amount of gamma radiation that the hand-held scintillometer can measure. The readings, taken from drill core, are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Another hole showed a composite 2.1 metres of off-scale radioactivity. Of the four holes, the mineralized intercept closest to surface started at 56 metres, while the deepest stopped at 380.5 metres.

Oddly enough, Fission Uranium’s March 10 release says one of the new holes “has narrowed the distance between zones R390E and R585E to approximately 60 metres.” That’s the same distance between the same zones reported by the company on March 7.

Already 40 holes have been completed in the $12-million winter campaign that began in mid-January. The company plans about 85 or 90 holes totalling around 30,000 metres on the ice-bound lake before spring. While one rig explores outside the mineralized area, Fission Uranium hopes its four other drills will fill the gaps between the project’s six zones.

Just before the March 10 closing bell Fission Uranium announced a $25-million bought deal. A syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 15.65 million warrants, exercisable for one share each, at $1.60. The company expects to close the private placement by April 1. The underwriters may buy an additional 15%.

Fission Uranium surpassed its 52-week high March 10, opening three cents above its previous close, reaching $1.71 and then settling on $1.67 when trading was halted at the company’s request minutes before the $25-million announcement.

Trading resumed the following day. The company closed March 14 on $1.59. With 330.12 million shares outstanding, Fission Uranium had a market cap of $524.89 million.

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

Core from RK-14-27 shows pitchblende within
brecciated shear at 253.8 metres in downhole depth.

With radiometric results from a second hole on Rook 1’s Arrow prospect, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE repeated last month’s success. On March 13 the company released dozens of tiny intervals ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 metres that showed “significant” readings over 500 counts per second. One intercept of 15.05 metres (not true width) showed almost continuous significant results.

The measurements, which are no substitute for assays, were obtained by scanning drill core with a hand-held radiation detector.

Significant intervals for RK-14-27 started at 224.45 metres in downhole depth and ended at 435.9 metres. Drilling stopped at 576 metres. About a dozen small intervals hit the device’s maximum possible reading of 10,000 cps. Arrow’s mineralization now extends at least 32 metres down dip across two holes, NexGen stated.

Three other holes failed to find significant radiation but “analysis of structures in these holes meant that hole 27 was successfully planned to intersect the interpreted mineralized zones both along strike and down dip.” The company plans to sink RK-14-29 40 metres southwest along strike. Now in progress, RK-14-28 is testing a gravity low roughly 200 metres west of RK-14-27.

The company has two drills working the Arrow area, now the focus of the PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project. A third rig will join by summer.

On March 10 NexGen stated it filed a preliminary short form prospectus regarding the previously announced $10-million bought deal, which the company expects to close on or about March 26.

Fission 3.0 stakes 42,000 additional hectares in and around the Basin

Three acquisitions and one property expansion add nearly 42,000 hectares to Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) portfolio. Announced March 13, the newly staked properties indicate “there remain many under-explored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” according to COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy.

Not all the new turf actually lies within the Basin. But neither does PLS. The 20,826-hectare Perron Lake property is about 20 kilometres north of the Basin and has benefited from regional lake sediment sampling that showed strong uranium anomalies.

The 9,168-hectare Cree Bay property sits within the northeastern Basin, where historic airborne geophysics suggest potential for hydrothermal and structure-related deposits.

Within the southeastern Basin, the 4,354-hectare Grey Island property is located about 70 kilometres from Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Manitou Falls enlarges by 7,589 hectares to a total of 10,529 hectares. The northeastern Basin property was originally staked last May when the spinco was just a gleam in Fission Uranium’s eye. Historic data shows six radiometric anomalies and multiple basement electromagnetic conductors.

Fission 3.0’s portfolio now numbers nine Saskatchewan and Alberta properties in and around the Basin and one in Peru’s Macusani uranium district.

Purepoint finds new zone at Hook Lake JV

March 10 news from Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU heralded a new zone of mineralization at its Hook Lake joint venture five kilometres northeast of PLS. Although two of four holes failed to find mineralization, the other two prompted the company to move its second rig to the new Spitfire zone.

The single interval released from hole HK14-09 showed:

  • 0.32% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 208.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.1% over 0.5 metres)

Thirty metres northwest, HK14-11 showed:

  • 0.11% over 2 metres, starting at 197.9 metres

  • 0.05% over 3 metres, starting at 201.9 metres

  • 0.57% over 0.9 metres, starting at 210.6 metres

True widths weren’t provided. These holes were drilled at a -70 degree dip.

All four holes targeted the 2.9-kilometre D2 electromagnetic conductor, which features “a large magnetic low, possibly indicative of hydrothermal alteration,” said VP of exploration Scott Frostad. “Now that the D2 conductor has been shown to be associated with uranium mineralization, we will increase our drilling efforts towards the northeast where geophysics suggests there is a more structurally complex setting.”

Purepoint stated D2 comprises part of the Patterson Lake conductive corridor, the same conductive trend targeted by Fission at PLS.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare project and acts as operator for partners Cameco (39.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%). The work is part of a $2.5-million, 5,000-metre campaign that began in late January.

In early February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

Next Page 1 | 2

Despite the downturn

January 31st, 2014

Roundup 2014 speakers discuss how investors can profit and companies thrive

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

We’re near bottom, we’ve hit bottom, the worst is behind us—over the last few wretched years those comments have come repeatedly from speakers at industry conferences. So maybe Victoria Yehl put it best in her January 30 closing remarks at Roundup 2014: “You, as the attendees and the delegates, let us know what’s going on in this industry … almost every evening at the Seawall Bar and Grill. It was certainly a higher level of enthusiasm than we’ve seen for a number of years.”

As chairperson of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s annual event, Yehl was referring to the evening get-togethers, known for a non-market type of liquidity. But boozy as it might have been, can so much enthusiasm be dismissed?

Roundup 2014 speakers discuss how investors can profit and companies thrive

Near-record attendance and growing optimism characterized
AME BC’s Roundup 2014, “the world’s premier technical
mineral exploration conference.”

Yehl thanked company sponsors who came through despite tough times and noted a near-record crowd of 6,643 people from 37 countries, a possible indication of not-so-tough times ahead. Roundup 2014’s five last speakers further developed that sentiment.

The guardedly optimistic group included Rick Rule, who told investors they can be contrarians or victims: “The choice is yours.” Discussing some potential “fire sale prices” in resource stocks, the chairman of Sprott US Holdings said, “When I talk about coal now people say, ‘Global warming, you’re the culprit.’ I love it when people aren’t merely bored, they’re hostile.”

Uranium, he added, “is cheap. Zinc is cheap. People hate nickel…. Until three or four months ago natural gas was cheap, cheap, cheap.”

Bull markets follow bear markets “as day follows night,” Rule argued. But he warned that although a valuation’s increase might be inevitable, it isn’t necessarily imminent. Profits require time and patience, he emphasized.

Turning the forum’s attention from investors to companies, Silver Wheaton TSX:SLW president/CEO Randy Smallwood said most financing has been coming from various types of debt. The streaming model, he maintained, allows companies to optimize their portfolios through deals on non-core assets. “Seventy percent of silver does not come from silver mines,” he pointed out. About 40% comes from copper mines, another 15% from lead-zinc operations. Those miners “aren’t interested in silver. They’re driven by copper, they’re driven by lead-zinc.”

A new type of deal announced in November offers some juniors additional hope, Smallwood said. Silver Wheaton stepped in earlier than usual to give Sandspring Resources TSXV:SSP an initial $13.5 million to take its Toroparu gold project in Guyana to feasibility.

“If they had gone out and raised $13.5 million in the market, their current shareholders would have lost 33% of the value of that project…. What they did was give us 10% of the gold, if we fund them another $135 million when they get to the point of construction. It’s pretty attractive for their shareholders. It makes a lot of sense for juniors to consider this.”

But with prefeasibility in place, Toroparu was already quite advanced. Exploration geologist Miles Thompson discussed earlier-stage projects and the “bizarre disconnect between markets and the time needed to find and develop mines.”

“Unfortunately the easy stuff has already been found and our job is becoming increasingly harder,” said the director of Reservoir Minerals TSXV:RMC and CEO/chairman of Lara Exploration TSXV:LRA. For all that, Reservoir has been successfully raising money and spending it in Serbia for over 10 years. “We follow the prospect generator business model, which means we work the same way the pharmaceutical industry works, the software industry…. We see ourselves as R&D teams. We build projects, we define targets, we work out projects for mining companies and investors.”

Next Page 1 | 2

Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 7th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 30 to December 6, 2013

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Introducing the Alpha Minerals spinco—Alpha Exploration Inc

With court blessing announced December 2 for the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW takeover by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU, the deal faces just one more approval, this one from the TSXV. That was expected, but not announced, on December 6. Alpha’s spinco, Alpha Exploration Inc (anticipated ticker TSXV:AEX) gets about $3 million cash and all non-Patterson Lake South assets, including properties in Ontario and British Columbia as well as Saskatchewan. Each Alpha Minerals share fetches 5.725 Fission shares and one-half spinco share. Since December 3 Alpha Minerals shares have no longer traded with spinco shares attached.

The current Alpha Minerals board and management will “substantially” move into AEX positions.

Court approval for Fission Uranium’s spinco—tentatively titled Fission 3.0 to also commemorate Fission Uranium’s predecessor and Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition Fission Energy—was announced the previous week. Each Fission Uranium shareholder gets one share of post-arrangement Fission Uranium as well as a share of the Fission spinout, expected to start trading December 10.

Having obtained full PLS ownership from its 50/50 joint venture ally, Fission Uranium has undoubtedly caught the attention of much bigger takeout artists.

Read more about the takeover.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland/Declan Resources JV accelerates work, strengthens their positions

In this market you have to work with strong partners. You have to collaborate and be a bit creative. We’re fortunate to work with people like Declan president Wayne Tisdale’s team and the financial connections they can bring.—Ryan Fletcher, director of Lakeland Resources

A new team of Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK and Declan Resources TSXV:LAN means an accelerated winter drill program for their Gibbon’s Creek flagship as well as the opportunity to put additional work into other Basin-area projects.

Declan’s first-year commitment will inject another $1.25 million into Gibbon’s, a 12,771-hectare north-central Basin property that already underwent over $3 million of work prior to last fall’s field campaign by Lakeland. Declan may earn 50% of the project by spending that $1.25 million, paying Lakeland $100,000 and issuing two million shares in 12 months. Over four years Declan may obtain a 70% interest for a total of $1.5 million in cash, 11 million shares and $6.5 million in spending.

The agreement further demonstrates Declan’s new direction, following its acquisitions in September and October of the 9,000-hectare Patterson Lake Northeast and 50,000-hectare Firebag River properties.

Declan’s commitment also allows Lakeland to ramp up its campaign for two other north-central Basin properties, South Pine and Perch Lake. Work on all those properties will be managed by Dahrouge Geological Consulting, led by PLS and Waterbury Lake veteran Jody Dahrouge.

Field results from Lakeland’s fall campaign are pending, while new appointments are anticipated from Declan.

Read more about the Lakeland/Declan JV and their other projects.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Macusani claims low-cost uranium potential in Peruvian PEA

Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL presented its case for a low-grade but potentially low-cost uranium mining operation in Peru with a preliminary economic assessment released December 5. The company envisions both open pit and underground operations with “a low stripping ratio in the open pit operations, anticipated low acid consumption and high process plant recoveries expected to be achieved in a short period of time.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 30 to December 6, 2013

The under-explored Macusani plateau shows considerable
uranium potential, according to the eponymous Macusani Yellowcake.

The report, using U.S. dollars, uses an 8% discount rate to calculate a $417-million after-tax net present value with a 32.4% internal rate of return. Those numbers assume a long-term price of $65 a pound uranium oxide (U3O8).

Initial capital expenditures would come to $331 million to build the mine and a plant processing 8.5 million tonnes per year. Total sustaining capital costs for the 10-year lifespan would reach $228 million. Payback would take 3.5 years.

Life of mine cash costs would average $20.57 a pound but, Macusani emphasized, years one to five would average $19.45, “placing it in the lowest quartile in the world using 2012 production figures.” Those first five years would produce an average 5.17 million pounds annually which would, were it operating now, rank the mine the world’s sixth largest, the company maintained. The 10-year average would be 4.3 million pounds.

The project, on the Macusani plateau in southeastern Peru, features multiple deposits, some adjacent to each other, others a few to several kilometres apart. The December 5 news release once again claimed last August’s resource update showed a 167% increase in measured and indicated categories. But there was no increase in the measured category. In fact measured pounds equal less than 1% of the M&I total.

Calling the project potentially “one of the lowest-cost uranium producers in the world,” Macusani CEO Laurence Stefan added, “The PEA demonstrates that the Macusani plateau has significant potential to become a major uranium-producing district, considering that only small areas have been explored to date.”

The company expects to begin pre-feasibility work in 2014.

NexGen announces initial geophysical results for Rook 1

An airborne radiometric survey over the PLS-vicinity Rook 1 project found at least five zones with elevated readings, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported on December 2. Two of the zones are “proximal” to last summer’s drilling and could provide targets for another program beginning in January. Additionally aeromagnetic data identified regional and local basement structures.

The company will pursue the source of the elevated radiometrics next summer through ground radiometric surveying, mapping and sampling. Meanwhile the current data from 5,772 line-kilometres of high-resolution magnetic, very low frequency and radiometric surveys undergoes more comprehensive analysis.

Still to come are assays from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at the eastside Basin Radio project, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits. Having raised $5 million in late August, NexGen stated it’s still well-financed.

More near-surface, district-wide potential found in Argentina, says U3O8

In mid-November U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said a discovery roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit could indicate district-scale potential. On December 4 the company stated another Argentinian discovery, on the southern extension of Laguna Salada, further suggests that potential. In both cases vertical channel sampling found near-surface, soft gravel uranium-vanadium mineralization.

Laguna Salada trials showed that screening could concentrate over 90% of its uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass, resulting in 10 to 11 times greater grade, U3O8 stated. The company maintains its deposits offer continuous surface mining potential with alkaline leaching.

Dubbed La Susana, the new discovery’s slated for pitting and trenching to determine the extent of mineralization. While Laguna Salada’s PEA nears completion, the company continues JV negotiations with a province-owned mining company that could unite Laguna Salada with adjoining concessions.

U3O8 has a Colombian uranium-polymetallic project with a PEA and an earlier-stage project in Guyana.

Aldrin finishes Triple M gravity survey, offers $2-million private placement

With its ground gravity survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN stated anomalies coincide with previous results and already-identified drill targets. Data from 871 stations on Triple M, adjacent to and southwest of PLS, covered two parallel bedrock conductors already noted from an airborne VTEM survey and surface radon anomalies, the company reported on December 4.

Gravity anomalies consist of relatively low readings “reflecting the dissolution and removal of rock mass by the same basinal fluids that may also precipitate uranium,” Aldrin explained.

Two days earlier the company announced a $2-million private placement for Triple M exploration and drilling. The offer comprises 18.18 million units at $0.11, with each unit consisting of one flow-though share and one-half warrant, with each full warrant exercisable at $0.16 for 18 months.

In early November Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been announced the previous month. The company has also indicated plans to buy the Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central rim.

Next Page 1 | 2