Monday 5th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘kyrgyzstan’

Kyrgyzstan gains B.C. foothold as Centerra hedges jurisdictions

July 5th, 2016

by Greg Klein | July 5, 2016

A “balanced geopolitical risk profile” would counter Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan woes with a solid foundation in more favourable countries. But with Kyrgyzstan currently holding nearly a third of Centerra shares, that country retains a sizeable piece of the action. Late July 5 Centerra announced a definitive agreement to pick up Thompson Creek Metals TSX:TCM and its Mount Milligan copper-gold mine in British Columbia. Also included are Thompson Creek’s Endako molybdenum mine in B.C. and its Thompson Creek moly mine in Idaho, both on care and maintenance, as well as two development projects in B.C.

Kyrgyzstan gains B.C. foothold as Centerra hedges jurisdictions

Gold miner Centerra takes on Thompson
Creek’s debt to move into a safer jurisdiction.

Subject to approvals, the share swap values Thompson Creek at C$0.79, a 33% premium to the company’s 20-day volume-weighted average to July 4. The deal would leave Thompson Creek shareholders with about 8% of Centerra. The company also pays off Thompson Creek’s outstanding notes. The companies value the transaction at approximately US$1.1 billion.

Royal Gold’s Mount Milligan gold stream would drop from 52.25% to 35% in exchange for an 18.75% copper stream.

The deal gives Centerra “an operating base in Canada—one of the lowest-risk mining jurisdictions in the world—which will complement our [50%-held] Canadian-based Greenstone project and provide for further flexibility to expand into the Americas,” commented CEO Scott Perry.

In addition to its flagship Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, Centerra holds Mongolia’s Boroo gold mine, currently on care and maintenance, and two advanced-stage gold projects in Mongolia and Turkey.

At the company’s May AGM the CEO reportedly acknowledged that Kyrgyzstan is “not viewed as a top-tier jurisdiction”—a considerable understatement. Out of 109 countries ranked by the Fraser Institute’s annual mining survey, Kyrgyzstan ranks 19th from last on the Investment Attractiveness Index and eighth from last on the Policy Perception Index. B.C., although no paradise itself for miners, ranks 18th from top on the IAI and 41st on the PPI.

Centerra’s Kyrgyzstan adversities have included a police raid on the company’s office, a US$220-million pollution fine, a US$9-billion claim by the country’s Green Party, criminal investigations against the company’s executives, a ban on executives leaving the country, the arrest of a former CEO in Bulgaria reportedly at Kyrgyzstan’s behest, illegal roadblocks, violent mobs, and the arrest and deportation of a Centerra welder after he posted a Facebook remark comparing a local sausage to “horse penis.”

Centerra holds a 100% interest in Kumtor but Kyrgyzstan holds 32.7% of Centerra. In December the company offered to trade a 50% stake in the mine for the country’s shares. But now Kyrgyzstan faces dilution through the C$170-million bought deal Centerra also announced on July 5.

The company expects to close the offer around July 20 and the acquisition in autumn.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 28 to July 11, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

NexGen extends Arrow’s reach at Rook 1

The first six summer holes at the Rook 1 project’s Arrow zone have more than doubled the potential strike, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE stated July 7. Radiometric measurements extended the 215 metres determined by eight winter holes to a potential 470-metre strike open in all directions.

Although assays have been released for the winter program, the company bases its summer results on radiation readings from a gamma spectrometer and a gamma probe. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Some of the highlights include hole RK-14-37, which totalled a composite 8.1 metres of “off-scale” radioactivity straining the spectrometer’s limit of 9,999 counts per second. The drill hit 17 anomalous intercepts totalling a composite 78.05 metres of mineralization within a 227.8-metre section beginning at 378 metres in downhole depth.

RK-14-34 found 29 intercepts totalling a composite 100.6 metres of mineralization within a 627.9-metre section that started at 221.4 metres in depth.

RK-14-31 found 35 intercepts totalling 125.8 metres of mineralization within a 430.7-metre section beginning at 221.4 metres in depth.

True widths weren’t provided. All six Arrow holes, which totalled 4,324 metres, showed visible mineralization. One hole is still in progress.

About 200 metres away, the Dagger area took in four holes totalling 1,349 metres without showing anomalous radioactivity. In addition to further Arrow drilling, “preparations have been made for regional drilling to continue at Area K (Dennis Lake),” the company stated.

Rook 1 straddles the southwestern rim of the Athabasca Basin, on the northeastern border of Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Fission Uranium drills 12.35% U3O8 over 13.5 metres, 4.68% over 25 metres at PLS

More high-grade assays from Fission Uranium continue to build Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, focus of the highly anticipated maiden resource scheduled for December. Of nine holes released July 2 from last winter’s infill drilling, all showed mineralization. A half dozen brought especially impressive results. Some highlights include:

Hole PLS14-170

  • 0.35% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 58 metres, starting at 135.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.2% over 5.5 metres)
Fission drills 13.5 metres of 12.35%, 25 metres of 4.68% at Patterson Lake South

With 39 winter holes still to report,
Fission Uranium has embarked on
a 63-hole summer campaign.

  • 0.31% over 12 metres, starting at 202 metres

  • 2.9% over 20 metres, starting at 217.5 metres
  • (including 8.35% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 260 metres

Hole PLS14-174

  • 0.8% over 25 metres, starting at 105 metres
  • (including 3.45% over 1.5 metres)
  • (and including 2.8% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 4.39% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.87% over 13.5 metres, starting at 135 metres
  • (including 9.24% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-175

  • 0.7% over 21 metres, starting at 120.5 metres
  • (including 3.35% over 2.5 metres)

  • 0.38% over 26 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 1.44% over 2.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-178

  • 0.12% over 25.5 metres, starting at 135.5 metres

  • 0.19% over 15 metres, starting at 164.5 metres

Hole PLS14-179

  • 2.99% over 1 metre, starting at 184.5 metres

  • 2.25% over 8.5 metres, starting at 244 metres

Hole PLS14-180

  • 0.44% over 21 metres, starting at 136.5 metres
  • (including 3.45% over 2 metres)

  • 4.68% over 25 metres, starting at 165 metres
  • (including 18.56% over 5.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-186

  • 12.35% over 13.5 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • (including 23.41% over 7 metres)

  • 1.52% over 2.5 metres, starting at 175 metres

  • 0.9% over 7 metres, starting at 188 metres
  • (including 3.61% over 1.5 metres)

True widths weren’t provided. With five PLS zones stretching east-west along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike, Fission Uranium stated these results show “the continued strong nature of uranium mineralization as the R780E zone moves eastwards.”

Still to come are assays for 39 holes from the 92-hole winter campaign. One week before unloading this latest batch of results, the company announced a 20,330-metre, 63-hole summer program that would eat $12 million of this year’s $28-million budget. As was the case last winter, most of the drilling will focus on delineation for a December resource.

Gold, PGEs and REEs suggest a “robust hydrothermal system” at Lakeland Resources’ Star uranium project

Recently compiled data shows potential for a regional hydrothermal system on Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) Star uranium property, adjacently north of the company’s Gibbon’s Creek joint venture. That’s the verdict for samples taken last year, which assayed for gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as uranium.

The Star property covers “a quasi-circular basement uplift,” a feature considered “an ideal location for the development of uranium occurrences associated with the unconformity or sub-unconformity of the Athabasca Basin,” the company stated July 8.

One outcrop sample assayed 5.7 grams per tonne gold, 0.36 g/t platinum and 0.39 g/t palladium. Another showed 1.8 g/t gold, 0.08 g/t platinum and 0.12 g/t palladium.

A sandstone boulder revealed 257 ppm uranium and 0.3% total rare earth oxides, including 1,216 ppm dysprosium and 321 ppm yttrium. Another outcrop sample showed 6.9% TREO, predominantly light REE-enriched.

The assays further indicate potential for a regional hydrothermal system as “demonstrated by intense alteration associated with historic uranium mineralization within the Gibbons Creek property located immediately to the south,” Lakeland stated. “Within the Athabasca Basin, there are a number of projects where highly anomalous precious metals and/or rare earth elements occur in spatial relation to uranium deposits and/or mineralization. Examples of such mineralization include the Nicholson Bay and Fish Hook Bay uranium-gold-platinum group elements occurrences, and the MAW zone-Wheeler River occurrences.”

The Star project’s now slated for a near-term mapping and sampling program. Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in the property by paying $60,000 and issuing 600,000 shares over 12 months. The vendor retains the option of a 25% buyback for four times Lakeland’s exploration expenses.

Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has an option to earn 70% of the adjacent Gibbon’s Creek JV, which has shown boulder samples grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

With an acquisition announced late last month, Lakeland now holds interests in 17 properties totalling 164,316 hectares in and around the Basin.

GoviEx debuts on CSE, orders enviro/social assessment for Niger project

The company began public trading just last month but GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU has been advancing its Madaouela project in Niger since 2008. On July 2 the company announced contracts to complete an environmental and social impact assessment expected to “culminate the detailed feasibility study and environmental work already undertaken.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 28 to July 11, 2014

Backed by Toshiba and a Cameco subsidiary, GoviEx’s
Madaouela project in Niger moves towards feasibility.

As of March 2013 Madaouela’s seven deposits showed resources totalling 22.92 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) measured, 75.3 million pounds indicated and 24.1 million pounds inferred. Included are probable reserves of 25,300 tonnes.

Five of the deposits “have been developed to pre-feasibility level of confidence,” the company states.

The July 2 announcement quoted GoviEx chief executive Daniel Major, “Through the use of proprietary technologies never before used in Niger, our project team has presented a commercially viable project and one that seeks to limit its impact on the environment with a particular focus on limitation of dust, reduction in water usage and commercialization of the molybdenum byproduct resource.”

Executive chairman Govind Friedland’s bio lists a number of accomplishments even after he took part in the 1996 Voisey’s Bay discovery. Friedland went on to graduate from the Colorado School of Mines, provided business development services to Ivanhoe Mines and Ivanhoe Energy, and co-founded Ivanhoe Industries. Yes, he’s the son of that Friedland.

Two Niger mines operated by AREVA produce 7.5% of global supply, ranking the country as the world’s fourth-largest producer. While the government supports mining, the industry has been plagued by terrorist kidnappings and a bombing.

Fission 3.0, Azincourt report scintillometer results from PLN

One of four summer holes at Patterson Lake North shows anomalous radioactivity, JV partners Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ reported July 7. Two intercepts of 0.5 metres and 7.5 metres (not true widths) showed variable readings up to 1,450 counts per second on a hand-held scintillometer. Assays are pending.

The hole, PLN14-019, “is still in progress at 258 metres, although no further intervals of mineralization are expected,” the companies stated. The three other holes “intersected anomalous hydrothermal clay altered intervals, associated with structurally disturbed sections. This further highlights the partners’ confidence of the prospectivity and potential of the A1 conductor to host high-grade uranium mineralization.”

This summer’s five-hole program will total about 1,600 metres. Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 27,408-hectare property, where Azincourt has a 50% earn-in.

Last April the companies reported that winter drilling failed to find radioactivity but did “confirm the high prospectivity of the target areas.”

In late May Azincourt and Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL stated they would extend to June 15 a letter of intent to consolidate their Peruvian assets. That date passed without further announcement. (Update: The companies announced a definitive agreement on July 14.)

Those properties surround a project held by Fission 3.0, which holds interests in nine others in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Along with JV partner Brades Resource TSXV:BRA, Fission 3.0 announced VTEM results from their Clearwater West project in May.

Next Page 1 | 2

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Cameco suspends Millennium mine proposal

Declining uranium prices have forced Cameco Corp TSX:CCO to postpone its Millennium mine proposal. On May 16 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated a public hearing for a licence application scheduled for June had been adjourned at Cameco’s request. A brief message on the company’s website blamed “poor economic conditions in world uranium markets.”

Figures from 2009 credited the project with an indicated resource of 46.8 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) averaging 4.53% uranium. A 2013 environmental impact statement forecast an initial 10-year lifespan, but anticipated extensions if further resources were found. Ore would have been shipped 36 kilometres south to the Key Lake mill, held 83% by Cameco and 17% by AREVA Resources Canada.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

Although just last month Cameco expressed optimism in uranium’s
long-term outlook, the company blamed market conditions as it
withdrew its Millennium licence application.

Uranium prices have continued their slide to new record lows. Although there’s no spot price for the metal, UX Consulting’s most recent indicator, published May 12, came to $29 a pound.

In last month’s Q1 report, Cameco expressed optimism about the long-term outlook, expecting “an increase in annual uranium consumption from today’s 170 million pounds to about 240 million pounds” over the next decade.

In March Cameco finally put its Cigar Lake mine into production, nine years after construction began and 33 years after its discovery.

The CNSC left the door open for Cameco to make a future request that its licence application be considered by the commission, which would then call a public hearing.

Fission Uranium hits 30 metres of 2.58% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU unloaded assays for eight more holes from Patterson Lake South on May 13, all of them from the R780E zone. This week’s star, PLS14-158, marks the eastern-most R780E hole for which assays have been released, boosting the company’s optimism in the deposit’s eastward potential. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-141

  • 0.72% U3O8 over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.04% over 3 metres)

  • 0.77% over 6 metres, starting at 187.5 metres
  • (including 2.31% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-143

  • 0.26% over 14 metres, starting at 145 metres

  • 0.41% over 5 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-144

  • 0.79% over 19 metres, starting at 127.5 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.46% over 7.5 metres, starting at 151.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
  • (including 1.43% over 1 metre)

  • 2.07% over 3 metres, starting at 208 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-148

  • 1.83% over 3.5 metres, starting at 154.5 metres
  • (including 2.9% over 2 metres)

  • 0.63% over 5 metres, starting at 192.5 metres

PLS14-149

  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

PLS14-150

  • 2.94% over 7 metres, starting at 219 metres
  • (including 5.58% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.22% over 19.5 metres, starting at 285.5 metres

PLS14-157

  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

PLS14-158

  • 0.72% over 8 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • 2.58% over 30 metres, starting at 152 metres
  • (including 22.02% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 8.57% over 5 metres)

  • 6.85% over 10 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 12.23% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.53% over 4.5 metres, starting at 253.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t provided. R780E is the middle of five zones, and the largest of all five, along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open both to the east and west. With assays released for 30 winter holes so far, lab results are pending for approximately 62 more.

Although winter exploration drilling fell short of exciting, the season’s focus was on infill drilling to define a maiden resource that will—on some unspecified date—debut to an intensely curious audience.

Powertech files Kyrgyzstan resource held 80% by proposed merger partner, updates South Dakota licence challenge

Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE has filed an inferred resource for the Kyzyl Ompul licence in Kyrgyzstan, the company announced on May 13. The 42,379-hectare project is held 80% by Azarga Resources Ltd, which plans to merge with Powertech. The resource uses a 0.01% cutoff to show 15.13 tonnes averaging 0.022% for 7.51 million pounds U3O8 inferred.

Powertech described the Kok Moinok main zone as about 700 metres along an east-west strike, 600 metres north-south and 10 to 30 metres in depth. The report also included two conceptual exploration target area estimates.

Although Powertech acknowledged that access to the project was blocked by political unrest in 2005 and 2010, the company maintained that “the main risk factors at this stage are commodity prices….”

Last year Kyrgyzstan managed to fall a few spots to the very bottom of the Fraser Institute’s policy perception index and achieved near-bottom rankings for several other categories in the annual poll of mining professionals. But a May 7 Financial Post article by Peter Koven pointed out that despite public opposition, social unrest and ongoing government policy threats, Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan mine “continues to run and churn out cash.”

The Kyzyl Ompul licence expires at the end of 2015. Read more about the Powertech/Azarga merger here and here.

On May 14 Powertech updated events following a challenge to its operating licence for the company’s Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota. In oral hearings the previous day, opponents questioned procedures followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine the importance of possible native religious sites in the area.

As the hearings continue, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether Dewey-Burdock’s licence becomes effective or remains on hold until a formal hearing in August. Read more about the licence challenge.

MPVC begins drilling Maguire Lake target at NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun at MPVC Inc’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced May 14. While winter conditions persist, a diamond drill will focus on Maguire Lake. Preliminary radon measurements from the lake reported the previous week were, to the company’s knowledge, second only to PLS for a water-based survey. MPVC will also bring in a rotary air blast drill, which is intended to test shallow targets quickly.

With ground gravity survey results now in hand, the company has filled in gaps between three earlier sets of data, extending previously identified gravity lows and discovering new gravity lows.

To earn 80% of the 143,603-hectare project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

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

April 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 5 to 11, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission Uranium reports seven strong holes from Patterson Lake South

They probably don’t surprise anyone anymore but Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) weekly dispatches from Patterson Lake South continue to impress. Radiometric readings from all seven holes released April 7 showed wide intervals and “off-scale” radioactivity.

The results, which are no substitute for assays, come from a hand-held scintillometer that measures gamma radioactivity from drill core in counts per second up to a maximum possible (“off-scale”) reading of 9,999 cps. Lab results are pending.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 5 to 11, 2014

Fission Uranium found off-scale radiometric readings for intervals
from each of seven holes in this week’s news from Patterson Lake South.

This week’s batch comes from zone 780E, the third of five zones along a west-east strike that just last week extended to 2.24 kilometres and remains open at both ends.

The star hole was PLS14-201, which gave up a composite total of 82.5 metres (not true widths) of mineralization including a composite of 16.8 metres straining the scintillometer at 9,999 cps. The interval closest to surface began at 84 metres in downhole depth while the deepest stopped at 340.5 metres.

The other six holes showed intervals in roughly similar ranges of depth, with one beginning as close as 58.5 metres from surface and the deepest ending at 415 metres.

The company has now finished 70 of 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres planned for the $12-million winter campaign. Four rigs will sink about 85 of those holes to delineate the 31,039-hectare project’s main mineralized trend. A fifth rig explores farther away.

Also on April 7 Fission Uranium granted insiders 500,000 options at $1.65 for five years. The previous week the company granted 6.5 million options on the same terms.

Lakeland Resources stakes five more Saskatchewan properties totalling 52,255 hectares

A quintet of new acquisitions in and around the Athabasca Basin bolstered Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) portfolio to 16 properties totalling about 157,000 hectares. The turf came through staking which, president/CEO Jonathan Armes told ResourceClips.com on April 11, is ideal for juniors “because you own it 100% with no encumbrances, underlying NSRs and so on.”

Neil McCallum, a company director and project geologist/manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, says Lakeland had been studying the properties while waiting for them to come available. “A lot of people get land because it’s in or near the Basin without targeting anything in particular. You can do a lot of research, if you know what you’re looking for, to find good targets before you acquire them.”

A lot of people get land because it’s in or near the Basin without targeting anything in particular. You can do a lot of research, if you know what you’re looking for, to find good targets before you acquire them.—Lakeland Resources
director Neil McCallum

The new ground includes Lazy Edward Bay, a 21,990-hectare project on the Basin’s southern margin with four shallow trends that Lakeland considers drill-ready.

Just off the Basin’s northeastern rim, the 7,195-hectare Karen Lake project has yet to be drilled despite several silt samples grading over 1% uranium. Another 2,889-hectare property along the Basin’s northern edge, Black Lake has a shallow depth to the unconformity of about 260 metres and has undergone historic and recent geophysics.

The 16,925-hectare Hidden Bay sits about eight kilometres east of the Basin and hosts an outlier of Athabasca sandstone and at least four graphitic corridors. About 70 klicks south of the Basin, the 3,258-hectare Fedun Lake property sits on the Wollaston domain that hosts most of the Basin’s uranium deposits.

With cash in hand from last month’s oversubscribed $2.8-million private placement, McCallum says Lakeland is “certainly funded to prioritize the projects we want to work ourselves. If we find JV opportunities for other projects, we wouldn’t mind that either. We have enough projects that we can work some ourselves and have those JV opportunities at the same time.”

Speaking of joint ventures, Gibbon’s Creek is about to undergo a ground electromagnetic survey prior to an anticipated 2,500-metre drill campaign funded by partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN. Boulder samples from the 12,771-hectare northern Basin project have graded as high as 4.28% uranium oxide (U3O8) while a RadonEx survey showed some of the highest measurements ever found in the Basin.

Read more about Lakeland’s new acquisitions.

MPVC/CanAlaska report radon anomalies from Northwest Manitoba project

Now trading under TSXV:UNO following its change of business, MPVC Inc joined CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV on April 8 to announce “highly anomalous radon results” from the Maguire Lake area of their Northwest Manitoba project. The land-based survey covered a three-by-10-kilometre section of the 143,603-hectare project finding trends “in some cases over four kilometres and approximately 100 to 200 metres wide.” The survey also identified areas of about 400 by 800 metres where radon measured over three times the background levels, sometimes coinciding with gravity and resistivity lows.

Two islands with anomalous values also feature radioactive outcrops. Boulder samples from one island have graded up to 66% U3O8.

The Manitoba property shares some geological features with the Basin, with a distinction that “uranium mineralization outcrops within our project area rather than being deeply buried as is the case with many deposits in the Basin,” the companies stated.

Upcoming plans include a radon survey over the lake itself prior to a drill program scheduled to begin in late April. As part of its 80% option with CanAlaska, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

The previous week CanAlaska sold its Kasmere South project in Manitoba to a private company for $1.8 million to help advance its “core Japanese and Korean joint ventures at West MacArthur and Cree East.”

Next Page 1 | 2

Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

March 3rd, 2014

by Cecilia Jamasmie | March 3, 2014 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

Oilsands development in northern Alberta.

 

For the second consecutive year, Alberta—home to the booming and controversial oilsands industry—ranked first in the country and third worldwide as the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investors in the Fraser Institute’s annual global survey of mining executives.

The study, released March 3 as the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention kicked off in Toronto, is based on input from 690 mineral exploration and development company executives.

Sweden and Finland scored the top places in this year’s survey, which spotlighted 112 jurisdictions worldwide. Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela were named the worst two countries to venture.

“Miners praise Alberta for its transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers competitive taxation regimes, sound legal systems and relatively low uncertainty around land claims. That’s what miners look for,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources.

Two other Canadian jurisdictions—New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9)—ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Quebec (21), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44) and the Northwest Territories (47).

Quebec, once the darling of mining investors, continued to fall down the rabbit hole. From 2007 to 2009, the French-speaking district topped the survey, then dropped to fifth in 2011, 11th in 2012 and finally 21st worldwide in 2013, due in part to amendments to Quebec’s mining act and recent tax policy changes.

“If Quebec wants to renew confidence in the global mining sector, it should reduce red tape, minimize the risk associated with policy changes and tax increases, and respect negotiated contracts,” Green said.

B.C. dropped to 32nd from 31st in 2012, though the survey recorded improved perceptions regarding the western province’s political stability and availability of labour and skills.

The Canadian public policy think tank also identified the 10 places mining enthusiasts should avoid. From the bottom, they are Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Philippines, Argentina (La Rioja and Mendoza), Angola, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 2nd, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denison reports Wheeler River drill results, updates other projects

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

Hole WR-548

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

Hole WR-550

  • 18.37% over 4.7 metres, starting at 407.3 metres

Hole WR-545

  • 16.98% over 3.1 metres, starting at 403.3 metres

Hole WR-539

  • 11.63% over 3.5 metres, starting at 401.6 metres

Hole WR-538

  • 2.14% over 5.1 metres, starting at 392.4 metres

  • 0.87% over 3.3 metres, starting at 403.8 metres

  • 1.36% over 1.4 metres, starting at 408.2 metres

  • 0.11% over 2.1 metres, starting at 426.4 metres

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forum starts 3,000 metres at Clearwater

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

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

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

Lakeland Resources offers $2 million private placement for Basin exploration

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

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

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

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Next Page 1 | 2

Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 4th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 27 to August 2, 2013

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Alpha/Fission extend Patterson Lake South R390E zone by 30 metres

Just two weeks ago they were crowing about “the most abundant off-scale mineralization of any hole” at Patterson Lake South. Now Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and 50/50 joint venture partner Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW say they’ve surpassed that. Scintillometer readings for one of two shallow step-outs reported July 29 represent “the largest accumulation of discrete off-scale mineralized intervals in any drill hole at PLS to date.” The two holes add 30 metres of strike to R390E, the middle of three zones along an 850-metre northeast-southwest trend. Including the 15-metre extension resulting from the hole announced July 18, the campaign’s first three holes have extended the zone’s strike by 75% to 105 metres.

The scintillometer measures gamma radiation from drill core in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading over 9,999 cps. Scintillometer readings are not assays, which are still pending. A radiometric probe will also be used to measure downhole radiation.

Hole PLS13-073, 15 metres grid east of the zone’s nearest hole, showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth
  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11 metres, starting at 142.5 metres.

True widths weren’t available. Drilled to a depth of 248 metres, the hole encountered Devonian sandstone at 50 metres’ depth and a basement unconformity at 53 metres.

Hole PLS13-075, 15 metres grid west of the nearest hole, showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 70 metres, starting at 57.5 metres in vertical depth
  • (including 580 to >9,999 cps over 23 metres)
  • <300 to 6,800 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres
  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 146.5 metres
  • 400 to 1,800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 151 metres
  • 1,000 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • <300 to 3,600 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 160 metres.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Again, true widths were unknown. The 188-metre hole struck sandstone at 47 metres and the basement unconformity at 49.3 metres. The first PLS13-075 result above included 21.65 metres of mineralization over 9,999 cps in several intervals, which the JV partners call the project’s “largest accumulation of discrete off-scale mineralized intervals” so far. They include 16.7 metres of continuous off-scale readings starting at 73.5 metres’ depth. Although Alpha and Fission anticipate that its main zone of mineralization has been found, drilling on this hole continues.

As does the $6.95-million program, comprising ground geophysics and about 44 holes totalling 11,000 metres.

Paladin cancels sale; reports $180-million impairment, $81-million placement, fatality

Paladin Energy TSX:PDN has dropped negotiations to sell a minority interest in its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia. In one of three August 2 announcements, the company said uranium’s currently low price would drive down offers on an asset with expansion potential and a mine life of over 20 years.

Paladin also reported it expects a further non-cash impairment estimated at US$180 million before taxes, which the company attributed to its Kayelekera mine in Malawi, Niger exploration projects “and other smaller items.” Paladin suspended work in Niger following May 23 terrorist attacks.

Within minutes of reporting the suspended sale Paladin announced it was offering a private placement “to provide adequate funding for the company into the September quarter” despite low uranium prices. Later the same day Paladin announced it closed the placement at $C81 million. The money came from 125.6 million shares, representing 15% of the company’s existing issued capital, at a 30% discount to the stock’s previous ASX close.

Paladin managing director/CEO John Borshoff said the money would help “reduce debt in the mid-term.”

On July 31 the company reported a fatal accident in Kayelekera’s engineering workshop.

Read about Paladin’s last quarterly report.

Powertech forms strategic alliance with Asian uranium investor

A Vancouver-headquartered company with uranium projects in three American states announced a strategic alliance with Asia’s “only significant uranium investment and development vehicle.” On August 1 Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE reported Azarga Resources Ltd, a privately held Hong Kong-based company, agreed to a number of deals.

As of July 22 Azarga bought 24.65 million shares at $0.07 for a total of $1.72 million, giving the purchaser an initial 17.5% of Powertech. Azarga also provided Powertech with $514,350 in return for a debenture with the amount payable at 115% within 12 months or 130% within two years. Powertech may instead convert the principal into shares granted to Azarga at $0.07. Full conversion would leave Azarga with an approximate 22% interest in Powertech.

Azarga also agreed to buy a 60% chunk of Powertech’s Centennial project in Colorado for $1.5 million over two years. Should shareholders oppose the purchase, $1 million of the purchase price would be converted to a debenture on the same terms as the other. On completing the 60% purchase, the two companies would form a JV with Azarga acting as project operator.

The deal would include a put option, in which Powertech could sell its remaining 40% after January 1, 2017, for $250,000, and a call option, allowing Azarga to buy the 40% after that date for $7 million or, within 10 days of a change of control at Powertech, for $1 million.

The companies further agreed to share data and expertise, with Azarga using “its best efforts to support any equity financings” undertaken by Powertech. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Powertech president/CEO Richard Clement said Azarga’s “positioning in Asia will provide enhanced access and exposure to those markets.”

The transactions are subject to shareholder and TSX approval.

Powertech released a preliminary economic assessment for an in-situ recovery (ISR) mine at Centennial in August 2010. Following local opposition, Colorado imposed new restrictions on uranium mining the following month. Powertech lost its court challenge against the new regulations in July 2012. By that time the company had already shifted focus to its Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota, for which it released a revised PEA in April 2012. The project is now undergoing permitting and licensing with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Powertech has two other uranium projects in Wyoming.

Azarga stated it currently has no plans to develop Centennial but will instead review the project’s exploration and development potential. Azarga also holds an 80% operating interest in “the largest-known Soviet-era resource in the Kyrgyz Republic,” as well as interests in other uranium projects in the U.S. and Turkey.

Forum begins airborne radiometrics over PLS-adjacent Clearwater project

On July 30 Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC announced airborne radiometrics had begun over its Clearwater project, adjacently southwest of Alpha/Fission’s PLS property. The survey consists of 1,463 line-kilometres at 100-metre spacing over the 99-square-kilometre property to measure surface radioactivity in outcrops or boulder trains using a proprietary system of Goldak Airborne Surveys. Forum says preliminary interpretation of its magnetic and electromagnetic survey suggests one of Clearwater’s conductors hosts the PLS discovery.

On further scrutinizing the airborne surveys, the company will begin prospecting, radon surveys and lake sediment geochemical sampling this month. Ground geophysics might also be used to identify drill targets.

In a collaborative effort, the surveys have also been covering PLS-area properties held by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and the Western Athabasca Syndicate. The latter is a four-company strategic alliance consisting of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, which are jointly exploring a 275,361-hectare land package in the vicinity of the Fission/Alpha discovery. On July 23 the syndicate announced an extension of its portion of the surveys.

Earlier in July, Forum announced it extended the company’s Key Lake-area holdings in the Athabasca Basin’s southeast corner.

Ur-Energy begins Lost Creek production in Wyoming

Ur-Energy TSX:URE began mining its Lost Creek operation on August 2. The ISR project in Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin took eight years and US$95 million to develop and should, according to an April 2012 PEA, produce about 7.38 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 years. The 2012 numbers assumed uranium prices ranging from $55 to $80 a pound, substantially higher than the current seven-year low of $34.50. But with those numbers the PEA used an 8% discount rate to calculate a pre-tax net present value of $181 million and an 87% internal rate of return.

Ur-Energy says it holds long-term contracts with several U.S.-based utilities and will begin deliveries in Q4.

On July 30 the company reported filing its Q2 report on sedar.com.

Cameco reports Q2 results, makes company and commodity forecasts

Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO Q2 report came out August 1, with the company reporting $421 million in revenue, 49% above the same period last year and a $99-million gross profit, up 98%. Net earnings attributable to equity holders came to $34 million or $0.09 a share. Adjusted net earnings were $61 million or $0.15 a share.

Cameco president/CEO Tim Gitzel addressed a conference call, speaking optimistically about Cigar Lake’s imminent start-up, a planned 50% production increase and future uranium prices.

Next Page 1 | 2

Rating the risks

February 28th, 2013

A Fraser Institute survey shows how miners and explorers see the world they work in

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

“Great mineral assets, highly corrupt government….” That’s sometimes the conundrum under which exploration and mining companies operate. And that was just one comment published by the Fraser Institute as it evaluated a world of challenges and opportunities in its annual Survey of Mining Companies released on February 28.

Between October 2012 and January 2013, 742 companies rated 96 jurisdictions which included countries and, in the case of Canada, Australia, the U.S. and Argentina, provinces, states and territories. Respondents considered 15 policy factors affecting investment decisions in those jurisdictions, for a possible maximum score of 100. Some factors included regulations, corruption, taxation, aboriginal land claims, infrastructure, the local workforce, political stability and physical security.

While the full report provides breakdowns by category, here are the top 10 jurisdictions for overall scores. The 2011-to-2012 rankings are in parentheses.

A Fraser Institute survey shows how miners and explorers see the world they work in

The Fraser Institute’s annual survey rates jurisdictional risk
for a number of factors concerning mining and exploration.

1. Finland (New Brunswick)
2. Sweden (Finland)
3. Alberta (Alberta)
4. New Brunswick (Wyoming)
5. Wyoming (Quebec)
6. Ireland (Saskatchewan)
7. Nevada (Sweden)
8. Yukon (Nevada)
9. Utah (Ireland)
10. Norway (Yukon)

Last but least, here are the bottom 10:

87. Greece (Vietnam)
88. Philippines (Indonesia)
89. Guatemala (Ecuador)
90. Bolivia (Kyrgyzstan)
91. Zimbabwe (Philippines)
92. Kyrgyzstan (India)
93. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Venezuela)
94. Venezuela (Bolivia)
95. Vietnam (Guatemala)
96. Indonesia (Honduras)

Utah and Norway knocked Saskatchewan and Quebec out of the top 10. Greece was added to the survey for the first time, only to join Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their bottom 10 debut. Another first-timer, French Guiana placed 27th overall, a fairly impressive ranking for a newcomer and non-First-World country.

Crisis-torn South Africa dropped to 64th place overall compared to 54th last year, retaining its fourth-from-last spot for “labour regulations, employment agreements and labour militancy or work disruptions.”

Of Canadian jurisdictions, Nunavut ranked worst at number 37.

Some anonymous concerns listed under “horror stories” ranged from uncertainty about native rights in Ontario to potential corruption in Quebec. One response stated that “endless ‘community consultation’” in the Northwest Territories costs the company more than exploration. Others noted confiscation of mining rights in Indonesia and expropriation in Bolivia.

Next Page 1 | 2

Year in review: Part II

December 29th, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for 2012

by Greg Klein

Read Part I of Year in Review.

Next Page 1 | 2

Graphite boom, bust and echo

One of the commodities that excited the 2012 market, graphite began stirring interest in 2011 and really gained momentum early this year. But the precipitous fall, right around April Fool’s Day, let cynics bask in schadenfreude. It was a bubble all along, they insisted.

Well, not quite. Despite reduced share values, work continued as the front-runners advanced their projects and earlier-stage companies competed for position in graphite’s second wave of potential producers. By autumn some of the advanced-stage outfits, far from humbled by last spring’s events, boldly indulged themselves in a blatant bragging contest.

Old king coal to regain its throne

If clean carbon doesn’t excite investors like it used to, plain old dirty carbon might. By 2017 coal’s share of the global energy market will rival that of oil. So says the International Energy Agency, which issued its Medium-Term Coal Market Report in December.

A mining and exploration retrospect for 2012

The forecast sees China consuming over half the world’s production by 2017. “Even if Chinese GDP growth were to slow to a 4.6% average over the period, coal demand would still increase both globally and in China,” the report stated. India, with the world’s “largest pocket of energy poverty,” will take second place for consumption.

Coal’s growth in demand is slowing, however. But its share of the energy mix continues to increase even though Europe’s “coal renaissance” (sic) appears to be temporary.

Bringing coal miners to new hassle

Chinese provide much of the market and often the investment. So why shouldn’t they provide the workers too? That seems to be the rationale of Chinese interests behind four British Columbia coal projects.

The proponents plan to use Chinese underground workers exclusively at the most advanced project, HD Mining International’s Murray River, for 30 months of construction and two additional years of mining. Only then would Canadians be initiated into the mysteries of Chinese longwall mining. But with only 10% of the workforce to be replaced by Canadians each year, Chinese “temporary” workers would staff the mine until about 2026. The B.C. government has known about these intentions since at least 2007.

The HD Mining saga has seen new developments almost every week since the United Steelworkers broke the story on October 9.

As Greenland’s example suggests, the scheme might represent another facet of China’s growing power.

Geopolitical geology

Resource imperialism aside, resource nationalism and other aspects of country risk continued throughout 2012. South American Silver TSX:SAC continues to seek compensation after spending over $16 million on a silver-polymetallic project that the Bolivian government then snatched as a freebie. Centerra Gold TSX:CG escaped nationalization in Kyrgyzstan but works its way through somewhat Byzantine political and regulatory intrigue, as does Stans Energy TSXV:HRE. In November the latter claimed a court victory over a hostile parliamentary committee.

Next Page 1 | 2