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Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Mega Uranium Ltd (MGA)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to November 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Kivalliq’s Nunavut property reveals new drill priority

Heralding its “most advanced, drill-ready target outside of the Lac 50 trend,” Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV announced the Angilak project’s Dipole target on November 12. The new area came to light after a 1,335-line-kilometre VTEM survey and 1,514 soil samples south of the 111,476-hectare property’s Lac 50 deposit in Nunavut.

Preliminary analysis confirms geophysical targets at Dipole and the RIB area, Kivalliq stated. The company expects final VTEM data shortly to further define targets south of Lac 50.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to November 14, 2014

Located 225 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake,
Angilak has an exploration season lasting from April to September.

Enzyme leach soil samples showed 379 anomalous uranium results, about a quarter of the total, ranging from 6 ppb up to 285 ppb uranium, placing the results in the 75th percentile. Out of that group, 77 samples made the 95th percentile. The sampling has “significantly upgraded” drill targets in the Hot and KU areas, as well as Dipole.

Kivalliq describes the latter area, 27 kilometres southwest of Lac 50, as “a distinct, two-kilometre-long geophysical anomaly having a coincident boulder assay of 2.24% U3O8, now confirmed by an anomalous uranium-in-soil trend over 3.4 kilometres of strike length” with anomalous copper, molybdenum and silver.

This year’s work also confirmed a conductor in the RIB area, which has “geological similarities with both Dipole and Lac 50,” the company added. Soil samples showed a 3.6-kilometre-long geochemical trend with uranium values ranging from 6 ppb to 61.9 ppb.

Historic 1970s drilling at RIB found shallow mineralization up to 0.19% U3O8 over 9.3 metres (including 0.52% over 2.6 metres) and 1.61% over 0.7 metres.

Lac 50’s January 2013 inferred resource used a 0.2% cutoff to show 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% for 43.3 million pounds U3O8. The inferred category also shows 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper.

In late October Kivalliq announced a 1,914-hectare addition to its Genesis project in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where Roughrider Exploration TSXV:REL funds exploration through an 85% earn-in.

A big piece of Strateco brings Toro Energy to Canada

An ASX-listed uranium company would gain a substantial portion of Strateco Resources TSX:RSC under an agreement announced November 3. Toro Energy would issue shares to obtain a chunk of the Sentient Group’s holdings in Strateco and SeqUr Exploration, a Strateco subsidiary. As a result, Toro would hold 19.8% of Strateco shares, $14.1 million of secured convertible notes receivable in Strateco, a $3-million senior secured first ranking loan receivable in Strateco and five million SeqUr shares, representing 25% of the subsidiary.

Sentient’s interest in Strateco would drop from 27.13% to about 8%. Sentient would also hold 800 convertible notes representing $800,000 secured by Strateco assets.

Toro’s Wiluna project is “set to become Western Australia’s first-ever uranium mine,” according to Strateco. “Toro has shown clear interest in the Matoush project, as well as in SeqUr’s uranium projects in Saskatchewan. Toro’s experience … permitting the Wiluna project, in an area formerly under moratorium, will certainly be an asset for Strateco.” The latter company’s Matoush project in Quebec has been stalled by a moratorium while a provincial inquiry into uranium takes place.

The transaction is part of a wider deal that includes Sentient’s AU$10-million placement into Toro, with another AU$10 million to fund the Wiluna flagship. Sentient now holds 18.9% of Toro, in which Oz Minerals holds 21.9% and Mega Uranium TSX:MGA 21.5%.

Toro anticipates closing the deals by mid-December.

Hook Lake JV proposes $2.9-million 2015 budget, Purepoint announces

Hook Lake partners will be on the hook for $2.9 million worth of exploration next year, if the joint venture committee’s proposals go through. Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU announced November 11 that a final decision on the budget, which would cover 4,200 metres of drilling, would follow geophysical results and a detailed drill plan. An airborne magnetic and VTEM-plus survey finished last month north of the project’s Spitfire zone. Beginning soon will be a ground EM survey to pinpoint drill targets on the 28,683-hectare property five kilometres northeast of Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) Patterson Lake South discovery.

Purepoint announced the Spitfire zone last March and released additional drill results in May.

The Hook Lake JV consists of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (39.5%), AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%) and Purepoint (21%). The latter company’s share of the budget would come to about $310,000.

Western Athabasca Syndicate, Aben, Alpha update Preston, Mann Lake and Carpenter Lake

A recent analysis of airborne geophysics confirms existing drill targets at the 246,643-hectare Preston property, the Western Athabasca Syndicate reported November 13. The four-company group has further geophysical and geochemical work planned for early 2015, along with land- and lake-based drilling.

Some $3.75 million worth of expenditures so far have identified 15 target areas on the southwestern Athabasca Basin PLS-proximal property. In July the companies released results from Preston’s initial drill campaign of nine holes totalling 1,902 metres.

Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH currently acts as project operator for partners Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 12 to 18, 2014

by Greg Klein

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High-grade U3O8 helps Fission delineate

Still enthusiastically proving that high grades can come from shallow depths, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released more assays from winter drilling on July 14. Six infill holes from the central portion of R780E, the middle and largest of five zones, complemented the previous week’s batch from the zone’s eastern area. An additional hole from R1155E proved less impressive but provided the strongest results so far from that zone.

Some highlights from R780E show:

Hole PLS14-172

  • 2.1% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 28 metres, starting at 86 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5.88% over 8.5 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 12 to 18, 2014

With five barges afloat over Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium
has another season to drill prior to releasing a December resource.

  • 0.23% over 11 metres, starting at 131.5 metres

  • 0.54% over 18 metres, starting at 168 metres
  • (including 1.62% over 4.5 metres)

  • 0.6% over 10 metres, starting at 224 metres

Hole PLS14-181

  • 0.46% over 27.5 metres, starting at 118 metres
  • (including 1% over 9 metres)

  • 6.01% over 17.5 metres, starting at 148 metres
  • (including 23.53% over 4 metres)

Hole PLS14-183

  • 0.14% over 18 metres, starting at 109 metres

  • 0.21% over 10.5 metres, starting at 147 metres

  • 0.66% over 13.5 metres, starting at 176.5 metres
  • (including 1.22% over 5.5 metres)

  • 1.63% over 3.5 metres, starting at 193.5 metres

  • 1.1% over 6.5 metres, starting at 213 metres

  • 0.48% over 6 metres, starting at 244 metres
  • (including 1.11% over 2 metres)

Hole PLS14-184

  • 2.02% over 14.5 metres, starting at 110.5 metres
  • (including 8.31% over 2 metres)

  • 7.66% over 2 metres, starting at 136 metres

  • 1.65% over 19 metres, starting at 158.5 metres
  • (including 4.45% over 3.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-189

  • 1.93% over 15 metres, starting at 262.5 metres

  • 0.44% over 13 metres, starting at 281 metres
  • (including 1.03% over 4.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-191

  • 0.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 99 metres

  • 0.62% over 9 metres, starting at 122 metres
  • (including 1.7% over 2.5 metres)

  • 1% over 3.5 metres, starting at 152.5 metres

On the R1155E zone, the better results from PLS14-191 showed:

  • 0.2% over 8 metres, starting at 197.5 metres
  • (including 1.28% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.33% over 3.5 metres, starting at 211 metres

  • 0.1% over 5.5 metres, starting at 359 metres

True widths weren’t provided. Fission Uranium stated PLS14-191 “opens up the potential to discover increased amounts and higher grades of mineralization from this area, including further to the south and within the 75-metre gap separating R780E and R1155E.” The 31,039-hectare project’s 2.24-kilometre potential strike remains open to the east and west.

Still to come are assays for 32 holes from last winter’s 92-hole program. Now underway is a 63-hole, 20,330-metre campaign worth $12 million to focus on R780E. That would bring the project’s total to about 263 holes totalling around 83,500 metres. December’s the deadline for the maiden resource.

Cigar Lake suspended as Cameco encounters freezing failure

Progress continues on the technological challenge of extracting Cigar Lake’s uranium deposit—but not “as quickly as expected,” Cameco Corp TSX:CCO conceded July 16. As a result production has been suspended to allow some areas of the mine to freeze more thoroughly. In an innovative method to prevent flooding “where the water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks,” the company injects and freezes a brine solution around the rock body. Water jet boring then extracts the ore. (Watch a video here.) Now Cameco has stopped operations to allow “additional freezing.”

Noting that the McClean Lake mill, 70 kilometres away, hasn’t started processing Cigar Lake feed, the suspension “will allow more continuous production at the mine once the mill is operational.” Cameco anticipates a couple of months’ delay that will affect 2014 production, which was originally estimated at 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate. The long-term annual target of 18 million pounds U3O8 by 2018 remains unaffected.

The company will provide another update during its July 31 Q2 discussion.

Flooding in 2006 and 2008 had already set back development at the eastside Athabasca Basin mine, which began construction in 2005. The first ore shipment finally left Cigar Lake in March. McClean Lake was scheduled to begin processing last quarter, following modifications to the leaching circuit.

The world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake holds grades 100 times the global average. The joint venture is held 50.025% by Cameco, 37.1% by AREVA Resources Canada, 7.875% by Idemitsu Canada Resources and 5% by TEPCO Resources.

Another JV, McClean Lake is held 70% by AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines TSX:DML and 7.5% by OURD Canada.

Read more about Cigar Lake.

Athabasca Nuclear/Strike Graphite merger would combine uranium and diamond projects

Exploration in two Saskatchewan plays would come together under one entity should a merger go through between Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC and Strike Graphite TSXV:SRK. The companies announced that intention on July 15, subject to conditions and approvals. Athabasca Nuclear holds a number of uranium properties including its Preston Lake flagship, which the company operates for the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate. Strike has received conditional TSXV approval for its 80% acquisition of two properties in the Sask Craton that are contiguous to the Pikoo diamond discovery made last November by North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR.

The deal would exchange one Athabasca Nuclear share for each Strike share, with a similar swap of options and warrants. Strike would then become a wholly owned subsidiary of Athabasca Nuclear but presumably would not be called Nuclear Strike. Athabasca Nuclear would be held 73.9% by its current shareholders and 26.1% by Strike shareholders. Athabasca Nuclear’s officers and BOD would remain unchanged, except for the board addition of Blair Way, now a Strike director.

Among the deal’s conditions is two-thirds approval by Strike shareholders. The companies hope to consummate by September 20.

Read about diamond mining and exploration in Canada here and here.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 12th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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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.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 14th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 7 to 13, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

For the $123 million spent on it so far, the project has a resource showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred. It also has an underground exploration permit issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. But Quebec’s moratorium on uranium activity has finally caused Strateco Resources TSX:RSC to shut down its Matoush camp in the province’s Otish Basin. Now with a $1.4-million financing that the company hopes will save its TSX listing, Strateco’s focusing on a Saskatchewan project acquired from Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

Now mothballed, Strateco’s Matoush project has a 2012 resource
showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and
19.22 million pounds inferred.

In a June 12 announcement, Strateco attributed Matoush’s cost-cutting closure to Quebec’s refusal to issue an exploration permit. Some of the project’s facilities and equipment have been sold. The company has already launched legal action over the permit refusal.

Strateco also closed a private placement to try to prevent a TSX delisting. The company raised $1.4 million from Sentient Executive GP IV, an insider.

Meanwhile a Strateco subsidiary, SeqUr Exploration Inc, issued just under 15 million Strateco shares to take on the Jasper Lake package, a 60% option on four eastern Athabasca properties totalling 45,271 hectares that Strateco negotiated with Denison late last year. SeqUr also closed a $100,000 private placement with Sentient. The subsidiary plans exploration “in the coming months.”

Two days before the Strateco announcements a Quebec inquiry into uranium mining and exploration was challenged again, this time by a group of 70 “scientists and professionals from industry and academia.” In an open letter distributed June 10, the group questioned the inquiry chairperson’s neutrality as well as the utility of the proceedings.

Quebec’s environmental watchdog, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), began hearings last month in a process expected to last 12 to 18 months. Until a decision is made whether to allow uranium activity, the moratorium imposed in March 2013 remains in effect. But Labrador, Greenland and Queensland have “recently lifted moratoria that they now perceive as unjustified,” the group maintained.

Calling Louis-Gilles Francoeur’s appointment as chairperson “perplexing,” the open letter stated, “Throughout his career, Mr. Francoeur has tended to echo uranium industry critics. The BAPE is an institution founded on the principle of absolute neutrality. What would become of the BAPE’s credibility if a former mining executive were appointed chairman of the commission?”

Francoeur was selected during the province’s previous Parti Quebecois government.

“Exploration for and development of any mineral, including uranium, cannot go against the public interest,” the group pointed out. But, the signatories argued, “We are heading into a process that was borne of uranium fear-mongering fuelled by an archaic and biased view of the mining industry.” They questioned whether the hearings, with a price tag they peg at over $2 million, “should even be held.”

Quoting November 2013 poll numbers, the group said Saskatchewan’s uranium industry has the support of about 80% of the population, “including 76% of people in the communities and reserves of northern Saskatchewan, where the uranium mines are found.”

The group also noted some environmentalists support nuclear energy, as indicated by “the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme and free from suspicion of complicity with industry.”

The 70 concluded that the industry already faces strict regulations. “It is impossible for any uranium deposit to be developed, and then mined, without the project meeting the most stringent standards and being subject to public hearings,” they stated. “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a globally recognized agency with no ties to industry, sets the standards and has permanent monitoring and, if needed, enforcement powers over all nuclear industry activities.”

The communique follows a similar challenge last month by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association. The organization called for Francoeur to be replaced, describing his previous statements on the subject as “prejudicial and non-scientific.” A coalition of Quebec natives, doctors and environmentalists, however, have argued for an outright ban on the industry.

Last month Strateco, which has previously stated its intention to take part in the BAPE inquiry, threatened legal action should Quebec not replace Francoeur.

Denison closes acquisition of International Enexco

Its takeover by Denison complete, International Enexco delisted on June 10. Expansionist Denison now holds former Enexco assets in the eastern Athabasca Basin consisting of a 30% interest in Mann Lake and an additional 20% in Bachman Lake, giving Denison full control over the latter project. The company now shares the Mann Lake joint venture with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%).

A spinco gets Enexco’s U.S. non-uranium properties including the Contact copper project, which approaches pre-feasibility in Nevada.

The transaction went through without the public acrimony that initially ensued when Denison snatched Rockgate Capital from its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA late last year. At the time, Denison stated its intention to spin out its foreign assets and concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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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.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 22nd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Denison signs LOI to acquire International Enexco, finds new Wheeler River zone

The expansionist Denison Mines TSX:DML announced another potential acquisition with a letter of intent to take over one of its joint venture partners, International Enexco TSXV:IEC. The March 19 after-market announcement had Denison chairperson Lukas Lundin saying his company “continues to focus on becoming the pre-eminent exploration company in the Athabasca Basin.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

The acquisition of JV partner Enexco would give Denison full ownership
of Bachman Lake, one of the company’s priority projects.

The plan of arrangement would exchange each Enexco share for 0.26 of a Denison share plus an undetermined portion of a spinco or subsidiary that would hold Enexco’s assets outside the Basin.

The deal would have Enexco shareholders owning about 2.1% of Denison. The latter company already holds about 8.4% of Enexco, along with another 1.8 million warrants.

The LOI includes a non-solicitation covenant on the part of Enexco, while Denison has the right to match any superior proposal.

The two companies JV together on the 11,419-hectare Bachman Lake property four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Basin. Enexco holds a 20% interest. Operator Denison describes the project as one of the company’s highest priorities “due to its location in the southeast Athabasca Basin and the presence of strong conductors, graphitic basement and sandstone alteration.”

Mann Lake, another JV 20 klicks northeast, is held 30% by Enexco, 52.5% by Cameco and 17.5% by AREVA Resources Canada. The 3,407-hectare property lies on trend between Cameco’s Read Lake and Denison’s 60%-held Wheeler River projects.

In Nevada, Enexco’s 100%-held Contact copper project is currently working towards feasibility.

Denison’s most recent acquisition closed in January, after the company grabbed Rockgate Capital to thwart its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Rockgate’s directors initially characterized Denison’s manoeuvre as an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” As a result Denison gained the advanced-stage Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali. The company had said it intended to spin out its non-Athabasca projects.

Enexco valued the combined Denison/spinco offers at $0.64 for an Enexco share, a 63% premium over its March 19 close of $0.39, after having been trading between a 52-week low of $0.23 and a 52-week high of $0.48. But by March 21 close the stock had reached $0.53. With 47.79 million shares outstanding, the company had a market cap of $22.68 million.

Denison closed March 19 on $1.74 and March 21 on $1.72. With 484.68 million shares outstanding, its market cap came to $833.65 million.

One day after the LOI announcement, Denison’s Wheeler River JV returned to prominence with a high-grade hole from the newly found Gryphon zone, three kilometres northwest of the Phoenix deposit.

The one interval reported, from hole WR-556, showed:

  • 3.7% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 12.6 metres, starting at 691 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 9.7% over 4.6 metres)

True thickness was about 70%. The results come from a downhole radiometric probe which, although more accurate than a scintillometer, are no substitute for assays.

As project operator, Denison targeted two historic holes where it found “a basement wedge that has been faulted up into the sandstone and then encountered a large interval of graphitic basement, within which is a zone of alteration and mineralization 140 metres down-dip of the old drill holes.”

Gryphon’s mineralization lies “approximately 200 metres beneath the sub-Athabasca unconformity and is open in both strike directions and down-dip,” the company added.

In late February Denison released radiometric results for eight holes on the Phoenix deposit and briefly updated some other projects.

Fission Uranium merges two more zones at Patterson Lake South

Back on the subject of M&A, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU might be considered an acquisition waiting to happen. On March 17, for the second time in less than two weeks, the company said it merged two zones at Patterson Lake South, evidently part of its ambition to demonstrate one big deposit before the company gets swallowed by a bigger fish.

Radiometric results closed an approximately 60-metre gap, joining zone R585E to its former neighbour to the west, R390E. The project now has five zones, three of them high-grade, along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike. The $12-million winter program’s primary goal is to delete the word “potential.”

The news followed a March 5 announcement that drilling had merged two other zones into R780E and a March 10 announcement of the project’s second-strongest radiometric results. Of eight holes released March 17, five showed intervals of 9,999 counts per second, the highest possible reading on the hand-held scintillometer that measures radioactivity from drill core. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Maximum readings for three holes showed composites of 15.25 metres, 7.14 metres and 5.85 metres. Of all mineralized intercepts, the interval closest to surface began at 60 metres in downhole depth, while the deepest stopped at 373 metres.

Of the three high-grade zones, R00E shows a 165-metre strike and lateral width up to about 45 metres. About 135 metres east, the newly expanded R390E has an approximately 390-metre strike and lateral width up to about 50 metres. About 75 metres east again, R780E shows an approximately 300-metre strike and lateral width up to about 95 metres.

Two additional zones, R1155E and R600W, sit at the eastern and western ends of the 1.78-kilometre stretch.

Fission Uranium has four drills trying to connect the high-grade zones and a fifth exploring outside the mineralized area just south of the Basin.

Lakeland/Declan JV announces Gibbon’s Creek plans, Lakeland closes oversubscribed $2.83-million financing

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 15 to 21, 2014

Boulder samples at the Lakeland/Declan Gibbon’s Creek JV assayed up to 4.28% U3O8, while radon measurements returned some of the Basin’s highest results.

One day after announcing imminent exploration plans for its Gibbon’s Creek project, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK closed an oversubscribed private placement for $2.83 million. With JV partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN spending a first-year commitment of $1.25 million on their Gibbon’s flagship, Lakeland can now turn to its 14 other Basin projects.

Gibbon’s is about to get a ground electromagnetic survey to confirm historic work prior to an anticipated drill program of up to 15 shallow holes totalling 2,500 metres. Results released in January from the 12,771-hectare project showed some of the highest radon gas levels ever measured in the Basin, along with surface boulders grading up to 4.28% U3O8. The property is about a 10-minute drive from the northern Basin town of Stony Rapids.

Lakeland’s other properties dot the northern, eastern and southern sections of the Basin.

“Several of our projects are at that stage where we just need to do line-cutting, resistivity and RadonEx to identify drill targets,” president/CEO Jonathan Armes told ResourceClips.com. “But with all these projects, we know we can’t do them all. We’ll continue to develop other joint venture possibilities, while at the same time compiling data on the projects to identify those we want to focus on.”

Read more about Gibbon’s Creek and Lakeland’s 15-property Basin portfolio.

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Uranium M&A: Denison Mines signs LOI to acquire International Enexco

March 19th, 2014

This story has been moved here.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

February 1st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission envisions possibility of “one very large zone” at Patterson Lake South

Ever in search of new superlatives for Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU claims its best hole yet for total composite (not continuous) off-scale scintillometer readings. The company released results on January 27 for the first five holes of winter drilling, which it said narrowed the gaps between high-grade zones R390E and R945E, the third to sixth of seven zones along a 1.78-kilometre strike. All five holes produced off-scale readings, prompting company president/COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy to say the news provides “further evidence that the system consists of one very large zone.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

Week one of winter work has given Fission a superlative start.

The hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum off-scale reading above 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will likely follow in weeks or months.

Among the best holes, PLS14-129 showed a continuous 9.5 metres above 9,999 cps, among a total of 36.72 metres of off-scale results. Total mineralization came to 111.5 metres between downhole depths of 56 metres and 268 metres.

PLS14-126 showed 3.09 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 64.5 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 131 metres and 374 metres.

PLS14-125 showed 1.96 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 88 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 70 metres and 240.5 metres.

One week earlier the company announced the start of its winter campaign, in which five rigs will drill 30,000 metres in 90 holes, most of them in effort to connect five high-grade zones. Along with geophysics, the current program will use up about $12 million of this year’s $20-million budget.

Cameco’s $450-million cash infusion excites acquisition anticipation

Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO $450-million asset sale could have implications for Athabasca Basin juniors. On January 31 the uranium giant announced an agreement to sell its 31.6% interest in Bruce Power to Borealis Infrastructure, a branch of the Ontario Municipal Employees pension fund. Bruce Power operates Candu reactors at a 930-hectare site on Lake Huron capable of generating 6,300 megawatts. The sale will allow Cameco to “continue to reinvest in our core uranium business where we see strong potential for growth,” according to president/CEO Tim Gitzel.

Fission Uranium chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa told Bloomberg the sale “certainly gives Cameco a war chest to go after some names and we’re very happy to hear that.” Randhawa’s recently restructured company comprises the Basin’s most likely takeover target. A maiden resource from its closely watched project is expected this year.

Reuters, on the other hand, said Gitzel is “in no rush” to spend the loot. “We’ve got significant uranium pounds under our control and we’re just waiting for the market to improve,” the news agency quoted him. “As the uranium market improves as we believe it will over the next period of time—years, I would say—we want to be ready.”

According to the Financial Post, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck “noted that Cameco had more than enough liquidity to cover its uranium growth plans before this deal. But this gives it greater flexibility to grow as uranium demand rises in the future.”

On the other hand a tax dispute could cost Cameco up to $850 million, plus interest and penalties.

Although the sale’s effective date was December 31, 2013, the deal remains subject to waiver of the right of first offer held by three other Bruce Power partners.

Purepoint announces drilling at Hook Lake JV; issues new and reprices old options

A $2.5-million, two-rig, 5,000-metre campaign has begun at Purepoint Uranium’s TSXV:PTU Hook Lake project. Of three prospective corridors on the 28,683-hectare property, drilling will focus on the same electromagnetic trend that hosts the PLS discovery five kilometres southwest, the company stated on January 30.

With a 21% interest in Hook Lake, Purepoint acts as project operator in joint venture with Cameco and AREVA Resources Canada, which hold 39.5% each.

On January 30 Purepoint also announced 2.51 million options to insiders at $0.075 for five years. The following day the company stated 1.94 million options granted last April would be repriced from $0.10 to $0.07.

In November Purepoint announced winter drilling plans for Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare project on the Basin’s eastern rim. Rio Tinto NYE:RIO acts as operator under an option to earn 51% by spending $5 million before the end of 2015.

International Enexco announces drilling at Mann Lake JV

Another Cameco/AREVA JV partner, International Enexco TSXV:IEC announced January 27 that a $2.9-million program has begun on the eastern Basin’s Mann Lake property. Up to 18 holes and 13,000 metres will test three types of targets—a footwall to the western axis of the property’s main C trend, conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor and the remaining undrilled C trend targets, Enexco reported on January 27.

Cameco, with a 52.5% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, acts as operator. Enexco and AREVA hold 30% and 17.5% respectively. Enexco’s share of the $2.9 million amounts to $870,000, most of which comes from a $750,000 private placement that closed in December. The company also has a 20%/80% JV with Denison Mines TSX:DML on the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake project. Denison owns 7.4% of Enexco, which is also pursuing pre-feasibility at its wholly owned Contact copper project in Nevada.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

by Greg Klein

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News flash: Fission Uranium releases assays—actual lab assays—from Patterson Lake South

Frenetic as activity has been at Patterson Lake South, assays have been trickling in at a most leisurely pace. Results released by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU on December 18 come from three holes that were drilled last summer and had scintillometer results reported in August and September. The backlog of assays, from about 50 holes, can only increase speculation about when the project’s maiden resource might appear and what it might show.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013

Even so, these results continue to impress with high-grade, near-surface intervals. Taken from R945E, the most easterly of six zones along a 1.78-kilometre trend, some of the better assays show 7.91% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 metres, 1.59% over 40 metres and 3.69% over 13.5 metres. One Russian doll interval-within-an-interval-within-an-interval graded 43.7% over 0.5 metres.

Highlights show:

Hole PLS13-084

  • 0.11% U3O8 over 8 metres, starting at 129.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.27% over 25.5 metres, starting at 156.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 7 metres, starting at 195 metres

  • 0.13% over 12.5 metres, starting at 206.5 metres

  • 3.69% over 13.5 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 9.12% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 7.27% over 4.5 metres)

Hole PLS13-092

  • 0.84% over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres
  • (including 1.62% over 4 metres)
  • (and including 6.22% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.15% over 7.5 metres, starting at 196 metres

Hole PLS13-096

  • 0.3% over 7.5 metres, starting at 98 metres

  • 1.59% over 40 metres, starting at 138 metres
  • (including 14.22% over 3 metres)

  • 2.4% over 11 metres, starting at 186 metres
  • (including 6.91% over 2 metres)

  • 7.91% over 14 metres, starting at 249.5 metres
  • (including 18.2% over 5.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.7% over 0.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. Drilling was vertical or near-vertical, with dips of 90, -88 and -89 degrees respectively.

The previous week, PLS’s now sole owner closed a $12.87-million financing for the project’s “most aggressive drill program to date” with about 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres, along with further geophysics. Winter is not a quiet time in the Athabasca Basin.

Lakeland recruits more expertise while planning Gibbon’s Creek winter program

Two more Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK appointments bring additional experience to the company’s management and board. December 16 and 19 announcements reported Neil McCallum joining as director and Frances Petryshen as corporate secretary.

McCallum, a project manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, has served a number of companies with target generation, hiring, logistics, land management, data compilation, project reviews and management.

“Among the first Basin projects I worked on was staking the Waterbury Lake project that started with Strathmore Minerals and turned into Fission Energy,” McCallum says. Fission Energy’s 60% interest in Waterbury was the main impetus for Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition of the company earlier this year. The project’s J zone now shows an indicated resource of 291,000 tonnes averaging 2% for 12.81 million pounds U3O8.

“Also with Dahrouge, I worked on the Patterson Lake project, which morphed into Patterson Lake South,” McCallum adds. “Part of that work back in 2004 was digging through historic data, looking for projects that had been passed over by some of the major companies. So I’ve been familiar with the Basin since that time.”

His involvement in a variety of projects with prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC led him to Lakeland, a Zimtu core holding, about a year ago. “Having worked with Zimtu and Ryan Fletcher, I found I like the way he operates. He’s similar to me in that he’s a young guy who thinks outside the box. When you work with different projects and different teams you can look at the Basin from a different angle. I think that’s what people like Ryan and myself bring to the table—a bit of a different perspective.”

We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

As a Lakeland director, McCallum will play a wider role in the company than before. “A big part of Lakeland’s goal is to find projects either by staking or linking up with other companies,” he explains. “So a lot of what I’ll do is review those projects on a technical basis to make informed decisions.”

Fletcher reinforces those comments. “Our group has worked with Neil for several years now and I’ve seen the impact he’s had on other projects. But he’s also focused a lot on uranium and the Athabasca Basin. He has a talent for looking at historic data, filing through the assessment reports and putting it all into context. He’s already been helping with project management on our Gibbon’s Creek/Riou Lake project, but now he’s joining the board to represent shareholders and drive shareholder value.”

As corporate secretary Frances Petryshen brings 25 years of experience specializing in corporate compliance and governance for public, private and not-for-profit organizations. She’s been a director and officer with several public and private companies including CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV, where she worked from 2007 to 2012.

Petryshen is an accredited director and a fellow with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, where she currently serves as director and chairperson of the British Columbia branch.

“Her appointment is another important step towards adding the right people to deliver as we grow the company and expand our exploration and activity in the Athabasca,” said Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Frances will be an important contributor and a trusted adviser and associate to our team.”

The news follows several recent Lakeland announcements including the appointments of mining specialists Sam Wong as CFO and Canon Bryan as adviser, JVs with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN and Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV, and a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.

With summer/autumn field work complete, planning now takes place for the 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek winter campaign. “We’ll be very active throughout the new year as well,” Fletcher says. “We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.”

Mega Uranium to get Energy Fuels’ interest in Bayswater; EFR signs KEPCO agreement

Under a share swap announced December 19, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR signed an agreement to exchange all its Bayswater Uranium TSXV:BYU stock with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA for 1.7 million newly issued Mega shares. Energy Fuels got the 11.5% interest in Bayswater on taking over Strathmore Minerals in September. Subject to all approvals, the co-signers expect to close the transaction by January 17.

The companies are hardly unacquainted. Energy Fuels is already a Mega shareholder. Mega, meanwhile, owns about 17% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Although Mega lost its bid for Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT in October, the following month it picked up 28% of the ASX-listed Toro Energy in return for Mega’s Lake Maitland pre-development project in Western Australia. Energy Fuels holds a 5% gross production royalty on the Reno Creek uranium project, which last March reached pre-feasibility under a Bayswater affiliate.

Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production. In November the company suspended development of its Canyon mine in Arizona due to low commodity prices and legal action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine.

On December 17 the company announced a strategic relationship agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corp. But details were lost in Energy Fuels’ vaguely written news release.

Ur-Energy offered 50% discount on Pathfinder Mines, AREVA to get 5% royalty

A revised agreement offers Ur-Energy TSX:URE a half-price deal on Pathfinder Mines and its two former Wyoming mines with historic resources. The acquisition was originally priced at US$13.25 million in July 2012. Now, “in recognition of current market conditions,” AREVA affiliate COGEMA Resources will let go of Pathfinder for approximately $6.625 million in return for a 5% gross royalty on Pathfinder’s Shirley Basin property. The royalty remains subject to caps depending on uranium’s price. Ur-Energy has already put $1.325 million into escrow. Some other details have yet to be negotiated, the company stated.

Three days after that December 16 announcement, the company reported a private placement expected to close on December 20 for approximately $5.18 million. The money was earmarked for the Pathfinder acquisition.

Earlier in December Ur-Energy reported a first shipment of 35,000 pounds U3O8 left its Lost Creek mine in Wyoming. Lost Creek’s resource update was released in November.

In late October the company closed a $34-million Wyoming state loan after having previously borrowed $35 million from RMB Australia Holdings Ltd.

Uranium exploration finds frac sand potential on Declan Resources’ Firebag River

Initial field work by Dahrouge Geological Consulting shows potential for high-quality frac sand on Declan Resources’ Firebag River property in northeastern Alberta, the company announced December 18. Samples from depths of less than two metres revealed “high silica content, quality sphericity and roundness values, and a high percentage of sand falling within the preferred 20/40 and 40/70 mesh sizes,” Declan stated.

Using figures from consulting firm PacWest, a December 2 Wall Street Journal report says oil and gas companies have boosted sand demand 25% since 2011, with another 20% increase expected over the next two years.

Declan intends to follow up on the finding “along with its principal objective of uranium exploration” at the 50,000-hectare property just southwest of the Basin. One day earlier the company released silver-copper results from its Nimini Hills property in Sierra Leone. In early December Declan signed a JV on Lakeland Resources’ Gibbon’s Creek project, a four-year option which would inject an extra $1.25 million into the property’s 2014 drill program.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 23rd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 16 to 22, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Azincourt to acquire Peruvian company from Cameco and Vena for $2 million

So far best known for its 50% interest in the Patterson Lake North joint venture with Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU, Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ plans to acquire an advanced-stage uranium project in Peru. Under definitive share purchase agreements announced November 22, the $8.1-million market cap Athabasca Basin junior proposes to buy Minergia S.A.C. from 50/50 co-owners Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and Vena Resources TSX:VEM. As well as the 4,900-hectare Macusani project, Minergia comes with its younger sister, 9,600-hectare Muñani, both in southeastern Peru.

Subject to approvals, the deal would have Azincourt give Cameco and Vena $750,000 worth of shares and $250,000 each. Vena chairman/CEO Juan Vegarra would join Azincourt as an independent director. Azincourt would spend between $1.5 million and $2 million on the projects annually.

The deal would also allow Vena to buy Cameco’s portion of Azincourt shares for the purchase price plus 50% of any increase in the market price.

In a statement accompanying Vena’s announcement, Vegarra noted that Azincourt president/CEO Ted O’Connor is “the former director of Cameco’s corporate development group who was responsible for overseeing Cameco’s significant investment in Minergia.”

With over $12 million of work between 2007 and 2011, Macusani comes with an historic resource that was released in September 2011. Using a 0.009% cutoff, five of the property’s nine areas show:

  • measured: 10.39 million short tons averaging 0.025% for 5.69 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • indicated: 34.16 million tons averaging 0.018% for 12.52 million pounds

  • inferred: 37.79 million tons averaging 0.02% for 17.42 million pounds

The project could offer low-cost open pit, acid heap leach potential, according to Azincourt.

As for Muñani, it shows uranium mineralization in sandstone and outcrops, has undergone airborne geophysics and ground prospecting, and has drill targets ready, Azincourt stated.

Although two years of depressed prices have pushed the projects into dormancy, Azincourt plans to complete community agreements and permitting prior to another drill program.

Vena also announced that Silvia Dedios has been named general manager following David Bent’s resignation. Walter Cuba becomes project manager to work with Azincourt on Minergia’s uranium assets.

Last June Vena dropped out of negotiations with a private Peruvian company to create a JV for three other Vena projects. In August the company settled $150,350 of debt for 1.64 million shares.

Azincourt and Fission update winter plans for Patterson Lake North

Back in the Basin, Azincourt and Fission updated their previously announced winter plans for Patterson Lake North on November 18. The program now includes a radon survey at Hodge Lake as well as further electromagnetic work and eight to 10 holes totalling 2,500 to 3,000 metres.

Initial results from a five-kilometre ground magnetotelluric survey over the northern part of an eight-kilometre VTEM conductive trend suggest it comprises a series of parallel west-dipping basement EM conductors, the JV stated. Further EM work will increase resolution and orient a resistivity survey scheduled for next summer. “Many structurally controlled high-grade uranium occurrences in the Athabasca Basin are related to hydrothermal alteration systems associated with basement EM conductors,” the companies emphasized. Drill targets will be refined by identifying an EM basement conductor with a resistivity low signature, especially when associated with a cross-cutting interpreted structural feature, the partners explained.

Diamond drilling is slated to begin in January, after the holes have been pre-collared with RC rigs.

Azincourt is earning a 50% interest in the 27,408-hectare project adjacent to Fission’s better-known project, the Patterson Lake South JV with Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW. Fission acts as operator on both projects.

Denison considers compulsory acquisition as Rockgate takeover now 86% complete

Delighted with “such overwhelming enthusiasm,” Denison Mines TSX:DML president/CEO Ron Hochstein announced on November 18 his company has so far nabbed 100.54 million shares for 86% control of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT. In another extension to the offer—the final one, this time—Denison now says Rockgate laggards have until November 29 to throw in their lot with the victor.

If the company can get just 4% more of Rockgate’s total shares, Denison intends to acquire the rest through a compulsory acquisition. Otherwise the aggressive uranium miner/explorer will try an “amalgamation or other corporate reorganization” to part the hold-outs from their holdings. On October 30 Denison stated it was lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares.

At that time directors of the two companies softened their positions considerably. Rockgate president/CEO Karl Kottmeier initially denounced the Denison offer as an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid” which scuttled Rockgate’s proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Rockgate’s board did, however, reluctantly recommend shareholder acceptance.

Read more here and here.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Read about Denison’s Q3 report.

Denison moves its people into Rockgate management/board positions

Rockgate’s changing of the guard, meanwhile, presages its takeover. The company announced five departures from its seven-person board on November 22. Gone are Doug Ford, Edward Ford, Allen Ambrose, Gord Neal and Phil Williams. Replacing them are Denison directors Ron Hochstein, Robert Dengler and Catherine Stefan, with William Rand becoming chairperson.

Rockgate’s Karl Kottmeier, Doug Ford and Kirk Gamely step down from management, although Kottmeier and Bryan Hyde will remain on Rockgate’s board to smooth the transition of its flagship Falea project in southwestern Mali, which was scheduled for pre-feasibility in early 2014. Denison’s Hochstein now becomes Rockgate president/CEO, David Cates CFO and Sheila Colman corporate secretary.

Denison has said that on acquiring Rockgate it will spin out its African assets to concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

Mega Uranium closes Australian sale, gains 28% of Toro Energy

Undeterred by its Rockgate failure, Mega has now picked up 28% of an ASX-listed company with “one of the larger pre-development uranium projects worldwide.” That results from the completed sale of Mega’s Lake Maitland property in Western Australia to Toro Energy. In a deal valued at about AU$37 million last August, Mega gets about 28% of Toro shares and fills Toro board positions with Mega executive VP of corporate affairs Richard Patricio and executive VP for Australia Richard Homsany, the Toronto-listed company announced November 19.

Blue Sky drills Ivana project in Argentina, offers $500,000 private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 16 to 22, 2013

Located in Argentina’s Rio Negro province, Blue Sky’s
Ivana project currently undergoes a 2,000-metre drill program.

Now underway at Blue Sky Uranium’s TSXV:BSK Ivana project in Argentina, a nine-hole, 2,000-metre drill campaign targets shallow, roll-front uranium mineralization to 400 metres in depth. Announced November 18, Phase I work also includes ground geophysics. The 71,300-hectare property has previously undergone airborne radiometrics, sampling, prospecting, mapping and trenching.

AREVA funds the work under an option to spend $2 million by December 31 on Blue Sky’s Argentinian properties. On completion, AREVA may fund an additional $3 million on one project, or $4 million combined on two projects, to earn a 51% interest by the end of 2017. In addition to the project in Rio Negro province, Blue Sky currently focuses on its Sierra Colonia property in central Chubut province.

The company also announced a private placement of 10 million units at $0.05 for $500,000. Each unit consists of one share and one transferable warrant exercisable at $0.10 for two years.

Ground gravity survey underway on Aldrin Resource’s Triple M

Announced by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN on November 20, a ground gravity survey on the PLS-vicinity Triple M property intends to find extensively altered basement rocks associated with two bedrock conductive anomalies shown in last summer’s VTEM survey. Identified by anomalous gravity lows, extensively altered rocks are associated with strong uranium mineralization elsewhere in the region, the company stated. Triple M’s schedule calls for completion of the gravity survey by year-end.

The previous week Aldrin released initial radon results from 527 sample sites. The company also plans to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.

Zadar Ventures acquires two more properties from Canterra Minerals

With two new acquisitions just south of the Basin’s southeastern rim, Zadar Ventures TSXV:ZAD has signed another definitive purchase agreement. The deal, announced November 20, has Zadar issuing 160,000 shares to Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM and 170,000 to African Oil Corp in return for the 5,831-hectare Highrock and the 5,583-hectare Riverlake projects. Canterra retains a 2% NSR on both properties, of which Zadar may buy half for $1 million.

Both properties have seen historic EM surveys, soil sampling and drilling. Radioactive pitchblende pebbles found immediately west of Highrock might have originated on the property, Zadar stated. Highrock sits eight kilometres from Cameco’s former Key Lake mine.

Riverlake features a 1,200-metre by 600-metre soil anomaly with uranium values up to 0.0374% over three EM conductors with a combined strike of five kilometres, Zadar added. A hole drilled in 2008 found 63 metres of radioactivity five to 10 times the background level.

In September the company announced its acquisition of the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property, also from Canterra. Earlier that month Zadar reported finding radioactive boulders on its PLS-vicinity PNE project.

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