by Greg Klein
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Alpha/Fission hit 5.98% U3O8 over 17.5 metres, including 19.51% over 5.5 metres
With so many scintillometer results announced already, assays for the same holes can be anti-climactic. But that’s the way Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have orchestrated their Patterson Lake South campaign, now giving observers a near sense of déjà vu. Assays from four holes announced October 29 add little to the news of August 8, although results from the lab are much more reliable than those from the hand-held radiation-detecting gizmo. The assays come from R00E, the farthest southwest of the project’s five zones.
True widths were unavailable. Three of the holes were vertical, while 079 dipped at -75 degrees. That hole expands the zone’s high-grade southern area, the companies stated, while all four holes confirm R00E’s east-west strike at 165 metres. The zone remains open in all directions.
With the summer barge-based campaign complete, attention now turns to a land-based program west of R00E. Fission acts as project operator on the 50/50 joint venture until its acquisition of Alpha closes. Fission shareholders will vote on the deal’s spinout aspect on November 28.
(Update: On November 4 the JV announced a sixth PLS zone west of the discovery. Read more.)
Rio Tinto plans winter drilling at Purepoint’s Red Willow
Purepoint Uranium Group TSXV:PTU announced plans on October 29 by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for 2,500 metres of drilling at Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare property on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern edge. Rio identified targets based on historic drill logs and more recent geophysical and geochemical work. The company built a 28-person camp last summer.
Depth to unconformity in the area varies from zero to 80 metres, Purepoint stated. The company says five major deposits—JEB, Midwest, Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Millennium—“are located along a NE to SW mine trend that extends through the Red Willow project.”
Rio has so far spent about $2.25 million out of a $5-million commitment to earn an initial 51% interest by December 31, 2015. The giant’s Canadian subsidiary may earn 80% by spending $22.5 million by the end of 2021.
Strong Q3 financials surprise Cameco shareholders
Despite historic low uranium prices, Cameco came out with Q3 earnings far beyond the same period last year. In his October 29 statement, president/CEO Tim Gitzel attributed the success to a contracting strategy “providing us with higher average realized prices that are well above the current uranium spot price.”
Adjusted net earnings for three months ending September 30 came to $208 million, a 324% increase over Q3 2012 or, at 53 cents a share, a 342% increase. Year-to-date figures came to $295 million (up 48%) and 75 cents a share (up 47%).
Gitzel added that Cameco’s “starting to see some of the cost benefits of the restructuring we undertook earlier” and plans to “take advantage of the opportunity we see in the long term.”
However the company’s statement noted “there have been some deferrals of future projects due to uranium prices insufficient to support new production. The deferrals will not directly impact the near-term market, but could have an effect on the longer term outlook for the uranium industry. Complicating the supply outlook further is the possibility of some projects, primarily driven by sovereign interests, moving forward despite market conditions.”
The company forecast strong long-term fundamentals, mostly to China which has “reaffirmed its substantial growth targets out to 2020 and indicated plans to pursue further growth out to 2030. Their growth is palpable as construction on two more reactors began during the third quarter, bringing the total under construction to 30.”
But while junior exploration flourishes, especially in the Athabasca Basin, the major plans a 15% to 20% cut in exploration spending this year.
Three Cameco operations get 10-year licence renewals
Licences for Cameco’s Key Lake, McArthur River and Rabbit Lake operations have been renewed for 10 years, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced October 29. The CNSC granted the extensions after three days of public meetings that heard from the company, 27 interveners and CNSC staff. The commission agreed to Cameco’s request for 10-year renewals, twice the previous term.
MillenMin finds radioactive outcrops on east Basin properties, reports AGM results
MillenMin Ventures TSXV:MVM completed initial field work at two eastside Basin properties, the 2,759-hectare Highrock Lake NE and 1,648-hectare Smalley Lake W. Work included prospecting, outcrop mapping and examination of previously found mineralization, the company announced October 28.
Grab samples from radioactive outcrops on both properties have been sent for assays. MillenMin first announced its foray into uranium last May and has staked 11 claims totalling about 18,983 hectares in and around the Basin.
On October 31 the company reported AGM results with directors re-elected, auditors re-appointed and other business approved.
Declan options northeastern Alberta property
Southwest of the Basin’s Alberta extremity, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has optioned the 50,000-hectare Firebag River property. Previous geophysical survey data “shows a complex pattern of magnetic lows and highs, truncated or offset in the northern part of the property by the Marguerite River Fault,” Declan stated on October 29. Exploration in 1977 “confirmed the presence of a southwest-oriented fault zone and a geochemical anomaly with 11 ppm cobalt in lake sediments atop this structure,” the company added.
The deal would have Declan paying $85,000, issuing five million shares over two years and spending $3 million over three years. The optioner retains a 2% NSR on metals and a 4% gross overriding royalty on non-metallic commodities.
In September Declan announced an option to acquire the Patterson Lake Northeast property. The company plans to engage Dahrouge Geological Consulting to explore its uranium properties.
Rockgate takeover offer: Denison softens conditions, extends deadline
Denison Mines TSX:DML advanced its attempted takeover of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT by lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares. In an October 30 statement Denison also extended the offer’s deadline again, this time to November 18, and dropped conditions related to staff retention and consulting agreements.
The same day Rockgate said insiders agreed not to exercise their options unless another company comes up with a better offer. Denison had requested a cease trade order on 11 million Rockgate options granted on September 30, which Denison termed “improper defensive tactics.” The British Columbia Securities Commission didn’t agree. But rather than risk Denison withdrawing its offer, Rockgate insiders “put the interests of the shareholders of Rockgate before their own personal interests and agreed to amend the terms of the options,” company president/CEO Karl Kottmeier said.
The tone of the companies’ statements has warmed considerably since Kottmeier labelled Denison’s offer an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” Denison president/CEO Ron Hochstein thanked Kottmeier and the Rockgate board “for their contributions to allowing the offer to proceed towards a successful conclusion.”
Meanwhile Rockgate continues prefeasibility work on its flagship Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali.
Lakeland Resources’ JV partner New Dimension to drill for gold
Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on October 31 an imminent drill campaign of at least 1,800 metres by JV partner New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR on the Midas gold property in north-central Ontario. Lakeland optioned the project to New Dimension in September in order to focus on Saskatchewan uranium exploration. But Lakeland will retain a 30% interest in Midas carried to an initial 43-101 resource estimate.
I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources
“New Dimension is a great group to work with and the deal was easy to do,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium. The onus is on them to explore that project and we share in any benefits that result.”
The previous week Lakeland closed a private placement for a total of $1,057,718 and announced the appointment of Basin veteran John Gingerich to the company’s advisory board. Field work continues on Lakeland’s Riou Lake uranium project.
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by Greg Klein
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Forum reports radon results from PLS-adjacent Clearwater
Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC released soil and water radon surveys from its Clearwater project adjacently southwest to Patterson Lake South. Soil results “are similar and higher than those located immediately west” of the PLS R00E zone, according to Forum’s October 22 announcement. Radon surveys played an important role in identifying drill targets at R00E and east along trend. The Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU joint venture now plans autumn drilling west of R00E while waiting for freeze-up.
Forum’s results for three grids show:
Additionally, a small lake in the Mungo grid returned up to 18 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), “which is considered to be very anomalous when compared with a maximum value of 12 pCi/L immediately over the Patterson Lake South deposits,” Forum stated. The company added that 428 samples were taken “over areas with electromagnetic conductors and over the interpreted extension of the Patterson Lake structure that hosts the PLS deposits.”
Near-term plans include a ground gravity survey over the same areas and possibly further radon studies prior to setting targets on the 9,910-hectare property for a drill campaign to begin in late January.
Lakeland Resources appoints expert adviser, closes second tranche
In joining the Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK advisory board, Athabasca Basin veteran John Gingerich returns to some familiar turf. With over 30 years’ experience, the geoscientist worked for Eldorado Nuclear from 1979 to 1986, spending most of that time in the north-central Basin exploring property now held by Lakeland, the company stated on October 23. Additionally he served in the Noranda group’s senior management, founded Geotechnical Business Solutions and chairs both the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization’s exploration division and the Ontario Geological Survey’s advisory board.
The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway. Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources
Speaking to ResourceClips.com, Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes says Gingerich “co-ordinated exploration activities from Stony Rapids to Fond du Lac, on properties we’re now exploring, so he’s quite familiar with that neck of the woods. But at that time they didn’t have some of the technologies we now have in the way of geophysics and radon surveys. He said it was tough determining where to drill back in those days. But he certainly feels there’s potential based on the historic findings. He’s also trying to dig up some additional historic work besides the data we’ve already found. He’s definitely a valuable addition to our board, given his experience up there.”
Lakeland also announced the closing of a second and final tranche of its private placement, bringing in $318,948 for a total of $1,057,718 to fund further work. Activity focuses on the Gibbon’s Creek target of the Riou Lake property.
“The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway,” Armes says. “Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months. We also retained an interest in the gold project we vended to New Dimension Resources [TSXV:NDR], which will likely be drilled in the next few weeks. That’s a bonus side story for us while we continue our focus on the Basin. So things are going extremely well.”
Rockgate reluctantly recommends Denison bid, Denison extends deadline
It’s an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid,” according to Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors. So it was with obvious reluctance that they recommended shareholders accept the offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML. Nearly five weeks of effort failed to find a superior proposal, Rockgate announced October 21.
But three days later, and just one day before its offer was to expire, Denison extended the deadline to November 1. Denison stated that, while its bid remains open for acceptance, the company needed time to remedy change of control protections that Rockgate had provided to employees and consultants: “In light of these actions, the conditions to Denison’s takeover bid offer cannot be fulfilled.”
Zadar completes PNE Phase II, grants options
Results are pending but Phase II exploration at Zadar Ventures’ TSXV:ZAD PNE project has wrapped up, the company announced October 22. Work included scintillometer prospecting, boulder mapping and radon surveys over nine areas. The company added that an eight-kilometre conductive trend on the adjacent Patterson Lake North project announced earlier this month by JV partners Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ marks a “very positive development” for the 15,292-hectare PNE property.
Zadar also announced 100,000 incentive options at $0.25 for two years.
Last month the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property on the Athabasca Basin’s east side.
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by Greg Klein
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Fission and Alpha sign acquisition agreement, Denison challenges Mega for Rockgate
Another burst of merger and acquisition activity hit the markets last week. Joint September 18 statements from Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced a definitive agreement for the former’s acquisition of the latter. The proposed Mega Uranium TSX:MGA/Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT merger, however, took a surprising turn with Denison Mines’ TSX:DML unsolicited pitch for Rockgate. Denison’s September 17 announcement claimed a 38% premium over Mega’s offer, based on the previous day’s closing prices.
The Fission/Alpha rationale is to put their 50/50 joint venture under a single owner, creating a company solely focused on Patterson Lake South and presumably a more attractive takeover target. Their other properties would go to two newly created spincos. Should Denison’s offer succeed, the company would spin out its African assets along with Rockgate’s advanced-stage Mali project. That would leave Denison focused on the Athabasca Basin.
(Update: On September 24 Rockgate terminated its proposed merger with Mega. Read more.)
PLS assay backlog grows as Fission/Alpha release more scintillometer results
Step-out drilling confirmed strong mineralization in Patterson Lake South’s newest zone, Alpha and Fission stated on September 16. The JV partners released scintillometer readings for two new holes on zone R945E, the fourth of four zones along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend.
The hand-held device measures drill core gamma rays in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.
Hole PLS13-092 was collared roughly 10 metres north of existing holes. It reached a total downhole depth of 377 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres without encountering sandstone. Some highlights include:
PLS13-096 was collared about 15 metres grid west of PLS-084, replacing it as the zone’s most southwesterly hole. It found no sandstone, hit the basement unconformity at 56.5 metres and stopped at 365 metres. Highlights include:
True widths weren’t available. The two holes were drilled at -88 and -89 degree angles respectively, making downhole depths close to vertical.
The $6.95-million program calls for 44 holes totalling 11,000 metres, along with geophysics. These results bring the summer’s drilling to 27 holes totalling 8,488 metres. So far just one of the holes has had lab assays released. Scintillometer readings have been reported for 18 holes this summer.
Denison files combined resources for Mutanga property in Zambia
Denison has filed a new NI 43-101 report to replace two previous reports for its Mutanga property in Zambia, the company announced on September 16. The New Mutanga Report follows an Ontario Securities Commission review of a resource filed in March 2012 for the property’s Dibwe East deposit. The OSC declared that report non-compliant because it didn’t include all resource estimates and material information for the property as a whole. Denison’s new report incorporates information covered in a 2009 report on the Mutanga and Dibwe deposits, as well as the 2012 info for Dibwe East.
Of the project’s six deposits, only Mutanga shows measured, indicated and inferred categories. Mutanga Extension, Mutanga East, Mutanga West, Dibwe and Dibwe East have inferred pounds only. Combined, the estimate shows:
The 457.3-square-kilometre property is about 200 kilometres south of the capital city of Lusaka, near the Zimbabwean border.
The previous week, Denison updated two Athabasca Basin projects with a new resource for Waterbury Lake and more high-grade assays from Wheeler River.
Lakeland Resources options gold project to focus on Athabasca uranium
Now a pure play uranium explorer, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK optioned a north-central Ontario gold property to New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR, the companies announced September 16. New Dimension may earn a 70% interest in the Midas project by paying $100,000, spending $1.2 million and issuing 1.5 million shares. New Dimension must spend $300,000 on exploration by December 31.
We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.—Roger Leschuk, corporate communications manager for Lakeland Resources
The 2,112-hectare road-accessible property has already seen ground magnetics, induced polarization and 16 drill holes that partially defined two gold-bearing zones, with 14 holes showing gold mineralization. Among the assays was 5.92 grams per tonne gold over 4.7 metres, starting at 45.7 metres in depth and including 8.88 g/t over 2.6 metres.
“We get to maintain an interest in a property that looks very encouraging to say the least,” Lakeland corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk tells ResourceClips.com. “The people who are picking it up are a very good group and they see this as potentially becoming their flagship property. The great part about it for Lakeland is we retain a 30% interest all the way potentially to a new discovery. We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.”
A fall drill program is expected to begin shortly, the companies stated.
Forum announces fall/winter plans for its PLS-adjacent Clearwater project
In a September 17 report, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC updated its Clearwater project, which underwent ground radiometric prospecting, lake sediment geochemical surveys and soil radon surveys in late August and early September. The radon survey found anomalous zones immediately southwest of the adjacent PLS property, the company stated. Forum now plans further prospecting of radiometric anomalies, as well as an expanded radon survey to cover areas with electromagnetic conductors on strike with the PLS conductive trend. Autumn is scheduled for ground EM surveys and early winter for ground gravity work to identify drill targets for the 9,910-hectare property in late January.
One week earlier Forum said its private placement raised $2.59 million.
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