Saturday 10th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘new mexico’

Opportunism knocks

December 5th, 2016

First Mining Finance found bad times beneficial for good deals

by Greg Klein

Struggling junior? Not this company. Since its trading debut in April 2015, First Mining Finance TSXV:FF has compiled 25 projects covering some 300,000 hectares, from early stage to a PEA with 4.4 million gold ounces indicated. Just as aggressively, the company boosted its treasury to a current $35 million. Now First Mining looks forward to a $21-million exploration and development program for 2017 that includes 47,000 metres of drilling.

“We were able to execute on the vision of the company, which last year was to take advantage of the bear market and acquire projects,” VP of investor relations Derek Iwanaka explains. “I don’t know of any other company that was able to acquire as many projects, or projects as good as we got, during that period.”

First Mining Finance found bad times beneficial for good deals

Located in northwestern Ontario’s Birch-Uchi greenstone belt,
First Mining’s 32,448-hectare Springpole flagship has an
updated PEA scheduled for next year.

Certainly there were deals to be had for canny acquisitors. But that was while many other companies faced financing difficulties. First Mining bucked the trend last August by closing a $27-million private placement. How did they pull that off?

“Quite easily,” responds Iwanaka. “We were literally turning down millions of dollars. We had over $70 million in orders but we didn’t want that kind of dilution. So we just took the $27 million. That should carry us for at least the next few years, including all the drilling and overhead.”

First Mining seems to have something that eludes others.

“First of all we have Keith Neumeyer at the helm, who runs a multi-billion-dollar company as it stands,” says Iwanaka. “Keith has been adept at starting companies during very bad times and manoeuvring them so when times are good we can reap the rewards for our shareholders.”

Among companies founded by the First Mining director were First Quantum Minerals TSX:FM and First Majestic Silver TSX:FR, where Neumeyer’s president/CEO. First Majestic acts as a sort of mentor to First Mining, placing some FR directors in FF’s management and board, helping to get the new company started, lending it about $1 million, vending three Mexican properties and even providing office space.

Among considerations behind an acquisition are “size and quality of the project,” Iwanaka points out. “We look at projects with good grade, scalability, exploration upside. The jurisdiction’s quite important to us. We’re basically looking at North America, but not the North. We will look at South America as well. Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland are our favourite places although we could go to other provinces too. In the U.S. we see Nevada and Arizona as fairly mining-friendly states. We could probably look at New Mexico as well. We do have some early-stage properties in Mexico, where First Majestic has its base, but we certainly focus on Canada.”

As for commodities, “we particularly like gold but silver, platinum and palladium are also attractive, as well as base metals—anything that’s exchange-tradeable.”

Other factors include “the price of the projects, the holding cost, the infrastructure. In many cases the projects we take already have roads and power lines going to them.”

If gold’s the company’s focus, the Springpole flagship explains why. Described as one of Canada’s largest undeveloped gold projects, the northwestern Ontario potential open pit came with the past owner’s 2013 PEA. Using a 0.4 g/t gold cutoff, the 2012 resource showed:

  • indicated: 128.2 million tonnes averaging 1.07 g/t gold and 5.7 g/t silver for 4.41 million ounces gold and 23.8 million ounces silver

  • inferred: 25.7 million tonnes averaging 0.83 g/t gold and 3.2 g/t silver for 690,000 ounces gold and 2.7 million ounces silver

First Mining has work underway to bring the resource and PEA up to date. But looking back at 2013, the report calculated a post-tax NPV of US$388 million using a 5% discount, with a 13.8% post-tax IRR. Initial capex came to US$438 million with payback in 35 months of an 11-year mine life.

First Mining Finance found bad times beneficial for good deals

Visible gold was one attraction of the Goldlund project,
which has another 27,000 metres of drilling planned.

“We expect the updated PEA will be even more robust,” Iwanaka says. “The U.S. dollar has appreciated since 2013, when it was at par. We’re also looking at increasing the recovery and the pit shell. Those three things could substantially improve the economics and we hope to have the new PEA out probably by the first half of next year.”

With assays pending, a four-hole, 1,712-metre fall program provided metallurgical fodder. Next summer’s agenda calls for another 6,000 metres of infill to upgrade the resource. In the meantime, pre-permitting environmental and baseline work will soon begin.

A newer acquisition gets even more rig attention next year. Goldlund, about 60 kilometres north of Dryden and roughly 200 klicks south of Springpole, has 27,000 metres planned to upgrade the resource and work towards an eventual PEA. The former open pit and underground operation came with an estimate that First Mining considers an historic non-43-101. Using a 0.4 g/t gold cutoff, it showed:

  • measured and indicated: 19.1 million tonnes averaging 1.94 g/t for 1.19 million ounces gold

  • inferred: 25.8 million tonnes averaging 2.51 g/t for 2.08 million ounces

Cameron, maybe another 100 kilometres south of Goldlund, gets up to 9,000 metres of infill to pump up the measured and indicated prior to PEA. Using a 0.5 g/t cutoff, a 2015 resource from Chalice Gold Mines TSX:CXN showed:

  • measured: 3.72 million tonnes averaging 2.64 g/t for 316,000 ounces gold

  • indicated: 4.1 million tonnes averaging 1.92 g/t for 253,000 ounces

  • inferred: 14.5 million tonnes averaging 1.92 g/t for 894,000 ounces

Moving to southwestern Newfoundland, Hope Brook will see 5,000 metres of exploration and infill. A high 3 g/t gold cutoff gives the current resource:

  • indicated: 5.5 million tonnes averaging 4.77 g/t for 844,000 ounces gold

  • inferred: 836,000 tonnes averaging 4.11 g/t for 110,000 ounces

Again, a resource upgrade precedes a PEA, this one slated for late 2017.

Back in Ontario and roughly 110 kilometres northeast of the Springpole flagship, autumn drilling has wrapped up at Pickle Crow. Assays from the nine-hole, 1,319-metre campaign are expected in early 2017. The former mine came with a 2011 inferred resource that used a 2.25 g/t gold cutoff for an underground deposit and a 0.35 g/t cutoff for an open pit deposit:

Underground

  • 6.52 million tonnes averaging 5.4 g/t for 1.14 million ounces gold

Open pit

  • 3.63 million tonnes averaging 1.1 g/t for 126,000 ounces

Total

  • 10.15 million tonnes averaging 3.9 g/t for 1.26 million ounces

With assays to come, drilling to do and announcements for other North American projects anticipated, First Mining plans a steady news flow, says Iwanaka.

Drilling confirms 3D model at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

November 17th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 17, 2016

With Phase I now complete, Far Resources CSE:FAT says all seven holes of the 1,142-metre campaign intersected spodumene-bearing pegmatite on the Zoro property in central Manitoba. Assays are pending but the program confirms a 3D model of dyke #1 compiled from historic drilling data and more recent field work, the company reported November 17.

Drilling confirms 3D model at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

Chip samples taken last summer from historic
trenches assayed between 1.46% and 6.35% Li2O.

“We are pleased that the first drill program on the property for 60 years has confirmed our geological model and interpretation,” said president/CEO Keith Anderson. “This will allow us to plan and optimize further drilling with confidence as we expand on the Phase I program.”

The 3,000-hectare property hosts seven known spodumene-bearing dykes. In July the company released assays from chip samples collected that summer from three historic trenches, with results ranging from 1.46% to 6.35% Li2O.

The Snow Lake-region property can be accessed via highway and helicopter, or by boat, road and ATV. Local infrastructure also includes hydro lines five kilometres south and rail another 25 kilometres.

Far Resources also holds an option on the Winston property in New Mexico, which hosts two past-producing gold-silver mines. In October the company offered a private placement of up to $200,000.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 1st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 1, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Saskatchewan’s number two for mining jurisdictions worldwide

The province has held a top 10 position for at least five years, but last week Saskatchewan reached second place in a global survey of miners and explorers. The Fraser Institute study released February 24 rated jurisdictions for a number of factors, with the most important attributes making up the Investment Attractiveness Index. There sits Saskatchewan, second only to Finland.

The index considers responses for two separate categories, giving a 60% weight to geology and 40% to public policy. As Macdonald-Laurier Institute managing director Brian Lee Crowley told ResourceClips.com, reserves aren’t much good without policies that allow responsible development. Some comments quoted by the Fraser Institute bear that out.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to February 27, 2015

A province founded on agriculture, Saskatchewan became one of
the world’s leading mining jurisdictions thanks to geology and policy.

“In Saskatchewan, ‘Duty to Consult’ is the responsibility of government, not the company. Something like the Ring of Fire fiasco in Ontario would not happen in Saskatchewan.”

“Good geoscientific support and permitting procedures which allow for timely planning and efficient support from provincial administration in addressing land access and Amerindian issues.”

“Saskatchewan is open to uranium exploration.”

Speaking to the Regina Leader-Post, survey director Kenneth Green said, “In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims.”

More good words came from provincial Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Clearly, there is a very good resource here in the province, whether it’s in potash, uranium or other minerals that we mine here in Saskatchewan,’’ the Leader-Post quoted him. “We’ve been able to create a business climate here in Saskatchewan that’s positive. There’s a good workforce in Saskatchewan, a trained workforce, as well.’’

Four other Canadian jurisdictions made the top 10 for investment attractiveness. Additionally the survey showed a significant improvement in Canada’s median score on the Policy Perception Index.

Read more about Canada’s performance in the global mining survey.

Download the survey.

NexGen adds third high-grade section to Rook 1’s Arrow zone

Having discovered another high-grade section of the Arrow zone with Rook 1’s best angled hole yet, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE assigned new names to the project’s features. A1, A2 and A3 designate three mineralized shears trending northeast to southwest. The latest hole, AR-15-39, found composite mineralization totalling 89.15 metres within 436.5 metres that started at 433.5 metres in downhole depth. Scintillometer readings above 10,000 counts per second coincided with “dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” the company stated February 24.

The results, from a handheld device that scans drill core for gamma radiation, are no substitute for the still-pending assays. Readings of 10,000 cps or more are called “offscale” due to the limitations of a previous model.

Drilled at a -70 dip between AR-15-37 and -38, the new hole went offscale for seven metres at A2, reinforcing “the continuity of semi-massive to massive pitchblende” in that shear. A3 revealed another 9.75 offscale metres, representing “a 200-metre down-dip extension from high-grade uranium assay intervals in drill holes AR-14-08 and -13,” NexGen added.

One week earlier the company released two holes extending mineralization 81 metres southwest along strike from Rook 1’s best hole so far—angled or vertical and “amongst the best drill results” in the Athabasca Basin.

Both holes revealed “significant dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” with AR-15-37 giving composite radiation readings for 76 metres within a 264.5-metre section beginning at 405 metres in downhole depth. That included an offscale composite of 9.35 metres.

AR-15-38 showed composite mineralization of 82.35 metres within a 247.5-metre section starting at 474 metres, with a composite 4.5 metres above 10,000 cps.

NexGen also reported its third rig began drilling 400 metres northeast along Arrow’s strike. That’s where a radon-in-lake-water anomaly, 480 metres long by 20 to 150 metres wide, is “optimally situated along the southeast-dipping VTEM conductor [and] projected to reach the unconformity.”

As of February 24, drilling hit mineralization in 37 of 39 Arrow holes, with 5,519 metres of the 18,000-metre winter program complete. The zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization as shallow as 100 metres and as deep as 817.5 metres in vertical depth.

Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.

Ever modest, NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said the zone “is quickly becoming a significant discovery on a world scale with relatively very few holes drilled.”

Fission hits high grade west of Triple R resource

Sunday’s not the usual day to release news of this nature. But March 1 begins PDAC 2015, so what better time to assert bragging rights? Whatever the reason, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU chose the day to announce a radioactive find 555 metres west of its Triple R deposit. The news reinforces interest in R600W, the most westerly of Patterson Lake South’s four zones, where five previous holes showed only low-grade mineralization.

Scintillometer readings for land-based hole PLS15-343 showed 65.5 metres of radiation starting at 105.5 metres in downhole depth, including a continuous 8.85 metres over 10,000 counts per second “with peaks up to 52,900 cps at shallow depth,” the company reported. A second radioactive interval of four metres began at 342.5 metres.

As explained in the NexGen item above, scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Readings above 10,000 cps are often called “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

Technical problems terminated the hole at 368 metres “in moderately altered semi-pelitic gneiss,” Fission stated.

R600W’s strike runs 30 metres with a north-south lateral width up to about 20 metres. The project’s four zones extend for a 2.24-kilometre potential strike along the PL-3B conductor. The two middle zones, R00E and R780E, comprise the Triple R resource that shook the market in January. In mid-February Fission announced nine holes that expand R780E, by far the project’s largest zone.

The $10-million, four-rig winter agenda calls for 35 holes on Triple R and R600W, along with 28 holes on regional targets, for a total of about 20,230 metres.

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources bolsters its Basin portfolio

Now with 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has enlarged what was already one of Saskatchewan’s largest exploration portfolios. New acquisitions announced February 20 include two land packages in the southeastern Basin’s Key Lake area, which gave up over 200 million pounds of uranium by 2002 and still hosts the Key Lake mill.

One of the area acquisitions, the KLR property, features “a significant number of historic conductors within basement rock types and at least two unexplained radiometric anomalies,” Lakeland stated. Sampling of surface rocks and lake and stream sediment brought results up to 691 ppm uranium. Historic drilling revealed 0.12% U3O8 across 0.1 metres. The new turf complements Lakeland’s existing Key Lake-region properties.

Six new claims sit adjacent to Lakeland holdings in the southwestern Basin’s Carter Lake area. The company also gained ground in the Mathews Lake area, north of Lake Athabasca and within basement rocks of the Beaverlodge Domain.

The Carson Lake property lies beyond the Basin’s northeastern margin but within the Wollaston Domain, which hosts most of the Basin’s currently operating mines.

South of the Basin, along the highly prospective Cable Bay shear zone, Lakeland picked up Black Birch East. Historic work on the 26,389-hectare property “showed a number of electromagnetic conductors and radiometric anomalies roughly coincident with the CBSZ.”

The acquisitions result from two transactions, subject to TSXV approval. One set of properties costs $40,880 and 1.12 million shares. A set of two other properties calls for $32,636 and 326,350 shares. Both transactions include a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy back for $2 million per property.

In late January the company began drilling its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Other drill-ready projects include Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern margin and Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s.

In December Takara Resources TSXV:TKK took out a 50% option on Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Last year’s private placements brought Lakeland over $5.1 million.

Read more about Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 5th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission strikes 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, delays maiden resource

All assays are in but Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) highly anticipated resource for Patterson Lake South seems to have been put off. The milestone was originally scheduled for this month but in a December 1 statement president/COO Ross McElroy said, “We expect to be able to release preliminary results by early 2015.” Meanwhile the company announced last summer’s final 18 delineation holes, again flaunting the PLS trademark of high grades at shallow depths.

This batch comes entirely from R780E, by far the biggest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. R780E itself now extends about 164 metres at its widest point and 905 metres in strike, remaining open in all directions. The upcoming resource will focus on zones R780E and R00E.

Some of the best December 1 assays follow.

Hole PLS14-275

  • 0.2% U3O8 over 26 metres, starting at 137.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.26% over 2 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

A summer of round-the-clock drilling brought the
final assays prior to Patterson Lake South’s first resource.

  • 0.31% over 9 metres, starting at 171 metres
  • (including 1.96% over 1 metre)

PLS14-276

  • 13.84% over 10 metres, starting at 71.5 metres
  • (including 29.29% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-278

  • 0.48% over 13 metres, starting at 117.5 metres
  • (including 1.17% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-279

  • 0.83% over 30 metres, starting at 131 metres
  • (including 2.09% over 10.5 metres)

  • 1.24% over 6.5 metres, starting at 163.5 metres
  • (including 2.5% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-282

  • 0.4% over 14.5 metres, starting at 251.5 metres
  • (including 1.02% over 4 metres)

PLS14-283

  • 0.54% over 9 metres, starting at 177 metres
  • (including 3.84% over 1 metre)

  • 2.61% over 9 metres, starting at 257.5 metres
  • (including 8.61% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-285

  • 0.96% over 7.5 metres, starting at 287.5 metres
  • (including 2.56% over 2 metres)

  • 0.36% over 15 metres, starting at 299 metres

PLS14-286

  • 7.91% over 21.9 metres, starting at 61.1 metres
  • (including 17.3% over 9.5 metres)

  • 0.42% over 30.5 metres, starting at 86.5 metres

  • 1.49% over 4.5 metres, starting at 96 metres

PLS14-290

  • 3.72% over 64.5 metres, starting at 133.5 metres
  • (including 32.53% over 6.5 metres)

PLS14-293

  • 2.34% over 11 metres, starting at 198.5 metres
  • (including 11.74% over 2 metres)

PLS14-294

  • 0.8% over 10.5 metres, starting at 61 metres
  • (including 1.77% over 4 metres)

  • 0.27% over 21 metres, starting at 111 metres

PLS14-296

  • 0.7% over 33 metres, starting at 174 metres
  • (including 2.21% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 2.2% over 4 metres)

PLS14-297

  • 0.52% over 22.5 metres, starting at 184 metres
  • (including 1.39% over 3 metres)

  • 2.21% over 5.5 metres, starting at 210 metres
  • (including 6.76% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-298

  • 1.51% over 13.5 metres, starting at 246.5 metres
  • (including 2.38% over 5 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

Fission noted that scissor drilling brought “vastly improved strength of mineralization on section 735E.” Oriented opposite to the south-to-north holes, they “provide geometry control and confirmation on the mineralization.” One scissor hole hit the star assay for this batch, 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, in an area that had previously seen only moderate results, the company stated.

With assays for 22 exploration holes still pending and a winter program in the planning stages, speculation remains on whether the company will spend more time testing the property’s lesser-known areas.

Denison drills 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres at Wheeler River

The final batch of assays from Gryphon’s summer season at Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) Wheeler River property revealed the zone’s highest grade so far, 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres. Announced December 2, that hole was also the deepest, making down-plunge extensions a priority for the next round of drilling, scheduled to start next month.

As usual, the chemical assays generally show better grades than the previously reported U3O8-equivalents that came from a downhole gamma probe.

Some highlights include:

Hole WR-571

  • 8.8% U3O8 over 2.5 metres, starting at 757.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 1.9% over 1 metre, starting at 761.5 metres

WR-572

  • 2.5% over 1 metre, starting at 651.1 metres

  • 9.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 1.8% over 1 metre, starting at 714.5 metres

  • 2.1% over 1 metre, starting at 717.5 metres

WR-573D1

  • 22.2% over 2.5 metres, starting at 768 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 779 metres

WR-574

  • 5% over 2 metres, starting at 665 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 14.6% over 2 metres, starting at 696.5 metres

WR-581

  • 2.7% over 2 metres, starting at 626.5 metres

The company estimates true widths at about 75%.

Wheeler River’s summer program comprised 20 holes totalling 14,937 metres, all of it at or near the newly discovered Gryphon zone.

Meanwhile, as a result of metallurgical testwork from the project’s Phoenix deposit, “a high-purity yellowcake product was produced that met all ASTM C967-13 specifications,” Denison stated. The sample grade was 19.7% U3O8, close to the average for Phoenix, which hosts 70.2 million pounds indicated.

The company closed a $14.99-million private placement in August.

With a 60% interest in Wheeler River, Denison acts as project operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% of the 11,720-hectare southeastern Athabasca Basin property, leaving JCU (Canada) Exploration with the other 10%.

Lakeland Resources boosts portfolio, offers $1.88-million private placement

All acquired by staking, four new properties and five property expansions announced by Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK on November 19 increase the company’s portfolio by 40,218 hectares in and around the Basin.

The five expansions cover targets identified by historic data. Among the highlights is the 4,753-hectare addition to Lazy Edward Bay, which underwent extensive field work last summer. Now totalling 31,128 hectares, the project features eight exploration trends, many of them drill-ready. Other additions came to Lakeland’s Riou Lake, Hawkrock Rapids, Small Lake and Fedun Lake properties.

Of the new land, the 1,508-hectare Carter Lake property covers part of the Carter Lake Structural Corridor, parallel to the Patterson Structural Corridor hosting the discoveries of Fission and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE.

If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO of Lakeland Resources

Cable Bay, a 1,077-hectare property on the Basin’s southern rim, benefits from extensive geophysics showing a trend of graphitic meta-sedimentary rocks in the basement, below 10 metres or less of Athabasca sandstone.

The 6,479-hectare Highrock property on the Basin’s southeastern margin features a moderately strong conductor that has yet to see follow-up work.

Extending beyond the Basin’s eastern rim, the 8,889-hectare Wright River project underwent an airborne survey showing a radiometric anomaly in the property’s centre. Regional lake sediment samples have graded up to 61 ppm.

Early new year plans include a 1,500-metre program on Star/Gibbon’s Creek, two adjacent properties forming one project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Also drill-ready are Lazy Edward Bay and, east of Star/Gibbon’s, Newnham Lake. More funding is expected from a $1.88-million private placement announced December 4.

“There’s not that much ground left to be had in the Basin,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “Most of what we see as quality ground is not available. If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

NexGen plans 18,000 metres for Rook 1, updates other properties

Funded by an $11.5-million private placement that closed last month, NexGen plans a three-rig, 18,000-metre program to start in January. Work will focus on Rook 1’s Arrow zone and along strike to the northeast and southwest, but will also test some of the project’s regional targets, the company stated on December 3. An infill ground gravity survey will precede the drilling.

Now complete are airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys over Rook 1 as well as additional nearby land that has had little or no previous mention from NexGen, the “SW2 property portfolio which includes Bishop 1 and 2, Meanwell and R-7 claims.” Winter plans include a radon-in-water survey.

NexGen also updated what it calls its “SW3 project portfolio (Rook 2, Sandhill and Dufferin).” Rook 2 and Sandhill underwent airborne gravity surveys. Dufferin got airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys, as did the eastern Basin Madison and 2Z Lake properties.

Rook 1 covers all the southwestern Basin’s major uranium-bearing conductor corridors, according to the company. Still pending are assays from 16 summer holes on Arrow. In October the company claimed one of the Basin’s best-ever drill results.

UEC reports 77% increase in Burke Hollow’s inferred resources

Seven trends at Uranium Energy Corp’s (NYSE MKT:UEC) Burke Hollow project in Texas now have total inferred resources of 2.9 million tons averaging 0.09% for 5.12 million pounds U3O8. About 14,152 metres of drilling in 526 holes were used to calculate the 77% increase. UEC has three additional areas of the property under consideration for drilling.

Burke Hollow, potentially an in-situ recovery operation, has an application for a radioactive material licence and mine permit currently under review.

The 7,824-hectare project lies about 80 kilometres from the company’s Hobson processing plant, the centrepiece of UEC’s “hub and spoke” properties. The portfolio includes the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad ISR development project and nearly two dozen exploration projects, two in Paraguay and the rest in the western U.S. The company released a preliminary economic assessment for its Anderson uranium project in Arizona last September, as well as a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado last April.

On December 2 UEC stated it secured US$5.6 million of surety bonds to replace the same amount in reclamation deposits for future decommissioning. The bonds “require cash collateral of $1.7 million, allowing for the release of $3.9 million of previously restricted cash to the company.”

Last March the company received a two-year extension on a $20-million loan.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 23rd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission widens main zone, plans more step-outs, arranges $12.5-million bought deal

Although infill drilling has been the priority for Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) summer program, two step-outs have widened Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, inspiring a 10-hole addition to the campaign. Radiometric results for nine holes released August 18 include one that extended the zone about 30 metres north and another 15 metres south. All nine holes returned wide mineralization, the company stated.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

R780E is the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west.

These results, which are no substitute for assays, come from a handheld scintillometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second. Last month Fission replaced its old model, which maxed out at 9,999 cps, with a new-fangled gadget capable of measuring up to 65,535 cps. But the company still refers to anything above four nines to be “off-scale.”

By that standard several intervals were well off-scale, with a few reaching past 60,000 cps.

Another innovation introduced last month is barge-based angled drilling, allowing a better understanding of the geometry of mineralization beneath the lake. Encouraged by the widening of R780E, Fission plans another 10 step-outs. That adds 4,700 metres to a summer agenda now expected to total 25,000 metres in 73 holes.

There seems to be little worry about paying for all that. On August 18 Fission announced a $12.52-million bought deal that’s expected to close around September 23. Roughly three months later comes the maiden resource’s due date.

Winter assays reported August 13 further boosted confidence in R780E, while a summer exploration hole released two days earlier showed interesting radiometric results 17 kilometres away. Read more.

NexGen steps out to widen Rook 1’s Arrow zone

If any company can compete with Fission’s top spot as the Athabasca Basin’s number one newsmaker, it might be next-door neighbour NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Four “aggressive” step-out holes have extended the company’s Rook 1 Arrow zone from 180 metres to 215 metres in width for a zone that’s 515 metres in strike and open in all directions. The northwest-southeast fence of drilling announced August 20 has also revealed “multiple sub-vertical stacked mineralized shear zones” increasing the company’s hopes of finding additional high-grade areas.

One of the five holes failed to find significant mineralization.

Like Fission’s August 18 news, the results come from scintillometer readings that don’t substitute for assays, which are pending.

So far 25 of 27 Arrow holes totalling 15,318 metres have shown mineralization. Another three holes at Area A, however, failed to find anomalous radioactivity. They tested an electromagnetic conductor that NexGen interprets to be PL-3B, which hosts the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources updates three projects, appoints uranium veteran to board

As a busy summer progresses, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK reported a new addition to its board and further work on one of the largest portfolios in and around the Basin. On August 20 the company announced the appointment of director Steven Khan, a veteran of Canadian investment and corporate governance with specific experience in raising funds and forging joint ventures for uranium companies. The next day Lakeland released a progress update for three of its projects.

The projects are Star, Lazy Edward Bay and Fond du Lac on the northern, southern and eastern margins of the Basin respectively. “That’s the shallowest depth—the depth to the unconformity becomes more shallow as you get closer to the Basin’s margin,” explains president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “At Gibbon’s Creek our target depths are between about 80 and 120 metres below surface. We hope the others will fall into that kind of range so we’ll be drilling 150- to 200-metre holes.”

At the Star property, crews from Dahrouge Geological Consulting have just wrapped up six days of sampling and mapping. They picked up some 73 rock samples and 124 soil samples around a basement outcrop that’s shown anomalous concentrations of gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as highly anomalous uranium. The combination suggests a strong hydrothermal system.

“Those are typical pathfinders for uranium in the Basin,” says Armes. “At Patterson Lake South they had gold grades running two or three grams. So with the first pass on our exploration program in late 2013 we had gold grades of four or five grams.”

Lakeland holds a 100% earn-in option on Star, which has year-round road access from the town of Stony Rapids a few kilometres away.

Now that permits have arrived, mobilization to Lazy Edward Bay should begin ASAP, he adds. Under initial scrutiny will be the BAY trend, actually two parallel conductive trends, which will undergo a RadonEx survey. Field crews will also search out boulders or other signs of unconformity-style mineralization.

“We have Lazy Edward drill targets already but a lot of them were defined by yesterday’s technology,” Armes explains. “We’ll use RadonEx and other work to re-interpret the historic data to better define targets.” In all, the property has six known trends.

Lakeland adviser Rick Kusmirski knows the property from his time as president/CEO of JNR Resources. “He dug up some historic data which is very helpful to identify areas to focus on. There’s some historic areas we want to re-visit.”

Also in line for RadonEx is Fond du Lac, initially targeting a coincident geochemical and conductive target. Geologist and Lakeland director Neil McCallum thinks historic work “missed it by a couple of hundred metres,” Armes says.

But while the summer activity continues, he also looks further ahead “from a treasury standpoint as well as our projects. We’re convinced that 2015 is going to see a significant move in uranium prices. If we ever re-visit 2006 and 2007 levels, when there were 50, 60, 70 juniors active, we hope to be ready and get as many drill programs going as possible through the joint venture and prospect generator model, along with any programs we focus on 100% ourselves.”

[Khan’s JV work with Sumitomo and Kepco] was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.—Steven Khan, director
of Lakeland Resources

Just one day before the exploration update, Lakeland announced Steven Khan’s appointment as director. His background includes key positions with uranium companies Energy Fuels TSX:EFR, Strathmore Minerals and Fission Uranium’s predecessor, Fission Energy. He helped found the latter company, holding the role of executive VP. Khan served as president/chairperson of Strathmore Minerals until last year’s takeover by Energy Fuels, where he stayed on as a director until recently.

Khan played an instrumental part in the negotiating team that brought Japan’s Sumitomo Corp into a JV on Strathmore’s Roca Honda project in New Mexico. He also helped bring the Korea Electric Power Corp into two other JVs, with Strathmore on the Gas Hills project in Wyoming and with Fission, leading to the Waterbury Lake discovery.

Khan has nearly 20 years of experience in all aspects of the Canadian investment industry, including fundraising for early-stage private and public companies.

A confluence of factors convinced him to join Lakeland, he says. “I’ve had a long-term relationship with some of the company’s principals and I’ve always been interested in returning to the Athabasca Basin arena after I left Fission Energy in 2010. Strathmore was more focused on the U.S., where I spent the last number of years. That combination of moving back to the Basin, working with a group of people I respect and seeing a number of properties that have potential presented an opportunity for me.”

He says his work with Sumitomo and Kepco “was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.”

Khan thinks Asian companies might revive their previous interest in early-stage explorers. “Before Fukushima they were attracted to earlier-stage projects like Fission had at the time, as well as more advanced projects like those of Strathmore in the U.S. When uranium prices come back I think they’ll be forced to return to earlier-stage projects because most of the advanced projects will have been tied up.”

As for uranium’s current price, “its resurgence has been muted and is taking longer than expected. But I think that in the medium to longer term, demand will certainly outstrip supply.”

“I’m quite excited about getting involved with the Lakeland team and I think the opportunity for the sector is attractive,” Khan emphasizes. “I think there’s going to be more Athabasca Basin discoveries and that bodes well for companies like Lakeland that are properly positioned and properly financed. So for me the timing is good and the interplay of several factors is favourable.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Next Page 1 | 2

Lakeland Resources adds expertise, advances Athabasca Basin uranium exploration

August 21st, 2014

by Greg Klein | August 21, 2014

As a busy summer progresses, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK reported a new addition to its board and further work on one of the largest portfolios in and around Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. On August 20 the company announced the appointment of director Steven Khan, a veteran of Canadian investment and corporate governance with specific experience in raising funds and forging joint ventures for uranium companies. The next day Lakeland released a progress update for three of its projects.

The projects are Star, Lazy Edward Bay and Fond du Lac on the northern, southern and eastern margins of the Basin respectively. “That’s the shallowest depth—the depth to the unconformity becomes more shallow as you get closer to the Basin’s margin,” explains president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “At Gibbon’s Creek our target depths are between about 80 and 120 metres below surface. We hope the others will fall into that kind of range so we’ll be drilling 150- to 200-metre holes.”

Lakeland Resources adds expertise, advances Athabasca Basin uranium exploration

A scene from a scintillometer survey conducted last fall.

At the Star property, crews from Dahrouge Geological Consulting have just wrapped up six days of sampling and mapping. They picked up some 73 rock samples and 124 soil samples around a basement outcrop that’s shown anomalous concentrations of gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as highly anomalous uranium. The combination suggests a strong hydrothermal system.

“Those are typical pathfinders for uranium in the Basin,” says Armes. “At [Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU] Patterson Lake South they had gold grades running two or three grams. So with the first pass on our exploration program in late 2013 we had gold grades of four or five grams.”

Lakeland holds a 100% earn-in option on Star, which has year-round road access from the town of Stony Rapids a few kilometres away.

Now that permits have arrived, mobilization to Lazy Edward Bay should begin ASAP, he adds. Under initial scrutiny will be the BAY trend, actually two parallel conductive trends, which will undergo a RadonEx survey. Field crews will also search out boulders or other signs of unconformity-style mineralization.

“We have Lazy Edward drill targets already but a lot of them were defined by yesterday’s technology,” Armes explains. “We’ll use RadonEx and other work to re-interpret the historic data to better define targets.” In all, the property has six known trends.

Lakeland adviser Rick Kusmirski knows the property from his time as president/CEO of JNR Resources. “He dug up some historic data which is very helpful to identify areas to focus on. There’s some historic areas we want to re-visit.”

Also in line for RadonEx is Fond du Lac, initially targeting a coincident geochemical and conductive target. Geologist and Lakeland director Neil McCallum thinks historic work “missed it by a couple of hundred metres,” Armes says.

But while the summer activity continues, he also looks further ahead “from a treasury standpoint as well as our projects. We’re convinced that 2015 is going to see a significant move in uranium prices. If we ever re-visit 2006 and 2007 levels, when there were 50, 60, 70 juniors active, we hope to be ready and get as many drill programs going as possible through the joint venture and prospect generator model, along with any programs we focus on 100% ourselves.”

Lakeland Resources adds expertise, advances Athabasca Basin uranium exploration

Lakeland director Steven Khan

Just one day before the exploration update, Lakeland announced Steven Khan’s appointment as director. His background includes key positions with uranium companies Energy Fuels TSX:EFR, Strathmore Minerals and Fission Uranium’s predecessor, Fission Energy. He helped found the latter company, holding the role of executive VP. Khan served as president/chairperson of Strathmore Minerals until last year’s takeover by Energy Fuels, where he stayed on as a director until recently.

Khan played an instrumental part in the negotiating team that brought Japan’s Sumitomo Corp into a JV on Strathmore’s Roca Honda project in New Mexico. He also helped bring the Korea Electric Power Corp into two other JVs, with Strathmore on the Gas Hills project in Wyoming and with Fission, leading to the Waterbury Lake discovery.

Khan has nearly 20 years of experience in all aspects of the Canadian investment industry, including fundraising for early-stage private and public companies.

A confluence of factors convinced him to join Lakeland, he says. “I’ve had a long-term relationship with some of the company’s principals and I’ve always been interested in returning to the Athabasca Basin arena after I left Fission Energy in 2010. Strathmore was more focused on the U.S., where I spent the last number of years. That combination of moving back to the Basin, working with a group of people I respect and seeing a number of properties that have potential presented an opportunity for me.”

He says his work with Sumitomo and Kepco “was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.”

Khan thinks Asian companies might revive their previous interest in early-stage explorers. “Before Fukushima they were attracted to earlier-stage projects like Fission had at the time, as well as more advanced projects like those of Strathmore in the U.S. When uranium prices come back I think they’ll be forced to return to earlier-stage projects because most of the advanced projects will have been tied up.”

As for uranium’s current price, “its resurgence has been muted and is taking longer than expected. But I think that in the medium to longer term, demand will certainly outstrip supply.”

“I’m quite excited about getting involved with the Lakeland team and I think the opportunity for the sector is attractive,” Khan emphasizes. “I think there’s going to be more Athabasca Basin discoveries and that bodes well for companies like Lakeland that are properly positioned and properly financed. So for me the timing is good and the interplay of several factors is favourable.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Disclaimer: Lakeland Resources Inc is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Lakeland Resources.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 3rd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 26 to May 2, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Wheeler River JV gives up 36.8% U3O8 over 6.5 metres, Denison plans June resource

Denison Mines TSX:DML diverted attention from activity in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwest on April 30 with huge grades from the east. Assays from seven of 11 winter holes at Zone A of the Phoenix deposit were reported along with previously released uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) results from a downhole probe for the same holes. In most cases the actual U3O8 graded higher than the eU3O8, sometimes with wider intervals.

Here are the best assays, with the previous eU3O8 results in brackets:

Hole WR-538

  • 2.92% U3O8 over 5 metres, starting at 393 metres in vertical depth
  • (2.14% eU3O8 over 5.1 metres)

Hole WR-539

  • 13.12% U3O8 over 5 metres, starting at 400 metres
  • (11.63% eU3O8 over 3.5 metres)

Hole WR-545

  • 24.47% U3O8 over 3.5 metres, starting at 401.7 metres
  • (16.98% eU3O8 over 3.1 metres)

Hole WR-548

  • 36.83% U3O8 over 6.5 metres, starting at 406.8 metres
  • (29.61% eU3O8 over 6.5 metres)

Hole WR-550

  • 29.32% U3O8 over 4 metres, starting at 406.2 metres
  • (18.37% eU3O8 over 4.7 metres)

Hole WR-555

  • 15.99% U3O8 over 3 metres, starting at 404.5 metres
  • (12.92% eU3O8 over 2.7 metres)

With vertical holes and approximately horizontal mineralization, the intercepts are close to true widths, Denison stated. One of the 11 holes wasn’t assayed while three others, with core recovery below 80%, were reported with eU3O8 only.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 26 to May 2, 2014

Still to come are assays for 16 holes from other parts of Wheeler including the newly discovered Gryphon zone, three kilometres northwest of the Phoenix deposit.

A Phoenix resource estimate is scheduled for June. Operator Denison holds a 60% interest in the project, along with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (30%) and JCU (Canada) Exploration (10%). The 11,720-hectare property lies 35 kilometres from the Key Lake mill.

Denison also acted as operator on 10 of its 12 winter programs in the eastern Basin, which included eight drill campaigns. “Highlights included intersections of weak uranium mineralization at the Oban target area at Waterbury Lake, intersections of weak uranium mineralization and strong base metal mineralization at Hatchet Lake, and intersections of weak uranium mineralization at Bell Lake,” the company added.

In mid-April Denison announced a definitive agreement to acquire International Enexco TSXV:IEC on the same terms reported in a March letter of intent.

Patterson Lake South exploration drilling disappoints but Fission finds high radon readings

Having announced the completion of winter delineation drilling the previous week, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU followed up on April 28 with an exploration update for Patterson Lake South. Ten holes failed to find significant radioactivity. But some radon-in-water anomalies were “on the scale of intensity as the anomalies associated with the PL-3B conductor” found last year, which the company called “a contributing factor in the success of drill collar step-outs as large as 465 metres.”

Mineralization has so far been revealed on two basement electromagnetic conductors, PL-3B and PL-3C. Last winter’s 12 exploration holes included two on PL-3C, which expanded the strike with the new R1620E zone. The most recent 10 holes, on conductors PL-1B and PL-2C, “provided encouraging data for use in upcoming drill programs,” the company stated.

PLS now consists of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west. Still pending are assays for approximately 70 holes. Spring plans for the 31,039-hectare project have yet to be announced—as is the case for a maiden resource target date.

The company also reported the exercise of 17.97 million warrants on April 28 from a private placement that raised $28.75 million earlier that month.

Declan adds properties, releases VTEM, offers $2-million placement

Among news announced April 30 by Declan Resources TSXV:LAN are property acquisitions in Saskatchewan and Wyoming, preliminary VTEM results from Alberta and a $2-million offering.

The 10-claim Copper Mountain property in Wyoming covers most of the historic North Canning deposit which holds a non-43-101 resource averaging 0.05% uranium for approximately 6.5 million pounds U3O8, according to a reference book. The vendors get two million shares and a 2% gross overriding royalty. The Athabasca property costs Declan nine million shares. Its location wasn’t divulged.

From the Basin’s Alberta side, the company said early VTEM findings for its newly acquired Maybelle North and Richardson River properties indicate four EM trends linked to regional magnetic linears. Declan hopes further analysis will help find graphitic conductors within meta-sedimentary rocks associated with the Basin’s unconformity-style deposits.

The company also offered a private placement up to $2 million and cancelled 2.4 million options.

In March Declan announced plans for the northern Basin’s Gibbon’s Creek project, in which the company holds a $1.25-million first-year exploration commitment under a joint venture with Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK.

NexGen completes ground gravity at Rook 1’s Arrow zone, plans May drilling

Discovered last February, the Arrow zone continues to command NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) attention at its PLS-neighbouring Rook 1 project. A tightly spaced ground gravity survey extended a potential alteration system adjacent to recent drilling and along strike, the company stated April 29. The results will help NexGen choose drill targets for a three-rig program of over 13,000 metres to begin in mid-May.

So far seven of eight holes at Arrow hit mineralization, according to radiometric results from a hand-held spectrometer. Assays are still to come.

The previous week NexGen announced a property acquisition from Long Harbour Exploration TSXV:LHC.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 7th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 31 to September 6, 2013

by Greg Klein

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PLS to come under Fission control as Alpha agrees to sweetened takeover offer

The Patterson Lake South partners have come to terms. Joint September 3 news releases from Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU announced a letter of intent to combine the 50/50 joint venture under Fission’s control. The acquisition would cost 5.725 Fission shares for each Alpha share while each company would spin out its non-PLS assets into a new entity. Alpha gets no place on Fission’s management team but would nominate two directors to Fission’s five-person board.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 31 to September 6, 2013

With three barges supporting drill rigs,
the Alpha/Fission flotilla patrols Patterson Lake South.

The deal sweetens Fission’s previous offer of 5.3 shares announced August 26 and represents a 14.5% premium to the shares’ August 23 close and 11% to their August 30 close.

Shareholders of each company will get shares in their respective spincos, which will hold all non-cash and non-PLS assets. Each spinco will get $3 million in start-up cash.

Alpha’s other projects include three Athabasca Basin uranium projects and two gold properties in Ontario and British Columbia. Fission holds interests in six other Basin properties and one in Peru.

Pending all shareholder and regulatory approvals, the companies hope to consummate by November.

Fission/Alpha report best PLS hole so far

With the ink barely dry on their LOI, Alpha and Fission released more drill results on September 4—real assays this time, instead of teasing the market with scintillometer readings. And this time, according to Fission president/COO Ross McElroy, a single hole provided “not only the best results to date on the PLS property, but on a level with the best holes within the Athabasca Basin district.”

Sunk on the western part of R390E, the second of four zones extending from southwest to northeast, hole PLS13-075 showed a highlight of:

  • 9.08% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 54.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 21.76% over 21.5 metres)

Additional results from the same hole showed:

  • 0.09% over 0.5 metres, starting at 57.5 metres

  • 0.07% over 7.5 metres, starting at 118 metres

  • 0.24% over 11.5 metres, starting at 130 metres

  • 0.65% over 2 metres, starting at 146.5 metres

  • 0.71% over 1.5 metres, starting at 151 metres

  • 0.06% over 0.5 metres, starting at 157 metres

  • 0.27% over 2.5 metres, starting at 160 metres

  • 0.27% over 1 metre, starting at 176.5 metres

True widths were unavailable. The vertical hole reached a total depth of 248 metres and was collared 30 metres grid west of PLS13-061, which last June showed 1.39% U3O8 over 23.5 metres starting at 110 metres, and included 4.34% over 6 metres.

The $6.95-million campaign will include additional drilling on the R390E zone, which has the largest of the lake water radon anomalies found last winter.

First tranche brings Lakeland Resources $738,000

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK closed the first tranche of its private placement, issuing 5.7 million units at $0.10 and 1.35 million flow-through units at $0.125 for gross proceeds of $738,770, the company announced on September 3. The money goes to Athabasca Basin uranium exploration and general working capital.

Lakeland holds nine Basin properties and currently focuses on the Riou Lake project’s Gibbon’s Creek area, which has at least 23 historic holes. The project shows shallow depths to basement rock and also has radioactive boulders grading up to 11.3% uranium. Situated on high ground, the property can be drilled year-round.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Energy Fuels completes Strathmore takeover

Its acquisition of Strathmore Minerals TSX:STM now complete, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR has taken “an important step toward achieving our goal of becoming the dominant uranium producer within the U.S.,” according to joint statements issued September 3. Energy Fuels currently holds No. 2 position, with guidance of about 1.15 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) for fiscal 2013. The company added that the United States “is the world’s largest nuclear power market and heavily dependent on imported uranium for over 90% of its supply requirements.” Read more about the acquisition here and here.

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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.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 25th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 18 to 24, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission plan $6.95-million campaign for Patterson Lake South

A review of uranium activity from Saskatchewan and beyond

With three rigs, three barges and $6.95 million, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have a busy summer planned for Patterson Lake South. The 44-hole, 11,000-metre campaign announced May 21 will focus on delineating and expanding three zones of high-grade, near-surface uranium mineralization. Additional targets southwest and northeast of the 850-metre trend come courtesy of a radon survey. Ground geophysics will follow up on two “highly prospective” areas spotted by an airborne survey over the property’s southwest and southeast areas. The agenda also includes environmental baseline studies and sampling for metallurgical tests.

The 50/50 joint venture partners patted each other on the back for finding mineralization in 82% of their targets during a winter campaign that attracted widespread attention in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Their discoveries sit 3.8 kilometres to 4.6 kilometres from one of the Basin’s largest known high-grade boulder fields.

Companies collaborate on PLS-region flyover

Six companies are pooling their money to fund a joint airborne geophysical survey in the PLS area. A May 24 announcement from Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK said Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Aldrin Resources TSXV:ALN, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN will join Yellowjacket on the study that begins May 26.

Yellowjacket will focus a 2,000-line-kilometre VTEM-Plus time domain system and 2,000-line-kilometre radiometric survey on parts of its 83,600-hectare Preston Lake project 26 kilometres southeast of the PLS discovery area. VTEM-Plus will search for basement conductors similar to the structures hosting the PLS discoveries while radiometrics will hunt down uranium boulder trains and in-situ mineralization. Although reports will come in daily, full results along with interpretation are scheduled for late July.

Historic Preston Lake work found anomalous uranium in lake sediment, as well as graphitic faults associated with sulphides and anomalous radioactivity. Rock samples of up to 5.4 parts per million uranium might indicate “either the down-ice glacial transport of uranium boulders from source or an in-situ source of uranium,” Yellowjacket stated.

The company’s Preston Lake and Patterson East properties total over 158,200 hectares, making Yellowjacket the PLS area’s largest claim holder. YJK also holds six other Basin properties. On the agenda for its May 29 AGM is a proposed name change to Athabasca Nuclear Corp. (Update: On June 6, 2013, Yellowjacket Resources began trading as Athabasca Nuclear Corp TSXV:ASC.)

We have a plan in place to attack this as a team. With the three companies combined we have a number of highly qualified geologists who have collectively been up in this part of Canada for a long time, so we have many, many years of exploration expertise behind us.—Jordan Trimble, Skyharbour Resources manager of corporate development and communications

Survey participant Skyharbour benefits from the money and expertise of two additional companies, SYH manager of corporate development and communications Jordan Trimble points out. The earn-ins announced last week allow Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each a 25% interest in Skyharbour’s portfolio of seven Basin properties, six in the PLS region. In return Lucky Strike and Noka each pay Skyharbour $100,000 and fund $500,000 of exploration a year for two years.

“In this market especially, the financial capital they’re providing is hugely beneficial,” Trimble says. “We have a plan in place to attack this as a team. With the three companies combined we have a number of highly qualified geologists who have collectively been up in this part of Canada for a long time, so we have many, many years of exploration expertise behind us. This is just the start of the program. There’ll be lots more news to come.”

UEX offers $3.175-million private placement

Already holding about $10.6 million in cash, UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced on May 24 a private placement of 6.35 million flow-through shares at $0.50 for proceeds of $3.175 million. An additional 1.85 million flow-through shares may be issued under the same terms should Cameco Corp TSX:CCO exercise its right to maintain an approximately 22.58% interest in UEX. The company hopes to close the placement by June.

UEX holds 17 Basin projects totalling 264,363 hectares including its 49.9% interest in Shea Creek, the Basin’s third-largest uranium resource. The UEX portfolio includes nine other JVs with AREVA and one with both AREVA and Japan-Canada Uranium (JCU). UEX holds a 100% interest in the other six.

NexGen hires ex-Hathor/Rio geos, plans Radio drill campaign

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE snagged more expertise with two new hires announced May 22. Senior geologist James Sykes moved from Denison Mines TSX:DML to Hathor Exploration and from Hathor to Rio Tinto when the latter bought Hathor and its Roughrider deposit in 2011 for $654 million. Sykes is credited with building the 3D geological model of the Roughrider system that led to the discovery of the Roughrider East and Far East deposits.

Exploration geologist Matthew Schwab has a similar background. A member of the Hathor team that explored Roughrider and defined its mineralized zones, he also comes to NexGen via Rio.

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