A mining and exploration retrospect for November 24 to 30, 2012
by Greg Klein
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Amalgamation, acquisitions bring big news to Canada’s uranium play
Friday’s announcement from Clermont Capital Inc TSXV:XYZ.P and NexGen Energy Ltd shows companies joining forces to combine money, projects and expertise in uranium exploration. Clermont announced a letter of intent to acquire NexGen in a three-cornered amalgamation in which a Clermont subsidiary amalgamates with NexGen to create a new Clermont subsidiary. The capital pool company intends the acquisition as a qualifying transaction to become a TSXV Tier-2 issuer.
So there’s good money and a good technical team coming behind the deal. And it’s happening when the market’s clearly hungry for a discovery. It sure looks like Fission and Alpha have something to be excited about. We hope that we can be part of that ride as well.—Clermont Capital president/CEO/director Arlen Hansen on a planned amalgamation with NexGen Energy and properties acquisition
Currently NexGen’s key asset is the Radio uranium project in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. NexGen holds an option to acquire an initial 70%, then the remaining 30% subject to a 2% NSR. Exploration has identified drill targets that are interpreted to be on the same structural trend as Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposits and Fission Energy’s TSXV:FIS J-Zone. Roughrider holds resources of 17.2 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 40.7 million pounds inferred, while the J-Zone holds 7.37 million pounds indicated and 1.51 million pounds inferred. NexGen plans drilling in Q1 2013.
NexGen’s wholly-owned Rook 1 property sits directly northeast of the near-surface Patterson Lake South uranium project, a JV of Fission and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW.
On November 15 NexGen announced a definitive agreement to purchase the majority of Mega Uranium’s TSX:MGA Canadian projects in the Athabasca Basin and Nunavut’s Thelon Basin. As a result, Mega is anticipated to acquire up to a 38% interest in NexGen.
Among the conditions for the Clermont-NexGen acquisition, NexGen would close a private placement of at least $6.6 million. Prior to closing the acquisition, Clermont would consolidate its shares on a 2.35-for-one basis. On closing, NexGen shareholders would receive one post-consolidation Clermont share for each NexGen share.
Speaking to ResourceClips Friday afternoon, Clermont president/CEO/director Arlen Hansen said, “It’s a very large land package and uranium exploration takes a lot of time and money, so we’re getting the NexGen operational team, which includes some ex-Rio Tinto guys and Leigh Curyer, who raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Southern Cross before it was taken out in the uranium sector as well.
“So there’s good money and a good technical team coming behind the deal. And it’s happening when the market’s clearly hungry for a discovery. It sure looks like Fission and Alpha have something to be excited about. We hope that we can be part of that ride as well.”
U3082014 apologizes. Now VMS goes after axeman#, tamerackerdown and nttg2005
VMS Ventures TSXV:VMS greeted Friday by announcing progress in its battle against anonymous posters on the Stockhouse bullboard. Following what the company alleges to have been “false and malicious posts” between November 2, 2010 and May 10, 2012, VMS has now received court orders requiring internet service providers to identify three more commentators. The company had already obtained court orders requiring Stockhouse to divulge their internet protocol addresses. VMS said it “intends to pursue all legal options available against these posters in order to protect its reputation.”
The company also announced a settlement with a poster identified as U3082014 regarding statements uploaded between April 15, 2011 and August 27, 2012. Details are confidential, apart from the apology U3082014 submitted to VMS’ lawyers in September and posted on Wednesday.
Richmont closes Francoeur Mine, suspends Wasamac exploration
Francoeur had been struggling but, just the same, the news seemed sudden. Richmont Mines TSX:RIC announced Thursday the immediate shutdown of its 20-year-old gold mine in Quebec’s Rouyn-Noranda region. President/CEO Paul Carmel blamed the decision on high costs due to “low realized grades, difficult mining conditions and a tight labour pool for the experienced miners required for the challenging mining conditions at Francoeur.” As recently as November 8, however, Carmel sounded fairly optimistic as he spoke of “ramping up the Francoeur Mine to full production levels.”
The company’s pre-tax write-off will range between $11 million and $13 million. Immediate layoffs hit 115 workers, while another 35 will stay on for four months of decommissioning. Richmont is holding to its 2012 guidance of 65,000 ounces but 2013 is estimated between 65,000 and 70,000 ounces, down from a previous projection of 85,000 to 95,000 ounces. The company also operates the Beaufor Mine near Val d’Or, Quebec and the Island Gold Mine in northern Ontario.
Exploration at Richmont’s Wasamac gold project near Rouyn-Noranda has been suspended until next year.
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