Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 22 to 28, 2014
by Greg Klein
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Radiometric results divert NexGen’s focus to new area of Rook 1
Following up on last week’s market-moving news, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported more radiometric readings from the first hole on the Arrow area of its Rook 1 project. Obviously inspired by the results, the company has moved its other rig to Arrow “until additional rigs can be sought to drill the other 11 western-located Rook 1 target areas,” according to the February 24 statement.
Once again NexGen has found dozens of “significant”—if tiny—intervals of uranium mineralization from hole RK-14-21. By “significant,” NexGen means at least 0.05 metres reading over 500 counts per second, a measure of gamma radiation from drill core by a hand-held scintillometer. The significant readings started at 207.8 metres in downhole depth and ended at 583.55 metres. Drilling stopped at 663 metres. Two intervals maxed out the scintillometer at 10,000 cps.
The readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. But an additional spectrometer scan “confirmed that all radiometric activity is due to uranium, with minimal or no thorium input.” Further encouragement came from three intercepts showing visible pitchblende.
Now in progress are two more holes, one collared from the same location but at a more shallow angle and another 30 metres northeast along strike. Now under revision is the company’s original 6,000-metre plan for the Patterson Lake South-adjacent project. Arrow has become the target.
On February 26 NexGen reported it closed a previously announced two-year extension to its 70% earn-in on the northeastern Athabasca Basin Radio project. Assays have yet to be released from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre program, which wrapped up last July.
Denison reports Wheeler River drill results, updates other projects
A downhole radiometric probe found high-grade uranium oxide-equivalent results for a new batch of holes at Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) flagship Wheeler River project. The company holds a 60% interest and acts as operator in the southeastern Basin joint venture, with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holding 30% and JCU (Canada) Exploration 10%. Collars for eight holes released February 26 were spaced over roughly 240 metres of the closely drilled zone A of the Phoenix deposit. The best intercepts show:
- 29.61% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 6.5 metres, starting at 407.9 metres in vertical depth
- 18.37% over 4.7 metres, starting at 407.3 metres
- 16.98% over 3.1 metres, starting at 403.3 metres
- 11.63% over 3.5 metres, starting at 401.6 metres
- 2.14% over 5.1 metres, starting at 392.4 metres
- 0.87% over 3.3 metres, starting at 403.8 metres
- 1.36% over 1.4 metres, starting at 408.2 metres
- 0.11% over 2.1 metres, starting at 426.4 metres
With vertical drilling and “roughly” horizontal mineralization, the company considers intercept widths equal to true widths. Assays will presumably follow these radiometric readings, which are no substitute for lab work.
So far 13 of 28 winter holes have been finished at zone A and an exploration target called the K zone. The latter showed no significant mineralization but Denison declared itself encouraged by “sandstone and basement alteration in three of seven wide-spaced drill holes, which will likely warrant follow-up drilling.” This winter rigs will also target Wheeler’s 489 zone, Phoenix North, K North and two DC resistivity-low anomalies, the company added. The project lies about 35 kilometres from the Key Lake mill.
Ten holes at Moore Lake followed Hatchet’s example. Electromagnetic and DC resistivity surveys are slated for winter. Denison currently has drills turning at its Park Creek, Bell Lake and Waterbury Lake projects in campaigns scheduled for March completion.
Kivalliq announces ore-sorting and metallurgical progress at Angilak in Nunavut
Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV says metallurgical and ore-sorting tests from the Lac 50 deposit of its Angilak property provide encouraging news for the Nunavut project’s economics. Announced February 27, tests showed better than 95% uranium recovery in a 48-hour leach cycle, the ability to recycle all the primary alkaline leach reagents and production of 70% yellowcake meeting industry standards for uranium concentrate. The presence of boron and magnesium was “marginally higher than penalty levels but significantly below reject levels,” the company stated. Optimization tests continue.
Dilution could be reduced through radiometric ore sorting prior to milling. Tests showed a cumulative uranium recovery of 96.7% out of 49.2% of the extracted rock. In other words, 50.8% of the rock was rejected with loss of only 3.3% of uranium. The tests also showed 94.1% recovery from just 15.9% of the rock, when 84.1% of rock was rejected with a loss of only 5.9% of uranium.
“The testing reflects the high-grade uranium characteristics at Lac 50 where the majority of uranium mineralization occurs as disseminations and veins of massive pitchblende within the carbonate and hematite alteration zone” comprising the inferred resource, the company stated.
The resource boasts Canada’s highest grade outside the Athabasca Basin. Released in January 2013, the inferred category uses a 0.2% cutoff to show 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% for 43.3 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8). The inferred resource also shows 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper. Kivalliq operates the 137,699-hectare project, 225 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Forum starts 3,000 metres at Clearwater
Adjacently southwest of PLS, drilling has begun at Forum Uranium’s (TSXV:FDC) 9,910-hectare Clearwater project. According to its February 26 statement, the company plans about 3,000 metres in 12 to 15 shallow holes between 100 and 200 metres in depth. Around 11 targets were chosen by previous surveys including ground gravity, airborne EM and radon work.
Initial drilling will focus on the project’s northern claim. Forum stated the central and southern claims require further ground gravity, ground EM and radon surveys to define targets.
Lakeland Resources offers $2 million private placement for Basin exploration
Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced a private placement up to $2 million on February 24. The offer consists of three million flow-through units at $0.25 and 5.92 million non-flow-through units at $0.21. Each flow-through unit consists of one flow-through share and one-half non-flow-through warrant. Each warrant is exercisable for 12 months at $0.30. Non-flow-through units consist of one share and one warrant, also exercisable at $0.30 for a year.
Proceeds go to Athabasca Basin exploration, corporate development and general and administrative purposes.
In January Lakeland announced its 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek project showed high-grade boulders up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the highest radon readings ever measured in the Basin. As part of a 70% four-year earn-in, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has committed $1.25 million to exploration this year.
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