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Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘potassium’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 31st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 24 to 30, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium drills 38 metres of 4.44% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Still no word on a resource estimate, but Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released assays for 10 more infill holes from Patterson Lake South on May 29. The latest batch brings the total reported holes from last winter to 40, with 52 more to come. Nine of the most recent came from R780E, the middle and the largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-153

  • 0.34% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 21.5 metres, starting at 166.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.47% over 2 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 24 to 30, 2014

  • 0.78% over 5.5 metres, starting at 203 metres
  • (including 3.76% over 1 metre)

  • 0.64% over 10.5 metres, starting at 215 metres
  • (including 4.16% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-156

  • 4.68% over 19 metres, starting at 103.5 metres
  • (including 12.32% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.69% over 4.5 metres, starting at 202 metres
  • (including 10.67% over 1.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-160

  • 4.44% over 38 metres, starting at 69 metres
  • (including 14.74% over 10 metres)

  • 1.05% over 9.5 metres, starting at 187 metres
  • (including 3.44% over 2.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-167

  • 1.16% over 18.5 metres, starting at 120 metres
  • (including 3.1% over 6.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-171

  • 1.05% over 18.5 metres, starting at 75 metres
  • (including 4.42% over 2.5 metres)

  • 2.96% over 48 metres, starting at 105 metres
  • (including 8.67% over 11.5 metres)

Fission Uranium also released one assay from R00E, the second zone from the west and location of the project’s first hit.

Hole PLS14-163

  • 0.14% over 5 metres, starting at 128.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Back to the R780E assays, Fission Uranium stated they show “the exceptional strength of uranium mineralization in the middle region over a substantial strike length” of the zone.

Aldrin finds radioactivity at Triple M’s Anticline area

The first hole sunk on the Anticline target at Aldrin Resource’s (TSXV:ALN) Triple M property went radioactive, the company announced May 29. A downhole probe found nine intervals totalling 14.6 metres (not true widths) showing “significant” radiation above 300 counts per second for intercepts above 0.3 metres. The nine intervals occurred at downhole depths between 176.6 and 246.2 metres.

Radiation measurements are no substitute for assays. The company noted that radiation could come from potassium or thorium, but radiometric readings have shown some correlation with uranium at the adjacent PLS project.

Aldrin has also drilled seven holes so far on the project’s Forrest Lake fault, reporting preliminary results for the first four in April. The 12,000-hectare Triple M property consists of two blocks west and south of PLS.

Ur-Energy reports Shirley Basin eU3O8, prepares 43-101

Radiometric results announced May 28 follow completion of a 14-hole confirmation drill program at Ur-Energy’s (TSX:URE) Shirley Basin project in Wyoming. Providing the results not as counts per second but as uranium oxide-equivalent, the company found 13 intercepts above 0.02% eU3O8 for intercepts ranging between 1.83 metres and 5.79 metres thick (not true widths). The intercepts started at downhole depths ranging from 68 to 161 metres.

Historically, the Shirley Basin district has hosted low-grade deposits suited to in-situ recovery operations. But this campaign found higher-grade results too, including:

  • 0.502% eU3O8 over 2.44 metres, starting at 95 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.321% over 3.81 metres, starting at 73.8 metres

  • 0.189% over 5.79 metres, starting at 100.95 metres

Now underway is a 43-101 technical report on the property, part of last December’s acquisition of Pathfinder Mines. In August Ur-Energy began ISR production at another Wyoming project, Lost Creek. In May the company revised the mine’s guidance in view of low uranium prices.

Fission 3.0 and Brades report Clearwater West conductors

On May 27 Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU and Brades Resource TSXV:BRA announced more detailed results from a previously reported VTEM survey. The companies now say 24 conductive areas have been located on the Clearwater West joint venture, five coinciding with anomalous radiometric readings. In all, seven high-priority areas have been identified on the eastern side of the 11,835-hectare property that borders PLS to the north.

Follow-up work will include boulder prospecting and ground-based electromagnetic and DC resistivity surveys to determine drill targets.

The Fission Energy spinco acts as operator and currently holds 100% of the project. Brades has a three-year, 50% option that would call for $5 million in spending by October 2016 and a first-year commitment of $700,000.

New listing enhances Lakeland Resources’ American exposure

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK made its OTCQX trading debut May 30, marking an important step “as we continue to grow and expand our shareholder base globally,” said president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “The United States is an important market to be active in and we look forward to the increased visibility and exposure that this new listing will offer.”

In April the company announced a 4,475-hectare expansion to its Lazy Edward Bay project, one of Lakeland’s 16 uranium properties in and around the Basin.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

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Who owns Rio’s Tier 1 project?

April 10th, 2014

It’s a world-class resource, says a Rio/Russian JV. But part of it’s held by Western Potash

by Greg Klein

It’s a world-class resource, says a Rio/Russian JV. But part of it’s held by Western Potash


Rio Tinto NYE:RIO rates the southeastern Saskatchewan potash project “Tier 1,” one of eight such discoveries the global giant has made over the past 10 years. Last month’s announcement sparked media interest in KP 405, the company’s joint venture with North Atlantic Potash, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest mineral fertilizer producers. But how much of KP 405’s resource—if it can be called a resource—does the JV actually control? North Atlantic hasn’t responded and Rio’s not talking, but next-door neighbour Western Potash TSX:WPX certainly is. The company maintains it owns rights to a sizeable portion of KP 405.

Western Potash holds the adjacent Milestone project, which reached full feasibility in December 2012 and final environmental approval in April 2013. Western Potash also holds rights to roughly a third of KP 405’s freehold land in what VP of corporate finance Patrick Power calls “a checkerboard pattern.” According to an April 10 news release, Western Potash has leased freehold potash mineral rights for 100% of 20,523 hectares on 46 parcels of land, and less than 100% on 3,588 hectares on 49 parcels, for a total of 24,111 hectares within KP 405. The leases run for 10 years from their execution date with an optional 10-year extension.

“It’s happened before with companies, usually smaller, not Rio Tinto-sized companies,” Power tells “They forget that when you’re granted Crown ground in this part of the world, you still need rights to the freehold. It’s on a checkerboard basis. It’s almost impossible to mine that without having an agreement with us or taking us over. Those are the two options they have. The other is to back away.”

It’s a world-class resource, says a Rio/Russian JV. But part of it’s held by Western Potash

The Rio Tinto/North Atlantic “Tier 1” project
is overlain by Western Potash holdings.

A Saskatchewan government official says, “I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that one potash company owns mineral rights in another potash company’s area.” Executive director of Lands and Mineral Tenure for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of the Economy Doug MacKnight explains, “When the land was first being settled the railway got some mineral rights, the Hudson’s Bay Company got some mineral rights and the early homesteaders got some mineral rights. Throughout southern Saskatchewan about 15% to 20% of the mineral rights are privately owned, but it’s not an even distribution.”

“Especially in that area of Saskatchewan, you’re going to get a mix of Crown and freehold ownership and it’s not in a contiguous block. It’s in a checkerboard pattern. So it would not surprise me in the least that one company could hold the potash rights from the Crown in a township and other private owners may have a variety of private rights.”

But if Rio and North Atlantic don’t hold all of KP 405, do they have a resource? North Atlantic, a subsidiary of Russian fertilizer giant JS Acron, announced KP 405’s “world-class potash resource” in early December. That report wasn’t distributed in Canada or Australia but in March Rio released its 2013 Strategic Report listing eight Tier 1 discoveries since 2004. That’s when KP 405 came to the attention of Canadian and Australian media.

North Atlantic outlines its “resource” as an inferred 1.4 billion tonnes of potash averaging 31% potassium chloride (KCl). The company doesn’t refer to an NI 43-101 report, although a “resource summary” states that a qualified person “has certified that the report contains all substantive information that would be required to be included in a 43-101 report.” Anyone wanting further details must sign a non-disclosure agreement for “access to the original exploration data and resources report,” North Atlantic states.

Making what might be considered a rather bold statement for an inferred category, North Atlantic also states “the current resource could support an operation for many years.”

The document adds, “The mineral tenure is secured as both Crown rights and agreements with freehold owners of mineral rights.”

Western Potash, however, has produced a map showing otherwise. Power speculates that Rio didn’t learn about the mixed ownership until after it teamed up with North Atlantic in 2011. “Rio’s been drilling on quarter sections that they own, literally metres from our properties.” But the minerals below can hardly be mined in quarter sections, he points out.

MacKnight emphasizes that mixed ownership doesn’t prevent mining. “You just have to deal with the owners. If you want to produce it you have to negotiate it…. Historically it has not been an impediment. Everybody’s interested in seeing mines built.”

By press time Rio’s principal adviser for media relations Bruce Tobin and North Atlantic CEO David Waugh had not replied to interview requests.

Disclaimer: Western Potash Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Western Potash.

Rodinia drills Argentina Lithium Production Well

February 8th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningRodinia Lithium Inc TSXV:RM announced initial production well drilling on its Salar de Diablillos Lithium Brine Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The well is to be drilled near a 120-metre hole that previously showed average intersections of 713 mg/L lithium, 9,000 mg/L potassium and 543 mg/L boron.

The production well is designed to evaluate the range of pumping rates, well efficiencies and drawdown/recharge characteristics of the middle and lower aquifers during a long-term, high-volume pump test. The 10-to-15-day pump test will provide engineering data for a feasibility study.

President/CEO William Randall tells, “We’re trying to complete the feasibility study this year. We want to demonstrate that we can produce at production levels for a 15,000- or 25,000-tonne-per-year plant and, on the processing side, show that we can actually achieve the high recoveries that we got at the lab, as well as harvest the potash and boric acid byproducts.

We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there—William Randall

“We also have the Clayton Valley Project in Nevada. It’s the only US project that has lithium brine, and we control 70% of it.

“Demand for lithium has definitely increased,” he points out. “Over the last four or five months the current big three producers of lithium have raised their prices by 20% because of demand. They can’t increase supply or not easily. Demand will continue to increase as electric vehicles are adopted and grid storage expands.

“We have offtake possibilities with Shanshan Enterprise. They have five plants in China that produce anodes and cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. They don’t assemble the batteries, but they’re the ones that actually use the lithium carbonate. There are also other parties in Korea and Japan that are interested in our products,” he adds.

“Our company is part of Forbes & Manhattan. With them, we have a team of 150 geologists, engineers, lawyers and accountants. What we do is take assets from this stage and into production. That’s clearly the direction we’re headed. That being said, if the right offer comes at the right time, we’ll certainly look at it.

“Lithium is a space that has a lot of upside, especially with lithium batteries becoming the norm for electric vehicles and grid storage,” Randall explains. “Within the emerging companies, our stock right now is massively undervalued. We have a great project with an NPV up to $1 billion but a market cap of less than $25 million, so there’s a big disconnect there. In addition to very robust PEA numbers, we also have intangibles. Our projects are in a very, very safe mining jurisdiction in Argentina and in Nevada. We don’t share our assets with any other lithium producers or explorers. Our base in Argentina doesn’t have native communities, so we don’t affect their water, grazing ground or other aspects of their communities. So those are advantages that will help this project move forward at a very rapid pace.”

Randall concludes, “Our PEA shows the lowest capex per tonne and operating costs of all the PEAs and feasibility studies in the lithium brine space. In fact, our operating costs could be cash-negative because of our byproducts. We could pay off all our costs and actually make a bit of a profit just with our potash and boric acid, allowing us to basically stockpile lithium carbonate if we need to.”

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Aaron Wolfe
VP of Corporate Development

by Greg Klein