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Posts tagged ‘Pancontinental Uranium Corp (PUC)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 14th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 7 to 13, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

For the $123 million spent on it so far, the project has a resource showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred. It also has an underground exploration permit issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. But Quebec’s moratorium on uranium activity has finally caused Strateco Resources TSX:RSC to shut down its Matoush camp in the province’s Otish Basin. Now with a $1.4-million financing that the company hopes will save its TSX listing, Strateco’s focusing on a Saskatchewan project acquired from Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

Now mothballed, Strateco’s Matoush project has a 2012 resource
showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and
19.22 million pounds inferred.

In a June 12 announcement, Strateco attributed Matoush’s cost-cutting closure to Quebec’s refusal to issue an exploration permit. Some of the project’s facilities and equipment have been sold. The company has already launched legal action over the permit refusal.

Strateco also closed a private placement to try to prevent a TSX delisting. The company raised $1.4 million from Sentient Executive GP IV, an insider.

Meanwhile a Strateco subsidiary, SeqUr Exploration Inc, issued just under 15 million Strateco shares to take on the Jasper Lake package, a 60% option on four eastern Athabasca properties totalling 45,271 hectares that Strateco negotiated with Denison late last year. SeqUr also closed a $100,000 private placement with Sentient. The subsidiary plans exploration “in the coming months.”

Two days before the Strateco announcements a Quebec inquiry into uranium mining and exploration was challenged again, this time by a group of 70 “scientists and professionals from industry and academia.” In an open letter distributed June 10, the group questioned the inquiry chairperson’s neutrality as well as the utility of the proceedings.

Quebec’s environmental watchdog, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), began hearings last month in a process expected to last 12 to 18 months. Until a decision is made whether to allow uranium activity, the moratorium imposed in March 2013 remains in effect. But Labrador, Greenland and Queensland have “recently lifted moratoria that they now perceive as unjustified,” the group maintained.

Calling Louis-Gilles Francoeur’s appointment as chairperson “perplexing,” the open letter stated, “Throughout his career, Mr. Francoeur has tended to echo uranium industry critics. The BAPE is an institution founded on the principle of absolute neutrality. What would become of the BAPE’s credibility if a former mining executive were appointed chairman of the commission?”

Francoeur was selected during the province’s previous Parti Quebecois government.

“Exploration for and development of any mineral, including uranium, cannot go against the public interest,” the group pointed out. But, the signatories argued, “We are heading into a process that was borne of uranium fear-mongering fuelled by an archaic and biased view of the mining industry.” They questioned whether the hearings, with a price tag they peg at over $2 million, “should even be held.”

Quoting November 2013 poll numbers, the group said Saskatchewan’s uranium industry has the support of about 80% of the population, “including 76% of people in the communities and reserves of northern Saskatchewan, where the uranium mines are found.”

The group also noted some environmentalists support nuclear energy, as indicated by “the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme and free from suspicion of complicity with industry.”

The 70 concluded that the industry already faces strict regulations. “It is impossible for any uranium deposit to be developed, and then mined, without the project meeting the most stringent standards and being subject to public hearings,” they stated. “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a globally recognized agency with no ties to industry, sets the standards and has permanent monitoring and, if needed, enforcement powers over all nuclear industry activities.”

The communique follows a similar challenge last month by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association. The organization called for Francoeur to be replaced, describing his previous statements on the subject as “prejudicial and non-scientific.” A coalition of Quebec natives, doctors and environmentalists, however, have argued for an outright ban on the industry.

Last month Strateco, which has previously stated its intention to take part in the BAPE inquiry, threatened legal action should Quebec not replace Francoeur.

Denison closes acquisition of International Enexco

Its takeover by Denison complete, International Enexco delisted on June 10. Expansionist Denison now holds former Enexco assets in the eastern Athabasca Basin consisting of a 30% interest in Mann Lake and an additional 20% in Bachman Lake, giving Denison full control over the latter project. The company now shares the Mann Lake joint venture with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%).

A spinco gets Enexco’s U.S. non-uranium properties including the Contact copper project, which approaches pre-feasibility in Nevada.

The transaction went through without the public acrimony that initially ensued when Denison snatched Rockgate Capital from its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA late last year. At the time, Denison stated its intention to spin out its foreign assets and concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

January 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to January 10, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium says lower-grade assays confirm new PLS zone 195 metres east

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continues to pick away at its nearly 50-hole backlog of assays from Patterson Lake South. Results released December 30 come from the project’s eastern-most high-grade zone as well as a not-so-high-grade zone farther east.

Highlights from hole PLS13-099 on zone R945E include:

  • 0.11% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 15 metres, starting at 122 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.14% over 16 metres, starting at 140 metres

  • 0.99% over 23.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • (including 2.49% over 8.5 metres)

  • 3.99% over 17 metres, starting at 185.5 metres
  • (including 18.52% over 3.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.5% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 8.5 metres, starting at 205 metres

  • 2.69% over 30.5 metres, starting at 222.5 metres
  • (including 5.1% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 5.4% over 7.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. With a dip of -88 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Three other holes from R945E were released earlier in December. The zone remains open in all directions.

About 195 metres east, two other holes confirm the existence of the less-spectacular zone R1155E. The single assay released from hole PLS13-090 shows:

  • 0.09% over 12 metres, starting at 189.5 metres

Results from PLS13-103 show:

  • 0.07% over 1.5 metres, starting at 176 metres

  • 0.06% over 3.5 metres, starting at 188 metres

  • 0.06% over 1.5 metres, starting at 199.5 metres

  • 0.05% over 0.5 metres, starting at 209 metres

  • 0.06% over 0.5 metres, starting at 365.5 metres

Again, true widths weren’t provided. Both holes were vertical. The results, from a “geologic setting similar to the high-grade zones to the west, [lead to] encouragement that the mineralized system remains open to the east,” the company stated. Winter drilling will continue east of R945E and between the higher-grade zones to the west.

Just before Christmas the company released assays from one hole at zone R585E and seven from R390E. On January 9 Fission Uranium announced that president/COO/chief geologist Ross McElroy had won PDAC’s 2014 Bill Dennis Award for a Canadian discovery or prospecting success. “It takes a team to make a discovery and I’m delighted to have won this award on behalf of Fission,” the statement quoted McElroy.

Recognition also goes to Fission Uranium’s former joint venture partner. In mid-December the father/son team of Ben and Garrett Ainsworth, formerly with Fission acquisition Alpha Minerals and now with spinco Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, won the 2013 Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration from the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia for their part in the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources surveys historic drilling, finds high-grade boulders and some of Athabasca Basin’s highest radon readings

Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Gibbon’s Creek uranium project now shows some of the highest radon gas readings ever found in the Athabasca Basin, the company says. Data collected last year and released January 8 also confirms an historic boulder field, with assays reaching 4.28% U3O8. Additionally, a DC resistivity survey has mapped basement alteration found by historic drilling.

Lakeland Resources Gibbon's Creek exploration

Existing access trails are among the benefits of more than
$3 million of previous work at Riou Lake/Gibbon’s Creek.

The 12,771-hectare project forms part of the 35,463-hectare Riou Lake property, a joint venture in which Declan Resources TSXV:LAN may earn 70% over four years, with a first-year exploration commitment of $1.25 million.

The survey by RadonEx Exploration Management, whose proprietary technology proved vital to Fission Uranium’s PLS, found Gibbon’s Creek readings peaking at 9.93 picocuries per square metre per second (pCi/m²/s). According to a statement by Lakeland president Jonathan Armes the readings, “to our knowledge, are the highest ever reported for the Athabasca Basin area.”

The highest value coincides with a uranium-in-soil anomaly found in historic work, part of more than $3 million of exploration performed on Riou Lake prior to Lakeland’s acquisition of the northern Basin property. Nine more radon samples reached above 3.2 pCi/m²/s, while the background level showed about 1.3 pCi/m²/s.

Meanwhile assays have confirmed existence of an historically defined radioactive boulder field. Prospecting by Dahrouge Geological Consulting found a 1-by-1.2-kilometre field with eight boulders grading over 1% U3O8, one of them hitting 4.28%. Eleven other samples assayed above 0.2%, with nine more below 0.2%. Also showing were anomalous values for nickel, arsenic, lead and cobalt.

Following up on historic drilling by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-predecessor Eldorado Nuclear, the DC resistivity survey mapped one trend that ranges from near surface to about 200 metres, roughly coinciding with historic basement alteration and mineralization at 100 metres. A second resistivity trend coincides with strong radon values.

Ranking high on the project’s to-do list is a further radon survey. This year’s field work will also try to track the high-grade boulders to their source. Gibbon’s Creek sits less than three kilometres from the settlement of Stony Rapids, with power lines and highways passing through the property.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

NexGen Energy reports three mineralized holes at Rook 1

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE released assays on January 9 for three mineralized holes found in last summer’s 13-hole, 3,032-metre program on the Rook 1 project. The widely spaced holes tested three parallel conductors along strike of the PLS discovery 2.1 kilometres southwest. Highlights show:

Hole RK-13-03

  • 0.00137% U3O8 and 0.0204% thorium over 1 metre, starting at 150 metres in downhole depth

Hole RK-13-05

  • 0.05093% U3O8 and 0.0027% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 220.5 metres

  • 0.07098% U3O8 and 0.0014% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221 metres

  • 0.022% U3O8 and 0.00163% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221.5 metres

  • 0.027% U3O8 and 0.0024% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 222 metres

  • 0.03796% U3O8 and 0.0025% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 223.5 metres

  • 0.04834% U3O8 and 0.00268% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 224 metres

Hole RK-13-06

  • 0.00118% U3O8 and 0.026% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 152 metres

  • 0.00125% U3O8 and 0.0315% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 153 metres

True widths were unavailable. Assays for RK-13-05 indicate “the uranium occurs almost wholly within pitchblende/uraninite and not in complex refractory minerals,” the company added. Winter drilling, scheduled to begin this month, will follow up on RK-13-05 and also target several regional anomalies interpreted from geophysical surveys and historic drilling.

In early December NexGen announced completion of airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys. Later that month the company closed a $3.11-million private placement, with funds destined for Rook 1. Still pending are assays from a nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at the eastern Basin Radio project, where NexGen holds a 70% option.

UEX announces winter work for western Athabasca and Black Lake projects

Along with its JV partners, UEX Corp TSX:UEX has 2014 exploration slated for its Laurie, Mirror River and Erica projects in the western Athabasca as well as Black Lake in the northern Basin, the company stated January 7.

The western Athabasca projects consist of seven or eight sites (depending which UEX info you consult) totalling 116,137 hectares and held 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by project operator AREVA Resources Canada. UEX funds $982,000 of this year’s $2-million budget. A 2,000-metre drill campaign begins at Laurie imminently, to be followed by another 2,000 metres at Mirror. Both projects are located around the Basin’s southwestern rim. Erica, north of the other two and west of the company’s 49.1%-owned Shea Creek project, undergoes a ground tensor magnetotelluric survey starting in March.

UEX acts as operator on the 30,381-hectare Black Lake project in the Basin’s north. This year’s 3,000-metre, $650,000 drill program will be funded by Uracan Resources TSXV:URC, which has an option to earn 60% of UEX’s 89.97% portion of the project. AREVA holds the remainder. The campaign begins in late January.

Previous UEX drilling at Black Lake in 2004, 2006 and 2007 found intervals of 0.69% U3O8 over 4.4 metres, 0.5% over 3.3 metres, 0.79% over 2.82 metres and 0.67% over 3 metres.

UEX wholly owns six Basin projects and holds JVs in another eight. Resource estimates have been compiled for Shea Creek and Hidden Bay.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 30th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 23 to 29, 2013

by Greg Klein

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December 6 expected for Fission to finish Alpha acquisition; Fission spinco gets court approval

Now that both companies have put it to a vote, Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW goes to the TSXV and Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench for final approval. The 50/50 Patterson Lake South joint venture partners announced overwhelming support at their respective meetings on November 28. The companies expect final approval on December 6.

The Fission tally was 99.55% from shareholders and 99.6% from security holders. Alpha’s enthusiasm was slightly more restrained, with 83.18% shareholder and 85.72% security-holder support.

Assuming final approvals come through, the arrangement will put the celebrated PLS uranium project under a single takeover target… er, company. Alpha and Fission will each create a spinco for their non-PLS assets.

Court approval for Fission’s spinco was announced November 29. Itself a spin-out resulting from last April’s Fission Energy acquisition by Denison Mines TSX:DML, Fission Uranium calls the new entity Fission 3.0. Each Fission Uranium shareholder gets one new share of post-arrangement PLS-holding Fission Uranium as well as a share of Fission Mach III, expected to start trading December 10.

Read more about the takeover.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

PLS regional drilling disappoints but Fission/Alpha end campaign triumphantly

Two of the final 11 autumn holes at PLS confirmed continuity along a 30-metre strike at the project’s recently discovered sixth zone. But nine others failed to find significant radioactivity, according to scintillometer results released by Fission and Alpha on November 27. The non-mineralized nonet, sunk further west of the project’s western-most R600W zone, might please only an anti-nuke activist. Nevertheless “varying degrees of secondary hydrothermal alteration were present in all holes, thus providing encouragement for the prospectivity of the western strike extension” of the PL-3B EM conductor corridor. R600W remains open in all directions, the partners maintain.

Their hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum of 9,999 counts per second. These results are no substitute for assays, which are still to come. But don’t hold your breath—so are assays for 40 holes drilled last summer.

Of the two mineralized holes, PLS13-123 reached a total depth of 260 metres, encountering sandstone at 90.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 100 metres. Some highlights show:

  • <300 to 1,200 cps over 20 metres, starting at 95 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 5,100 cps over 7.5 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • 320 to 2,300 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 142.5 metres

Hole PLS13-124 found sandstone at 97.5 metres and the basement unconformity at 99 metres before stopping at 257 metres. Highlights include:

  • 450 to 5,500 cps over 6.5 metres, starting at 97.5 metres

  • <300 to 1,300 cps over 7.5 metres, starting at 114 metres

  • <300 to 2,500 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 197 metres

True widths weren’t available. With dips of -87 and -89 degrees respectively, the two holes’ downhole depths are close to vertical.

The 11 land-based holes bring an end to this drill program, most of which took place from barges over the lake. Fifty-three holes totalling 16,485 metres found six near-surface zones along a 1.76-kilometre trend. Ending the season on a triumphant note, Alpha president Ben Ainsworth said the 12-month campaign nearly equalled “what was completed in four years of work on Hathor’s Roughrider discovery.”

Research report examines Lakeland Resources as company acquires additional Basin property

Just one day after a research report was released on Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK, the company reported expansionary plans in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Announced November 27, a JV teams the company with Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV on two claims totalling 1,092 hectares. The new turf sits adjacently north of the Gibbon’s Creek target, focal point of Lakeland’s Riou Lake property.

The acquisition takes place while results are pending from autumn field work at Gibbon’s Creek. “Based on preliminary findings we decided it was important that we acquire that ground,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells “Star Minerals is focused on a rare earth project north of the Basin so the agreement works well for both companies.”

Gibbon’s autumn campaign, including boulder sampling, line-cutting, a RadonEx survey and a ground DC resistivity survey, has just wrapped up, he adds. “We’re putting all the data together and we’ll get that out imminently.”

A distinct topographical feature of the new property is an uplifted block of basement rock that “highlights the evidence for structural offsets, a key feature of known unconformity-type uranium deposits,” Lakeland stated. Historic work by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-predecessor Eldorado Nuclear found several anomalous soil samples around the uplifted block measuring up to 0.01% uranium. Trenching by Eldorado showed concentrations of rare earths that might also indicate unconformity-type uranium mineralization. The property has also undergone 14 historic drill holes.

Lakeland plans to follow up on the previous work while reviewing Gibbon’s Creek data to identify drill targets. “We still have two other priority projects, South Pine bordering Riou Lake on the west, and Perch Lake farther east,” Armes says. “There’s lots more field work we can do, even during winter. Both radon and resistivity can be carried out during the winter, so we’re not limited to fair weather programs.”

Gibbon’s Creek and the new claims also benefit from close proximity to the town of Stony Rapids, a few kilometres away. Apart from the new acquisition, Lakeland has a portfolio of nine properties totalling over 100,000 hectares in the northern and eastern Basin.

Under the JV agreement, Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in the two additional claims by paying Star $60,000 and issuing 600,000 shares over 12 months. Star retains a 25% buy-back option for four times the exploration expenditures up to 90 days following a resource estimate.

One day before the announcement, prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC released a report on Lakeland. Written by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill, it places Lakeland in the context of Athabasca Basin exploration, the nuclear energy industry and the outlook for uranium prices. Presented as both research and opinion, Hamill’s work shows a shareholder’s perspective—Lakeland is a core holding of Zimtu.

So a degree of self-interest can be acknowledged. But the breadth of research goes far beyond Lakeland, its people and projects, providing a level of detailed scrutiny not often applied to early-stage companies.

Download the Lakeland Resources research report.

Read more about Derek Hamill’s research.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

UEX announces final Shea Creek results, initial 2014 uranium exploration plans

North from PLS along Highway 955, and 13 kilometres south of the Cluff Lake past-producer, a year’s drilling has wrapped up at Shea Creek. UEX Corp TSX:UEX reported final results for two concurrent programs reported November 27.

UEX picked up the entire $2-million tab for drilling around the Kianna deposit while funding $1.27 million of $2.6 million sunk into property-scale exploration as part of the company’s 49%/51% JV with AREVA Resources Canada.

Results were given in uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) using readings from a downhole radiometric probe which were calibrated with an algorithm calculated by comparing previous probe results with assays.

The most promising results came from the Kianna deposit. Kianna East hole SHE-142-3 reached a total depth of 1,065 metres, finding the unconformity at 736.9 metres and expanding the zone to the south. Highlights show:

  • 0.99% eU3O8 over 5.3 metres, starting at 961.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)

In addition, UEX credited hole SHE-135-16 with a northwest expansion to Kianna East. Ending at 1,038 metres’ depth, the hole found the unconformity at 750.5 metres. Some of the better results show:

  • 0.16% over 5.2 metres, starting at 956 metres
  • (including 0.41% over 0.9 metres)
  • (and including 0.49% over 0.7 metres)

  • 0.48% over 3 metres, starting at 979.9 metres

Kianna North hole SHE-135-17 hit the unconformity at 732.2 metres before stopping at 1,059 metres, expanding the zone’s eastern extension of basement-hosted mineralization. Highlights include:

  • 0.33% over 9.4 metres, starting at 724.6 metres
  • (including 0.5% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 0.53% over 4.4 metres)

  • 0.8% over 31.5 metres, starting at 848.8 metres
  • (including 3.29% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 3.22% over 1.3 metres)
  • (and including 4.05% over 4.1 metres)

Of 10 exploration holes that tested two conductors, eight failed to find significant results. Two holes at Anne South showed these results:

  • 0.14% over 0.9 metres, starting at 765.4 metres

  • 0.21% over 0.9 metres, starting at 748.4 metres

(True widths were unavailable for all holes.)

Four of the 10 holes confirmed the Saskatoon Lake East conductor’s location, providing a new target area parallel to the roughly three-kilometre trend hosting Shea’s four deposits. Combined, they comprise the Basin’s third-largest resource after Cameco’s McArthur River and Cigar Lake, showing:

  • indicated: 2.07 million tonnes averaging 1.48% for 67.66 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred: 1.27 million tonnes averaging 1.01% for 28.19 million pounds

Still undecided are next year’s plans for Shea Creek, where AREVA acts as project operator. UEX states work will depend on Q1 capital market conditions.

But another November 27 announcement reported a $2-million budget for three western Basin projects. Plans include about 4,000 metres of drilling to test EM conductors at the Laurie and Mirror River projects, and a 50.4-line-kilometre ground tensor magnetotelluric survey at the Erica project. Work is expected to start in January. By that time ownership will be divided approximately 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by AREVA, again acting as operator.

Among other UEX projects, its 100%-held Hidden Bay on the Basin’s east side has three deposits totalling:

  • indicated: 10.37 million tonnes averaging 0.16% for 36.62 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred: 1.11 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 2.71 million pounds

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