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Posts tagged ‘Rio Grande Mining Corp (RGV)’

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

May 24th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Kivalliq signs LOI with Westham Resources on Saskatchewan Genesis property

Its flagship Angilak project in Nunavut holds Canada’s highest-grade uranium deposit outside the Athabasca Basin. Nevertheless Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV was drawn into Saskatchewan with last January’s acquisition of the 198,763-hectare Genesis project. Now the company plans to bring in Westham Resources TSXV:WHR.P as a funding partner.

Under a letter of intent announced May 21, the capital pool company could acquire an 85% interest in return for 20% of its issued and outstanding shares, $1 million in payments and $5 million in spending over four years. The exploration commitment would include $1 million by year-end and another $1.5 million by August 31, 2016. Kivalliq would act as project operator for at least two years. Kivalliq director Dale Wallster would join Westham’s board.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

Among other conditions, Westham must raise a private placement of at least $2 million.

The property lies northeast of the Basin in the prospective Western Wollaston Tectonic Domain and “covers basement rocks known to host uranium mineralization,” the companies stated. Previous operators and government surveys “outlined over 30 uranium showings that include several uranium-bearing boulder trains.” Based on that data, Kivalliq has identified eight initial targets for geophysics, sediment sampling, soil sampling, mapping and prospecting to be completed by early autumn. The company hopes to follow with a “major” drill program early next year.

Last February Kivalliq reported results of ore-sorting and metallurgical tests from Angilak’s Lac 50 deposit.

UEC adds one Texas property, “releases” another

Still expanding its southern Texas “hub-and-spoke” projects, Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC announced a new acquisition May 20, this one with a permitting advantage. The Longhorn project’s aquifer exemption “eliminates a major permitting hurdle” for a potential in-situ recovery operation, covering the mining zone of interest and allowing for expansion, the company stated. The project’s historic legacy includes drill maps and over 500 logs of gamma radiation data.

UEC compiled the project leases and data “over the last 18 months at a very low cost.”

The company also announced a decision to “release” its Channen project following evaluation of last summer’s drill results.

In April UEC completed a preliminary economic assessment for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. A week before that, the company announced its Burke Hollow ISR project in Texas had begun permitting.

UEC’s southern Texas holdings include the Hobson processing plant, the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad development project and satellite properties. Of its nearly two dozen exploration properties, two are located in Paraguay and the others in the western U.S.

Unity picks up historic Uranium City region property

Twenty-six kilometres southwest of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, the Gulch Mine project comprises Unity Energy’s TSXV:UTY latest acquisition. Announced May 21, the 3,010-hectare property holds an historic, non-43-101 “reserve,” estimated by one source at around 928,796 pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) and by another at 1.65 million pounds. Gulch adjoins properties held by Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU, Red Rock Energy TSXV:RRK and CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV.

A 100% interest will require $1.2 million in payments over 18 months from Unity, which must drill 3,000 metres within three years. The vendor retains a 2.5% gross overriding royalty. Unity may buy back two-fifths for $1.5 million, less any previous royalty payments.

Earlier this month Unity closed a 100% option on the 14,200-hectare Camsell project in the northwestern Basin. In April the company optioned out 50% of its Mitchell Lake project to Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV.

MPVC tests NW Manitoba for uranium, “young” uranium, radon and lead 210

As a rotary air blast drill arrived on site, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO updated its Northwest Manitoba project on May 22. The RAB drill is intended to quickly test shallow targets found by geophysical, geochemical and prospecting work. Drilling will take place over the lake while ice persists.

Two holes of core drilling have failed to convince a gamma ray spectrometer that they contain significant uranium mineralization, MPVC conceded. But “samples of the core are now being tested for radon, ‘young’ uranium and lead 210 which, if present, could signal the presence of uranium mineralization at greater depths.”

The company also reported receiving a letter of support for its one-year drill permit application from the Northlands Denesuline First Nation.

In early May MPVC stated preliminary results from the project’s radon-in-water survey showed, “to the author’s knowledge,” readings second only to Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Contract prices, spending cuts help Ur-Energy withstand uranium’s descent

While uranium sinks to eight-year lows, on May 22 Ur-Energy TSX:URE revised its guidance for this year and next. With mid- and long-term contracts in place, customers have committed to buy approximately 518,000 pounds U3O8 at an average of $51.10 a pound this year, for projected revenues approaching $26.5 million.

As for 2015, the company so far has commitments for 630,000 pounds at an average of $50.10, for projected revenues of $31 million. With spending controls as well as managed production, Ur-Energy expects “to maintain a positive cash position throughout 2014 and 2015.”

Although its processing facility has a nameplate capacity of two million pounds annually, the company plans to keep production tied to contract obligations in 2015 “unless the market demonstrates sustained price improvement.”

Ur-Energy began ISR mining at Lost Creek in Wyoming last August.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Cameco suspends Millennium mine proposal

Declining uranium prices have forced Cameco Corp TSX:CCO to postpone its Millennium mine proposal. On May 16 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated a public hearing for a licence application scheduled for June had been adjourned at Cameco’s request. A brief message on the company’s website blamed “poor economic conditions in world uranium markets.”

Figures from 2009 credited the project with an indicated resource of 46.8 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) averaging 4.53% uranium. A 2013 environmental impact statement forecast an initial 10-year lifespan, but anticipated extensions if further resources were found. Ore would have been shipped 36 kilometres south to the Key Lake mill, held 83% by Cameco and 17% by AREVA Resources Canada.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

Although just last month Cameco expressed optimism in uranium’s
long-term outlook, the company blamed market conditions as it
withdrew its Millennium licence application.

Uranium prices have continued their slide to new record lows. Although there’s no spot price for the metal, UX Consulting’s most recent indicator, published May 12, came to $29 a pound.

In last month’s Q1 report, Cameco expressed optimism about the long-term outlook, expecting “an increase in annual uranium consumption from today’s 170 million pounds to about 240 million pounds” over the next decade.

In March Cameco finally put its Cigar Lake mine into production, nine years after construction began and 33 years after its discovery.

The CNSC left the door open for Cameco to make a future request that its licence application be considered by the commission, which would then call a public hearing.

Fission Uranium hits 30 metres of 2.58% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU unloaded assays for eight more holes from Patterson Lake South on May 13, all of them from the R780E zone. This week’s star, PLS14-158, marks the eastern-most R780E hole for which assays have been released, boosting the company’s optimism in the deposit’s eastward potential. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-141

  • 0.72% U3O8 over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.04% over 3 metres)

  • 0.77% over 6 metres, starting at 187.5 metres
  • (including 2.31% over 1.5 metres)


  • 0.26% over 14 metres, starting at 145 metres

  • 0.41% over 5 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.5 metres)


  • 0.79% over 19 metres, starting at 127.5 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.46% over 7.5 metres, starting at 151.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
  • (including 1.43% over 1 metre)

  • 2.07% over 3 metres, starting at 208 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)


  • 1.83% over 3.5 metres, starting at 154.5 metres
  • (including 2.9% over 2 metres)

  • 0.63% over 5 metres, starting at 192.5 metres


  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres


  • 2.94% over 7 metres, starting at 219 metres
  • (including 5.58% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.22% over 19.5 metres, starting at 285.5 metres


  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres


  • 0.72% over 8 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • 2.58% over 30 metres, starting at 152 metres
  • (including 22.02% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 8.57% over 5 metres)

  • 6.85% over 10 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 12.23% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.53% over 4.5 metres, starting at 253.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t provided. R780E is the middle of five zones, and the largest of all five, along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open both to the east and west. With assays released for 30 winter holes so far, lab results are pending for approximately 62 more.

Although winter exploration drilling fell short of exciting, the season’s focus was on infill drilling to define a maiden resource that will—on some unspecified date—debut to an intensely curious audience.

Powertech files Kyrgyzstan resource held 80% by proposed merger partner, updates South Dakota licence challenge

Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE has filed an inferred resource for the Kyzyl Ompul licence in Kyrgyzstan, the company announced on May 13. The 42,379-hectare project is held 80% by Azarga Resources Ltd, which plans to merge with Powertech. The resource uses a 0.01% cutoff to show 15.13 tonnes averaging 0.022% for 7.51 million pounds U3O8 inferred.

Powertech described the Kok Moinok main zone as about 700 metres along an east-west strike, 600 metres north-south and 10 to 30 metres in depth. The report also included two conceptual exploration target area estimates.

Although Powertech acknowledged that access to the project was blocked by political unrest in 2005 and 2010, the company maintained that “the main risk factors at this stage are commodity prices….”

Last year Kyrgyzstan managed to fall a few spots to the very bottom of the Fraser Institute’s policy perception index and achieved near-bottom rankings for several other categories in the annual poll of mining professionals. But a May 7 Financial Post article by Peter Koven pointed out that despite public opposition, social unrest and ongoing government policy threats, Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan mine “continues to run and churn out cash.”

The Kyzyl Ompul licence expires at the end of 2015. Read more about the Powertech/Azarga merger here and here.

On May 14 Powertech updated events following a challenge to its operating licence for the company’s Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota. In oral hearings the previous day, opponents questioned procedures followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine the importance of possible native religious sites in the area.

As the hearings continue, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether Dewey-Burdock’s licence becomes effective or remains on hold until a formal hearing in August. Read more about the licence challenge.

MPVC begins drilling Maguire Lake target at NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun at MPVC Inc’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced May 14. While winter conditions persist, a diamond drill will focus on Maguire Lake. Preliminary radon measurements from the lake reported the previous week were, to the company’s knowledge, second only to PLS for a water-based survey. MPVC will also bring in a rotary air blast drill, which is intended to test shallow targets quickly.

With ground gravity survey results now in hand, the company has filled in gaps between three earlier sets of data, extending previously identified gravity lows and discovering new gravity lows.

To earn 80% of the 143,603-hectare project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

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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

April 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 12 to 18, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium releases second batch of winter assays from Patterson Lake South

With its first set of Patterson Lake South assays since February 19 and only the second since winter drilling began in mid-January, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported 12 holes on April 14. Nine showed high grades and all came from zone R780E, the third of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre west-east potential strike that remains open at both ends. Among the best assays were:

Hole PLS14-125

  • 0.46% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 56.5 metres, starting at 119.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.91% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 1.71% over 2.5 metres)

  • 0.21% over 12 metres, starting at 225.5 metres

Hole PLS14-126

  • 1.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 152.5 metres
  • (including 4.44% over 1 metre)

  • 2.41% over 5.5 metres, starting at 178 metres
  • (including 4.66% over 2 metres)

  • 0.96% over 5 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole PLS14-128

  • 0.46% over 6 metres, starting at 167.5 metres

  • 6.74% over 4 metres, starting at 216.5 metres
  • (including 13.04% over 2 metres)

Hole PLS14-130

  • 0.47% over 17 metres, starting at 84.5 metres
  • (including 1.57% over 3.5 metres)

  • 3% over 4 metres, starting at 142.5 metres
  • (including 11.1% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-131

  • 0.22% over 22.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 30.5 metres, starting at 199.5 metres
  • (including 0.93% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.34% over 21.5 metres, starting at 234.5 metres

Hole PLS14-132

  • 0.4% over 12.5 metres, starting at 72 metres
  • (including 3.28% over 1 metre)

  • 0.72% over 46 metres, starting at 134.5 metres
  • (including 2.41% over 10.5 metres)

  • 1.54% over 5.5 metres, starting at 216 metres
  • (including 2.74% over 3 metres)

  • 4.03% over 8 metres, starting at 226.5 metres
  • (including 8.48% over 3.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-133

  • 0.9% over 13.5 metres, starting at 167 metres
  • (including 8.37% over 1 metre)

  • 0.48% over 21.5 metres, starting at 184 metres
  • (including 1.03% over 5 metres)

Hole PLS14-136

  • 0.92% over 41 metres, starting at 119 metres
  • (including 2.59% over 8 metres)
  • (and including 3.69% over 2.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

The previous week Fission Uranium stated 70 holes had been completed out of a planned 100 winter holes totalling approximately 30,000 metres. About 85 holes, using four rigs, will concentrate on delineation. A fifth rig explores outside the main mineralized trend. The 31,039-hectare project’s winter budget comes to $12 million, including geophysics. No target date has been announced for the project’s highly anticipated maiden resource.

Macusani Yellowcake, Azincourt sign LOI to consolidate Peruvian properties

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 12 to 18, 2014

Azincourt’s Macusani project, on Peru’s Macusani plateau
and surrounded by Macusani Yellowcake, borders a Fission 3.0
property also called Macusani.

Under a letter of intent announced April 17, Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL would swallow up additional properties held by Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ but surrounded by Macusani in southeastern Peru. The deal would give Azincourt 68.35 million Macusani shares, representing about 30% of the company following the transaction. Macusani would then control over 949 square kilometres hosting “one of the largest undeveloped uranium projects in the world,” the two companies stated.

Macusani’s current package, on Peru’s Macusani plateau, hosts four low-grade deposits that offer low-cost mining potential, according to a December preliminary economic assessment. August resource estimates total 321,000 pounds U3O8 measured, 31.15 million pounds indicated and 30.08 million pounds inferred.

Azincourt completed the acquisition of its two Peruvian assets in January, before contracting technical studies on them. An historic, non-43-101 resource released in 2011 for Azincourt’s 4,900-hectare, now confusingly named Macusani project showed 5.69 million pounds measured, 12.52 million pounds indicated and 17.42 million pounds inferred. The company’s 9,600-hectare Muñani project has undergone airborne geophysics and ground work but has yet to be drilled. Prior to Azincourt’s acquisition, the two projects had lain dormant for two years following Fukushima.

On closing the deal Macusani anticipates a new PEA that would “easily” incorporate the new properties into its existing mine plan.

The consolidated turf would then surround some 51 square kilometres held by Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU. The Fission Energy spinco collaborates with Azincourt on their PLS-adjacent PLN joint venture.

Definitive agreement advances Denison’s acquisition of Enexco

Denison Mines TSX:DML moved closer to its planned acquisition of International Enexco TSXV:IEC with a definitive agreement announced April 14. Terms of the all-share deal remain unchanged from the LOI reported last month.

In early April Denison reported radiometric results from the Wheeler River JV’s newly discovered Gryphon zone. More radiometric results followed the next day from Enexco’s Mann Lake JV.

Forum announces initial drill results from Clearwater

Spring break-up brought an early end to the Clearwater project’s first drill program, but Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC identified “five major structural trends with reactivated graphitic shear zones [and] alteration,” according to an April 17 statement. Core from two holes showed “locally elevated radioactivity” up to 300 counts per second.

Nine holes totalling 2,310 metres tested widely spaced targets “including a number of gravity lows, radon anomalies and EM conductors both on strike and running parallel” to the PLS trend, the company added. Forum expects to have more detailed results by early June.

The program focused on the 9,910-hectare project’s northern claim, which borders the southwest of PLS and is slated for summer follow-up work. Clearwater’s southern claim, with conductive trends, radiometric anomalies and significant values for uranium in lake sediment, has yet to be drilled.

In late March the company resumed drilling at its Northwest Athabasca project, a JV with NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada. Forum holds other properties in Nunavut and the northeastern Athabasca Basin.

Fission 3.0, Brades report initial radiometric and VTEM results from Clearwater West

Fission 3.0 and Brades Resource TSXV:BRA reported initial interpretations of two airborne surveys over their Clearwater West project on April 15. A radiometric survey using patent-pending equipment and methodology found a cluster of anomalies on the eastern 10 kilometres of the property where historic data shows EM conductors, the partners stated. Ground prospecting will follow up this summer.

A VTEM survey suggests the property’s east side hosts EM conductors that might continue from the PLS property bordering to the north. More detailed evaluation will follow.

The project’s $700,000 first-year program will also include ground geophysics and geochemical surveys including radon measurements. Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 11,835-hectare property. Brades holds a three-year option to earn 50%.

Western Athabasca Syndicate to expand Swoosh drill program

The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate reported preliminary drill results from its Preston property on April 15. Five holes totalling 986 metres tested the Swoosh target, a six-kilometre corridor identified by gravity, magnetic and EM surveys, and coinciding with surficial geochemical anomalies, the alliance stated. The group consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

All five holes hit a hydrothermally altered and reactivated structural zone. A downhole probe found elevated radioactivity in three holes, including one interval of 802 cps over 1.95 metres (not true width) starting at 186.68 metres in downhole depth. Four holes reached depths between 200 and 275 metres. A fifth was abandoned due to poor conditions. More detailed evaluation is expected in May.

Backed by an expanded budget, drilling will continue at Swoosh until late April. The following month the syndicate will test two other targets, CHA and Fin. Athabasca Nuclear acts as operator on the 246,643-hectare property.

On April 14 Ryan Kalt formally became Athabasca Nuclear’s CEO, having already held the position on an interim basis. Kalt has been prominent in acquiring Basin properties, including Preston, and as a director shifted the company to uranium exploration. With a 21.25% stake, he’s also the company’s largest shareholder. On April 15 Athabasca Nuclear announced an advance notice bylaw.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Innovation overcomes epic struggle to put Cameco’s Cigar Lake into production



With an ore grade 100 times the world average, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO overcame tremendous challenges to put Cigar Lake into production. Indeed the project’s first ore shipment on March 13 suggests that high grade is the mother of invention.

Among other tribulations, flooding in 2006 and 2008 stalled the eastern Athabasca Basin mine, which dates back to a 1981 discovery and began construction in 2005. Last year’s planned start-up hit another delay with leaks from tanks built to hold the run-of-mine slurry. Around the same time the McClean Lake mill faced delays of its own with modifications to the leaching circuit.

Cameco devised innovative techniques of bulk freezing and jet boring to extract the deposit lying 410 to 450 metres below surface, “where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

The jet boring tunnel at Cigar Lake, which Cameco calls “among
the most technically challenging mining projects in the world.”

To prevent flooding, the company freezes the ore and surrounding rock “by circulating a brine solution through freeze holes drilled from both surface and underground.”

To extract the ore, Cameco developed a method of high-pressure water jet boring “after many years of test mining” that keeps operators safely distant from the enormously high-grade deposit.

The company’s targeting 18 million pounds a year at full production, making it the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine after the Cameco/AREVA (70%/30%) McArthur River operation. But even 33 years after Cigar Lake’s discovery, the company anticipates further difficulties: “As we ramp up production, there may be some technical challenges which could affect our production plans.”

As of December 31, Cigar Lake capital expenditures came to $2.6 billion. Over 600 people will staff the mine.

Milling will take place at McClean Lake, 70 kilometres northeast. Operator AREVA Resources Canada says the plant “is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tonnes as early as 2018.”

Cigar Lake shows proven and probable reserves averaging 18.3% for 216.7 million pounds U3O8. Measured and indicated resources average 2.27% for 2.2 million pounds. The inferred resource averages 12.01% for 98.9 million pounds.

Cigar Lake is a joint venture of Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources (5%).

The McClean Lake JV consists of AREVA (70% ), Denison Mines TSX:DML (22.5%) and OURD Canada (7.5%).

Read more about Cigar Lake here and here.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results, $25-million bought deal

Patterson Lake South’s momentum continued on March 10 as Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released its third batch of radiometric readings in five days—this time boasting one hole with “the second strongest off-scale results recorded at PLS to date, placing it amongst the best holes drilled in the Athabasca Basin.” The four new holes also continue the winter program’s 100% hit rate and further encourage the company’s quest to connect the six zones along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results

Fission uses a hand-held scintillometer to measure
radiation from drill core prior to receiving lab assays.

The most recent star hole is PLS14-164, whose intervals showed a total of 30.08 metres of off-scale readings at 9,999 counts per second, the maximum amount of gamma radiation that the hand-held scintillometer can measure. The readings, taken from drill core, are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Another hole showed a composite 2.1 metres of off-scale radioactivity. Of the four holes, the mineralized intercept closest to surface started at 56 metres, while the deepest stopped at 380.5 metres.

Oddly enough, Fission Uranium’s March 10 release says one of the new holes “has narrowed the distance between zones R390E and R585E to approximately 60 metres.” That’s the same distance between the same zones reported by the company on March 7.

Already 40 holes have been completed in the $12-million winter campaign that began in mid-January. The company plans about 85 or 90 holes totalling around 30,000 metres on the ice-bound lake before spring. While one rig explores outside the mineralized area, Fission Uranium hopes its four other drills will fill the gaps between the project’s six zones.

Just before the March 10 closing bell Fission Uranium announced a $25-million bought deal. A syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 15.65 million warrants, exercisable for one share each, at $1.60. The company expects to close the private placement by April 1. The underwriters may buy an additional 15%.

Fission Uranium surpassed its 52-week high March 10, opening three cents above its previous close, reaching $1.71 and then settling on $1.67 when trading was halted at the company’s request minutes before the $25-million announcement.

Trading resumed the following day. The company closed March 14 on $1.59. With 330.12 million shares outstanding, Fission Uranium had a market cap of $524.89 million.

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

Core from RK-14-27 shows pitchblende within
brecciated shear at 253.8 metres in downhole depth.

With radiometric results from a second hole on Rook 1’s Arrow prospect, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE repeated last month’s success. On March 13 the company released dozens of tiny intervals ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 metres that showed “significant” readings over 500 counts per second. One intercept of 15.05 metres (not true width) showed almost continuous significant results.

The measurements, which are no substitute for assays, were obtained by scanning drill core with a hand-held radiation detector.

Significant intervals for RK-14-27 started at 224.45 metres in downhole depth and ended at 435.9 metres. Drilling stopped at 576 metres. About a dozen small intervals hit the device’s maximum possible reading of 10,000 cps. Arrow’s mineralization now extends at least 32 metres down dip across two holes, NexGen stated.

Three other holes failed to find significant radiation but “analysis of structures in these holes meant that hole 27 was successfully planned to intersect the interpreted mineralized zones both along strike and down dip.” The company plans to sink RK-14-29 40 metres southwest along strike. Now in progress, RK-14-28 is testing a gravity low roughly 200 metres west of RK-14-27.

The company has two drills working the Arrow area, now the focus of the PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project. A third rig will join by summer.

On March 10 NexGen stated it filed a preliminary short form prospectus regarding the previously announced $10-million bought deal, which the company expects to close on or about March 26.

Fission 3.0 stakes 42,000 additional hectares in and around the Basin

Three acquisitions and one property expansion add nearly 42,000 hectares to Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) portfolio. Announced March 13, the newly staked properties indicate “there remain many under-explored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” according to COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy.

Not all the new turf actually lies within the Basin. But neither does PLS. The 20,826-hectare Perron Lake property is about 20 kilometres north of the Basin and has benefited from regional lake sediment sampling that showed strong uranium anomalies.

The 9,168-hectare Cree Bay property sits within the northeastern Basin, where historic airborne geophysics suggest potential for hydrothermal and structure-related deposits.

Within the southeastern Basin, the 4,354-hectare Grey Island property is located about 70 kilometres from Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Manitou Falls enlarges by 7,589 hectares to a total of 10,529 hectares. The northeastern Basin property was originally staked last May when the spinco was just a gleam in Fission Uranium’s eye. Historic data shows six radiometric anomalies and multiple basement electromagnetic conductors.

Fission 3.0’s portfolio now numbers nine Saskatchewan and Alberta properties in and around the Basin and one in Peru’s Macusani uranium district.

Purepoint finds new zone at Hook Lake JV

March 10 news from Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU heralded a new zone of mineralization at its Hook Lake joint venture five kilometres northeast of PLS. Although two of four holes failed to find mineralization, the other two prompted the company to move its second rig to the new Spitfire zone.

The single interval released from hole HK14-09 showed:

  • 0.32% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 208.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.1% over 0.5 metres)

Thirty metres northwest, HK14-11 showed:

  • 0.11% over 2 metres, starting at 197.9 metres

  • 0.05% over 3 metres, starting at 201.9 metres

  • 0.57% over 0.9 metres, starting at 210.6 metres

True widths weren’t provided. These holes were drilled at a -70 degree dip.

All four holes targeted the 2.9-kilometre D2 electromagnetic conductor, which features “a large magnetic low, possibly indicative of hydrothermal alteration,” said VP of exploration Scott Frostad. “Now that the D2 conductor has been shown to be associated with uranium mineralization, we will increase our drilling efforts towards the northeast where geophysics suggests there is a more structurally complex setting.”

Purepoint stated D2 comprises part of the Patterson Lake conductive corridor, the same conductive trend targeted by Fission at PLS.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare project and acts as operator for partners Cameco (39.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%). The work is part of a $2.5-million, 5,000-metre campaign that began in late January.

In early February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

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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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Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 6th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Lakeland Resources begins Riou Lake ground campaign

Field work has begun at Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Riou Lake project along the Athabasca Basin’s north-central rim. In an October 2 announcement the company outlined the agenda for its Gibbon’s Creek target, just three kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids. Initial work will consist of surface prospecting and boulder sampling, soil gas radon surveying, line-cutting and ground DC resistivity geophysics, with the goal of identifying winter drill targets.

The campaign follows eight months of preparation in which Lakeland studied a volume of previous data, director Ryan Fletcher tells “There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco,” he says. “We’ve been going over their information.”

There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco. We’ve been going over their information.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

Eldorado found numerous boulders grading up to 4.9% uranium oxide (U3O8) and soil samples between five and 10 parts per million uranium, compared to background levels up to 1 ppm. Geophysics showed a gravity low measuring about three kilometres by one kilometre at the end of a conductive zone over 15 kilometres long.

Fourteen historic holes found anomalous radioactivity, geochemistry or both. With the benefit of recent modelling, assays reveal a structural co-corridor up to one kilometre long and 100 metres wide. UEX Corp TSX:UEX flew its $3-million airborne geophysics in 2005, but Lakeland is the first to bring modern ground exploration techniques to the project.

Among Gibbon’s attractions are shallow depths to the unconformity, Fletcher points out. “They’re about 50 metres to 200 metres, which means more holes for our shareholders’ money. If we get a discovery it’s more likely to be open pittable, which would mean better economics and a more strategic project for M&A. That’s what Patterson Lake South had. They went from boulder results to radon results, then they found a high-grade, near-surface discovery.”

Apart from historic data and shallow targets, Fletcher cites other cost-saving potential. “Our crews are based out of the community of Stony Rapids, just a few kilometres from Gibbon’s. A year-round highway, power and all the infrastructure for exploration are basically right adjacent to the target.”

With the program managed by Athabasca veterans Dahrouge Geological Consulting, Fletcher looks forward to a steady stream of news. “For a brand new, smaller market cap company, investors are going to start getting a lot of information from the field.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Fission closes $11.25-million private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

An $11.25-million private placement will fund Fission’s
Patterson Lake South exploration once the Alpha acquisition closes.

Assuming all approvals fall into place, a bought-deal private placement will bring $11.25 million to Patterson Lake South’s future sole owner. On October 3 Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 7.5 million subscription receipts, exchangeable into flow-through shares, at $1.50. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 15%.

Proceeds will be held in escrow until Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, currently a 50/50 joint venture partner in PLS, and spins out its other properties. The subscribers won’t receive shares in the spinco. The entire amount’s designated for PLS exploration.

Read more about Fission’s acquisition of Alpha.

Rockgate considers alternatives to takeover by Denison

Still studying their options following an unsolicited takeover bid from Denison Mines TSX:DML, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors on October 1 urged their shareholders to take no action until further notice.

Denison offered 0.192 of its share for each Rockgate share, a proposal strong enough to defeat a previously proposed Rockgate merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Nevertheless Rockgate’s board emphasized that Denison proposed a change of control, as opposed to a “merger of equals with Mega.”

Rockgate added that “in the absence of a preliminary economic assessment or other study, mining companies are commonly valued on an enterprise value/pound U3O8 multiple.” Denison’s offer works out to “a $0.09/lb multiple which is significantly below the average multiple of $4.37/lb paid on other relevant, development uranium transactions completed post the Fukushima accident,” Rockgate stated. Since September 27 “the implied Denison offer has declined a further 11%.”

Rockgate further stated that Denison sought conditions that weren’t “subject to a materiality threshold or other objective criteria, but provide Denison with sole discretion” whether to proceed. “In addition, the minimum tender condition of 90% is very high….”

Meanwhile, Rockgate added, it’s in discussion with other potential buyers, having been unable to respond to one approach when the non-solicitation agreement with Mega was in effect.

Rockgate promised to update shareholders no later than one week before the Denison offer’s October 25 expiry date.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing offers for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Karoo signs LOI for three Zambian projects

Karoo Exploration TSXV:KE announced a letter of intent September 30 to acquire a portfolio of Zambian uranium properties from ASX-listed African Energy Resources. Under the deal Karoo would pay US$2 million and issue shares and warrants worth $500,000 at a share price “based on any offering completed by Karoo concurrent with this acquisition.”

The package includes the Chirundu, Kariba Valley and North Luangwa Valley projects. African Energy, which focuses on its Botswana coal assets, has a JORC-compliant resource for two Chirundu deposits with open pit potential. The Njame deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 2.7 million tonnes averaging 0.035% for 2.1 million pounds U3O8

  • an indicated category of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 0.025% for 2.1 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 6.6 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 3.5 million pounds

The Gwabe deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 1.3 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 700,000 pounds

  • an indicated category of 3.6 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 2.5 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 800,000 tonnes averaging 0.018% for 300,000 pounds

Karoo holds five uranium exploration licences in southern Tanzania. The company began trading on September 4 following a reverse takeover involving United Uranium.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission extend one PLS zone, disagree about certainty of a “fifth zone”

The news from Patterson Lake South continues to impress—even when the joint venture partners don’t interpret it quite the same way. Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU says a 150-metre step-out found a “fifth high-grade zone.” Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW prefers to call it a “potential” fifth high-grade zone. Either way, the September 23 news was one of three announcements last week that included an extension to an existing zone’s strike length.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Patterson Lake South now has a fifth zone—or a
potential fifth zone, depending on whom you listen to.

The new or potential new zone sits about halfway between the R390E and R780E zones, which are either the second and third of four zones, or the second and fourth of five zones, along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend. With luck future drill results will bring Alpha into agreement with Fission, thereby simplifying sentence structure.

Hole PLS13-085 was collared 150 metres grid east of R390E, reached a depth of 317 metres and struck the basement unconformity at 62.4 metres without encountering sandstone. Preliminary results come from a hand-held scintillometer, which measures radiation up to an off-scale level of more than 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Some highlights showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 33.5 metres, starting at 67 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,200 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 111 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres, starting at 123 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. With a -89 degree dip, downhole depths were close to vertical depths.

Two days later, and with greater unanimity, the 50/50 partners released assays for holes that had previously reported scintillometer readings. Ranking as one of the best PLS holes so far, PLS13-072 reached a total depth of 209 metres. It found no sandstone and struck the basement unconformity at 55.7 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 8.15% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 19.28% over 7.5 metres)

  • (and including 21.53% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 98.5 metres

  • 0.57% over 8.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • (including 1.61% over 2.5 metres)

  • 2.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 137 metres

  • (including 10.65% over 1 metre)

With an -89 degree dip, the depths were close to vertical.

PLS13-073 struck sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 53 metres, before stopping at 248 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 0.25% over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 0.92% over 3 metres)

  • 0.59% over 10 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • (including 4.81% over 1 metre)

True thicknesses are still to come.

When their scintillometer readings were reported earlier (here and here), the two holes extended R390E’s strike 15 metres grid west and 15 metres grid east respectively. But on September 27 the JV announced a further extension, bringing the zone’s strike to about 255 metres and suggesting the possibility “of extending the zone south along the entire length of the corridor as it becomes further delineated.” Here are some highlights from the eight holes reported:

Hole PLS13-087A reached a total depth of 227 metres, encountering sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 50.9 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 68.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,100 cps over 17 metres, starting at 98 metres

Hole PLS13-088 reached a total depth of 296 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 54.3 metres.

  • <300 to 9,800 cps over 23.5 metres, starting at 80 metres in downhole depth

  • 400 to 8,100 cps over 8 metres, starting at 135 metres

Hole PLS13-094 reached a total depth of 272.3 metres, encountering sandstone at 50.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.4 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

Hole PLS13-095 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 47.6 metres and the basement unconformity at 51.7 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 68 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 7 metres, starting at 93.5 metres

  • <300 to 5,800 cps over 33 metres, starting at 116 metres

Hole PLS13-100 reached a total depth of 263 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.3 metres.

  • 790 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 53 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 8,000 cps over 20 metres, starting at 99.5 metres

  • <300 to>9,999 cps over 8.5 metres, starting at 134 metres

Hole PLS13-102 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 58.3 metres and the basement unconformity at 58.8 metres.

  • <300 to 6,000 cps over 29 metres, starting at 103 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

Again, true thicknesses were unavailable. With dips ranging from -84 to -89 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Assays are pending for these holes but this summer’s drilling has extended R390E more than four-fold from last winter’s 60-metre strike.

Fission acts as project operator on the current $6.95-million program. On September 18 the partners signed a definitive agreement for Fission’s acquisition of Alpha and sole control over PLS, with the companies’ other assets to be spun out into two separate companies.

Rockgate rejects Mega merger, mulls Denison deal and other possibilities

Just one day before their shareholders were to vote on a merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors scuttled the proposal. Although a “superior” offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML led to their September 24 announcement, Rockgate directors expressed reservations, said they needed more time for due diligence and expressed interest in receiving other offers.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing ambitions for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Rockgate delineates Falea project’s 880 zone in Mali

Meanwhile work continues on the object of those affections, Rockgate’s Falea flagship in southwestern Mali. On September 26 the company released assays from four holes on the 880 zone, which was discovered last fall. The results show:

  • 0.59% U3O8, 45.7 grams per tonne silver and 0.17% copper over 2.7 metres, starting at 301.4 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.06% U3O8, 118.3 g/t silver and 0.78% copper over 2 metres, starting at 303 metres

  • 0.12% U3O8, 86.3 g/t silver and 0.52% copper over 3 metres, starting at 320 metres

  • 0.17% U3O8, 17.1 g/t silver and 0.16% copper over 4 metres, starting at 304.5 metres

  • (including 1.13% U3O8, 96 g/t silver and 1.14% copper over 0.5 metres)

Intercepts are estimated at 96% to 100% of true widths. Mineralization remains open in several directions, the company stated.

This year’s 19-hole, 5,910-metre program included 14 holes totalling 4,563 metres on the 880 zone’s 500-metre strike length. Another five holes totalling 1,347 metres tested the project’s Central zone. The 880 zone has yet to be included in Falea’s resource estimate. Released last December, it shows:

  • a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% U3O8 for 4.29 million pounds U3O8, with 3.52 million ounces silver and 6.05 million pounds copper

  • an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% U3O8 for 25.29 million pounds U3O8, with 24.43 million ounces silver and 68.17 million pounds copper

  • an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% U3O8 for 15.69 million pounds U3O8, with 8.91 million ounces silver and 81.19 million pounds copper

Rockgate plans to incorporate the 880 zone into an updated resource, likely to coincide with a pre-feasibility study scheduled for completion early next year. The company says it’s been “entirely unaffected” by last year’s military coup and this year’s fighting between French troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels.

NexGen completes two-thirds of Rook 1 drilling, awaits Radio assays

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Brecciated core from NexGen Energy’s Rook 1 drill program.

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE updated its PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign September 25. With 3,000 metres planned, the company has sunk eight holes totalling 1,957 metres on an area about 700 metres along interpreted extensions of the PLS 3B conductor and a parallel conductor approximately 800 metres east.

“All holes intersected varying types of structural zones in basement lithologies, ranging from small fractures through to wide, heavily brecciated material,” the company stated. Scintillometer readings found intercepts of elevated levels in several holes, while all eight holes reached shallow basement rock at downhole depths ranging from 48.7 metres to 82.6 metres. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to October. Winter drilling is planned for the same area.

Assays are still pending from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at Radio, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits on the northeastern Basin. In late August NexGen closed $5 million in private placements.

Canadian International Minerals options two claim groups to Rio Grande;
Rio Grande offers $900,000 private placement, grants options

Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN announced on September 24 it optioned Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV a 75% interest in the Britts Lake East and Firebag East/Descharme claims about 35 kilometres southwest of PLS. Under the agreement Rio Grande would pay a total of $100,000 and issue Canadian International 500,000 shares. Rio Grande would also spend $250,000 by year one, $500,000 by year two and $1.5 million by year three. The companies didn’t specify whether those are aggregate or separate yearly figures.

Canadian International retains a 2% NSR, of which Rio Grande may buy half for $1 million. Canadian International will act as project operator on a planned winter campaign to include radon and helium surveys, as well as lake sediment sampling on the 18,041-hectare package.

Canadian International also holds a 50% interest in each of two other Saskatchewan uranium prospects, the 4,639-hectare Coflin Lake property and the 34,762-hectare Clearwater property.

On September 25 Rio Grande announced a private placement of up to $900,000, consisting of six million units at $0.10 and another 2.5 million units at $0.12. The company also granted 900,000 options to insiders at $0.12 for five years.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports radon and radiometric anomalies at Preston Lake

A four-company strategic alliance focused on the PLS area’s Western Athabasca Syndicate project reported anomalous radon and scintillometer findings on September 26. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY stated an initial radon-in-water survey found nine of 291 samples measuring over 23 picocuries per litre, with the highest reaching 98 pCi/L. The anomalies appear as both clusters and discrete point anomalies, the companies added. Fission and Alpha based their initial PLS drill targets on these measurements of radon gas.

Additionally, WASP’s 217-kilometre scintillometer survey found 25 areas radiating over 1,000 cps, more than twice the typical background level. More Phase II results are pending while Phase III field work continues with the intention of identifying drill targets.

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