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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 17th, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 17, 2015

by Greg Klein

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India’s fast-emerging market becomes a Cameco customer

What was confirmed on April 15 had been anticipated all along—otherwise, why would Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall just happen to join the Ottawa announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi? Athabasca Basin heavyweight Cameco Corp TSX:CCO clinched a five-year deal to supply India with 7.1 million pounds of uranium.

The contract, valued by the feds at $350 million, completely overshadowed the day’s other 15 bilateral announcements. Yet it’s not all that big to a company that sold 33.9 million pounds U3O8 last year. Most importantly, the deal “opens the door to a dynamic and expanding uranium market,” said Cameco president/CEO Tim Gitzel. “Much of the long-term growth we see coming in our industry will happen in India and this emerging market is key to our strategy.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 17, 2015

An emerging economy that’s a quickly-growing uranium market,
India marked a new stage in its Canadian relations by signing
a contract with Cameco. Photo: O’SHI/

Indeed Cameco described its new customer as the second-fastest-growing uranium market in the world. India’s 21 reactors now produce 6,000 megawatts, only 3% of the country’s consumption. Six new reactors should add another 4,300 MW by 2017, Cameco noted. By 2032 India’s projected to have about 45,000 MW of nuclear capacity.

As for the impact on prices, Dundee Capital Markets analyst David Talbot told the Financial Post that the deal could cause a chain reaction for future contracts.

But the deal also aggravated an old wound. A group of anti-nuke activists meeting in Quebec—a province now considering an outright ban on uranium mining—denounced the sale to “a country that maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons and has never signed the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Attendees of the World Uranium Symposium reminded Canadians that “India has already broken its promise to Canada in the past by using a Canadian reactor given as a gift in 1956 to produce the plutonium for its first atomic bomb, detonated in 1974.”

Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility added, “Despite rules specifying no military use of Canadian materials, some uranium from Canada could well end up in Indian bombs. At the very least, Canadian uranium will free up more Indian uranium for weapons production purposes.”

Yet India plans to double its coal consumption by 2020, “overtaking the U.S. as the world’s second-largest coal consumer after China,” the Financial Post reported.

And as a supplier to India, Canada will hardly be alone.

Citing figures from India’s Department of Atomic Energy, the World Nuclear Association stated the country had imported 4,458 tonnes of uranium since 2008, when India appeared to regain some of its pre-1974 credibility by signing the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group agreement. Russia supplied 2,058 tonnes, Kazakhstan 2,100 tonnes and France 300 tonnes, according to the WNA. Several other countries, most recently Australia, have signed so-far unconsummated and not necessarily binding supply agreements with India.

Fission finishes winter work at Patterson Lake South

With another season of drilling wrapped up, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU reported results from multiple fronts at Patterson Lake South. The last few dispatches outlined progress at the R780E zone, as well as R00E and two areas of exploration drilling. R780E, mainstay of the Triple R resource, has been extended laterally, vertically and along strike. But four holes from R00E, scene of the PLS discovery, fell short of spectacular. Four exploration holes from Patterson Lake found no significant radioactivity while 20 others at Forest Lake presented a mixed bag of insignificant to anomalous radioactivity.

Released April 16, some step-out highlights from the eastern part of R780E showed:

Hole PLS15-330

  • 0.66% U3O8 over 33 metres, starting at 142 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.87% over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 8.78% over 1 metre)


  • 0.42% over 40.5 metres, starting at 61.55 metres
  • (including 2.87% over 1 metre)


  • 5.4% over 4 metres, starting at 162.5 metres
  • (including 14.07% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.23% over 7 metres, starting at 182.5 metres


  • 1.6% over 10.5 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 3.71% over 4 metres)

  • 0.37% over 12.5 metres, starting at 172.5 metres

True widths weren’t available.

Four holes at R00E, 225 metres west of R780E, fell short of the project’s high standards, with the best result showing 0.19% over 2 metres, starting at 67.5 metres.

About seven kilometres southeast of Triple R, four holes at Forest Lake intersected anomalous radioactivity on three basement EM conductors, Fission stated. Sixteen other holes didn’t. Nevertheless, Forest Lake remains a priority.

Four other regional holes at Patterson Lake northeast of Triple R also came up empty.

Scintillometer results announced April 8 extended Triple R’s high-grade area and increased the extent of known mineralization. The hand-held device measures radiation from drill core in counts per second. Its results are no substitute for the still-pending assays.

The standout was hole PLS15-379 which found, within a 105-metre section, a total composite of 8.01 metres above 10,000 cps, peaking up to 61,100 cps. Another five showed mineralization in areas that had little previous drilling. Of 11 holes in the April 8 batch, all found mineralization and eight hit intervals above 10,000 cps, the level once considered “offscale” due to the limitations of older scintillometers.

An April 6 batch of assays increased R780E laterally, vertically and along strike, with all 16 step-outs finding mineralization. The more outstanding assays showed:


  • 1.91% over 33.5 metres, starting at 60.5 metres
  • (including 14.09% over 3.5 metres)


  • 1.41% over 22.5 metres, starting at 147.5 metres
  • (including 12.03% over 2 metres)


  • 3.13% over 13.5 metres, starting at 56.5 metres
  • (including 8.14% over 5 metres)


  • 0.92% over 5.5 metres, starting at 83.5 metres
  • (including 2.29% over 2 metres)


  • 0.53% over 27 metres, starting at 149.5 metres
  • (including 4.31% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 2.42% over 2.5 metres)


  • 1.3% over 6.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres
  • (including 7.74% over 1 metre)

  • 0.55% over 15.5 metres, starting at 183.5 metres
  • (including 3.99% over 1.5 metres)


  • 8.14% over 6 metres, starting at 215 metres
  • (including 21.18% over 2 metres)

Again, true widths weren’t available.

Fission ended the winter with 88 holes totalling 28,296 metres and lots more assays to come. While R780E’s pre-eminence was confirmed by 50 mineralized holes out of a seasonal total of 51 on that zone, earlier results also brought renewed interest to the project’s R600W zone.

Read about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

Purepoint finds semi-massive pitchblende in the Hook Lake JV’s last winter hole

A 40-metre step-out, the last hole of the season, added encouragement to Purepoint Uranium’s (TSXV:PTU) Hook Lake joint venture in the southwestern Basin. Announced April 15, hole HK15-33 gave up an 8.6-metre intercept starting at a downhole depth of 344 metres, averaging 8,900 counts per second with semi-massive pitchblende peaking at 32,600 cps. Another interval in the same hole averaged 1,500 cps for 4.4 metres starting at 304.5 metres in depth. True thicknesses were estimated at 75% to 85%.

The hole was collared 35 metres west of HK15-27, which last month revealed 2.23% U3O8 over 2.8 metres. Purepoint said another hole, HK15-31, backed up 35 metres from HK15-27 and found two intervals of 3.4 metres and 4.1 metres just under 0.05% eU3O8 between 387 and 396 metres in depth. The Spitfire zone remains open in most directions, the company added.

Purepoint gleaned its results from a hand-held scintillometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second, and two downhole probes that measure uranium oxide-equivalent. Applicable is the usual disclaimer that scintillometer results are no substitute for the still-pending assays.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare JV, with Cameco and AREVA Resources Canada each holding 39.5%.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 2nd, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 2, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Financing flows for Fission as successful drilling continues at Patterson Lake South

Just hours after announcing a $15-million bought deal on April 1, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU reported an upward revision to $17.4 million, capping a flurry of encouraging drill results from Patterson Lake South. The previous day Fission released radiometric readings for 15 mineralized holes over four zones. A week earlier came assays as high as 3.36% U3O8 over 44 metres at the newly revitalized R600W zone. And two days before that the company released step-outs that increased the main R780E zone laterally, vertically and along strike.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 2, 2015

Scintillometer measurements released March 31 expanded the footprints of zones R600W, R780E and R1620E, the company stated, while also hitting “a new, possibly parallel, high-grade interval” 30 metres north of R600W. Two holes between R00E and R780E suggest potential for closing the deposit’s 225-metre gap, Fission stated.

Drilling now extends R600W’s strike to 60 metres, up from 45 metres reported on March 18 and twice the length previous to that. The lateral width stands at about 30 metres, while the zone remains open in all directions. R1620E now runs 45 metres in strike based on three holes, one newly reported. R780E saw high-grade expansion on four lines.

Scintillometer results come from a hand-held device that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. The readings are no substitute for the still-pending assays.

Among the March 31 highlights, R780E’s hole PLS15-369 showed 78 metres of total composite mineralization over a 281.5-metre section starting at 76 metres in downhole depth. Included was a composite 5.24 metres above 10,000 cps, a level sometimes termed “off-scale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

In the same zone, PLS15-375 hit a composite 59.5 metres over a 134-metre section starting at 75.5 metres in depth. A composite 5.08 metres went off-scale.

A March 23 batch of scintillometer results for 19 step-outs showed mineralization in all but two, contributing to the extensions laterally, vertically and along strike.

Back to the March 31 results, PLS15-367 in the R600W zone found continuous mineralization for 56 metres starting at 98 metres, with a composite four metres surpassing 10,000 cps.

Five holes also found mineralization at the R00E zone, part of the Triple R deposit and site of the PLS discovery. R00E’s strike runs 125 metres with a lateral width maxing at 47 metres.

Assays for hole PLS15-343 released March 25 confirm Fission’s increasing interest in the R600W zone. One outstanding interval hit:

  • 3.36% U3O8 over 44 metres, starting at 107 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 14.74% over 9 metres)

True widths weren’t provided.

Along with successful results, the winter program’s been blessed with drilling speed and efficiency as well as favourable weather. Who knows, maybe there’s even a 43-101-unreportable alignment of the stars. At any rate, progress has inspired a $3-million, 28-hole, 6,270-metre addition to the season’s campaign, now expected to total about 91 holes and 26,500 metres. R780E and R600W remain priorities.

Read about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

NexGen claims new Rook 1 discovery, releases more high grades from Arrow zone

Regional drilling now has NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE talking about “two discoveries developing in proximity to one another” at the Rook 1 project next door to PLS. Work has focused on the Arrow zone but, about 3.7 kilometres northeast and along trend, two of 10 holes have stoked the company’s optimism in the newly named Bow discovery.

Scintillometer results released March 31 for hole BO-15-10 showed one metre starting at 206.5 metres in downhole depth that ranged from under 500 counts per second to 1,400 cps. Another interval showed 1.5 metres starting at 210 metres in depth, ranging from under 500 cps to an “offscale” 10,200 cps.

That hole stepped out 66 metres east of BO-15-02, which showed three metres starting at 202 metres in depth ranging from under 500 to 1,350 cps.

Eight other holes brought intercepts of less than 500 cps, below NexGen’s threshold for mineralization.

True widths weren’t provided for the angled holes. As is usual with the scintillometer disclaimer, the results are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

The targets followed highly anomalous radon-in-lake-water readings coinciding with an extension of the VTEM conductor that hosts Arrow and a parallel conductor to the north. “These radon anomalies are optimally situated along breaks and kinks in the VTEM conductors,” NexGen stated.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 2, 2015

Pitchblende mineralization from NexGen’s Bow discovery,
3.7 kilometres northeast of Rook 1’s Arrow zone.

Back at Arrow, more scintillometer results released March 23 indicated high-grade expansions to A2 and A3, two of the zone’s three mineralized shears, NexGen stated.

The project’s best angled hole so far, AR-15-41 hit total composite mineralization for 205.2 metres within a 439-metre section, starting at 384.5 metres in downhole depth. Included was an offscale composite of 24.5 metres.

AR-15-39w1 showed a composite 124.5 metres within 514.5 metres starting at 438 metres. A composite 8.35 metres went offscale.

AR-15-40b intersected a 15-metre composite within 321.5 metres starting at 373 metres that included 1.3 metres above 10,000 cps.

The A2 shear now runs 88 metres along strike and 340 metres vertically; A3 runs 73 metres along strike and 420 metres vertically. The Arrow zone covers 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization found at vertical depths ranging from 100 metres to 905 metres. Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.

With a second rig directed at Bow, Rook 1 now has four drills turning. The company has added at least 2,000 additional metres to the winter program, which should total about 20,000 metres.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 21st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 20, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Step-outs renew Fission’s interest west of PLS resource

The zone’s five previous holes found disappointingly low grades but Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) most recent drilling brings new attention to R600W, 555 metres west of the Triple R deposit that surprised even some of the more optimistic Patterson Lake South-watchers. The most westerly of four PLS zones got five more holes this season, four showing mineralization in basement rock and three suggesting high grades over significant widths, the company announced March 18.

These results, no substitute for the still-pending assays, come from a scintillometer that measures drill core radiation in counts per second.

Hole PLS15-364, 570 metres west of Triple R, hit a composite total of 45.5 metres of mineralization over a 61-metre section starting at 107 metres in downhole depth. A composite 6.44 metres surpassed 10,000 cps, a level sometimes termed “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

PLS15-352 revealed a continuous 56.5-metre intercept starting at 102.5 metres that included continuous “offscale” readings for 11.77 metres. PLS15-360 showed 25 continuous metres starting at 111 metres, while PLS15-364 gave up 40.5 continuous metres starting at 107 metres.

True widths weren’t available.

The angled holes have expanded the zone’s strike to 45 metres, a 50% increase that extends PLS’s potential strike from 2.24 to 2.25 kilometres. R600W’s lateral width extends up to about 30 metres. Results have “substantially increased our understanding of the geometry and tenure of the mineralization,” said Fission COO/chief geologist Ross McElroy.

While delineation continues at Triple R, R600W has more drilling to come.

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

NexGen continues to find high grades at Rook 1’s Arrow zone

Its first two batches of winter assays once again have NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) Rook 1 project vying for attention with Fission’s Patterson Lake South. On March 17 NexGen announced the project’s widest high-grade interval yet, hitting 70 metres of 2.2% U3O8. Two days later the company confirmed an 88-metre strike extension from AR-14-30, an outstanding hole released last October. The results come from Rook 1’s Arrow zone, defined last month as three mineralized shears named A1, A2 and A3.

The star hole from the first batch, AR-15-34b, was a 30-metre step-out from October’s AR-14-30, centrepiece of the A2 shear. Although the new hole’s other intercepts fell far short in grade and thickness, these intervals brought redemption, the first from A2, the second from A1:

  • 2.2% U3O8 over 70 metres, starting at 522 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.95% over 11 metres)

  • 0.12% over 32 metres, starting at 697 metres

As for some other highlights:


  • 0.26% over 12.5 metres, starting at 548.5 metres


  • 0.33% over 18.5 metres, starting at 394.5 metres

  • 0.49% over 12 metres, starting at 553.5 metres


  • 0.32% over 51 metres, starting at 167 metres

  • 0.1% over 61.5 metres, starting at 248 metres

True widths weren’t available. AR-14-36 was a vertical hole. The others were sunk at a dip of -70 or -75 degrees.

Assays for two angled holes released two days later inspired additional confidence in A2. Highlights show:


  • 2.46% over 16.5 metres, starting at 580.5 metres
  • (including 12.85% over 3 metres)

  • 0.34% over 13.5 metres, starting at 602 metres

  • 2.88% over 40 metres, starting at 621.5 metres
  • (including 4.92% over 22 metres)


  • 0.75% over 6 metres, starting at 664 metres

  • 0.9% over 32 metres, starting at 583.5 metres

Again, true widths weren’t provided. The latter hole confirms an 88-metre strike expansion southwest of AR-14-30, NexGen stated.

The Arrow zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres with mineralization starting at about 100 metres in depth and now extending to 820 metres. The zone remains open in all directions and at depth.

NexGen has further drilling planned for the A2 shear as well as the newly discovered high-grade area within A3. At last count the season’s program had completed 38 holes, according to the March 19 press release, or 39, according to a February 24 statement. Roughly a third of the 18,000-metre winter agenda has been drilled.

Phase I drilling finds anomalous radioactivity at Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 20, 2015

The first round of drilling went radioactive at
Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK wrapped up a successful 14-hole, 2,550-metre winter program by reporting anomalous radioactivity at its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Athabasca Basin’s northern rim. While assays are pending, initial results also reveal “alteration suggestive of a proximal basement-hosted or unconformity-hosted uranium occurrence,” said company president Jonathan Armes on March 12.

Six holes along a corridor about 1.5 to two kilometres long struck the unconformity at depths of less than 125 metres, finding either anomalous radioactivity, alteration or both. The results confirm the trend as a high-priority target.

Three other holes along a one-kilometre corridor near the head of the Gibbon’s Creek boulder field found the unconformity at depths of less than 110 metres, again intersecting either anomalous radioactivity, alteration or both and confirming another high-priority target.

The readings come from a downhole scintillometer and are no substitute for assays, which will follow. Lakeland attributes background radioactivity to readings of 10 to 100 cps. Results show these anomalous levels of at least 800 cps over 0.3 metres:

Hole GC15-01

  • An average 1,104 cps over 0.4 metres starting at 81.2 metres in downhole depth. The maximum level hit 1,379 cps.


  • An average 1,204 cps over 0.3 metres starting at 99 metres, with a maximum of 1,589 cps

  • An average 1,072 cps over 0.7 metres starting at 99.6 metres, with a maximum of 1,312 cps


  • An average 2,828 cps over 1 metre starting at 107.1 metres, with a maximum of 7,926 cps


  • An average 1,415 cps over 0.6 metres starting at 102.9 metres, with a maximum of 1,740 cps

True widths weren’t available. Along with the other anomalous results, hole GC15-03 is considered highly anomalous.

To further solidify targets, the project also underwent a 270-station ground gravity survey.

“During the coming weeks we will be in receipt of geochemical results for uranium and pathfinder elements such as boron, nickel, cobalt and arsenic,” Armes stated. “As with other historic uranium discoveries within the Athabasca Basin, each successful drill program helps guide the next towards the discovery of a new uranium occurrence.”

The road-accessible project sits a few kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids, with nearby infrastructure.

Lakeland also holds drill-ready projects at Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s, and Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern rim. Late last month the company expanded its holdings to 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, one of the largest portfolios in the Basin region.

As of March 12 Lakeland’s treasury held close to $3 million.

Read more about the Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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