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Posts tagged ‘Strateco Resources Inc (RSC)’

Canada’s nuclear regulator slams Quebec uranium review

July 30th, 2015

by Greg Klein | July 30, 2015

A recommendation against uranium mining in Quebec has come under fire from the federal agency that regulates uranium mining and nuclear energy in Canada. In a July 27 letter to Quebec environment minister David Heurtel, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission criticized the province’s BAPE commission for “conclusions and recommendations that lack scientific basis and rigour.”

Earlier this month, following a year-long review, the provincial government-appointed Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement suggested Quebec “could decide to suspend uranium mining either temporarily or permanently.” Should the province decide to allow mining, BAPE recommended conditions including consensus-building and additional research that the bureau said would require years to complete.

BAPE’s recommendation not to proceed is based on the perceived lack of social acceptance and not on proven science.—Michael Binder, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

The CNSC argued that BAPE “is misleading Quebeckers and all Canadians.” To suggest uranium mining is unsafe, wrote CNSC president Michael Binder, is to imply that the agency and the province of Saskatchewan “have been irresponsible in their approval and oversight of the uranium mines of Canada for the last 30 years.”

CNSC staff, “who are recognized internationally as scientific and regulatory experts, provided numerous submissions on how the CNSC oversees and monitors all aspects of a uranium operation to ensure safety, including environmental and radiation protection, worker health and safety, tailings and waste rock management, emergency preparedness and safe uranium transport.”

Binder described his agency as “fully transparent in our regulatory oversight of uranium mines and mills, with a public hearing-based licensing process and annual reporting of operational safety and environmental performance. This represents a level of transparency and oversight practised by no other industry in Canada.”

Binder added, “BAPE’s recommendation not to proceed is based on the perceived lack of social acceptance and not on proven science.”

Quebec has no uranium mines. The former Parti Québécois government imposed a moratorium on uranium exploration in March 2013 following the James Bay Cree Nation’s opposition to Strateco Resources’ Matoush project. Saying it had spent $123 million on Matoush, the company launched legal action against the province and has since delisted from the TSX.

As the BAPE inquiry began last year, the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association called for the replacement of chairperson Louis-Gilles Francoeur, whom the association called a “former environmental journalist.”

A decision on BAPE’s recommendations will come from Quebec’s environment minister, who’ll review the report with a committee.

BAPE recommends Quebec ban uranium “temporarily or permanently,” but not “in haste”

July 17th, 2015

by Greg Klein | July 17, 2015

Quebec’s year-long review of uranium mining and exploration resulted in a negative but somewhat equivocal recommendation on July 17. The province “could [emphasis added] decide to suspend uranium mining either temporarily or permanently,” Quebec’s environmental oversight agency stated. “However, because of its potential legal and economic impacts, such a decision should not be made in haste, so as to minimize its cost.”

That’s the verdict of BAPE, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement. The commission emphasized two key concerns. Radioactive waste can pose problems for thousands of years but “the most recent confinement technique recommended in Canada has been in use for only 30 years,” BAPE stated. Additionally, “experts are divided. Some believe current knowledge provides sufficient grounds to move forward, while others believe it does not.”

In the commission’s view, the Quebec government could decide to suspend uranium mining either temporarily or permanently. However, because of its potential legal and economic impacts, such a decision should not be made in haste, so as to minimize its cost.—The BAPE report
into Quebec uranium mining

For all that, BAPE’s conclusion sounded equivocal. But the commission did recommend three requirements before allowing uranium mining: “An extensive information program and a co-operation and consensus-building strategy” to gain community support, efforts to “generate enough reliable knowledge to overcome technological uncertainties and current gaps in scientific knowledge” and a legal framework allowing Quebec “to control uranium mining operations by means of rules that are harmonized with federal legislation through a federal-provincial agreement.”

Stating it would likely take several years to achieve those conditions, BAPE “feels it would be inappropriate to authorize uranium mining in Quebec in the present context.”

The report goes to provincial environment minister David Heurtel for a decision.

The non-profit Canadian Nuclear Association stated it will review the report and “looks forward to working with the Quebec government as it studies the benefits and risks posed by uranium mining.” The Cree Nation welcomed BAPE’s recommendations.

A Canadian Press dispatch in the Montreal Gazette quoted l’Association minière du Québec: “Saskatchewan’s experience shows that it is possible to properly operate a uranium mine and adhere to the best practices recognized worldwide, while reaping some very important benefits for Quebec’s socio-economic development and respecting people and the environment.”

As the BAPE inquiry began, the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association called on the province to replace chairperson Louis-Gilles Francoeur, a “former environmental journalist.”

Quebec’s former Parti Québécois government launched the BAPE inquiry after proclaiming a moratorium on uranium exploration in 2013, following opposition by the Cree Nation. As a result Strateco Resources launched legal action challenging the province’s refusal to issue an exploration permit for Matoush, an advanced stage uranium project which the company said hosted one of the world’s highest grades.

Strateco said it spent $123 million on Matoush prior to the moratorium.

Quebec’s distinction

May 8th, 2015

Both interventionist and capitalist, the province’s mining-friendly policies defy ideology

by Greg Klein

Quebec’s provincial government might buy rail and port facilities that serve Bloom Lake, as well as invest taxpayers’ money in the iron ore mine. Economy Minister Jacques Daoust didn’t commit to anything, but Bloomberg reported he’s open to the idea. Even that shows Quebec’s distinctive approach to mining, a strategy that eludes political stereotypes but suggests long-term vision based on confidence that commodities markets will improve.

Making that confidence all the more remarkable is the iron ore collapse which shut down so much Labrador Trough activity. Rio Tinto NYE:RIO so far shows no sign of relenting on its price-slashing tactics, although Axis of Iron fellow travellers BHP Billiton NYE:BHP and Vale NYE:VALE are reportedly backing off.

Both interventionist and capitalist, the province’s mining-friendly policies defy ideology

But not after driving prices down and mines out of business. Some of the casualties have littered both the Quebec and Newfoundland sides of the Trough. Last year Labrador Iron Mines TSX:LIM didn’t bother resuming seasonal operations at Schefferfield. Later that year Cliffs Natural Resources announced impending closures of its Wabush and Bloom Lake mines. Then the Iron Ore Company of Canada announced plans to lay off part of its Labrador City workforce, in keeping with majority-owner Rio’s cost-cutting craze. But at least the mine’s surviving, as is ArcelorMittal’s Mont-Wright operation, although that company has alluded to some kind of future “restructuring.”

Cliffs’ exit from eastern Canada will “end the flawed expansion that has cost Cliffs and its shareholders billions of dollars,” president/CEO Lourenco Goncalves said in January. Handed the job after activist hedge fund Casablanca Capital gained control of Cliffs’ board, Goncalves takes a dim view of other operations as well.

“I can’t wait to get out of Australia,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him last month. “As soon as I get to the end of life of mine in Australia, I’m out of there … I can’t wait to get out of the seaborne trade and let the Australians take that horrible business on their own hands.”

Yet Bloom Lake, with “its high-quality ore,” still has hope, Goncalves suggested back in January. But “the potential investment is not achievable within a time frame acceptable to Cliffs.” Talks with Investissement Québec had already been underway for several months, he stated.

A government-run investment and financing agency, Investissement Québec’s subsidiary Ressources Québec has taken positions that include, for example, nearly $600,000 in an April private placement with Quest Rare Minerals TSX:QRM. A $3-million injection into Matamec Explorations TSXV:MAT last January brought Ressources Québec a 28% interest and joint venture partnership in the Kipawa rare earths deposit.

A much bigger Investissement Québec outlay was the $50-million stake in an estimated $118-million plan to increase Gaz Métro’s liquefied natural gas production. The government sees Plan Nord synergies, with the LNG fuelling transportation and operations in remote areas.

Quebec government investment is hardly new, although the previous Parti Québécois government shelved some resource-friendly policies.

I am not in a subsidy mode, I am in a partnership mode.—Quebec Economy Minister Jacques Daoust, quoted in
the Montreal Gazette

Now a branch of Ressources Québec but dating back to 1965, SOQUEM Inc has participated in over 350 Quebec exploration projects. Among its success stories is Renard, where Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY plans 2017 production. In 2011 the company issued shares to acquire the 50% held by a SOQUEM subsidiary.

Outside of equity investments, Quebec last month announced $1.3 billion in government spending for Plan Nord over five years, part of an envisioned $50 billion to come from public and private sources for infrastructure and project development over 20 years.

It’s not a program to put off, the province maintains. As Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand told Canadian Press in December, Quebec “cannot wait until there is a mining boom and everything becomes uncontrollable.”

Quebec’s Bloom Lake investment, should it happen, could reach 20% of the operation, Bloomberg reported. “We’re trying to ensure the survival of the mine,” the news agency quoted Daoust. “If the last 20% is a problem, I will fix it.”

Last month the Montreal Gazette quoted him, “In a [typical] mining project, the bill is at least $1 billion. The problem you have in a mining project is financing the last 10%. If we invest $100 million in a mining project worth $1 billion we’re okay and we can close the deal…. We can go up to $200 million, but normally we should not invest more than 10 or 15%.”

Daoust added, “The kind of return we would get is the same as for any other shareholder. I am not in a subsidy mode, I am in a partnership mode.”

Government ownership of Bloom Lake’s rail link and port facilities, however, could lower the mine’s operating costs by as much as $20 a ton, he told Bloomberg.

Regardless, policies like these have helped raise the province’s once-faltering reputation. As a mining jurisdiction the province leaped from 18th place globally to number six on the Fraser Institute’s Investment Attractiveness Index, part of the annual survey of mining companies released in February.

Quebec’s policies aren’t without controversy, though. Following the April announcement of a scaled-down Plan Nord, the Parti Québécois opposition noted that Ressources Québec planned to guarantee a $100-million mortgage for the Nunavik nickel mine, held by Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co. As reported by the Nunatsiaq News, the opposition pointed out that Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard formerly held a board position with project operator Canadian Royalties, which was acquired by Jilin Jien in 2010.

And there’s further controversy from another angle. In December Strateco Resources TSX:RSC launched a nearly $190-million lawsuit after Quebec refused to issue an exploration permit for the company’s Matoush uranium project. With a moratorium on uranium activity now in place, the province is considering an outright ban.

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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Strateco sues Quebec for $190 million over stalled uranium project

December 12th, 2014

by Greg Klein | December 12, 2014

Claiming damages for lost investment in its Matoush uranium project, Strateco Resources TSX:RSC launched a nearly $190-million lawsuit against the Quebec government on December 11. The suit alleges actions by the government and its environmental minister wiped out about $123 million spent on the project from 2006 to 2012.

Strateco sues Quebec for $190 million over stalled uranium project

Strateco spent $123 million developing a resource of 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred.

Strateco claims the government strung the company along for years, issuing some 30 permits and praising Matoush’s benefits. In 2013, however, Quebec slapped a moratorium on uranium exploration following opposition from the James Bay Cree Nation. Later that year the province refused Strateco an exploration permit “alleging a lack of social acceptability of a certain group,” the company stated. The project was already permitted by the federal government and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

“Uranium exploration and mining are allowed in Quebec, both under the old Mining Act and under the new Mining Act that came into effect in December 2013,” the company states, adding that “the government never explained what it meant by ‘lack of social acceptability,’ a concept not defined in any Quebec law or regulation.”

Quebec’s BAPE inquiry is currently examining the environmental effects of uranium exploration and mining. Strateco has since moved into Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Last month the company announced a deal in which ASX-listed Toro Energy would acquire a stake in Strateco. Toro “has shown clear interest” in Matoush, Strateco indicated at the time. Toro’s experience in permitting an advanced Western Australian uranium project, “in an area formerly under moratorium, will certainly be an asset for Strateco,” the company added.

British Columbia’s 2008 ban on uranium exploration led to a $30.35-million out-of-court settlement. But payment has been held up by disputes among the beneficiaries.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to November 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Kivalliq’s Nunavut property reveals new drill priority

Heralding its “most advanced, drill-ready target outside of the Lac 50 trend,” Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV announced the Angilak project’s Dipole target on November 12. The new area came to light after a 1,335-line-kilometre VTEM survey and 1,514 soil samples south of the 111,476-hectare property’s Lac 50 deposit in Nunavut.

Preliminary analysis confirms geophysical targets at Dipole and the RIB area, Kivalliq stated. The company expects final VTEM data shortly to further define targets south of Lac 50.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to November 14, 2014

Located 225 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake,
Angilak has an exploration season lasting from April to September.

Enzyme leach soil samples showed 379 anomalous uranium results, about a quarter of the total, ranging from 6 ppb up to 285 ppb uranium, placing the results in the 75th percentile. Out of that group, 77 samples made the 95th percentile. The sampling has “significantly upgraded” drill targets in the Hot and KU areas, as well as Dipole.

Kivalliq describes the latter area, 27 kilometres southwest of Lac 50, as “a distinct, two-kilometre-long geophysical anomaly having a coincident boulder assay of 2.24% U3O8, now confirmed by an anomalous uranium-in-soil trend over 3.4 kilometres of strike length” with anomalous copper, molybdenum and silver.

This year’s work also confirmed a conductor in the RIB area, which has “geological similarities with both Dipole and Lac 50,” the company added. Soil samples showed a 3.6-kilometre-long geochemical trend with uranium values ranging from 6 ppb to 61.9 ppb.

Historic 1970s drilling at RIB found shallow mineralization up to 0.19% U3O8 over 9.3 metres (including 0.52% over 2.6 metres) and 1.61% over 0.7 metres.

Lac 50’s January 2013 inferred resource used a 0.2% cutoff to show 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% for 43.3 million pounds U3O8. The inferred category also shows 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper.

In late October Kivalliq announced a 1,914-hectare addition to its Genesis project in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where Roughrider Exploration TSXV:REL funds exploration through an 85% earn-in.

A big piece of Strateco brings Toro Energy to Canada

An ASX-listed uranium company would gain a substantial portion of Strateco Resources TSX:RSC under an agreement announced November 3. Toro Energy would issue shares to obtain a chunk of the Sentient Group’s holdings in Strateco and SeqUr Exploration, a Strateco subsidiary. As a result, Toro would hold 19.8% of Strateco shares, $14.1 million of secured convertible notes receivable in Strateco, a $3-million senior secured first ranking loan receivable in Strateco and five million SeqUr shares, representing 25% of the subsidiary.

Sentient’s interest in Strateco would drop from 27.13% to about 8%. Sentient would also hold 800 convertible notes representing $800,000 secured by Strateco assets.

Toro’s Wiluna project is “set to become Western Australia’s first-ever uranium mine,” according to Strateco. “Toro has shown clear interest in the Matoush project, as well as in SeqUr’s uranium projects in Saskatchewan. Toro’s experience … permitting the Wiluna project, in an area formerly under moratorium, will certainly be an asset for Strateco.” The latter company’s Matoush project in Quebec has been stalled by a moratorium while a provincial inquiry into uranium takes place.

The transaction is part of a wider deal that includes Sentient’s AU$10-million placement into Toro, with another AU$10 million to fund the Wiluna flagship. Sentient now holds 18.9% of Toro, in which Oz Minerals holds 21.9% and Mega Uranium TSX:MGA 21.5%.

Toro anticipates closing the deals by mid-December.

Hook Lake JV proposes $2.9-million 2015 budget, Purepoint announces

Hook Lake partners will be on the hook for $2.9 million worth of exploration next year, if the joint venture committee’s proposals go through. Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU announced November 11 that a final decision on the budget, which would cover 4,200 metres of drilling, would follow geophysical results and a detailed drill plan. An airborne magnetic and VTEM-plus survey finished last month north of the project’s Spitfire zone. Beginning soon will be a ground EM survey to pinpoint drill targets on the 28,683-hectare property five kilometres northeast of Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) Patterson Lake South discovery.

Purepoint announced the Spitfire zone last March and released additional drill results in May.

The Hook Lake JV consists of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (39.5%), AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%) and Purepoint (21%). The latter company’s share of the budget would come to about $310,000.

Western Athabasca Syndicate, Aben, Alpha update Preston, Mann Lake and Carpenter Lake

A recent analysis of airborne geophysics confirms existing drill targets at the 246,643-hectare Preston property, the Western Athabasca Syndicate reported November 13. The four-company group has further geophysical and geochemical work planned for early 2015, along with land- and lake-based drilling.

Some $3.75 million worth of expenditures so far have identified 15 target areas on the southwestern Athabasca Basin PLS-proximal property. In July the companies released results from Preston’s initial drill campaign of nine holes totalling 1,902 metres.

Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH currently acts as project operator for partners Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 21st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 14 to 20, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Patterson Lake South gives Fission 91 metres of 4.29% U3O8

High grades and shallow depths continue to characterize Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South. A June 16 batch of assays found positive results from three holes targeting the eastern part of R780E, the middle of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. The two best holes showed:

Hole PLS14-161

  • 0.11% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 13 metres, starting at 137 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 14 to 20, 2014

  • 0.2% over 22 metres, starting at 153 metres

  • 1.88% over 3.5 metres, starting at 190.5 metres

  • 2.48% over 4.5 metres, starting at 209.5 metres

  • 7.85% over 3 metres, starting at 221.5 metres
  • (including 18.1% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-164

  • 4.29% over 91 metres, starting at 97 metres
  • (including 14.69% over 6.5 metres)
  • (and including 21.2% over 7 metres)

  • 3.5% over 2.5 metres, starting at 228 metres

True widths weren’t provided. Another hole testing the gap between R780E and discovery zone R00E to the west failed to find significant mineralization.

The results followed a late May batch that featured 4.44% U3O8 over 38 metres. The tally from last winter’s campaign now stands at 44 holes reported and 48 pending.

With still no word on a maiden resource, another question remains outstanding: When will someone find the source of the uraniferous boulder field that inspired so much successful drilling since November 2012?

Denison boosts Wheeler River to 70 million pounds indicated, drills Gryphon zone

Denison Mines TSX:DML reported a 34% increase for the indicated category of the Phoenix zone on its Wheeler River joint venture June 17. The resource uses a 0.8% cutoff to estimate:

  • indicated: 166,400 tonnes averaging 19.13% for 70.2 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred:8,600 tonnes averaging 5.8% for 1.1 million pounds
Denison boosts Wheeler River’s Phoenix resource, drills Gryphon zone

A substantial upgrade to the Phoenix resource now complete,
Denison turns its focus to Wheeler River’s Gryphon zone.

With a 60% interest in Wheeler River, project operator Denison’s share comes to 42.1 million pounds indicated and 600,000 pounds inferred. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds a 30% interest while JCU (Canada) Exploration holds the rest.

The estimate was based on 25 new holes in addition to the 2012 resource. With mineralization at 400 metres in depth and varying from disseminated to massive, “Phoenix belongs to a select group of very high-grade unconformity uranium deposits that includes the prolific McArthur River mine (37 kilometres to the northeast) and the Cigar Lake mine (80 kilometres to the northeast),” Denison stated.

JV partner Cameco operates the Key Lake mill about 35 kilometres northeast of Wheeler.

The Phoenix upgrade notwithstanding, Wheeler’s newly discovered Gryphon zone has taken centre stage. Now underway is a two-drill, 18-hole, 14,000-metre summer program three kilometres northwest of Phoenix. Meanwhile Denison has a 3D DC-resistivity survey planned for the northern extension of the Phoenix trend.

The previous week Denison closed its most recent company acquisition, of International Enexco. With $15 million committed to Canadian exploration in 2014, Denison announced its summer plans earlier this month.

Aldrin’s first three Anticline holes at Triple M reveal radioactivity

Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN reported more radioactive mineralization from the Anticline target on its PLS-adjacent Triple M property June 19. Results for the first three holes showed significant intervals above 300 counts per second for widths above 0.3 metres as measured by a downhole radiometric probe.

Hole ALN14-008 had been reported in late May but further drilling found additional radioactivity in small intervals ranging from 0.4 metres to 6.5 metres (not true thicknesses) of mineralization between downhole depths of 176.6 and 323.9 metres.

ALN14-009 showed radioactivity in several small intercepts between 214.9 and 289.1 metres in depth, while ALN14-010 revealed intervals between 226.7 and 282 metres.

The company cautioned that radiometric results could indicate potassium or thorium. Aldrin describes the Anticline target as “a coincident basement conductor, gravity low and structural feature extending more than 2.5 kilometres on strike.” These three holes tested its northeast corner.

Drilling will resume “immediately following our high-resolution surface geophysics and geochemistry,” CEO Johnathan More stated.

In April the company released initial results from four of seven holes on Triple M’s Forrest Lake fault. The 12,000-hectare project comprises two blocks west and south of PLS.

Fission 3.0, Azincourt to begin summer drilling at Patterson Lake North

Adjacent and to the north of PLS, Patterson Lake North has four or five holes totalling about 1,600 metres that were expected to begin imminently, according to June 16 announcements from Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ. The plan is to test the project’s A1 and A4 conductors with three holes spaced 400 metres apart and a fourth contingent on the first three results. Winter drilling failed to find radioactivity but did “confirm the high prospectivity of the target areas,” the companies stated last April.

This summer’s budget comes to $1.5 million, including geophysics. Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 27,408-hectare property, where Azincourt has just entered year two of a 50% earn-in.

Late last month Azincourt and Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL stated they would extend to June 15 a letter of intent to consolidate their Peruvian assets. That date passed without further announcement.

The Fission 3.0 portfolio also includes a Peruvian interest in addition to nine others in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Late last month the company joined Brades Resource TSXV:BRA to announce VTEM results from their Clearwater West joint venture.

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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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Quebec uranium inquiry attacked by 70 geologists and engineers

June 10th, 2014

by Greg Klein | June 10, 2014

Quebec uranium inquiry attacked by 70 geos and engineers

Now stalled by Quebec’s moratorium on uranium, Strateco’s Matoush project has a January 2012
resource estimate of 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred.


This story has been updated and moved here.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 31st, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

Hole PLS14-153

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

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

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

Hole PLS14-156

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

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

Hole PLS14-160

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

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

Hole PLS14-167

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

Hole PLS14-171

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

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

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

Hole PLS14-163

  • 0.14% over 5 metres, starting at 128.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

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

Aldrin finds radioactivity at Triple M’s Anticline area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 0.321% over 3.81 metres, starting at 73.8 metres

  • 0.189% over 5.79 metres, starting at 100.95 metres

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

Fission 3.0 and Brades report Clearwater West conductors

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

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

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

New listing enhances Lakeland Resources’ American exposure

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

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

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

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