Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 14 to 20, 2013
by Greg Klein
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News flash: Fission Uranium releases assays—actual lab assays—from Patterson Lake South
Frenetic as activity has been at Patterson Lake South, assays have been trickling in at a most leisurely pace. Results released by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU on December 18 come from three holes that were drilled last summer and had scintillometer results reported in August and September. The backlog of assays, from about 50 holes, can only increase speculation about when the project’s maiden resource might appear and what it might show.
Even so, these results continue to impress with high-grade, near-surface intervals. Taken from R945E, the most easterly of six zones along a 1.78-kilometre trend, some of the better assays show 7.91% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 metres, 1.59% over 40 metres and 3.69% over 13.5 metres. One Russian doll interval-within-an-interval-within-an-interval graded 43.7% over 0.5 metres.
- 0.11% U3O8 over 8 metres, starting at 129.5 metres in downhole depth
- 0.27% over 25.5 metres, starting at 156.5 metres
- 0.3% over 7 metres, starting at 195 metres
- 0.13% over 12.5 metres, starting at 206.5 metres
- 3.69% over 13.5 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
- (including 9.12% over 1 metre)
- (and including 7.27% over 4.5 metres)
- 0.84% over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres
- (including 1.62% over 4 metres)
- (and including 6.22% over 0.5 metres)
- 0.15% over 7.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
- 0.3% over 7.5 metres, starting at 98 metres
- 7.91% over 14 metres, starting at 249.5 metres
- (including 18.2% over 5.5 metres)
- (which includes 43.7% over 0.5 metres)
True widths were unavailable. Drilling was vertical or near-vertical, with dips of 90, -88 and -89 degrees respectively.
The previous week, PLS’s now sole owner closed a $12.87-million financing for the project’s “most aggressive drill program to date” with about 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres, along with further geophysics. Winter is not a quiet time in the Athabasca Basin.
Lakeland recruits more expertise while planning Gibbon’s Creek winter program
Two more Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK appointments bring additional experience to the company’s management and board. December 16 and 19 announcements reported Neil McCallum joining as director and Frances Petryshen as corporate secretary.
McCallum, a project manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, has served a number of companies with target generation, hiring, logistics, land management, data compilation, project reviews and management.
“Among the first Basin projects I worked on was staking the Waterbury Lake project that started with Strathmore Minerals and turned into Fission Energy,” McCallum says. Fission Energy’s 60% interest in Waterbury was the main impetus for Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition of the company earlier this year. The project’s J zone now shows an indicated resource of 291,000 tonnes averaging 2% for 12.81 million pounds U3O8.
“Also with Dahrouge, I worked on the Patterson Lake project, which morphed into Patterson Lake South,” McCallum adds. “Part of that work back in 2004 was digging through historic data, looking for projects that had been passed over by some of the major companies. So I’ve been familiar with the Basin since that time.”
His involvement in a variety of projects with prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC led him to Lakeland, a Zimtu core holding, about a year ago. “Having worked with Zimtu and Ryan Fletcher, I found I like the way he operates. He’s similar to me in that he’s a young guy who thinks outside the box. When you work with different projects and different teams you can look at the Basin from a different angle. I think that’s what people like Ryan and myself bring to the table—a bit of a different perspective.”
We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher
As a Lakeland director, McCallum will play a wider role in the company than before. “A big part of Lakeland’s goal is to find projects either by staking or linking up with other companies,” he explains. “So a lot of what I’ll do is review those projects on a technical basis to make informed decisions.”
Fletcher reinforces those comments. “Our group has worked with Neil for several years now and I’ve seen the impact he’s had on other projects. But he’s also focused a lot on uranium and the Athabasca Basin. He has a talent for looking at historic data, filing through the assessment reports and putting it all into context. He’s already been helping with project management on our Gibbon’s Creek/Riou Lake project, but now he’s joining the board to represent shareholders and drive shareholder value.”
As corporate secretary Frances Petryshen brings 25 years of experience specializing in corporate compliance and governance for public, private and not-for-profit organizations. She’s been a director and officer with several public and private companies including CanAlaska Uranium TSX:CVV, where she worked from 2007 to 2012.
Petryshen is an accredited director and a fellow with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, where she currently serves as director and chairperson of the British Columbia branch.
“Her appointment is another important step towards adding the right people to deliver as we grow the company and expand our exploration and activity in the Athabasca,” said Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Frances will be an important contributor and a trusted adviser and associate to our team.”
The news follows several recent Lakeland announcements including the appointments of mining specialists Sam Wong as CFO and Canon Bryan as adviser, JVs with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN and Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV, and a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.
With summer/autumn field work complete, planning now takes place for the 12,771-hectare Gibbon’s Creek winter campaign. “We’ll be very active throughout the new year as well,” Fletcher says. “We’ll continue building our team and our projects so that when uranium’s price environment changes, which it will, we’ll be very well established.”
Mega Uranium to get Energy Fuels’ interest in Bayswater; EFR signs KEPCO agreement
Under a share swap announced December 19, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR signed an agreement to exchange all its Bayswater Uranium TSXV:BYU stock with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA for 1.7 million newly issued Mega shares. Energy Fuels got the 11.5% interest in Bayswater on taking over Strathmore Minerals in September. Subject to all approvals, the co-signers expect to close the transaction by January 17.
The companies are hardly unacquainted. Energy Fuels is already a Mega shareholder. Mega, meanwhile, owns about 17% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Although Mega lost its bid for Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT in October, the following month it picked up 28% of the ASX-listed Toro Energy in return for Mega’s Lake Maitland pre-development project in Western Australia. Energy Fuels holds a 5% gross production royalty on the Reno Creek uranium project, which last March reached pre-feasibility under a Bayswater affiliate.
Energy Fuels supplies about 25% of American uranium production. In November the company suspended development of its Canyon mine in Arizona due to low commodity prices and legal action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the mine.
On December 17 the company announced a strategic relationship agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corp. But details were lost in Energy Fuels’ vaguely written news release.
Ur-Energy offered 50% discount on Pathfinder Mines, AREVA to get 5% royalty
A revised agreement offers Ur-Energy TSX:URE a half-price deal on Pathfinder Mines and its two former Wyoming mines with historic resources. The acquisition was originally priced at US$13.25 million in July 2012. Now, “in recognition of current market conditions,” AREVA affiliate COGEMA Resources will let go of Pathfinder for approximately $6.625 million in return for a 5% gross royalty on Pathfinder’s Shirley Basin property. The royalty remains subject to caps depending on uranium’s price. Ur-Energy has already put $1.325 million into escrow. Some other details have yet to be negotiated, the company stated.
Three days after that December 16 announcement, the company reported a private placement expected to close on December 20 for approximately $5.18 million. The money was earmarked for the Pathfinder acquisition.
Earlier in December Ur-Energy reported a first shipment of 35,000 pounds U3O8 left its Lost Creek mine in Wyoming. Lost Creek’s resource update was released in November.
In late October the company closed a $34-million Wyoming state loan after having previously borrowed $35 million from RMB Australia Holdings Ltd.
Uranium exploration finds frac sand potential on Declan Resources’ Firebag River
Initial field work by Dahrouge Geological Consulting shows potential for high-quality frac sand on Declan Resources’ Firebag River property in northeastern Alberta, the company announced December 18. Samples from depths of less than two metres revealed “high silica content, quality sphericity and roundness values, and a high percentage of sand falling within the preferred 20/40 and 40/70 mesh sizes,” Declan stated.
Using figures from consulting firm PacWest, a December 2 Wall Street Journal report says oil and gas companies have boosted sand demand 25% since 2011, with another 20% increase expected over the next two years.
Declan intends to follow up on the finding “along with its principal objective of uranium exploration” at the 50,000-hectare property just southwest of the Basin. One day earlier the company released silver-copper results from its Nimini Hills property in Sierra Leone. In early December Declan signed a JV on Lakeland Resources’ Gibbon’s Creek project, a four-year option which would inject an extra $1.25 million into the property’s 2014 drill program.
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