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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 30th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 23 to 29, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Patterson Lake South’s main zone swallows neighbour as Fission’s summer progresses

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU has once again merged Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone with a neighbour. Of seven summer holes announced August 26, one “demonstrated the continuity between the shallow depth, high-grade R780E to the west and the R1155E zone to the east,” the company stated. That extends the zone’s strike by 75 metres to 930 metres. “All seven holes returned wide mineralization,” Fission added.

The project now has four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that remains open to the east and west.

These results come from a handheld scintillometer that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. The readings are no substitute for assays, which are still to come.

In addition to the easterly expansion, R780E’s high-grade mineralization has extended 15 metres west, prompting plans for further drilling there in an attempt to upgrade the area.

Among other highlights, one hole revealed a total of 103 metres (not true width) of mineralization over a 146-metre section, starting at a downhole depth of 57.5 metres. Another gave up a composite 49.5 metres starting at 63 metres in depth.

The week before Fission had announced a widening of R780E. As a result the company added 10 more step-out holes to a summer program that has focused on delineation drilling for a December resource. Additionally, an exploration hole released another week earlier found mineralization 17 kilometres from the discovery area.

While radiometric results continue to come from summer drilling, the company still has assays pending for 12 of last winter’s 92 holes.

NexGen hole-in-progress tests depth of Rook 1 high-grade mineralization

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 23 to 29, 2014

Uranium-bearing massive pitchblende from hole AR-14-30, which set a project record for composite “off-scale” mineralization at NexGen’s Rook 1.

Vying for attention with Fission, next-door neighbour NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE proclaimed “a landmark drill hole” from its Rook 1 project on August 26. AR-14-30 revealed a composite 186.9 metres of mineralization (not true thickness) within a 287.7-metre section starting at 298.3 metres in vertical depth. The hole was still in progress.

As is the case for Fission’s latest batch, these scintillometer results don’t substitute for assays, which will follow.

The Arrow zone’s first vertical hole, AR-14-30 tests the depth of high grades reported for AR-14-15, an angled hole collared roughly 225 metres away. So far AR-14-30 has set a Rook 1 record for composite “off-scale” mineralization (above 9,999 cps) totalling 53.85 metres.

The previous week NexGen reported radiometric results for step-out drilling that extended Arrow’s width by 35 metres. The zone’s now 215 metres wide and 515 metres in strike, remaining open in all directions.

Lakeland Resources expands Newnham Lake property to revisit historic work

On the Basin’s northeastern rim, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has expanded its Newnham Lake property to about 24,500 hectares, bringing into one package an area that’s seen extensive previous exploration—but work that predated current knowledge of the region’s deeper basement-style mineralization.

Announced August 27, the property now includes “the entire folded and faulted, graphitic meta-pelite trend which was the subject of the historic work,” the company stated. Over 140 drill holes tested the trend by 1984, focusing on the unconformity separating the sandstone from the basement rock below. But most holes stopped less than 25 metres past the unconformity.

More recent Basin discoveries have shown rich mineralization deeper into the basement. Last March Denison Mines TSX:DML heralded its Wheeler River project’s newly found Gryphon zone, with high-grade mineralization about 200 metres beneath the sub-Athabasca unconformity. This summer’s standout assay graded 21.2% U3O8 over 4.5 metres.

Nevertheless historic work at Newnham did show promise. Immediately below the unconformity, a 20-centimetre interval revealed 0.2% U3O8, along with high nickel, arsenic and lead values. Another hole found a 20-centimetre interval of 0.13% in the basement, while a third showed 0.038% over one metre directly above the unconformity.

Between 1997 and 2011, the property underwent ground and airborne geophysics, including an electromagnetic survey that identified drill targets yet to be tested. That recent work was conducted by JNR Resources when Rick Kusmirski served as president/CEO. Now he’s a Lakeland director and, as corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk says, “He sees unfinished business there.”

Adding to a busy summer of news, Lakeland announced plans the previous week for its Star, Lazy Edward Bay and Fond du Lac projects, as well as the appointment of uranium veteran Steven Khan to the board of directors.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Northern Uranium drills NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun on Northern Uranium’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced August 27. Some 39 high-priority land targets, and seven high-priority and five not-so-high-priority lake targets were selected following geophysics, “exceptionally anomalous radon results” and prospecting that found boulders grading up to 66% U3O8. The company, formerly MPVC Inc, holds an 80% option on the property from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV.

The Wollaston area has also attracted attention from Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV, Roughrider Exploration TSXV:REL and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 2nd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 26 to August 1, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission off to a scintillating summer at Patterson Lake South

Fourteen widely mineralized holes released July 28 mark Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) first summer results from Patterson Lake South. All tested R780E, the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. Two holes extended the eastern part of the zone about 50 metres north. Among other PLS news is a new technique that allows barge-based angle drilling to better determine the mineralization’s size and shape. And new technology—a scintillometer can now measure radioactive drill core up to 65,535 counts per second, replacing a model that maxed out at 9,999 cps.

Scintillometer readings, as the usual disclaimer relates, are no substitute for assays, which are pending. But the brand new gizmo shows measurements that would have been well off scale for the older device. Some examples from Fission’s multi-page chart include:

Hole PLS 14-219

  • <300 to 33,000 counts per second over 17 metres, starting at 160 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 26 to August 1, 2014

PLS 14-220

  • <300 to 15,000 cps over 32 metres, starting at 59.5 metres

  • <300 to 30,000 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 97 metres

  • <300 to 41,000 cps over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres

PLS 14-223

  • <300 to 41,000 cps over 13.5 metres, starting at 176.5 metres

PLS 14-224

  • <300 to 42,000 cps over 19.5 metres, starting at 128.5 metres

PLS 14-225

  • <300 to 30,000 cps over 39 metres, starting at 145.5 metres

PLS 14-229

  • <300 to 31,300 cps over 27.5 metres, starting at 96.5 metres

One interval in hole PLS 14-230 came close to maxing out the new scintillometer:

  • <300 to 65,500 cps over 24 metres, starting at 229 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Forty-three holes of the 63-hole, 20,330-metre summer program will attack the project’s main mineralized trend in hopes of extending it north, south and along strike to the east, as well as delineating the December resource. In the meantime, the market awaits assays for the last 24 holes from 92 sunk last winter.

Denison steps out at Wheeler’s Gryphon zone

On the southeastern Athabasca Basin, step-out drill results from Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) Wheeler River showed some strong numbers, although possibly not as strong as the company had hoped. Out of 10 holes reported July 29 from the project’s Gryphon zone, seven were 50-metre step-outs from two previously announced holes: Gryphon discovery hole WR-556, which assayed 15.3% U3O8 over 4 metres, and WR-560, which showed 21.2% over 4.5 metres.

The latest batch was provided as radiometric-equivalent uranium from a downhole probe. Lab assays are pending. Some highlights showed:

Hole WR-564

  • 0.8% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 20.5 metres, starting at 736.3 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 3% over 2.3 metres)
  • (also including 4.5% over 1 metre)


  • 1.1% over 2.7 metres, starting at 727.2 metres


  • 3.1% over 3 metres, starting at 662.6 metres

  • 9.4% over 3.7 metres, starting at 679.3 metres

  • 8.1% over 1.1 metres, starting at 692.3 metres

  • 5.3% over 5.9 metres, starting at 702.1 metres

  • 3% over 2 metres, starting at 724 metres


  • 2.3% over 6.5 metres, starting at 755.8 metres
  • (including 10.9% over 1 metre)
  • (also including 1.9% over 1.1 metres)

True widths were estimated at approximately 75%. Three other step-outs failed to find significant mineralization, as did two extensions of historic holes.

Denison described the area as a zone of mineralization above 1% eU3O8 enveloped by lower-grade stuff. “The higher-grade mineralization plunges to the northeast and has now been drilled over 150 metres in the along-plunge direction and over 50 metres across the plunge,” the company added. “Mineralization is open down plunge to the northeast, up plunge to the southwest and across the plunge at depth.”

Last March’s Gryphon discovery diverted attention from Wheeler River’s Phoenix deposit three kilometres southeast. Nevertheless, in June Denison announced a 34% increase in Phoenix indicated resources.

Wheeler’s agenda calls for another 10 holes at Gryphon this summer. Denison acts as operator and holds 60% of the 12,333-hectare property, along with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (30%) and JCU Canada Exploration (10%).

The previous week Denison announced a $13.04-million bought deal that’s expected to close around August 12. In June the company closed its acquisition of International Enexco. Denison plans to spend $15 million on Canadian exploration this year.

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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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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 10th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Paladin releases Labrador infill results, plans Q2 resource update

From Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt, Paladin Energy TSX:PDN announced winter infill drilling results on May 7. Thirteen holes sunk 3,871 metres into the Michelin deposit, with each hole finding mineralization and six revealing significant intervals, the company stated. The best results showed:

Hole M14-151

  • 0.109% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 10 metres, starting at 302 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 3 to 9, 2014

Paladin considers Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt “one of the
few remaining under-explored uranium districts globally.”

Hole M14-154

  • 0.14% over 15 metres, starting at 214 metres

  • 0.13% over 8 metres, starting at 256 metres

Hole M14-156

  • 0.095% over 12 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole M14-158

  • 0.096% over 16 metres, starting at 191 metres

Hole M14-162

  • 0.102% over 28 metres, starting at 348 metres

Hole M14-163

  • 0.114% over 9 metres, starting at 355 metres

Information about true widths wasn’t provided. The deposit remains open in both directions and at depth. On the agenda is a Q2 resource update in which Paladin hopes the last few years of drilling will boost confidence as well as produce a small size increase.

Michelin’s resource currently shows:

  • measured: 7.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 13.06 million pounds U3O8

  • indicated: 23 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 54.06 million pounds

  • inferred: 16 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 36.09 million pounds

Adding in five other deposits within 50 kilometres of a potential Michelin mill, the CMB project totals:

  • measured: 8.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 15.1 million pounds

  • indicated: 32 million tonnes averaging 0.1% for 68.7 million pounds

  • inferred: 29.1 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 53 million pounds

Three kilometres south of Michelin, two holes totalling 561 metres failed to find depth extensions to the Rainbow deposit. But Paladin considers the Michelin-Rainbow trend highly prospective as a result of radiometric surveying, mapping, prospecting and some drilling. Interpretation of a 608-line-kilometre ground magnetic survey will help guide exploration in the Michelin vicinity. More drilling is planned for next winter.

Paladin holds interests in five other exploration projects in Australia and another in Niger. Last February, declining prices forced the company to place its Kayelekera mine in Malawi on care and maintenance. Paladin hopes to close the sale of a 25% interest in its Langer Heinrich flagship in Namibia in June.

Northwest Manitoba radon-in-water might be second only to PLS, MPVC says

Having reported results of a land-based radon survey last month, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO announced preliminary but optimistic findings from a radon-in-water survey at its Northwest Manitoba project on May 7. “To the author’s knowledge” only Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South has shown higher readings for a water-based survey, MPVC stated. More detailed analysis could change the results by about 10% either way.

Of the 1,399 samples from Maguire Lake, 41 showed results above 100 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), 14 went beyond 200 pCi/L, eight exceeded 300 pCi/L and four surpassed 400 pCi/L.

The readings extend linear trends identified in last month’s land-based survey results, MPVC added.

Still to come are results from a ground gravity survey to fill in areas missed by a 2012 survey. The area has also undergone an airborne magnetic/VLF/radiometric survey in 2006 and an airborne VTEM survey in 2007.

Among future work, the company plans to scan drill cuttings with a high-resolution gamma spectrometer system to “detect young uranium which is not radioactive and therefore not detectible with other field instruments…. The detection of anomalous young uranium, radon or lead 210 ascending along fractures would signal the presence of a uranium deposit at depth.” Drilling might descend as far as 1,000 metres in search of deeper deposits.

Previous prospecting in the area has found in-situ mineralization up to 9.5% U3O8 and boulders grading above 65%.

The company’s 80% option with CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV calls for $3.2 million worth of exploration on the 143,603-hectare project by 2015.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports initial Preston drill results

The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate announced preliminary results from seven holes totalling 1,571 metres on their Preston property’s Swoosh target May 6. Five holes showed elevated radioactivity measured by a handheld spectrometer and a downhole probe. The project’s best hole so far, PN14007, found 12 radioactive intervals, one of them 1,432 counts per second over 0.75 metres (not true width). The results are no substitute for assays, which are expected in early June.

The alliance consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

Six holes reached downhole depths between 200 and 350 metres while poor drilling conditions eliminated one hole. But all seven “intersected a broad, hydrothermally altered and reactivated structural zone,” the syndicate stated. The six-kilometre-long Swoosh was defined by gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, and surficial geochemical anomalies.

This month the companies plan at least one hole on each of two other targets, Fin and CHA. Swoosh is slated for additional field work and drilling later this year.

Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator on the 246,643-hectare Preston property, which the syndicate credits with 15 prospective targets.

Anfield collects Colorado claims

Anfield Resources TSXV:ARY has once again expanded its western U.S. turf with 239 unpatented mining claims on federal land in Colorado. As a result the company now “has access to mineral rights” on more than 7,082 hectares in historic uranium and vanadium districts in Colorado and Utah, according to the May 8 announcement.

Subject to approvals, Anfield gets the claims from Alamosa Mining Corp for 1.95 million shares and three years of payments totalling US$600,000.

The company previously announced Utah acquisitions in March and January. All the Utah and Colorado claims lie within a 193-kilometre radius of Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill. Anfield also holds claims in Arizona.

European Uranium refines portfolio sale, intends to pursue other assets

On May 9 European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU announced that the planned sale of its entire portfolio has reached a share purchase agreement with Forte Energy that replaces the companies’ previous binding heads of agreement. As in the original deal, the ASX/AIM-listed company issues EUU 915.93 million shares, valued at $7.5 million, and pays EUU $1 million. The latter retains a 1% production royalty.

But the new arrangement calls for the shares to be issued in instalments to avoid breaching the Australia Takeovers Prohibition. On closing, EUU would get 19.9% of the shares with the rest following “from time to time.”

Nor will EUU distribute Forte shares to its own shareholders. Instead it will sell some of them over time to fund its operations. EUU stated the deal would provide initial funding to pursue options or acquisitions “in multiple commodities in the general European area.”

The Forte deal came together shortly after EUU’s planned merger with Portex Minerals CSE:PAX fell through. EUU’s portfolio consists of two Slovakian uranium projects.

The company closed a $100,000 private placement with Forte in mid-April.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 6th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 29 to April 4, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium stretches strike with new zone at Patterson Lake South, closes $28.75-million financing

Step-out drilling has added a new zone to Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South, shortly after infill drilling had merged other zones. Announced March 31, zone R1620E lies 465 metres east of R1155E, extending the project’s potential strike from 1.78 kilometres to 2.24 kilometres.

The results come from a hand-held scintillometer that measures gamma radiation from drill core in counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 29 to April 4, 2014

The road to Patterson Lake South, where Fission has four
of its five rigs trying to merge zones into one big deposit.

Six new holes all showed mineralization, with the new zone’s inaugural hole, PLS14-196, revealing a 30-metre interval ranging between 300 cps and 6,100 cps starting at 99 metres in downhole depth. The maximum that the scintillometer can measure is 9,999 cps. Drilling on PLS14-196 continues.

Among other holes, PLS14-190, south of zone R1155E, “suggests that further step-outs to the south may be prospective,” the company stated.

Starting from the west, zone R600W has both a 30-metre east-west strike and a 30-metre north-south lateral width. About 510 metres east, discovery zone R00E has a strike of approximately 165 metres and a lateral width up to about 45 metres. Another 135 metres east sits R780E, with about 855 metres in strike and up to about 95 metres in lateral width.

Neighbouring 75 metres east, R1155E so far has just three mineralized holes. Fission Uranium declared the new zone, 465 metres east again, on the basis of a single hole over conductor PL-3C, “the suspected 1.3-kilometre-long strike extension of the mineralized PL-3B conductor” at an interpreted cross-fault, the company added.

So far 63 of a planned 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres have been sunk. The winter budget comes to $12 million but on April 1 the company announced its most recent private placement closed with gross proceeds of $28.75 million.

Three days later Fission Uranium granted insiders 6.5 million options at $1.65 for five years.

NexGen’s best-ever hole extends strike at Rook 1’s Arrow zone

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE ended its Rook 1 winter drill program with a “massive” step-out showing the project’s best hole yet. Results for three holes released March 31 lengthen the strike to about 215 metres, open to the southwest.

The winter campaign comprised 17 holes totalling 7,442 metres, but it wasn’t until late February that the Arrow discovery diverted attention to this new zone of the PLS-adjacent project. A second hole in early March contributed to the company’s optimism. In all, seven of eight Arrow holes so far have found significant mineralization.

The results come from a hand-held spectrometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second. As is the case with Fission Uranium’s scintillometer readings, the results are no substitute for assays, which NexGen expects to see in about six weeks.

NexGen reports radiometric readings differently than Fission Uranium, providing a more detailed breakdown of small intercepts.

The step-out, hole RK-14-30, found a composite 47.2 metres (not true widths) of anomalous intercepts at least 0.05 metres wide measuring over 500 cps. A total of 8.3 metres surpassed the spectrometer’s maximum possible reading of 9,999 cps. Mineralization began at 84.15 metres in downhole depth, with the deepest intercept stopping at 701.45 metres.

RK-14-29 also revealed many small intercepts, with the first starting at 50.6 metres in downhole depth and the last ending at 569 metres.

RK-14-28 intercepts started at 87 metres in downhole depth, with the last ending at 549 metres.

Having closed an $11.5-million bought deal the previous week, NexGen now has about $15 million to spend. Spring breakup work will include detailed petrography and petrophysics before drilling resumes in the summer.

Denison drills 17.3% eU3O8 over 4.2 metres at new Wheeler River zone

Denison Mines TSX:DML reported a second hole on April 2 that supports last month’s discovery of the Gryphon zone at the Wheeler River JV. WR-560 was drilled 40 metres along the up-dip extension of the first hole, revealing one especially high-grade interval. The results come from a downhole probe that measures radiation in uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8). Although the probe is more accurate than a scintillometer or spectrometer, its readings are no substitute for assays. Nevertheless they show:

  • 0.1% eU3O8 over 1.3 metres, starting at 653.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.1% over 4.1 metres, starting at 676.2 metres

  • 17.3% over 4.2 metres, starting at 757.9 metres

  • 0.3% over 2.6 metres, starting at 770.7 metres

True widths are estimated at about 75%. Denison interprets these results “to be a new lens in the footwall, about 50 metres northwest of the high-grade intersection in WR-556,” Gryphon’s discovery hole. Mineralization lies approximately 200 metres beneath the unconformity and remains open in both strike directions and at depth, the company stated.

With spring break-up underway, drilling is expected to resume in early June, largely focusing on the new find. Gryphon is three kilometres northwest of the project’s Phoenix deposit, which produced a batch of drill results in February.

Denison holds a 60% interest in Wheeler and acts as operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% and JCU (Canada) Exploration the rest.

Declan picks up six Alberta and Saskatchewan properties

Calling it a “six-pack” of new properties, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN announced a package of Alberta and Saskatchewan acquisitions in and around the Basin on April 1. Totalling roughly 101,000 hectares, the properties include Maurice Creek in Alberta, immediately northwest of the Northwest Athabasca project, a JV involving Cameco, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and NexGen that hosts the historic Maurice Bay deposit.

Two other Alberta properties, Maybelle North and Richardson River, “cover potential northerly extensions to the structure which is host to a significant uranium deposit at Dragon Lake along the Maybelle River shear zone,” Declan stated.

The other properties are Archer Lake and Jackfish Creek, also in Alberta, and Thorburn Lake in Saskatchewan.

The optioner gets $25,000 and 2.5 million shares on TSXV approval, another $125,000 within a year and a 3% gross overriding royalty with a 1% buyback clause for $1 million. To keep the properties in good standing Declan must spend $225,000 by April 17.

Declan also announced changes to its board, which now consists of David Miller, Wayne Tisdale, Michelle Gahagan, Hikmet Akin, Gordon King, Jamie Newall and Craig McLean.

Declan’s flagship is Gibbon’s Creek, a joint venture with Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK.

International Enexco reports new radiometric results from Mann Lake

The latest hole from its Mann Lake JV suggests the project has at least 300 metres of mineralized trend within the footwall of the western conductor target, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated April 3. The results come from a downhole radiometric probe and are no substitute for assays.

Sunk 150 metres north of the project’s best interval so far, hole MN-065 showed:

  • an average 3.67% eU3O8 over 1.2 metres, starting at 689.8 metres in downhole depth

  • (including an average 6.51% over 0.7 metres)

  • (which includes an average 11.02% over 0.3 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

So far eight holes have tested about 1.8 kilometres of the target, which the company says remains prospective for its entire 3.1-kilometre length. Enexco anticipates follow-up drilling next winter along the conductor and on other areas. The southeastern Basin project is operated by JV partner Cameco, which holds 52.5%, leaving Enexco with 30% and AREVA Resources Canada 17.5%.

But how long Enexco will be involved depends on the outcome of Denison’s most recent acquisition activities. The two companies signed a letter of intent last month for an all-share deal that would give Denison all of Enexco’s Basin properties while spinning out the others. The companies currently JV on another southeastern Basin property, Bachman Lake.

Uracan/UEX drill results suggest prospective target at Black Lake

Black Lake partners Uracan Resources TSXV:URC and UEX Corp TSX:UEX reported the first six holes from their northern Basin JV on April 2, with one mineralized hole suggesting a new target. BL-148 showed:

  • 0.13% U3O8 over 0.5 metres, starting at 275 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.04% over 0.5 metres, starting at 299.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 1 metre, starting at 317 metres

True widths weren’t provided. The three intervals occur up to 19 metres below a footwall unconformity between the basement and sandstones, representing a mineralization style that “has not been encountered previously in this area of the property and represents a new prospective target,” the companies stated.

Next in line is a ground DC resistivity survey to precede further drilling and field work. Uracan may earn 60% of the 30,381-hectare project from UEX, which holds an 89.99% interest. AREVA Resources Canada holds the remaining 10.01%. UEX acts as operator.

Previous Black Lake drilling has found intervals as high as 0.69% over 4.4 metres, starting at 310 metres in downhole depth, 0.79% over 2.82 metres, starting at 310 metres, and 0.67% over 3 metres, starting at 274 metres.

The property borders Gibbon’s Creek, where JV partners Lakeland and Declan have reported boulder samples grading up to 4.28% and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 9th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 1 to 7, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium merges two zones, narrows gap between two others at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium merges two zones, narrows gap between two others at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium has four of its five rigs trying
to fill the gaps in the now six-zone PLS project.

With several zones stretched along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike at Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU obviously wants to find one big, shallow, high-grade deposit. That dream came closer to reality with radiometric results released March 5 and 7. Zones R780E and R945E are now one, forever intertwined, while the gap between two zones to the west has been narrowed.

Scintillometer results from 20 holes released March 5 show mineralization at depths as shallow as 54 metres and as deep as 459 metres. Thirteen holes showed off-scale intervals, reaching the maximum 9,999 counts per second on the hand-held device that measures drill core for gamma radiation. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Apart from the hope of merging more zones—the goal of this winter’s drill program—Fission Uranium sees expansion potential. The best hole of this batch was the most easterly of the newly merged zone, which “bodes extremely well for high-grade expansion to the east.”

Two days later Fission Uranium unveiled scintillometer results for four more holes, each from a different zone, starting with R780E and moving west to the discovery zone. The interval nearest to surface started at 51 metres and the deepest ended at 276 metres. Intervals from one hole showed a total of 16.18 metres of off-scale radioactivity, while another hole gave up an off-scale composite of 2.65 metres. The gap between R390E and R585E has been narrowed to about 60 metres.

With 36 of the planned 85 winter holes complete, Fission Uranium claims a 100% hit rate. The company has one rig exploring outside the mineralized trend and four others attacking the gaps between these six zones:

The discovery zone, R00E, has a 165-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 45 metres. About 135 metres east, R390E has a 255-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 50 metres. Sixty metres east again, R585E has a 75-metre strike and a lateral width up to about 20 metres. About 105 metres east, R780E now has an approximately 270-metre strike, as a result of subsuming R945E. The lateral width reaches up to about 90 metres.

R780E’s geology “is similar to other zones,” Fission Uranium stated, “consisting of mineralization primarily associated with sequences of steeply south-dipping pelitic lithology with localized mylonites and cataclasites.”

Two other zones at the eastern and western extremities, R1155E and R600W, bring the potential strike to 1.78 kilometres.

Two weeks earlier Fission Uranium released lab assays from R585E that showed the project’s best hole ever—or maybe that should be “so far.”

Update: On March 10 Fission released its “second-best” radiometric results from PLS. Read more.

NexGen announces $10-million bought deal for Athabasca Basin exploration

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 1 to 7, 2014

With Fission Uranium’s PLS rigs in the background, NexGen drills Rook 1.

A $10-million bought deal for NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reinforces the company’s new prominence in Athabasca Basin uranium exploration. Announced March 4, the private placement follows news of radiometric results from a new area of the company’s Rook 1 project, which is adjacent to PLS.

Subject to approvals, the deal involves 22.3 million units at $0.45 and gives the underwriters an option to buy an additional 15%. Each unit consists of a share and one-half warrant, with each entire warrant exercisable at $0.65 for two years. Proceeds will go to Basin exploration, working capital and general corporate purposes.

NexGen’s stock took off with the February 19 release of radiometric readings from the first hole in Rook 1’s Arrow area, which the company called “a totally new zone of uranium mineralization.” The news propelled the company from a 52-week low of $0.225 to a 52-week high of $0.65 in two days. The stock closed March 7 at $0.49.

Meanwhile NexGen has moved its other rig to Arrow to focus two drills on the new area.

NexGen holds several properties in the Basin. But it has yet to release results from last summer’s nine-hole campaign on the Radio project, where the company has a 70% earn-in.

NexGen expects to close the bought deal by March 26.

Zadar announces 2014 plans for PNE and Pasfield projects

With permit applications submitted, Zadar Ventures TSXV:ZAD announced plans for two projects on March 3. The 15,292-hectare PNE, about 11 kilometres northeast of PLS, has about 3,500 metres scheduled for winter and summer drilling, along with ground-based geophysics. Previously identified radon anomalies and conductive trends will help determine targets.

Plans for the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property, within the Cable Bay shear zone in the east-central Basin, include airborne and ground geophysics and a proposed 3,800 metres of drilling “followed by a staged program of uranium exploration culminating in [a] 32,000-metre drilling program,” the company stated.

Pasfield Lake is one of a number of properties that Zadar acquired from Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM late last year.

Noka Resources/Alpha Exploration begin radon surveys on Carpenter Lake

Radon surveys on lake water and sediment have begun at Carpenter Lake on the Basin’s south-central edge. Announced March 4 by Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, the four-to-five-week agenda will include sampling from about a thousand locations over a 16-kilometre stretch of the Cable Bay shear zone, which the companies have described as a “major regional shear zone with known uranium enrichment.”

Spring and summer plans for the 20,637-hectare property include high-resolution airborne radiometrics to search for near-surface uranium boulders, followed by ground prospecting and geochemical sampling. The work is part of the Alpha Minerals spinco’s 60% earn-in from Noka, a member of the Western Athabasca Syndicate that plans to drill its PLS-vicinity Preston Lake property this month.

Late last month Noka closed a $1.13-million private placement. Alpha Exploration announced plans for other projects in December and January.

Hodgins Auctioneers pursues Basin uranium claims

A company specializing in auctioning equipment and real estate has signed a conditional agreement to acquire uranium interests in the Basin. Under a deal announced March 6 with Majesta Resources Inc, Hodgins Auctioneers TSXV:HA would get a 25% interest in a 39,125-hectare contiguous package that comes within 10 kilometres of the Key Lake mill.

Apart from TSXV approval, the transaction hinges on raising a $350,000 private placement.

An initial 25% would cost Hodgins $100,000 in cash or debt, two million shares and $300,000 in exploration spending. An additional 35% would require an extra four million shares and $400,000 in spending. A further 30% would call for another $400,000 cash or debt and two million shares.

Hodgins attributed a “low cost relative to similar transactions in the area due to the relationship between two of the insiders of the corporation and the party which owns the mineral claims.” Majesta would act as project operator.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 14th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 7 to 13, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Spincos Fission 3.0 and Alpha Exploration debut on TSXV, Fission Uranium plans most aggressive campaign ever

Never mind Fission 3.0’s FUU ticker. When Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU was created out of Fission Energy earlier this year, only a last-minute change prevented that spinco from becoming FUC. And now that Alpha Minerals has delisted to create its spinco, Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, two new companies join the Venture while Patterson Lake South comes under the sole ownership of Fission Uranium, a particularly tempting takeover target.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for December 7 to 13, 2013

Now with sole control over Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium seems
likely to use winter drilling as a theatrical build-up to a maiden resource.

Fission 3.0 debuted December 10 at $0.12 and quickly shot up to $0.30 before plunging to a $0.135 close. The stock finished December 13 at $0.16. With 152.96 million shares outstanding, Mach III had a $24.47-million market cap.

Alpha Exploration began trading December 12 at $0.45 and reached a daily high of $0.63. But it fell all the way to a $0.30 close. The following day’s finish dropped a penny lower. AEX’s 13.96 million shares represented a market cap of $4.05 million.

Each spinco got $3 million in start-up money from Fission Uranium. Alpha Minerals nominees Warren Stanyer and Kurt Bordian joined Fission Uranium’s board, replacing Frank Estergaard and Jeremy Ross who moved to Fission 3.0 along with Dev Randhawa and Ross McElroy, who lead both Fissions. Alpha Exploration’s management and board remains “substantially the same” as that of Alpha Minerals.

Meanwhile the PLS role played by father/son team Ben and Garrett Ainsworth (ex-Alpha Minerals now Alpha Ex) have won them the 2013 Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia announced on December 12.

Fission 3.0 keeps its predecessor’s uranium focus with six Athabasca Basin-area projects and another in the Macusani region of Peru. Alpha Exploration lists its initial key assets as two gold projects, Mikwam in Ontario and Donna in B.C., as well as Saskatchewan uranium properties.

The spin-outs have hardly diminished Fission Uranium’s attraction, a $12.87-million financing suggests. Announced December 11, the company’s 8.58 million $1.50 subscription receipts have been exchanged for one flow-through share each, a transaction that closed after the Alpha Minerals acquisition.

Evidently emboldened by all that dough, McElroy announced Fission Uranium’s “most aggressive drill program to date at PLS—approximately 30,000 metres in up to 100 drill holes,” the news release quoted him. “Our core focus will be growth, including the specific goal of eliminating the distance between the six identified zones. We will also be testing new targets, using radon sampling on other EM conductors and employing resistivity ground geophysics to help identify additional prospective corridors.”

With assays still pending for over 50 holes, Fission Uranium might be accused of teasing investors prior to a first resource.

Late December 13 the company announced it granted a consultant one million options at $1.10 for two years.

Lakeland Resources bolsters team with Canon Bryan and Sam Wong

Two more appointments add to a busy period of announcements from Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK. On December 9 mining financial professional Canon Bryan joined Lakeland’s advisory board. Two days later another mining specialist, Sam Wong, took the position of chief financial officer.

With Bryan’s appointment Lakeland not only gains additional expertise but renews a relationship that’s already proved successful. Bryan’s resume lists management positions for several public and private companies including Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC, which Bryan co-founded. He also founded Terrestrial Energy Inc, which is developing a commercial molten salt reactor, and operates a merger-and-acquisition consulting service for the uranium sector.

Now he’s working again with people who’ve benefited from his past accomplishments. Lakeland director Ryan Fletcher recalls the genesis for what’s now NioCorp Developments TSXV:NB. “Canon came to us [Zimtu Capital Corp TSXV:ZC] with the idea to go to Nebraska and acquire a niobium project,” Fletcher says. “It was a great project, although difficult because we had to acquire it from 40 farmers. It took quite a while and a bit of money but we were successful.”

I co-founded [Uranium Energy Corp] with three other folks and took it through the hoops. It’s now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and producing uranium in Texas.—Lakeland Resources
adviser Canon Bryan

Known as Elk Creek, NioCorp calls it “the only primary niobium deposit in the U.S., and… the highest-grade, large-tonnage undeveloped deposit in North America.”

Bryan says, “I found the project and Zimtu was able to facilitate funding, so it was a good collaboration and profitable for everyone.”

With Uranium Energy Corp, “I co-founded the company with three other folks and took it through the hoops,” Bryan adds. “It’s now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and producing uranium in Texas. Producing uranium in the U.S. is quite a rare thing. It’s something I’m personally quite proud of.”

He says working with Lakeland renews “a collaboration that’s never really gone away. We’re colleagues in the industry. We agreed it would be a good fit for everybody, very much an organic fit.”

He joins three other well-respected names on Lakeland’s advisory board, all with complementary fields of expertise—John Gingerich, Richard Kusmirski and Thomas Drolet.

“Uranium M&A is my area of expertise,” Bryan says. “So naturally that’s something I would like to bring to the table.”

Wong, Lakeland’s new CFO, holds the same position at Lowell Copper TSXV:JDL and Chesapeake Gold TSXV:CKG. He’s also served as corporate controller at Luna Gold TSX:LGC, where he oversaw the finance division during Luna’s transition from development to commercial production. Wong articled as a chartered accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he specialized in assurance and advisory for mining companies.

In a statement accompanying the December 11 announcement, Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes said Wong brings “strength in financial reporting, strategic planning, corporate governance, equity financings, due diligence for acquisitions and corporate development to our growing team. His attention to detail and in running a tight ship will be another strong asset for Lakeland as we advance as an up-and-coming leader in the Athabasca Basin.”

The appointments follow a flurry of recent news from the uranium explorer, which includes a joint venture with Declan Resources TSXV:LAN that expands Lakeland’s upcoming Gibbon’s Creek drill program, another JV with Star Minerals Group TSXV:SUV that increases Lakeland’s portfolio and the publication of a research report by Zimtu research and communications officer Derek Hamill.

Meanwhile results are pending from last season’s exploration on the Riou Lake/Gibbon’s Creek property in the north-central Basin.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Forum completes ground gravity survey, plans ground EM at Clearwater

A December 11 announcement moves Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC closer to drilling its Clearwater project. With a ground gravity survey finished, around 11 drill targets have been chosen. The survey followed up on previously identified electromagnetic conductors and radon anomalies to find four gravity lows, three of which held several conductors. An early January ground EM survey will further refine targets for drilling that’s expected to start later that month.

In late November Forum released lake sediment samples from the southern area of the 9,910-hectare property. Clearwater lies adjacently southwest of, and on trend with, PLS.

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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

November 23rd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 16 to 22, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Azincourt to acquire Peruvian company from Cameco and Vena for $2 million

So far best known for its 50% interest in the Patterson Lake North joint venture with Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU, Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ plans to acquire an advanced-stage uranium project in Peru. Under definitive share purchase agreements announced November 22, the $8.1-million market cap Athabasca Basin junior proposes to buy Minergia S.A.C. from 50/50 co-owners Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and Vena Resources TSX:VEM. As well as the 4,900-hectare Macusani project, Minergia comes with its younger sister, 9,600-hectare Muñani, both in southeastern Peru.

Subject to approvals, the deal would have Azincourt give Cameco and Vena $750,000 worth of shares and $250,000 each. Vena chairman/CEO Juan Vegarra would join Azincourt as an independent director. Azincourt would spend between $1.5 million and $2 million on the projects annually.

The deal would also allow Vena to buy Cameco’s portion of Azincourt shares for the purchase price plus 50% of any increase in the market price.

In a statement accompanying Vena’s announcement, Vegarra noted that Azincourt president/CEO Ted O’Connor is “the former director of Cameco’s corporate development group who was responsible for overseeing Cameco’s significant investment in Minergia.”

With over $12 million of work between 2007 and 2011, Macusani comes with an historic resource that was released in September 2011. Using a 0.009% cutoff, five of the property’s nine areas show:

  • measured: 10.39 million short tons averaging 0.025% for 5.69 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • indicated: 34.16 million tons averaging 0.018% for 12.52 million pounds

  • inferred: 37.79 million tons averaging 0.02% for 17.42 million pounds

The project could offer low-cost open pit, acid heap leach potential, according to Azincourt.

As for Muñani, it shows uranium mineralization in sandstone and outcrops, has undergone airborne geophysics and ground prospecting, and has drill targets ready, Azincourt stated.

Although two years of depressed prices have pushed the projects into dormancy, Azincourt plans to complete community agreements and permitting prior to another drill program.

Vena also announced that Silvia Dedios has been named general manager following David Bent’s resignation. Walter Cuba becomes project manager to work with Azincourt on Minergia’s uranium assets.

Last June Vena dropped out of negotiations with a private Peruvian company to create a JV for three other Vena projects. In August the company settled $150,350 of debt for 1.64 million shares.

Azincourt and Fission update winter plans for Patterson Lake North

Back in the Basin, Azincourt and Fission updated their previously announced winter plans for Patterson Lake North on November 18. The program now includes a radon survey at Hodge Lake as well as further electromagnetic work and eight to 10 holes totalling 2,500 to 3,000 metres.

Initial results from a five-kilometre ground magnetotelluric survey over the northern part of an eight-kilometre VTEM conductive trend suggest it comprises a series of parallel west-dipping basement EM conductors, the JV stated. Further EM work will increase resolution and orient a resistivity survey scheduled for next summer. “Many structurally controlled high-grade uranium occurrences in the Athabasca Basin are related to hydrothermal alteration systems associated with basement EM conductors,” the companies emphasized. Drill targets will be refined by identifying an EM basement conductor with a resistivity low signature, especially when associated with a cross-cutting interpreted structural feature, the partners explained.

Diamond drilling is slated to begin in January, after the holes have been pre-collared with RC rigs.

Azincourt is earning a 50% interest in the 27,408-hectare project adjacent to Fission’s better-known project, the Patterson Lake South JV with Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW. Fission acts as operator on both projects.

Denison considers compulsory acquisition as Rockgate takeover now 86% complete

Delighted with “such overwhelming enthusiasm,” Denison Mines TSX:DML president/CEO Ron Hochstein announced on November 18 his company has so far nabbed 100.54 million shares for 86% control of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT. In another extension to the offer—the final one, this time—Denison now says Rockgate laggards have until November 29 to throw in their lot with the victor.

If the company can get just 4% more of Rockgate’s total shares, Denison intends to acquire the rest through a compulsory acquisition. Otherwise the aggressive uranium miner/explorer will try an “amalgamation or other corporate reorganization” to part the hold-outs from their holdings. On October 30 Denison stated it was lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares.

At that time directors of the two companies softened their positions considerably. Rockgate president/CEO Karl Kottmeier initially denounced the Denison offer as an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid” which scuttled Rockgate’s proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Rockgate’s board did, however, reluctantly recommend shareholder acceptance.

Read more here and here.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Read about Denison’s Q3 report.

Denison moves its people into Rockgate management/board positions

Rockgate’s changing of the guard, meanwhile, presages its takeover. The company announced five departures from its seven-person board on November 22. Gone are Doug Ford, Edward Ford, Allen Ambrose, Gord Neal and Phil Williams. Replacing them are Denison directors Ron Hochstein, Robert Dengler and Catherine Stefan, with William Rand becoming chairperson.

Rockgate’s Karl Kottmeier, Doug Ford and Kirk Gamely step down from management, although Kottmeier and Bryan Hyde will remain on Rockgate’s board to smooth the transition of its flagship Falea project in southwestern Mali, which was scheduled for pre-feasibility in early 2014. Denison’s Hochstein now becomes Rockgate president/CEO, David Cates CFO and Sheila Colman corporate secretary.

Denison has said that on acquiring Rockgate it will spin out its African assets to concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

Mega Uranium closes Australian sale, gains 28% of Toro Energy

Undeterred by its Rockgate failure, Mega has now picked up 28% of an ASX-listed company with “one of the larger pre-development uranium projects worldwide.” That results from the completed sale of Mega’s Lake Maitland property in Western Australia to Toro Energy. In a deal valued at about AU$37 million last August, Mega gets about 28% of Toro shares and fills Toro board positions with Mega executive VP of corporate affairs Richard Patricio and executive VP for Australia Richard Homsany, the Toronto-listed company announced November 19.

Blue Sky drills Ivana project in Argentina, offers $500,000 private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 16 to 22, 2013

Located in Argentina’s Rio Negro province, Blue Sky’s
Ivana project currently undergoes a 2,000-metre drill program.

Now underway at Blue Sky Uranium’s TSXV:BSK Ivana project in Argentina, a nine-hole, 2,000-metre drill campaign targets shallow, roll-front uranium mineralization to 400 metres in depth. Announced November 18, Phase I work also includes ground geophysics. The 71,300-hectare property has previously undergone airborne radiometrics, sampling, prospecting, mapping and trenching.

AREVA funds the work under an option to spend $2 million by December 31 on Blue Sky’s Argentinian properties. On completion, AREVA may fund an additional $3 million on one project, or $4 million combined on two projects, to earn a 51% interest by the end of 2017. In addition to the project in Rio Negro province, Blue Sky currently focuses on its Sierra Colonia property in central Chubut province.

The company also announced a private placement of 10 million units at $0.05 for $500,000. Each unit consists of one share and one transferable warrant exercisable at $0.10 for two years.

Ground gravity survey underway on Aldrin Resource’s Triple M

Announced by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN on November 20, a ground gravity survey on the PLS-vicinity Triple M property intends to find extensively altered basement rocks associated with two bedrock conductive anomalies shown in last summer’s VTEM survey. Identified by anomalous gravity lows, extensively altered rocks are associated with strong uranium mineralization elsewhere in the region, the company stated. Triple M’s schedule calls for completion of the gravity survey by year-end.

The previous week Aldrin released initial radon results from 527 sample sites. The company also plans to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.

Zadar Ventures acquires two more properties from Canterra Minerals

With two new acquisitions just south of the Basin’s southeastern rim, Zadar Ventures TSXV:ZAD has signed another definitive purchase agreement. The deal, announced November 20, has Zadar issuing 160,000 shares to Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM and 170,000 to African Oil Corp in return for the 5,831-hectare Highrock and the 5,583-hectare Riverlake projects. Canterra retains a 2% NSR on both properties, of which Zadar may buy half for $1 million.

Both properties have seen historic EM surveys, soil sampling and drilling. Radioactive pitchblende pebbles found immediately west of Highrock might have originated on the property, Zadar stated. Highrock sits eight kilometres from Cameco’s former Key Lake mine.

Riverlake features a 1,200-metre by 600-metre soil anomaly with uranium values up to 0.0374% over three EM conductors with a combined strike of five kilometres, Zadar added. A hole drilled in 2008 found 63 metres of radioactivity five to 10 times the background level.

In September the company announced its acquisition of the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property, also from Canterra. Earlier that month Zadar reported finding radioactive boulders on its PLS-vicinity PNE project.

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