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Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Strathmore Minerals Corp (STM)’

Ambitiously acquisitive

September 20th, 2013

Consolidation continues throughout the uranium space

by Greg Klein

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(Update: On September 24 Rockgate terminated its proposed merger with Mega. Read more.)

To hell with uranium’s low price. Another flurry of M&A activity demonstrates keen interest in projects at just about every stage. Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW moved closer to completion with a definitive agreement announced September 18. The previous day, and more dramatically, Denison Mines TSX:DML suddenly barged into the proposed merger of Mega Uranium TSX:MGA and Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT. The Fission/Alpha deal, if completed, would put the Athabasca Basin’s most celebrated exploration project under one owner, thereby making it a more attractive takeover target itself. Should Denison succeed in muscling aside Mega, it would gain Rockgate’s more advanced project in Mali. In that case, Denison says, it would spin out its African assets to concentrate on the Athabasca.

Consolidation continues throughout the uranium space

Merger and acquisition activity
continues unabated among uranium companies.

For the most part the Fission/Alpha agreement confirmed details of the proposal in which the former would issue the latter 5.725 Fission shares, plus $0.0001, for each Alpha share. As a result, Fission would get sole control of Patterson Lake South, currently a 50/50 joint venture. The other assets of each company would spin out to two separate companies, each held separately by either former Fission or former Alpha shareholders.

That would make PLS a neat-and-tidy takeover target, even though it lacks a resource estimate. The JV partners haven’t even stated when a resource might be released. Project operator Fission has sunk at least 27 holes totalling 8,488 metres in the current $6.95-million campaign, but the JV has released assays for just one hole this season. For the most part the market’s been following scintillometer readings, which so far have been published for 18 summer holes.

The company coveted by Denison and Mega, on the other hand, boasts a more advanced project. Rockgate’s Falea property has a December resource update showing:

  • a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% for 4.29 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% for 25.29 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% for 15.69 million pounds

Pre-feasibility’s slated for January. While work was delayed by the Mali military coup and resulting unrest, those events left the project “entirely unaffected,” Rockgate has stated.

A merger with Mega would bring Down Under resources totalling 34.6 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 4.8 million pounds inferred, although the proposed sale of Mega’s Lake Maitland project to ASX-listed Toro Energy would unload 20.7 million pounds indicated and 1.6 million pounds inferred (calculated at average grades of 0.05% and 0.04% respectively). The Megagate MergeCo would start off with about $22 million cash and a $55-million market cap, the two companies state. Mega also holds significant positions in other companies, including 25.2% of NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE and 10.5% of European Uranium Resources TSXV:EUU.

But on September 17, more than three months after the merger was publicly proposed and just eight days before the shareholders’ vote, Denison stormed in with its offer. At 0.192 of a Denison share for each Rockgate share, Denison valued the proposal at about $26.7 million, representing a 38% premium over the Mega offer, based on September 16 closing prices.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 7th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 31 to September 6, 2013

by Greg Klein

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PLS to come under Fission control as Alpha agrees to sweetened takeover offer

The Patterson Lake South partners have come to terms. Joint September 3 news releases from Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU announced a letter of intent to combine the 50/50 joint venture under Fission’s control. The acquisition would cost 5.725 Fission shares for each Alpha share while each company would spin out its non-PLS assets into a new entity. Alpha gets no place on Fission’s management team but would nominate two directors to Fission’s five-person board.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 31 to September 6, 2013

With three barges supporting drill rigs,
the Alpha/Fission flotilla patrols Patterson Lake South.

The deal sweetens Fission’s previous offer of 5.3 shares announced August 26 and represents a 14.5% premium to the shares’ August 23 close and 11% to their August 30 close.

Shareholders of each company will get shares in their respective spincos, which will hold all non-cash and non-PLS assets. Each spinco will get $3 million in start-up cash.

Alpha’s other projects include three Athabasca Basin uranium projects and two gold properties in Ontario and British Columbia. Fission holds interests in six other Basin properties and one in Peru.

Pending all shareholder and regulatory approvals, the companies hope to consummate by November.

Fission/Alpha report best PLS hole so far

With the ink barely dry on their LOI, Alpha and Fission released more drill results on September 4—real assays this time, instead of teasing the market with scintillometer readings. And this time, according to Fission president/COO Ross McElroy, a single hole provided “not only the best results to date on the PLS property, but on a level with the best holes within the Athabasca Basin district.”

Sunk on the western part of R390E, the second of four zones extending from southwest to northeast, hole PLS13-075 showed a highlight of:

  • 9.08% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 54.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 21.76% over 21.5 metres)

Additional results from the same hole showed:

  • 0.09% over 0.5 metres, starting at 57.5 metres

  • 0.07% over 7.5 metres, starting at 118 metres

  • 0.24% over 11.5 metres, starting at 130 metres

  • 0.65% over 2 metres, starting at 146.5 metres

  • 0.71% over 1.5 metres, starting at 151 metres

  • 0.06% over 0.5 metres, starting at 157 metres

  • 0.27% over 2.5 metres, starting at 160 metres

  • 0.27% over 1 metre, starting at 176.5 metres

True widths were unavailable. The vertical hole reached a total depth of 248 metres and was collared 30 metres grid west of PLS13-061, which last June showed 1.39% U3O8 over 23.5 metres starting at 110 metres, and included 4.34% over 6 metres.

The $6.95-million campaign will include additional drilling on the R390E zone, which has the largest of the lake water radon anomalies found last winter.

First tranche brings Lakeland Resources $738,000

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK closed the first tranche of its private placement, issuing 5.7 million units at $0.10 and 1.35 million flow-through units at $0.125 for gross proceeds of $738,770, the company announced on September 3. The money goes to Athabasca Basin uranium exploration and general working capital.

Lakeland holds nine Basin properties and currently focuses on the Riou Lake project’s Gibbon’s Creek area, which has at least 23 historic holes. The project shows shallow depths to basement rock and also has radioactive boulders grading up to 11.3% uranium. Situated on high ground, the property can be drilled year-round.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Energy Fuels completes Strathmore takeover

Its acquisition of Strathmore Minerals TSX:STM now complete, Energy Fuels TSX:EFR has taken “an important step toward achieving our goal of becoming the dominant uranium producer within the U.S.,” according to joint statements issued September 3. Energy Fuels currently holds No. 2 position, with guidance of about 1.15 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) for fiscal 2013. The company added that the United States “is the world’s largest nuclear power market and heavily dependent on imported uranium for over 90% of its supply requirements.” Read more about the acquisition here and here.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 24 to 30, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

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asked for more time to consider its proposal.

This week’s Patterson Lake South news came not from the field or an assay lab but from the boardrooms. Separate August 26 news releases from 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW revealed that talks had been underway about the former taking over the latter.

It transpired that after the market closed on Friday, August 23, Fission gave Alpha until the following Sunday afternoon to respond to Fission’s all-share offer, then valued at $7.26 per Alpha share or about $170.44 million. When Alpha asked for more time to consider, Fission went public, saying it “will consider making a formal offer directly to Alpha’s shareholders.”

By press time August 31, neither company had made further announcements on the subject.

Read more about Fission’s proposal and Alpha’s response.

Read commentator Tommy Humphreys’ suggestions for a combined Fission/Alpha team.

Update: On September 3 both companies announced a letter of intent for Fission to acquire Alpha. Read more.

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR has wrapped up Phase I exploration at its 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of the PLS discovery, the company announced on August 28. “Numerous” radioactive boulders showed gamma ray readings above 200 counts per second, with some measuring 1,500 to 1,800 cps. About 20 boulders will be assayed, the company stated. In addition 40 radon detector cups were placed, to be retrieved for analysis after 30 days.

Ashburton also cited historic, non-43-101 Geological Survey of Canada sediment samples from two lakes on the property that showed results in the 98th percentile of 909 samples from roughly 16,000 square kilometres of northwestern Saskatchewan. The lakes are two kilometres apart, suggesting the results “are not an isolated occurrence,” the company added.

The Sienna project includes the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguous with PLS’s northern boundary. Two weeks earlier Ashburton reported a crew found radioactive boulders there, which were sent for assays, and placed radon cups. The company plans to identify drill targets for Sienna’s next phase.

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

Drilling has begun at Bachman Lake, an 11,419-hectare property about four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin. The three-hole, 1,900-metre program will cost JV partners Denison Mines TSX:DML and International Enexco TSXV:IEC $570,000, the latter announced on August 26. The helicopter-supported campaign will test three conductors that lie 2.5 to five kilometres apart.

Enexco may earn a 20% interest by funding $500,000 by year-end. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco’s 100% Contact copper project now undergoes pre-feasibility.

Fission finds “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on North Shore

On the northwestern Basin, airborne geophysics found two “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on Fission’s North Shore property, the company reported August 29. “The northern anomalous region occurs within a 1.5-kilometre by 0.5-kilometre area and contains several parallel trends up to 300 metres,” the company stated. Another anomaly about seven kilometres southwest ranges between one to 10 kilometres wide and up to three kilometres long. The company added that radiometrics suggest some of the larger anomalies “are likely to be part of the outcrop/sub-crop, as opposed to boulders.”

Fission credited the find to its patent-pending System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits, which the company says is the same technology that found the PLS boulder field. In August Fission’s collaborator on the system, Special Projects Inc, flew a 12,257-line-kilometre magnetic and radiometric survey at 50-metre line-spacing over the entire property. The system can distinguish between radioactivity released by uranium, thorium or potassium, as well as determine the relative concentration of each element, Fission stated.

Along with further data analysis, the company plans to follow up with mapping and prospecting. The property underwent a seven-hole, 1,260-metre drill program in 2007 and 2008. Fission has interests in seven Basin uranium projects and one in Peru.

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE announced August 27 that advanced discussions are underway with the state-owned mining company of Chubut province, Argentina, to form a JV. The proposal would combine U3O8’s Laguna Salada uranium-vanadium project with adjoining concessions held by Petrominera Chubut SE, onto which U3O8 believes its deposit extends. The company said the deal would also “establish a framework for potential development of the Laguna Salada deposit in compliance with the stringent requirements of the current provincial mining law.” The project has a preliminary economic assessment scheduled later this year.

Having acquired Calypso Uranium last May, U3O8 holds Argentina’s two largest uranium deposits. The country plans to bring a third reactor online this year, boosting its proportion of nuclear energy to 9%, while a fourth reactor is out for tender and a fifth is being planned, U3O8 stated. Argentina currently imports all of its nuclear fuel.

In Colombia, U3O8’s Berlin project has a December PEA for a potential uranium mine with phosphate, vanadium, nickel and rare earths credits. The company also has a uranium project in Guyana.

Boss Power/Morning Star dispute stalls $30-million settlement

A $30-million settlement dating to October 2011 is being held up by a dispute between its beneficiaries. After the British Columbia government suddenly banned uranium and thorium exploration in 2009, the province eventually settled Boss Power’s TSXV:BPU lawsuit out of court. But a condition required the company to surrender its exploration properties, the Blizzard properties and the peripheral B claims. According to an August 19 news release from Morning Star Resources, the settlement hasn’t closed because Boss included those claims in the settlement “without the knowledge and consent of the B claims owner,” Anthony Beruschi.

An August 27 Boss news release acknowledged Beruschi, “sole director and president of Morning Star” and a former Boss director, as “beneficial owner of the B claims.”

Boss’ news release claimed Beruschi “appears determined to extract more than his fair share of the settlement proceeds” and “now appears to be leveraging media and threats of a board replacement to obtain payment for his B claims.”

Morning Star’s August 19 statement said Beruschi “has privately presented several fair offers to Boss’ management and the board to enable Boss to deliver the B claims under the settlement” and accused Boss of “a refusal to negotiate in good faith.”

Morning Star said it will present its own slate of nominees for election to Boss’ board at a meeting Morning Star expects to be held by mid-November “so that it can promptly close the $30-million settlement.” Morning Star stated that it and its affiliates hold about 33% of Boss’ shares.

Boss countered it will “continue its efforts to reach an agreement with Mr. Beruschi while at the same time pursuing court proceedings to allow the settlement proceeds to be paid into court and the settlement to complete.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 25th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 17 to 23, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha extend zone, find “potential candidate” for PLS bedrock source

More scintillometer readings from Patterson Lake South show a 47-metre interval of continuous radioactivity and a 15-metre extension to one zone. Of five holes reported August 22, three showed no sandstone above the basement unconformity. According to joint venture partners Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU, that “makes the R390E zone a potential candidate area for one of the bedrock sources of the large uranium boulder field.” R390E is the second of four zones extending northeast along a 1.05-kilometre potential strike.

The hand-held scintillometer scans drill core to measure gamma rays in counts per second up to an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. Scintillometer readings are not substitutes for assays, which have yet to come. Radioactivity will also be measured with a downhole probe.

Dips range from 84 to 90 degrees, making downhole depths close to vertical depths. True widths were unavailable. Hole PLS13-078 was drilled to a total depth of 224 metres, encountering sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.5 metres. Highlights include:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 31.5 metres, starting at 85 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 5,900 cps over 10 metres

Drilled to a total depth of 230 metres, hole PLS13-081 found two metres of sandstone before striking the basement unconformity at 51.5 metres. The one result released showed:

  • <300 to 7,300 cps over 25.5 metres, starting at 105 metres in downhole depth

Hole PLS13-083 stepped out 15 metres west to extend the zone’s strike. It found no sandstone before striking the basement unconformity at 53 metres, reaching a total depth of 278 metres. Highlights include:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 17.5 metres, starting at 53 metres in downhole depth

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

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 7.5 metres

With a total depth of 224 metres, hole PLS13-085 hit the basement unconformity at 57 metres without encountering sandstone. Highlights include:

  • <300 to 2,800 cps over 5.5 metres, starting at 58.5 metres in vertical depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 22.5 metres

Hole PLS13-086 was drilled to a total depth of 263 metres, finding no sandstone but hitting the basement unconformity at 50 metres. Highlights include:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 47 metres, starting at 75 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 530 to >9,999 cps over 22.5 metres)

PLS13-083’s 15-metre step-out brings the R390E zone’s strike to 120 metres, twice that of last winter. The zone remains open in all directions. The 50/50 JV’s $6.95-million campaign of drilling and ground geophysics continues just beyond the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim.

Update: On August 26 Fission announced a proposal to take over Alpha. Read more.

Fission, Azincourt complete airborne geophysics over Patterson Lake North

Backed by another JV partner, Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ, Fission is also exploring the Patterson Lake North project adjacent to PLS and about 5.7 kilometres north of the discovery. On August 20 the companies announced completion of an airborne VTEM survey over the 27,000-hectare property’s northern half.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 17 to 23, 2013

JV partners Fission and Azincourt plan a $1.53-million
summer/winter program for their Patterson Lake North project.

At 400-metre line-spacing, the survey flew 303 line-kilometres to provide data that might show basement conductors or enhanced sandstone alteration. Late summer and fall are scheduled for ground geophysics featuring time domain electromagnetic (TDEM) and magnetotellurics surveys. The partners have budgeted $530,000 for geophysics and about $1 million for winter drilling.

Azincourt may earn 50% of the project by paying $4.75 million in cash or shares and spending $12 million by April 2017. Fission retains a 2% NSR and acts as operator. Prior to the JV Fission had already spent about $4.7 million exploring PLN.

Forum begins Clearwater ground campaign, raises private placement to $2.25 million

Adjacently southwest of PLS, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC has begun field work on its 9,910-hectare Clearwater project. Having interpreted data from airborne surveys, Forum says the EM conductor hosting the PLS discovery and parallel conductors trend onto Clearwater in a northeast-southwest direction. Radiometrics show uranium channel anomalies and historic surveys reveal two areas with highly anomalous lake sediment samples, according to the August 20 announcement.

Clearwater’s current campaign consists of prospecting with scintillometers, soil radon surveys and lake sediment sampling, along with additional ground geophysics. The company plans to begin drilling in January.

A $1.5-million private placement announced the morning of August 21 was, by late afternoon, raised to $2.25 million. On offer are up to 6.08 million units at $0.37, with each unit comprised of one share and one warrant exercisable at $0.50 for two years. Proceeds will go to Clearwater’s ground geophysics and 3,000-metre campaign.

Ground work begins at Aldrin’s PLS-adjacent Triple M

Adjacently west of PLS and contiguous with Clearwater, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN has begun field work on its Triple M property, according to an August 20 news release. Following up on radiometric anomalies identified by an airborne survey, the company will prospect for uranium boulders and map surficial geology. In September another crew will take surface radon samples above bedrock conductive anomalies found in an airborne VTEM survey.

The schedule calls for drilling to begin by January.

Skyharbour arranges additional $75,000 private placement

On August 19 Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH announced an additional $75,000 non-brokered private placement of 937,500 flow-through units at $0.08. Each unit consists of one flow-through share and one non-transferable warrant exercisable for a non-flow-through share at $0.10 for two years. No finder’s fee will be paid.

The company also granted incentive stock options up to a total of 531,250 shares at $0.10 for five years. The previous week Skyharbour closed a $425,000 private placement that left the company fully funded for its portion of a $6-million, two-year program.

Skyharbour is part of the Western Athabasca Syndicate, a four-company strategic alliance with Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY that’s exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package.

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 18th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 10 to 16, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission add fourth zone, extend PLS strike to 1.02 kilometres

Barely into their current $6.95-million campaign, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW once again grabbed the market’s attention by reporting a fourth zone at Patterson Lake South on August 15. With off-scale scintillometer readings for one hole 165 metres grid east of zone R780E, the new zone gets the informative but unsentimental name R945E. The quartet of zones now extends along a 1.02-kilometre trend.

The hand-held scintillometer measures drill core gamma radioactivity in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading of 9,999 cps. The results are not assays, which are pending. A downhole probe will also be used to measure radioactivity. Some highlights for hole PLS13-084 include:

  • <300 to 800 cps over 4 metres, starting at 104.5 metres in vertical depth
  • <300 to 1,500 cps over 7 metres, starting at 132.5 metres
  • <300 to 3,700 cps over 35.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • <300 to 5,100 cps over 7 metres, starting at 198 metres
  • <300 to 4,500 cps over 12.5 metres, starting at 209.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 18 metres, starting at 234 metres.

True widths were unavailable. The hole reached a total depth of 302 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres. Drilling continues on this hole.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

On the left are barges supporting two of three drills, part of Patterson
Lake South’s $6.95-million, 44-hole, 11,000-metre campaign.

The target was chosen after radon water sampling found an anomaly parallel to a conductor and along strike of the project’s other zones. The 50/50 joint venture partners emphasized that the mineralization’s full potential “will not be fully realized until a complete fence of holes is completed across this anomaly.”

Three days earlier the JV reported its first summer hole from R780E, showing the zone’s “widest continuous and strongest results.” Drilled 10 metres grid south of a previous hole, it extends the zone’s width to about 45 metres at that point. Highlights from PLS13-080 include:

  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 48.5 metres, starting at 122.5 metres in downhole depth
  • <300 to 2,000 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 173.5 metres
  • <300 to 9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 236 metres
  • <300 to 5,400 cps over 3 metres, starting at 298 metres.

True thicknesses weren’t available. The hole reached a total of 347 metres, hitting the basement unconformity at 54 metres. With an 89-degree dip, downhole depths approximate vertical depths. Still to come are lab assays and results from a downhole radiometric probe.

Like PLS13-084, the target was chosen to test an anomaly found by radon sampling, this one “within a resistivity low corridor proximal to an inferred north-south cross-cutting structure.”

On August 16 Fission announced the appointment of Ted Clark to its executive advisory board. Clark is chief of the Clearwater River Dene Nation and owner of Big Bear Contracting Ltd.

NexGen drills PLS-adjacent Rook 1, increases private placement again

Adjacently northeast of PLS, a two-drill, 3,000-metre campaign has begun on NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE Rook 1 project. Targets were identified and refined following airborne and ground geophysics that found overlapping anomalies, according to the August 16 announcement. NexGen expects to find basement rock at 65 to 100 metres in depth. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to late September.

What began as a $1.78-million private placement offered on July 29 has, after three increases, now reached nearly $5 million. The company doubled the offer to $3.53 million on August 1, increased it to $4.12 million on August 14 and, the following day, raised that to $5 million. This “third and final increase” now boosts the offer to 14.28 million units at $0.35 for gross proceeds up to almost $5 million.

Each unit consists of one share and one-half warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable for a share at $0.55 for 18 months. Raising the $5 million would leave NexGen with about $9 million cash on hand.

On the Basin’s east side, the company is earning a 70% interest in the Radio project, two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposits. Assays are pending from Radio’s 3,473-metre summer program.

Skyharbour closes $425,000 private placement, now fully funded for two years

Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH closed a private placement of 5.31 million flow-through units at $0.08 for $425,000 on August 14. Each flow-through unit consists of one flow-through share and one non-transferable non-flow-through warrant exercisable at $0.10 for two years. No finder’s fees were paid.

As part of the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package, Skyharbour is now fully financed for its portion of a $6-million, two-year program, president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com.

“The first phase of work, the airborne surveys, is complete,” he points out. “Fieldwork started ahead of schedule to test a target we’re excited about. We’ll be doing some radon surveying, geochemical sampling and prospecting, among other field techniques. We hope to have all the results in by the end of October.”

Referring to the Alpha/Fission discovery of a fourth PLS zone, Trimble says, “Clearly they’re dealing with a very powerful geological event that created this deposition of uranium. That has implications for the surrounding properties. Another point is the success they’re having with these indicators—the radon anomalies, the boulder train discovery. They’re having huge success with their methodology and the specific targets they’re drilling. That’s important for companies at an earlier stage, and I think Alpha and Fission have shown the market the significance of pre-drilling exploration and reconnaissance work. There’s a lot of value you can put into a project even before you get the drill rigs there.”

The syndicate, which includes Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY, has “about 150 years of uranium exploration experience focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Trimble adds. Skyharbour’s Rick Kusmirski, for example, “has over 40 years in the field and his area of expertise is the Athabasca Basin. He was exploration manager for Cameco [TSX:CCO], he took over the helm at JNR Resources, made a discovery and got bought out by Denison [TSX:DML]. Bob Marvin, our other geologist, also has decades of experience with extensive work in the uranium space. Then there’s the other three companies, each with at least one geologist and the focus has been on uranium expertise.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Lakeland offers $1.25-million private placement, plans Riou Lake exploration

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK offered private placements up to $1.25 million on August 16. The pure play uranium exploration company announced up to 10 million units at $0.10 for gross proceeds of $1 million, with each unit consisting of one share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for one year. Another two million flow-through units at $0.125 consist of one flow-through share and one warrant exercisable at $0.15 for a year. Proceeds will go to Athabasca Basin exploration and general working capital.

With nine uranium properties, Lakeland’s initial focus will be the Gibbon’s Creek area of its Riou Lake project on the northern Basin’s edge, says corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk. “It’s already had work done on it so we have a lot of historic data to go through. Because it’s on higher ground we can drill year-round. We’ve got existing data, so we can work from that and possibly be drilling as early as October.”

Two of Lakeland’s properties are in the eastern Basin, with the other seven in the north-central and northeastern Basin. “The Basin’s trends run from southwest to northeast. The early discoveries were on the eastern side of the Basin, on the Wollaston trend. That goes into Manitoba and finishes in Nunavut. The next trend is at Patterson Lake South, where the Alpha/Fission story is happening. Our properties on the northeast side of the Basin are part of that trend. So it’s not inconceivable that we could find something similar. The previous Riou Lake operator did find a boulder grading 11% uranium, the drilling found some very similar things, so we’re very excited about that.”

Gibbon’s Creek offers other attractions, Leschuk adds. “It’s not only on high ground but it’s very shallow to the basement rock. We’re talking maybe 50 metres down, so our drilling is going to be very shallow and very cheap to drill. Only a few kilometres away there’s a community called Stony Rapids, so we don’t have to set up a camp. We can hire people from the community who can drive to and from work, so our costs will be even lower. Our money will go a long, long way. We’re looking at 1,500 to 2,000 metres initially but we’ll get a big bang for our buck. We’re looking forward to that.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 28th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 20 to 26, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Denison reports best grade/interval result from high-grade Wheeler River

A radiometric probe has found the most impressive result so far from Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River project in the eastern Athabasca Basin. Of four holes reported July 24, one showed the project’s highest grade-times-thickness calculation.

Three holes at the Phoenix A deposit showed:

  • 43.2% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 10.3 metres, starting at 401.6 metres in vertical depth
  • 16.4% over 1.7 metres, starting at 403.5 metres
  • 13% over 3.1 metres, starting at 403.7 metres.

Roughly 2.1 kilometres from the Phoenix deposits, one hole at the 489 zone showed:

  • 0.3% over 3.2 metres, starting at 411.1 metres.

Intercepts are approximate true widths. The company explained eU3O8 as “radiometric equivalent uranium oxide calculated from a total gamma downhole probe.” Radiometric probes are not chemical assays.

The Phoenix A drill holes tested for possible extensions of the deposit’s higher-grade domain, defined as approximately 20% U3O8. Using a 0.8% cutoff, the December 2012 resource estimate for Phoenix A showed:

  • an indicated category of 133,500 tonnes averaging 15.8% for 46.5 million pounds U3O8
  • an inferred category of 6,300 tonnes averaging 51.7% for 7.2 million pounds.

With the same 0.8% cutoff, the Phoenix B deposit showed:

  • an indicated category of 19,000 tonnes averaging 14.1% for 5.9 million pounds
  • an inferred category of 5,300 tonnes averaging 3.5% for 400,000 pounds.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 20 to 26, 2013

With continued drilling, Denison hopes to expand
Wheeler River’s high-grade resource.

Combined, Wheeler River’s resource comes to 52.4 million pounds indicated and 7.6 million pounds inferred.

With 15 of 23 holes in three areas now complete, drilling continues. Wheeler is held 60% by project operator Denison, 30% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 10% by JCU (Japan-Canada Uranium) Exploration.

This summer will also see Denison busy at seven other Basin properties: Waterbury Lake (held 40% by the Korea Electric Power Corp), Packrat, South Dufferin, Johnston Lake and Moon Lake (held 45% by Uranium One TSX:UUU, which is expected to be taken private by the Russian state-owned company ARMZ in Q3).

WASP extends VTEM-Plus, advances radiometrics on PLS-area’s largest package

A four-company strategic alliance announced progress on its airborne surveys over the Patterson Lake South-area’s largest land package. Jointly funded by Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project totals 287,130 hectares, with 275,361 hectares in the vicinity of the near-surface, high-grade PLS discovery of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU.

A VTEM-Plus survey has flown 720 line-kilometres in addition to the original 4,120-line-kilometre survey. The additional coverage consisted of infill and extension of conductive anomalies and structural features identified in preliminary data, the syndicate reported on July 23. Meanwhile Goldak Airborne Surveys is wrapping up a 4,400-line-kilometre radiometric program at 200-metre line spacing to measure radioactivity in outcrops and boulder trains. Goldak compiles the data using a proprietary digital acquisition system.

“We should have complete interpretation done by [geophysicist] Phil Robertshaw in early or mid-August,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com. “That will delineate the highest-priority targets for fieldwork but we’ve already had boots on the ground doing some preliminary surveying and prospecting. We plan to have a small team back there in early August and that will lead to the full-fledged field program that will commence probably in late August.”

With the four companies earning 25% each, the alliance plans to spend $6 million over two years. “The syndicate is a real advantage to budget,” Trimble points out. “Skyharbour’s obligation is just one-sixth of that. The same with Athabasca Nuclear and then Lucky Strike and Noka pay just one-third each, so it’s not onerous for any one company. It makes the project a lot more viable, especially in these tough markets. And we’re really starting to see the synergies pay off here with the different geologists and their contact base. Their networks are open too.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

VTEM-Plus, radiometric collaboration flies Aldrin’s Triple M

The VTEM-Plus and radiometric surveys also cover PLS-area properties held by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC, a money-saving collaboration announced in May. On July 24 Aldrin also reported the program completed VTEM-Plus infill lines and began radiometrics using 100-metre line spacing over its Triple M property.

Scheduled for August is radon sampling as well as follow-up work on any anomalies found by the radiometrics. The company hopes to start drilling next January to test basement conductors reported in June.

NexGen expands PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE has doubled its drill plans for Rook 1, the company announced July 24. With two rigs scheduled to start in mid-August, the campaign now calls for approximately 20 holes totalling 3,000 metres, twice the amount announced in May. Land-based, shallow drilling will test targets identified by airborne VTEM and ground gravity and DC resistivity surveys in the property’s southwestern section, immediately northeast of PLS. NexGen interprets a conductor to extend from the Fission/Alpha discovery into southwestern Rook 1.

In June NexGen began a 4,000-metre campaign on its Radio project, part of a 70% earn-in on the property adjacent to Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit.

Fission, Azincourt announce summer program for Patterson Lake North

Immediately north of Patterson Lake South lies, of course, Patterson Lake North. On July 22 joint venture partners Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ announced a $530,000 summer program to start in early August.

Following up on “conductive areas of interest” found by a previous survey, an airborne VTEM max will fly 303 line-kilometres at 400-metre line spacing over the approximately 25,000-hectare property’s northern half. That will be followed by a single-line 6.3-line-kilometre ground magnetotellurics survey. The property’s southern portion will get a ground TDEM survey. The partners hope results will help identify targets for a drill campaign anticipated for next winter.

The companies say PLN sits within a large gravity low structural corridor that incorporates PLS, the former Cluff Lake mine and the Shea Creek deposits of UEX Corp TSX:UEX and AREVA Resources Canada. Additionally PLN shows EM anomalies that might be interpreted as an extension of the Saskatoon Lake EM conductor associated with Shea Creek.

Azincourt may earn 50% of PLN by paying $4.75 million in cash or shares and spending $12 million by April 2017. Fission gets a 2% NSR and acts as project operator. Fission has already spent about $4.7 million exploring PLN. Earlier this month the company applied for a patent on its “System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 20th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 13 to 19, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Step-out hole extends PLS zone by 15 metres

The first hole of Patterson Lake South’s summer program found 85.5 metres of “the most abundant off-scale mineralization of any hole drilled on the property,” stated Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU president/COO Ross McElroy. In dual announcements made July 18, Fission and 50/50 joint venture partner Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW said scintillometer readings show the step-out extends the R390E zone 15 metres grid west. R390E is the middle of three zones along an 850-metre northeast-southwest trend.

Although its readings aren’t substitutes for assays, the scintillometer determines radioactivity by measuring gamma ray particles in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading of more than 9,999 cps. Results for PLS13-072 show:

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 13 to 19, 2013

Alpha/Fission’s $6.95-million summer drill program has begun,
with the first hole extending one zone by 15 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 85.5 metres, starting at 62 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1,100 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres)
  • (and including 5,000 to >9,999 cps over 6.9 metres)
  • (and including <300 to 8,600 cps over 5 metres)
  • (and including <300 to 720 cps over 2.5 metres).

Assays are pending. True widths weren’t available. Drilling on the hole was suspended due to mechanical failure. All PLS holes will get a radiometric probe to assess radioactivity more accurately.

Interestingly, the drill found no Devonian sandstone between the overburden and the basement bedrock, which started at 55.7 metres’ depth. “This may be a result of the RC rig casing past the overburden and bedrock contact, and so the presence or absence of Devonian sandstone is inconclusive,” stated Alpha’s news release. “Alternatively, the lack of Devonian sandstone and presence of shallower mineralization may indicate that the bedrock source of the high-grade uranium boulders is possibly approaching further to the west of PLS13-072. Other step-out drill holes may resolve this.”

The program uses two diamond rigs in addition to the reverse circulation drill. With a $6.95-million budget, the 44-hole, 11,000-metre drill campaign and ground geophysics surveys continue on the 31,000-hectare property two kilometres from Highway 955.

Fission applies for boulder-finding patent

Along with collaborator Special Projects Inc, Fission wants to patent the system used to discover the PLS high-grade uranium boulder field. Calling it “an invention entitled System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits,” Fission announced the application on July 16.

The company explained that radiometric surveys can be affected by a number of variables including weather, topography and cosmic activity, as well as more controllable factors such as sensor height and aircraft speed. The invention “is particularly sensitive to addressing these variables,” Fission stated.

The news release didn’t specify the invention of new technology.

Forum extends Key Lake-area holdings

Towards the Athabasca Basin’s southeast corner, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC picked up the Highrock South property, adding another 1,381 hectares to its Key Lake area holdings. The company’s July 17 announcement states the property “is a continuation of the prospective Key Lake/Black Forest conductive trend” that hosted Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO former deposits and the geology “compares favourably” with PLS. Highrock South lies about 15 kilometres south of the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Forum pays $2,500, issues 25,000 shares and grants a 2% NSR. The company holds six other projects totalling over 90,000 hectares in the area, as well as other projects in Saskatchewan and Nunavut’s Thelon Basin.

Brades moves into Athabasca Basin

Brades Resource TSXV:BRA marked its Saskatchewan entry with the Lorne Lake acquisition announced July 16. The approximately 39,450-hectare property shows “extensive regional faulting and lineaments and covers one of only three identified cross-cutting major fault structures located in the western Athabasca Basin,” as well as “favourable magnetic geophysical data,” the company stated.

In return, Brades will issue a total of 3.5 million shares to two vendors including Ryan Kalt, who will also get a 2% NSR. On closing the deal, Kalt becomes a company insider.

On July 19 Brades announced the appointment of Evany Hung as CFO, replacing Christopher Cherry. The company also holds the 14,133-hectare BRC porphyry copper-gold property in northwestern British Columbia.

Noka retains Dahrouge Geological Consulting

On July 18 Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced it retained Dahrouge Geological Consulting to manage and explore Noka’s Athabasca Basin properties. Dahrouge and its predecessor, Halferdahl & Associates, have over 40 years’ experience with mineral projects, including over 30 years in uranium, Noka stated. The announcement credited Jody Dahrouge and his team with “the conceptualization and acquisition of several uranium properties within the Athabasca Basin, most notably these include such projects as Waterbury Lake (J zone), Patterson Lake and in part Patterson Lake South.”

Noka’s properties include Clearwater and Athabasca North, as well as a 25% earn-in on the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project, a four-company strategic alliance with Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY that’s exploring the PLS-area’s largest land package.

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Paladin reports quarterly revenue of $107.4 million, record production

Paladin Energy’s TSX:PDN quarterly report, released July 16, showed sales revenue for three months ending June 30 of US$107.4 million. The company sold 2.32 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) at an average price of $46.22 a pound.

Both of the company’s mines achieved quarterly production records. Langer Heinrich in Namibia produced 1.35 million pounds U3O8 while Kayelekera in Malawi gave up 789,430 pounds for a combined 2.14 million pounds, up 8% from the previous quarter. Fiscal 2013 production met guidance with 8.25 million pounds. The fiscal 2014 forecast ranges from 8.3 million to 8.7 million pounds.

The company also stated it had cut production costs by 9% at Langer Heinrich and 24% at Kayelekera, compared with June 2012. Paladin has been negotiating the sale of a minority interest in Langer Heinrich.

As for the company’s other projects, its Michelin property in Labrador has more exploration planned for summer and a resource update scheduled for next quarter. At Western Australia’s Manyingee project, work continues on an updated resource and hydrogeological modelling. Exploration on its Agadez property in Niger, however, has been suspended following the May 23 terrorist attacks that hit a military barracks and a uranium mine operated by AREVA.

In April Paladin became sole owner of the Angela project in Northern Territory, with an inferred resource of 30.8 million pounds, after buying Cameco’s 50% interest. Paladin also holds other Australian properties.

Cameco wants Canada to allow foreign ownership, Paladin concurs

Cameco “has broken ranks with the Canadian government by taking the position that Australian companies should be able to wholly own uranium mines in the country,” reported Australia’s Financial Review (subscription required) on July 15. Not surprisingly the journal added that John Borshoff, managing director/CEO of Australia’s Paladin, “says Canada must heed the words of one of its biggest companies and prioritize lifting restrictions on foreign ownership.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 6th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 29 to July 5, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Conductive trend links Forum’s Clearwater with Patterson Lake South

A conductive trend hosting the Patterson Lake South discovery extends into Forum Uranium’s TSXV:FDC adjacent Clearwater property, the company announced July 3. Preliminary results from an electromagnetic and magnetic survey link the trend with the high-grade, near-surface uranium found by Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU over the last several months.

Along with three other companies, Forum took part in a jointly funded VTEM-plus time domain survey to fly contiguous PLS-area properties held by Forum, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC. A radiometric survey will follow later this summer to search for radioactive boulder trains.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 29 to July 5, 2013

Core trays hold Patterson Lake South samples with off-scale gamma ray readings over 9,999 counts per second. Fission and Alpha have now announced details of their $6.95-million PLS campaign.

Clearwater sits adjacent to the southwest of Patterson Lake South and also borders properties that would form part of the Western Athabasca Syndicate. Under a memorandum of understanding announced June 24, Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC plan to combine their Athabasca Basin properties into a single 287,130-hectare package. The two companies, plus Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, would then fund $6 million of exploration over two years. Except for the 11,769-hectare Wheeler project on the Basin’s east side, the entire package lies within the PLS area.

As a result of its find, Forum increased the resolution of its airborne survey. The company plans to follow up with radon surveys, ground geophysics and detailed prospecting.

Fission, Alpha unveil $6.95-million Patterson Lake South plan

With barges and drills onsite and permits in hand, the Alpha/Fission joint venture released details about their imminent $6.95-million, 44-hole, 11,000-metre PLS program on July 2. The 50/50 partners plan 40 holes focusing on three zones along an 850-metre trend, while an additional four holes will test additional targets along strike. Equipment will include a reverse circulation drill for overburden, two diamond drills for bedrock and three barges to keep them afloat. Two of the three zones are underwater with lake depths of about four to six metres.

All holes will get a radiometric probe. Ground geophysics and environmental baseline studies will also take place.

So far over 90% of drill targets have found mineralization, the companies stated. The 31,000-hectare project’s three zones are separated by gaps of 300 metres and 360 metres that have yet to be drilled. All three zones remain open in all directions, the partners added.

Fission serves as project operator until April 2014, when it swaps roles with Alpha.

Japanese utilities to apply for nuclear reactor permits

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority will begin receiving applications on July 8 for reactor re-starts, Bloomberg reported. The news agency’s July 3 dispatch said 48 reactors, providing over a quarter of the country’s electricity, had been shut down following the 2011 earthquakes and Fukushima accident. Since then Japanese utilities have been “bleeding cash from importing extra oil and gas for backup generation.”

Speaking to ResourceClips.com on July 5, Dundee Capital Markets senior analyst David Talbot said he’s heard three agencies will be reviewing the applications in a process that might take as long as six months. “It’s not whether their reactors are coming back online because I think everybody realizes they are,” he said. “It’s how many reactors are going to come online and how quickly…. How many of these reactors get up and running by the end of the year is probably one of the biggest questions. Once they start coming back online, I think that’s going to give a psychological push to the entire sector.” As a result the price of uranium, now below $40 a pound, could get the boost needed to spur mine development, Talbot explained.

Japan, Uzbekistan to co-operate on uranium exploration

Meanwhile, Japan expects to sign a uranium exploration agreement with Uzbekistan, the Kyodo news service reported on July 6. Two state-owned companies, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp and Uzbekistan’s Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat, will meet July 8 to ink a five-year plan to assess uranium deposits in Uzbekistan. Japan depends completely on imported uranium.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 22 to 28, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha strike gold at PLS, report geochem results

Patterson Lake South’s potential might go beyond the stuff of yellowcake to include yellow metal. After releasing all those high-grade, near-surface uranium assays, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU finally reported high-grade, near-surface gold on June 24. Where it was found, the gold frequently correlated with high-grade uranium, although the reverse wasn’t always true. But they did find gold in all three zones.

Some highlights include:

Zone R390E

  • 1.58 grams per tonne gold over 63.5 metres, starting at 82 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.8 g/t over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 35.6 g/t over 0.5 metres)
  • 1.02 g/t over 53 metres, starting at 95 metres
  • (including 2.6 g/t over 10.5 metres).
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Zone R00E

  • 1.9 g/t over 20.5 metres, starting at 65.5 metres.

Zone R780E

  • 1.71 g/t over 7 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 4.48 g/t over 2.5 metres).

True thicknesses weren’t available. The 50/50 joint venture partners pointed to other uranium-gold occurrences in the western Athabasca Basin including Cluff Lake, which produced over 16,000 gold ounces in 1987, and the high gold grades reported from the UEX Corp TSX:UEX/AREVA Resources Canada Shea Creek JV. But Fission and Alpha cautioned that Athabasca gold typically occurs irregularly, making extraction viable only with a mineable uranium deposit.

The companies also reported that, unlike some Basin deposits, PLS has shown low arsenic values. High arsenic requires more costly processing and disposal, the partners stated.

Additionally, geochemical work showed strongly anomalous boron related to the hydrothermal alteration in and around uranium mineralization. “The extent of the alteration halo around the mineralization can enlarge the target area and be used as a guide to focus on an area in a suitable geophysical setting,” the companies stated.

Project operator Fission plans to resume drilling in July, part of a program jointly budgeted at $6.95 million.

$6-million program for PLS-area’s largest package proposed by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka

The plan calls for four companies funding exploration on the Patterson Lake South area’s largest land package. Under a memorandum of understanding announced June 24, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC would combine their Basin properties into one 287,130-hectare bundle, with Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX also contributing to a two-year, $6-million campaign.

The properties include Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake, 26 kilometres south of the PLS discovery, and Skyharbour’s adjacent West Patterson, South Patterson and Draco properties. Also included are Skyharbour’s nearby North Patterson, RY and South Basin properties, and its 11,769-hectare Wheeler claims in the eastern Basin.

Noka and Lucky Strike already hold a 25% earn-in each on Skyharbour’s properties. The MOU would give Athabasca Nuclear a 25% option on the properties as well. The other three companies would each get 25% options on Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake. Lucky Strike and Noka would each fund $1 million of exploration per year for two years, while Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear would each put up $500,00 a year.

Cash and shares would change hands as Noka and Lucky Strike each pay $100,000 and issue $100,000 in shares to each of Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. The latter two would issue each other shares worth $100,000.

Finally, the four companies would form a JV. They hope to sign a definitive agreement by June 30.

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble emphasized that the plan minimizes his company’s risk and future equity dilution. “We decided this approach made the most sense from both an exploration standpoint and a financial standpoint,” he said. “This will also create value-added synergies that will further improve our chances of raising money and making a new discovery.”

Already underway at the PLS-area properties is an airborne VTEM-plus time domain survey, to be followed by radiometrics later this summer. Another co-operative effort, the surveys are jointly funded by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC to explore their contiguous claims.

Plans call for further exploration by the newly announced strategic alliance, with operator Athabasca Nuclear consulting with the other geological teams as well as Alpha’s 43-101 technical report for PLS. “They’ve really written the book on how to discover deposits in this specific area,” Trimble said.

Read more about the four-way strategic alliance.

International Enexco JVs with Denison on Bachman Lake

A JV announced June 25 brings together International Enexco TSXV:IEC and Denison Mines TSX:DML on the Bachman Lake project, about four kilometres from Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Basin. Enexco may earn 20% of Bachman by funding $500,000 of exploration by year-end. Denison remains project operator. The 11,419-hectare property is scheduled for a helicopter-supported 1,900-metre drill program beginning in August to focus on three conductors identified by geophysics and historic drilling.

Twenty kilometres northeast Enexco holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake project, a JV with operator Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco has a feasibility study underway on its Contact copper project.

Kivalliq releases assays from its Angilak project in Nunavut

Exploration drilling on two new zones at Kivalliq Energy’s TSXV:KIV Angilak project produced a batch of assays released June 27. Some highlights from the Nunavut property show:

ML zone

  • 0.46% uranium oxide (U3O8), 0.48% copper, 0.15% molybdenum and 53.6 g/t silver over 4.3 metres, starting at 90.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.42% U3O8, 0.64% copper, 0.4% molybdenum and 139 g/t silver over 1.2 metres).

J1 zone

  • 0.06% U3O8, 0.08% copper, 0.01% molybdenum and 8.3 g/t silver over 1.3 metres, starting at 38 metres
  • 1.06% U3O8, 0.28% copper, 0.03% molybdenum and 3.6 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, starting at 60.1 metres
  • 0.56% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.28% molybdenum and 15.5 g/t silver over 0.6 metres, starting at 77.2 metres
  • (including 1.31% U3O8, 0.09% copper, 0.66% molybdenum and 33.9 g/t silver over 0.3 metres)
  • 0.15% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.07% molybdenum and 9.2 g/t silver over 0.2 metres, starting at 114.8 metres.

Intercepts are estimated true widths. Kivalliq president Jeff Ward said the two zones show geological similarity and proximity to current deposits on the project’s Lac 50 trend, which has a March 2013 inferred resource of 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% U3O8, Canada’s highest-grade uranium resource outside the Athabasca Basin.

Kivalliq operates the 138,000-hectare project, 225 kilometres south of Baker Lake, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Drilling resumes in July.

Macusani releases assays from Peru, says resource updates are imminent

In southeastern Peru, Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL announced drill results from the Chilcuno Chico anomaly on its Kihitian property. Some highlights from the June 26 release include:

  • 0.121% U3O8 over 17 metres, starting at 220 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.346% over 4 metres)
  • 0.172% over 4 metres, starting at 103 metres
  • 0.032% over 41 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 0.308% over 3 metres)
  • 0.056% over 16 metres, starting at 35 metres
  • 0.059% over 9 metres, starting at 232 metres
  • (including 0.163% over 2 metres).

True widths weren’t available. With 45,000 metres since 2011, drilling has delineated an area about 1,050 metres by 1,100 metres, where the Manto B zone remains open in all directions. Macusani believes the project’s Quebrada Blanca anomaly forms part of the same mineralized sequence as Manto B.

The company has two drills turning at Chilcuno Chico and two more at its Tupuramani project, also on the Macusani Plateau. Resource updates for Colibri 2 and 3/Tupuramani and for Chilcuno Chico/Quebrada Blanca are expected within days.

Read more about exploration and mining in Peru.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 15th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 8 to 14, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

With production slated for Q4, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO got the final go-ahead to mine Cigar Lake uranium on June 13. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission issued the mining licence following a 1990s environmental assessment, a stalled construction phase and a one-day public hearing. “The licensed facilities include underground mine workings accessed by two mine shafts, a surface load-out facility, waste management systems, a mine water management system and associated site facilities,” the CNSC stated. Cameco expects jet-boring to begin this summer.

The world’s second-largest known high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake’s bounty holds:

  • proven reserves of 233,600 tonnes averaging 22.31% uranium oxide (U3O8) for 114.9 million pounds U3O8
  • probable reserves of 303,500 tonnes averaging 15.22% for 101.8 million pounds.

Those reserves give Cigar Lake a 15-year lifespan. With full production expected in 2018, it’s expected to give up 18 million pounds annually.

Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

A Cameco crew installs freeze pipes at Cigar Lake
to protect against seeping water and leaking radiation.

The peak of construction could employ up to 500 workers, while production would require about 250 people. Jet-boring will extract the highly radioactive material using water pressure to carve underground caverns and push an ore slurry to underground grinding and thickening circuits, then to surface. The ground first must be frozen to prevent water seepage and radiation leakage. Processing will take place at the McClean Lake mill, 69 kilometres away.

Construction actually began in 2005. But the project hit delays due to flooding in 2006 and 2008. Cameco finally dewatered the workings in 2010 and restored the underground infrastructure the following year.

Located near Waterbury Lake on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern margin, Cigar Lake is a four-way joint venture in which project operator Cameco holds 50.025%, AREVA Resources Canada 37.1%, Idemitsu Canada Resources 7.875% and TEPCO Resources 5%. Another JV, the McClean Lake mill is held 70% by operator AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines TSX:DML and 7.5% by OURD Canada.

Pele Mountain increases Eco Ridge inferred U3O8 136%, REO 130%

Replacing a previous uranium-rare earths resource in the project’s July 2012 preliminary economic assessment, Pele Mountain Resources TSXV:GEM released a June 10 update for its Eco Ridge project in Elliot Lake, Ontario. The resource now shows:

  • an indicated category of 22.74 million tonnes averaging 0.045% U3O8 and 1,606 parts per million total rare earth oxides for 22.55 million pounds U3O8 and 80.51 million pounds REO, or 49.83 million pounds U3O8-equivalent
  • an inferred category of 36.56 million tonnes averaging 0.047% U3O8 and 1,554 ppm REO for 37.62 million pounds U3O8 and 125.25 million pounds REO, or 81.84 million pounds U3O8-equivalent.

The inferred numbers represent a 130% increase in total REO and a 136% jump in U3O8. The indicated category rose 10% in both REO and U3O8. The update shows “substantial increases in critical REO resources including neodymium, dysprosium, yttrium, terbium and europium oxides, as well as in scandium oxide resources,” the company stated.

Pele Mountain added that two higher-grade zones start at surface, which could allow higher-grade production during the first years of mining.

Working in Elliot Lake between 1956 and 1996 Rio Algom, later incorporated into BHP Billiton, and Denison produced over 300 million pounds of U3O8 and significant quantities of yttrium and heavy REO from deposits similar to that of Eco Ridge, Pele Mountain stated. The mining camp is about 160 kilometres west of Sudbury.

Aldrin increases resolution of PLS-area airborne geophysics

Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN will add infill lines to an airborne geophysics survey already underway over the Patterson Lake South area. Announced June 12, the decision will increase resolution from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing over conductive anomalies found on the company’s 12,001-hectare Triple M property. Aldrin interprets the anomalies as linear basement conductors over three kilometres long, parallel to a magnetically defined fault.

The company holds a 70% option on Triple M, which sits nine kilometres south and 11 kilometres west of the PLS discovery. High-grade, near-surface results from the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU 50/50 JV excited interest in the area in and around the Basin’s southwestern rim. The helicopter-borne VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey already underway is a joint project that’s flying contiguous properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC (formerly Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK), Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH. Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each hold a 25% earn-in option on Skyharbour’s properties.

Aldrin stated the infill lines will help locate drill targets for early winter 2014.

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