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Posts tagged ‘thorium’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 17th, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 17, 2015

by Greg Klein

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India’s fast-emerging market becomes a Cameco customer

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

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

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to April 17, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fission finishes winter work at Patterson Lake South

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

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

Hole PLS15-330

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

PLS15-334

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

PLS15-337

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

  • 0.23% over 7 metres, starting at 182.5 metres

PLS15-341

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

  • 0.37% over 12.5 metres, starting at 172.5 metres

True widths weren’t available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLS15-299

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

PLS15-302

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

PLS15-303

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

PLS15-311

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

PLS15-312

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

PLS15-324

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

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

PLS15-325

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

Again, true widths weren’t available.

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

Read about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 21st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 20, 2015

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

True widths weren’t available.

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

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

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

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

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

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

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

  • 0.12% over 32 metres, starting at 697 metres

As for some other highlights:

AR-15-33

  • 0.26% over 12.5 metres, starting at 548.5 metres

AR-15-35

  • 0.33% over 18.5 metres, starting at 394.5 metres

  • 0.49% over 12 metres, starting at 553.5 metres

AR-14-36

  • 0.32% over 51 metres, starting at 167 metres

  • 0.1% over 61.5 metres, starting at 248 metres

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

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

AR-15-37

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

  • 0.34% over 13.5 metres, starting at 602 metres

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

AR-15-38

  • 0.75% over 6 metres, starting at 664 metres

  • 0.9% over 32 metres, starting at 583.5 metres

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

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

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

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

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Hole GC15-01

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

GC15-02

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

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

GC15-03

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

GC15-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 31st, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

Hole PLS14-153

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

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

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

Hole PLS14-156

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

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

Hole PLS14-160

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

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

Hole PLS14-167

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

Hole PLS14-171

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

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

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

Hole PLS14-163

  • 0.14% over 5 metres, starting at 128.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

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

Aldrin finds radioactivity at Triple M’s Anticline area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 0.321% over 3.81 metres, starting at 73.8 metres

  • 0.189% over 5.79 metres, starting at 100.95 metres

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

Fission 3.0 and Brades report Clearwater West conductors

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

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

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

New listing enhances Lakeland Resources’ American exposure

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

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

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

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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 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Innovation overcomes epic struggle to put Cameco’s Cigar Lake into production

 

 

With an ore grade 100 times the world average, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO overcame tremendous challenges to put Cigar Lake into production. Indeed the project’s first ore shipment on March 13 suggests that high grade is the mother of invention.

Among other tribulations, flooding in 2006 and 2008 stalled the eastern Athabasca Basin mine, which dates back to a 1981 discovery and began construction in 2005. Last year’s planned start-up hit another delay with leaks from tanks built to hold the run-of-mine slurry. Around the same time the McClean Lake mill faced delays of its own with modifications to the leaching circuit.

Cameco devised innovative techniques of bulk freezing and jet boring to extract the deposit lying 410 to 450 metres below surface, “where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

The jet boring tunnel at Cigar Lake, which Cameco calls “among
the most technically challenging mining projects in the world.”

To prevent flooding, the company freezes the ore and surrounding rock “by circulating a brine solution through freeze holes drilled from both surface and underground.”

To extract the ore, Cameco developed a method of high-pressure water jet boring “after many years of test mining” that keeps operators safely distant from the enormously high-grade deposit.

The company’s targeting 18 million pounds a year at full production, making it the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine after the Cameco/AREVA (70%/30%) McArthur River operation. But even 33 years after Cigar Lake’s discovery, the company anticipates further difficulties: “As we ramp up production, there may be some technical challenges which could affect our production plans.”

As of December 31, Cigar Lake capital expenditures came to $2.6 billion. Over 600 people will staff the mine.

Milling will take place at McClean Lake, 70 kilometres northeast. Operator AREVA Resources Canada says the plant “is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tonnes as early as 2018.”

Cigar Lake shows proven and probable reserves averaging 18.3% for 216.7 million pounds U3O8. Measured and indicated resources average 2.27% for 2.2 million pounds. The inferred resource averages 12.01% for 98.9 million pounds.

Cigar Lake is a joint venture of Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources (5%).

The McClean Lake JV consists of AREVA (70% ), Denison Mines TSX:DML (22.5%) and OURD Canada (7.5%).

Read more about Cigar Lake here and here.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results, $25-million bought deal

Patterson Lake South’s momentum continued on March 10 as Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released its third batch of radiometric readings in five days—this time boasting one hole with “the second strongest off-scale results recorded at PLS to date, placing it amongst the best holes drilled in the Athabasca Basin.” The four new holes also continue the winter program’s 100% hit rate and further encourage the company’s quest to connect the six zones along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results

Fission uses a hand-held scintillometer to measure
radiation from drill core prior to receiving lab assays.

The most recent star hole is PLS14-164, whose intervals showed a total of 30.08 metres of off-scale readings at 9,999 counts per second, the maximum amount of gamma radiation that the hand-held scintillometer can measure. The readings, taken from drill core, are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Another hole showed a composite 2.1 metres of off-scale radioactivity. Of the four holes, the mineralized intercept closest to surface started at 56 metres, while the deepest stopped at 380.5 metres.

Oddly enough, Fission Uranium’s March 10 release says one of the new holes “has narrowed the distance between zones R390E and R585E to approximately 60 metres.” That’s the same distance between the same zones reported by the company on March 7.

Already 40 holes have been completed in the $12-million winter campaign that began in mid-January. The company plans about 85 or 90 holes totalling around 30,000 metres on the ice-bound lake before spring. While one rig explores outside the mineralized area, Fission Uranium hopes its four other drills will fill the gaps between the project’s six zones.

Just before the March 10 closing bell Fission Uranium announced a $25-million bought deal. A syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 15.65 million warrants, exercisable for one share each, at $1.60. The company expects to close the private placement by April 1. The underwriters may buy an additional 15%.

Fission Uranium surpassed its 52-week high March 10, opening three cents above its previous close, reaching $1.71 and then settling on $1.67 when trading was halted at the company’s request minutes before the $25-million announcement.

Trading resumed the following day. The company closed March 14 on $1.59. With 330.12 million shares outstanding, Fission Uranium had a market cap of $524.89 million.

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

Core from RK-14-27 shows pitchblende within
brecciated shear at 253.8 metres in downhole depth.

With radiometric results from a second hole on Rook 1’s Arrow prospect, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE repeated last month’s success. On March 13 the company released dozens of tiny intervals ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 metres that showed “significant” readings over 500 counts per second. One intercept of 15.05 metres (not true width) showed almost continuous significant results.

The measurements, which are no substitute for assays, were obtained by scanning drill core with a hand-held radiation detector.

Significant intervals for RK-14-27 started at 224.45 metres in downhole depth and ended at 435.9 metres. Drilling stopped at 576 metres. About a dozen small intervals hit the device’s maximum possible reading of 10,000 cps. Arrow’s mineralization now extends at least 32 metres down dip across two holes, NexGen stated.

Three other holes failed to find significant radiation but “analysis of structures in these holes meant that hole 27 was successfully planned to intersect the interpreted mineralized zones both along strike and down dip.” The company plans to sink RK-14-29 40 metres southwest along strike. Now in progress, RK-14-28 is testing a gravity low roughly 200 metres west of RK-14-27.

The company has two drills working the Arrow area, now the focus of the PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project. A third rig will join by summer.

On March 10 NexGen stated it filed a preliminary short form prospectus regarding the previously announced $10-million bought deal, which the company expects to close on or about March 26.

Fission 3.0 stakes 42,000 additional hectares in and around the Basin

Three acquisitions and one property expansion add nearly 42,000 hectares to Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) portfolio. Announced March 13, the newly staked properties indicate “there remain many under-explored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” according to COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy.

Not all the new turf actually lies within the Basin. But neither does PLS. The 20,826-hectare Perron Lake property is about 20 kilometres north of the Basin and has benefited from regional lake sediment sampling that showed strong uranium anomalies.

The 9,168-hectare Cree Bay property sits within the northeastern Basin, where historic airborne geophysics suggest potential for hydrothermal and structure-related deposits.

Within the southeastern Basin, the 4,354-hectare Grey Island property is located about 70 kilometres from Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Manitou Falls enlarges by 7,589 hectares to a total of 10,529 hectares. The northeastern Basin property was originally staked last May when the spinco was just a gleam in Fission Uranium’s eye. Historic data shows six radiometric anomalies and multiple basement electromagnetic conductors.

Fission 3.0’s portfolio now numbers nine Saskatchewan and Alberta properties in and around the Basin and one in Peru’s Macusani uranium district.

Purepoint finds new zone at Hook Lake JV

March 10 news from Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU heralded a new zone of mineralization at its Hook Lake joint venture five kilometres northeast of PLS. Although two of four holes failed to find mineralization, the other two prompted the company to move its second rig to the new Spitfire zone.

The single interval released from hole HK14-09 showed:

  • 0.32% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 208.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.1% over 0.5 metres)

Thirty metres northwest, HK14-11 showed:

  • 0.11% over 2 metres, starting at 197.9 metres

  • 0.05% over 3 metres, starting at 201.9 metres

  • 0.57% over 0.9 metres, starting at 210.6 metres

True widths weren’t provided. These holes were drilled at a -70 degree dip.

All four holes targeted the 2.9-kilometre D2 electromagnetic conductor, which features “a large magnetic low, possibly indicative of hydrothermal alteration,” said VP of exploration Scott Frostad. “Now that the D2 conductor has been shown to be associated with uranium mineralization, we will increase our drilling efforts towards the northeast where geophysics suggests there is a more structurally complex setting.”

Purepoint stated D2 comprises part of the Patterson Lake conductive corridor, the same conductive trend targeted by Fission at PLS.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare project and acts as operator for partners Cameco (39.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%). The work is part of a $2.5-million, 5,000-metre campaign that began in late January.

In early February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

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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

January 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to January 10, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium says lower-grade assays confirm new PLS zone 195 metres east

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continues to pick away at its nearly 50-hole backlog of assays from Patterson Lake South. Results released December 30 come from the project’s eastern-most high-grade zone as well as a not-so-high-grade zone farther east.

Highlights from hole PLS13-099 on zone R945E include:

  • 0.11% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 15 metres, starting at 122 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.14% over 16 metres, starting at 140 metres

  • 0.99% over 23.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • (including 2.49% over 8.5 metres)

  • 3.99% over 17 metres, starting at 185.5 metres
  • (including 18.52% over 3.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.5% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 8.5 metres, starting at 205 metres

  • 2.69% over 30.5 metres, starting at 222.5 metres
  • (including 5.1% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 5.4% over 7.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. With a dip of -88 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Three other holes from R945E were released earlier in December. The zone remains open in all directions.

About 195 metres east, two other holes confirm the existence of the less-spectacular zone R1155E. The single assay released from hole PLS13-090 shows:

  • 0.09% over 12 metres, starting at 189.5 metres

Results from PLS13-103 show:

  • 0.07% over 1.5 metres, starting at 176 metres

  • 0.06% over 3.5 metres, starting at 188 metres

  • 0.06% over 1.5 metres, starting at 199.5 metres

  • 0.05% over 0.5 metres, starting at 209 metres

  • 0.06% over 0.5 metres, starting at 365.5 metres

Again, true widths weren’t provided. Both holes were vertical. The results, from a “geologic setting similar to the high-grade zones to the west, [lead to] encouragement that the mineralized system remains open to the east,” the company stated. Winter drilling will continue east of R945E and between the higher-grade zones to the west.

Just before Christmas the company released assays from one hole at zone R585E and seven from R390E. On January 9 Fission Uranium announced that president/COO/chief geologist Ross McElroy had won PDAC’s 2014 Bill Dennis Award for a Canadian discovery or prospecting success. “It takes a team to make a discovery and I’m delighted to have won this award on behalf of Fission,” the statement quoted McElroy.

Recognition also goes to Fission Uranium’s former joint venture partner. In mid-December the father/son team of Ben and Garrett Ainsworth, formerly with Fission acquisition Alpha Minerals and now with spinco Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, won the 2013 Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration from the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia for their part in the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources surveys historic drilling, finds high-grade boulders and some of Athabasca Basin’s highest radon readings

Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Gibbon’s Creek uranium project now shows some of the highest radon gas readings ever found in the Athabasca Basin, the company says. Data collected last year and released January 8 also confirms an historic boulder field, with assays reaching 4.28% U3O8. Additionally, a DC resistivity survey has mapped basement alteration found by historic drilling.

Lakeland Resources Gibbon's Creek exploration

Existing access trails are among the benefits of more than
$3 million of previous work at Riou Lake/Gibbon’s Creek.

The 12,771-hectare project forms part of the 35,463-hectare Riou Lake property, a joint venture in which Declan Resources TSXV:LAN may earn 70% over four years, with a first-year exploration commitment of $1.25 million.

The survey by RadonEx Exploration Management, whose proprietary technology proved vital to Fission Uranium’s PLS, found Gibbon’s Creek readings peaking at 9.93 picocuries per square metre per second (pCi/m²/s). According to a statement by Lakeland president Jonathan Armes the readings, “to our knowledge, are the highest ever reported for the Athabasca Basin area.”

The highest value coincides with a uranium-in-soil anomaly found in historic work, part of more than $3 million of exploration performed on Riou Lake prior to Lakeland’s acquisition of the northern Basin property. Nine more radon samples reached above 3.2 pCi/m²/s, while the background level showed about 1.3 pCi/m²/s.

Meanwhile assays have confirmed existence of an historically defined radioactive boulder field. Prospecting by Dahrouge Geological Consulting found a 1-by-1.2-kilometre field with eight boulders grading over 1% U3O8, one of them hitting 4.28%. Eleven other samples assayed above 0.2%, with nine more below 0.2%. Also showing were anomalous values for nickel, arsenic, lead and cobalt.

Following up on historic drilling by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-predecessor Eldorado Nuclear, the DC resistivity survey mapped one trend that ranges from near surface to about 200 metres, roughly coinciding with historic basement alteration and mineralization at 100 metres. A second resistivity trend coincides with strong radon values.

Ranking high on the project’s to-do list is a further radon survey. This year’s field work will also try to track the high-grade boulders to their source. Gibbon’s Creek sits less than three kilometres from the settlement of Stony Rapids, with power lines and highways passing through the property.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

NexGen Energy reports three mineralized holes at Rook 1

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE released assays on January 9 for three mineralized holes found in last summer’s 13-hole, 3,032-metre program on the Rook 1 project. The widely spaced holes tested three parallel conductors along strike of the PLS discovery 2.1 kilometres southwest. Highlights show:

Hole RK-13-03

  • 0.00137% U3O8 and 0.0204% thorium over 1 metre, starting at 150 metres in downhole depth

Hole RK-13-05

  • 0.05093% U3O8 and 0.0027% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 220.5 metres

  • 0.07098% U3O8 and 0.0014% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221 metres

  • 0.022% U3O8 and 0.00163% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221.5 metres

  • 0.027% U3O8 and 0.0024% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 222 metres

  • 0.03796% U3O8 and 0.0025% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 223.5 metres

  • 0.04834% U3O8 and 0.00268% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 224 metres

Hole RK-13-06

  • 0.00118% U3O8 and 0.026% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 152 metres

  • 0.00125% U3O8 and 0.0315% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 153 metres

True widths were unavailable. Assays for RK-13-05 indicate “the uranium occurs almost wholly within pitchblende/uraninite and not in complex refractory minerals,” the company added. Winter drilling, scheduled to begin this month, will follow up on RK-13-05 and also target several regional anomalies interpreted from geophysical surveys and historic drilling.

In early December NexGen announced completion of airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys. Later that month the company closed a $3.11-million private placement, with funds destined for Rook 1. Still pending are assays from a nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at the eastern Basin Radio project, where NexGen holds a 70% option.

UEX announces winter work for western Athabasca and Black Lake projects

Along with its JV partners, UEX Corp TSX:UEX has 2014 exploration slated for its Laurie, Mirror River and Erica projects in the western Athabasca as well as Black Lake in the northern Basin, the company stated January 7.

The western Athabasca projects consist of seven or eight sites (depending which UEX info you consult) totalling 116,137 hectares and held 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by project operator AREVA Resources Canada. UEX funds $982,000 of this year’s $2-million budget. A 2,000-metre drill campaign begins at Laurie imminently, to be followed by another 2,000 metres at Mirror. Both projects are located around the Basin’s southwestern rim. Erica, north of the other two and west of the company’s 49.1%-owned Shea Creek project, undergoes a ground tensor magnetotelluric survey starting in March.

UEX acts as operator on the 30,381-hectare Black Lake project in the Basin’s north. This year’s 3,000-metre, $650,000 drill program will be funded by Uracan Resources TSXV:URC, which has an option to earn 60% of UEX’s 89.97% portion of the project. AREVA holds the remainder. The campaign begins in late January.

Previous UEX drilling at Black Lake in 2004, 2006 and 2007 found intervals of 0.69% U3O8 over 4.4 metres, 0.5% over 3.3 metres, 0.79% over 2.82 metres and 0.67% over 3 metres.

UEX wholly owns six Basin projects and holds JVs in another eight. Resource estimates have been compiled for Shea Creek and Hidden Bay.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 17th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 9 to 15, 2013

by Greg Klein

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New Argentinian discovery might hold district-wide potential, says U3O8 Corp

Roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit in Argentina, U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said it’s discovered a new area with the district’s “highest uranium-vanadium grades found to date.” La Rosada shows district-scale potential for Laguna Salada-style mineralization in near-surface, soft gravels, the company stated on November 12. But in addition, chip samples from adjacent basement rock show grades ranging from 0.01% to over 0.79% uranium oxide (U3O8). That might indicate a source of the gravel’s mineralization.

The extremely shallow, fine-sand mineralization potentially offers low-cost extraction through continuous surface mining, the company maintained. Screening tests at Laguna Salada, moreover, concentrated over 90% of the uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass.

Vertical channel samples starting less than a metre from surface show a weighted average of 0.15% U3O8 and 0.08% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Some highlights show:

  • 0.12% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.7 metres

  • 0.13% U3O8 and 0.05% V2O5 over 0.5 metres

  • 0.25% U3O8 and 0.09% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 1.18% U3O8 and 0.52% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

  • 0.24% U3O8 and 0.08% V2O5 over 1.5 metres

Highlights from horizontal channel sampling of the basement rock show:

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.6 metres

  • 0.09% U3O8 and 0.04% V2O5 over 0.9 metres

  • 0.16% U3O8 and 0.07% V2O5 over 0.2 metres

  • 0.79% U3O8 and 0.26% V2O5 over 0.1 metre

  • 0.17% U3O8 and 0.06% V2O5 over 0.4 metres

The company didn’t provide the depth to basement.

Further near-surface exploration is planned south of the discovery while the basement calls for systematic trenching to determine its “potential as a target in its own right,” U3O8 stated. Planned for year-end completion is Laguna Salada’s preliminary economic assessment and a hoped-for joint venture with a state-owned company holding adjacent claims.

Laguna Salada has a 2011 resource estimate showing:

  • an indicated category of 47.3 million tonnes averaging 0.006% U3O8 and 0.055% V2O5 for 6.3 million pounds U3O8 and 57.1 million pounds V2O5

  • an inferred category of 20.8 million tonnes averaging 0.0085% U3O8 and 0.059% V2O5 for 3.8 million pounds U3O8 and 26.9 million pounds V2O5

Elsewhere U3O8 has completed a PEA for its Berlin uranium-polymetallic project in Colombia and holds two earlier-stage projects in Argentina and Guyana.

Fission/Alpha release results from two PLS zones, lengthen strike by 15 metres

Releasing both scintillometer readings and assays the same week, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU provided a prompt update from their current Patterson Lake South drilling as well as results from last summer’s campaign. On November 12 the 50/50 joint venture partners said they’ve confirmed the sixth zone announced last week, extending it 15 metres east and 10 metres north. Two days later they reported five more holes bearing high grades from R390E, the third most-easterly zone along what’s now a 1.8-kilometre trend.

Starting with the newly discovered R600W zone, the partners reported readings from a handheld device that measures gamma ray particles from core in counts per second, maxing out at an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Both holes were sunk at -89 degrees, making downhole depths close to vertical. Hole PLS13-121 reached a total depth of 248 metres, encountering just a bit of sandstone at 98.7 metres before hitting the basement unconformity at 99 metres. Some of the better results show:

  • <300 cps to >9,999 cps over 11.3 metres, starting at 98.7 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 600 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 141 metres

Hole PLS13-122 totalled 332 metres in depth, reaching the basement unconformity at 100 metres without finding sandstone. Some highlights show:

  • <300 cps to 800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 101.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 cps to 510 cps over 4 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • 430 cps to 1,900 cps over 1 metre, starting at 158.5 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Turning to zone R390E and real lab assays, some highlights show:

Hole PLS13-078

  • 0.66% U3O8 over 30 metres, starting at 85 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 7.62% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 7.5 metres, starting at 128 metres

Hole PLS13-081

  • 0.19% over 18.5 metres, starting at 106 metres

  • Hole PLS13-085

  • 0.93% over 22 metres, starting at 82.5 metres

  • (including 4.07% over 4 metres)

Hole PLS13-086

  • 1.93% over 43 metres, starting at 81.5 metres

  • (including 9.91% over 5 metres)

Hole PLS13-087A

  • 0.28% over 4 metres, starting at 45.5 metres

  • 0.4% over 8.5 metres, starting at 63.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 16.5 metres, starting at 92.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. Dips strayed no more than six degrees from vertical.

With $2.25 million funding an 11-hole, 3,700-metre extension to the summer/fall campaign, land-based work now focuses on the R600W area while waiting for the lake to freeze. Meanwhile more assays are expected from the previous barge-based drilling to the east.

Alpha acquisition vote looms; Fission and Dahrouge square off in legal battle

November 28’s the day when Fission and Alpha shareholders vote on the latter’s acquisition by the former. Mentioned in the companies’ joint November 15 update was a barely publicized legal dispute between Fission and Dahrouge Geological Consulting, its principals and a related company.

Seeking unspecified damages, Fission filed a notice of civil claim on July 29 alleging “breach of fiduciary duties and knowing assistance in breach of the same.” On November 8 the defendants filed a counter-claim with “allegations of breaches of British Columbia securities laws, slander, wrongful interference, improper assignment and improper variation of obligations. The relief being sought in the counter-claim includes unspecified losses and damages, declarations of ownership in relation to certain mineral permits and claims, declarations concerning the enforceability of certain assignments, injunctions preventing the defendants by way of counter-claim from disparaging certain mineral permits and claims, interest and costs.”

The account of the defendants’ counter-claim comes from a draft version reported in Fission and Alpha circulars dated October 30. Neither claim has been tested in court.

International Enexco/Cameco/AREVA plan winter drilling at Mann Lake

A three-way JV intends to start the new year with a $2.9-million drill program for the eastside Athabasca Basin Mann Lake project. Up to 18 holes will evaluate three types of targets—the area footwall to the western axis of the C trend, remaining targets along the main C trend and conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor, International Enexco TSXV:IEC stated on November 13. The company holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, along with AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%) and Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%).

This year’s drilling totalled 21 holes for 15,721 metres, focusing on the C conductor, which Enexco describes as a six-kilometre-long section of a regional trend extending from Cameco’s McArthur River mine to Denison Mines’ TSX:DML Wheeler River deposit.

The previous week Enexco reported three holes from the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake, a 20/80 JV with Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco. The latter also keeps busy with pre-feasibility work at its 100%-held Contact copper project in Nevada.

Aldrin reports radon results from Triple M

With its Triple M property’s surface radon survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN announced some results from 527 sample sites on November 14. The findings show elevated values over more than one kilometre of a VTEM bedrock conductor, which the company interprets as a steeply south-dipping fault zone. “The most intense portion of this radon anomaly reaches a high value of 1.68 pCi/m²/s [picocuries per square metre per second] and extends for more than 200 metres, comprising a priority drill target,” Aldrin stated.

The company added that the fault zone parallels the conductor hosting the PLS discovery on the Alpha/Fission project adjacent to and northeast of Triple M. North of the fault zone, and parallel to it, sits a second VTEM basement conductor with radon values up to 1.18 pCi/m²/s.

The previous week Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been increased to $1.5 million. The company has also previously announced an agreement to buy the 49,275-hectare Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central edge.

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Boss Power slate wins board election in battle with Beruschi over B claims

November 15th, 2013

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2013

The contest was bitter and the results close but a slate backed by Boss Power TSXV:BPU management won the company’s November 14 election to board of directors. Rival nominees had been presented by Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi. The conflict grew out of a $30-million settlement with the province of British Columbia following B.C.’s sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009. To get the cash, Boss must turn over certain exploration claims to the province. Included are the B claims, which are held by Beruschi. The two sides differ widely in their estimation of the claims’ price.

[The new board will] seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.—Boss Power

Boss offered $1.55 million. Beruschi wanted $4 million. In early October Beruschi offered to let a court decide the claims’ value if Boss directors would resign.

Boss initially refused. But later that month, after Beruschi nominated his own slate, Boss responded with five new nominees of its own and a proposal to expand the board from three to five directors. Denunciations from both sides built a crescendo up to November 14. The outcome seemed uncertain—Beruschi said Morning Star and its affiliates hold about a third of Boss shares.

Boss’ nominees won, but only with 53.95% each. They are:

  • Dev Randhawa, CEO/chairman of Fission

  • Chartered accountant Donald Siemens

  • Geologist Ron Stewart

According to Boss’ October 22 circular, the new board will “seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.” Because of the delays, the government has threatened to rescind the $30-million out-of-court settlement.

By press time Boss acting CEO Ron Netolitzky hadn’t responded to an interview request. Beruschi was unavailable for comment November 15 but indicated he would speak with ResourceClips.com the following week.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 6th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Lakeland Resources begins Riou Lake ground campaign

Field work has begun at Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Riou Lake project along the Athabasca Basin’s north-central rim. In an October 2 announcement the company outlined the agenda for its Gibbon’s Creek target, just three kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids. Initial work will consist of surface prospecting and boulder sampling, soil gas radon surveying, line-cutting and ground DC resistivity geophysics, with the goal of identifying winter drill targets.

The campaign follows eight months of preparation in which Lakeland studied a volume of previous data, director Ryan Fletcher tells ResourceClips.com. “There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco,” he says. “We’ve been going over their information.”

There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco. We’ve been going over their information.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

Eldorado found numerous boulders grading up to 4.9% uranium oxide (U3O8) and soil samples between five and 10 parts per million uranium, compared to background levels up to 1 ppm. Geophysics showed a gravity low measuring about three kilometres by one kilometre at the end of a conductive zone over 15 kilometres long.

Fourteen historic holes found anomalous radioactivity, geochemistry or both. With the benefit of recent modelling, assays reveal a structural co-corridor up to one kilometre long and 100 metres wide. UEX Corp TSX:UEX flew its $3-million airborne geophysics in 2005, but Lakeland is the first to bring modern ground exploration techniques to the project.

Among Gibbon’s attractions are shallow depths to the unconformity, Fletcher points out. “They’re about 50 metres to 200 metres, which means more holes for our shareholders’ money. If we get a discovery it’s more likely to be open pittable, which would mean better economics and a more strategic project for M&A. That’s what Patterson Lake South had. They went from boulder results to radon results, then they found a high-grade, near-surface discovery.”

Apart from historic data and shallow targets, Fletcher cites other cost-saving potential. “Our crews are based out of the community of Stony Rapids, just a few kilometres from Gibbon’s. A year-round highway, power and all the infrastructure for exploration are basically right adjacent to the target.”

With the program managed by Athabasca veterans Dahrouge Geological Consulting, Fletcher looks forward to a steady stream of news. “For a brand new, smaller market cap company, investors are going to start getting a lot of information from the field.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Fission closes $11.25-million private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

An $11.25-million private placement will fund Fission’s
Patterson Lake South exploration once the Alpha acquisition closes.

Assuming all approvals fall into place, a bought-deal private placement will bring $11.25 million to Patterson Lake South’s future sole owner. On October 3 Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 7.5 million subscription receipts, exchangeable into flow-through shares, at $1.50. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 15%.

Proceeds will be held in escrow until Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, currently a 50/50 joint venture partner in PLS, and spins out its other properties. The subscribers won’t receive shares in the spinco. The entire amount’s designated for PLS exploration.

Read more about Fission’s acquisition of Alpha.

Rockgate considers alternatives to takeover by Denison

Still studying their options following an unsolicited takeover bid from Denison Mines TSX:DML, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors on October 1 urged their shareholders to take no action until further notice.

Denison offered 0.192 of its share for each Rockgate share, a proposal strong enough to defeat a previously proposed Rockgate merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Nevertheless Rockgate’s board emphasized that Denison proposed a change of control, as opposed to a “merger of equals with Mega.”

Rockgate added that “in the absence of a preliminary economic assessment or other study, mining companies are commonly valued on an enterprise value/pound U3O8 multiple.” Denison’s offer works out to “a $0.09/lb multiple which is significantly below the average multiple of $4.37/lb paid on other relevant, development uranium transactions completed post the Fukushima accident,” Rockgate stated. Since September 27 “the implied Denison offer has declined a further 11%.”

Rockgate further stated that Denison sought conditions that weren’t “subject to a materiality threshold or other objective criteria, but provide Denison with sole discretion” whether to proceed. “In addition, the minimum tender condition of 90% is very high….”

Meanwhile, Rockgate added, it’s in discussion with other potential buyers, having been unable to respond to one approach when the non-solicitation agreement with Mega was in effect.

Rockgate promised to update shareholders no later than one week before the Denison offer’s October 25 expiry date.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing offers for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Karoo signs LOI for three Zambian projects

Karoo Exploration TSXV:KE announced a letter of intent September 30 to acquire a portfolio of Zambian uranium properties from ASX-listed African Energy Resources. Under the deal Karoo would pay US$2 million and issue shares and warrants worth $500,000 at a share price “based on any offering completed by Karoo concurrent with this acquisition.”

The package includes the Chirundu, Kariba Valley and North Luangwa Valley projects. African Energy, which focuses on its Botswana coal assets, has a JORC-compliant resource for two Chirundu deposits with open pit potential. The Njame deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 2.7 million tonnes averaging 0.035% for 2.1 million pounds U3O8

  • an indicated category of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 0.025% for 2.1 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 6.6 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 3.5 million pounds

The Gwabe deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 1.3 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 700,000 pounds

  • an indicated category of 3.6 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 2.5 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 800,000 tonnes averaging 0.018% for 300,000 pounds

Karoo holds five uranium exploration licences in southern Tanzania. The company began trading on September 4 following a reverse takeover involving United Uranium.

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