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Posts tagged ‘Tad Mineral Exploration Inc (TJ)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

February 22nd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 15 to 21, 2014

by Greg Klein

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New “zone” at Rook 1 rocks NexGen stock

Judging by share performance, radiometric readings from NexGen Energy’s TSXV:NXE Rook 1 project far outshone next-door neighbour Fission Uranium’s TSXV:FCU Patterson Lake South last week—even though PLS assays showed its best hole yet. Possibly a bit premature, NexGen claimed the first hole in Rook 1’s Arrow area constitutes “a totally new zone of uranium mineralization.” Then again, the company also refers to intercepts as “zones.”

NexGen’s February 19 announcement said scintillometer readings showed a number of significant radioactive intervals in a hole that’s still being drilled. By “significant,” the company means at least five centimetres above 500 counts per second from a hand-held device that measures gamma ray particles in cps.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for February 15 to 21, 2014

NexGen’s first hole in the Arrow area of Rook 1 stole attention
from Patterson Lake South and catapulted the company’s stock.

Results so far show well over a dozen “significant” intervals ranging from 0.05 metres to 1.65 metres in width. They occurred between downhole depths of 207.8 metres and 319.1 metres.

Radiometric readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

The company’s now revising its original 6,000-metre program “to substantially expand the program at Arrow and the other 11 western-located Rook 1 target areas,” according to CEO Leigh Curyer.

Last summer’s drilling found three mineralized holes roughly four kilometres southwest of Arrow, closer to the PLS boundary.

NexGen’s stock soared. Having previously closed on a 52-week low of $0.225, it shot up to a 52-week high of $0.65 in two days, before closing February 21 on $0.53.

Another best hole to date from Fission Uranium’s Patterson Lake South

Although upstaged by NexGen’s same-day announcement, Fission Uranium once again outperformed previous results by reporting its “strongest mineralized hole to date” from PLS on February 19.

The celeb du jour is hole PLS14-129 on zone R585E, the fourth of seven zones along a southwest-northeast potential strike of 1.78 kilometres. The zone itself has a defined strike of 30 metres and a lateral width of about 10 metres.

Of eight intervals reported, the best results show:

  • 13.66% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 38 metres, starting at 56 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 38.49% over 10.5 metres)

  • 11.19% over 31.5 metres, starting at 108.5 metres
  • (including 27.57% over 12 metres)

  • 6.82% over 11.5 metres, starting at 145.5 metres
  • (including 20.28% over 2.5 metres)

  • 3.37% over 12.5 metres, starting at 160 metres
  • (including 9.57% over 4 metres)

True widths weren’t available. Drilling was vertical.

“Nothing less than phenomenal,” was president/COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy’s immodest appraisal. The grade-times-thickness value nearly doubled that of the previous best hole, which dates back to September on the neighbouring R390E zone.

Last week Fission Uranium released a batch of radiometric readings for seven holes from four zones. The $12-million campaign, which includes ground geophysics as well as 90 holes totalling 30,000 metres, continues.

Anthem reports initial drill results from Hatchet Lake JV with Denison

Anthem Resources TSXV:AYN released preliminary drill results from Hatchet Lake, a joint venture with Denison Mines TSX:DML, on February 20. The 10-hole, 2,025-metre program on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern edge found no significant mineralization but a downhole radiometric probe intersected anomalous radioactivity in four holes.

The campaign also found prospective features “including strong fracturing, de-silicification (sanding) and clay and hematite alteration in the sandstone, and weak to strong chlorite and clay alteration, graphitic fault zones and sulphide mineralization in the basement,” Anthem stated. Assays are still to come.

Anthem’s cash position prevented a contribution to Hatchet’s $750,000 budget and the $300,000 IP survey on the Murphy Lake property, also part of the JV. As a result, Anthem’s interest dropped from 50% to about 41%. Denison acts as project operator.

Forum to acquire northeastern Basin property from Anthem

The same day as the Hatchet Lake news, Anthem and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC announced an agreement to move a Basin property from the former to the latter. Forum will get the 14,205-hectare Fir Island claims on the Basin’s northeastern margin for 300,000 shares and a 1.5% NSR, of which Anthem may buy two-thirds for $1 million.

With little or no sandstone cover and road access within two kilometres, the property lies directly on a major structure, the Black Lake Shear Zone, and adjacent to the former Nisto mine, Forum stated. Previous geophysical and geochemical surveys identified several shallow drill targets which Forum plans to refine through ground gravity work.

Two weeks earlier the company announced it would buy two sets of claims from Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM to consolidate Forum’s North Thelon project in Nunavut.

This month Forum plans to begin drilling 12 to 15 holes totalling 3,000 metres at its 9,910-hectare PLS-adjacent Clearwater project. The company’s eastside Basin 40%/60% Henday JV has $150,000 worth of summer magnetic and electromagnetic surveys planned by project operator Rio Tinto NYE:RIO.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

February 1st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission envisions possibility of “one very large zone” at Patterson Lake South

Ever in search of new superlatives for Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU claims its best hole yet for total composite (not continuous) off-scale scintillometer readings. The company released results on January 27 for the first five holes of winter drilling, which it said narrowed the gaps between high-grade zones R390E and R945E, the third to sixth of seven zones along a 1.78-kilometre strike. All five holes produced off-scale readings, prompting company president/COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy to say the news provides “further evidence that the system consists of one very large zone.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 25 to 31, 2014

Week one of winter work has given Fission a superlative start.

The hand-held scintillometer measures gamma ray particles in drill core up to a maximum off-scale reading above 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which will likely follow in weeks or months.

Among the best holes, PLS14-129 showed a continuous 9.5 metres above 9,999 cps, among a total of 36.72 metres of off-scale results. Total mineralization came to 111.5 metres between downhole depths of 56 metres and 268 metres.

PLS14-126 showed 3.09 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 64.5 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 131 metres and 374 metres.

PLS14-125 showed 1.96 metres of composite off-scale radioactivity within 88 metres of composite mineralization between depths of 70 metres and 240.5 metres.

One week earlier the company announced the start of its winter campaign, in which five rigs will drill 30,000 metres in 90 holes, most of them in effort to connect five high-grade zones. Along with geophysics, the current program will use up about $12 million of this year’s $20-million budget.

Cameco’s $450-million cash infusion excites acquisition anticipation

Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO $450-million asset sale could have implications for Athabasca Basin juniors. On January 31 the uranium giant announced an agreement to sell its 31.6% interest in Bruce Power to Borealis Infrastructure, a branch of the Ontario Municipal Employees pension fund. Bruce Power operates Candu reactors at a 930-hectare site on Lake Huron capable of generating 6,300 megawatts. The sale will allow Cameco to “continue to reinvest in our core uranium business where we see strong potential for growth,” according to president/CEO Tim Gitzel.

Fission Uranium chairman/CEO Dev Randhawa told Bloomberg the sale “certainly gives Cameco a war chest to go after some names and we’re very happy to hear that.” Randhawa’s recently restructured company comprises the Basin’s most likely takeover target. A maiden resource from its closely watched project is expected this year.

Reuters, on the other hand, said Gitzel is “in no rush” to spend the loot. “We’ve got significant uranium pounds under our control and we’re just waiting for the market to improve,” the news agency quoted him. “As the uranium market improves as we believe it will over the next period of time—years, I would say—we want to be ready.”

According to the Financial Post, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck “noted that Cameco had more than enough liquidity to cover its uranium growth plans before this deal. But this gives it greater flexibility to grow as uranium demand rises in the future.”

On the other hand a tax dispute could cost Cameco up to $850 million, plus interest and penalties.

Although the sale’s effective date was December 31, 2013, the deal remains subject to waiver of the right of first offer held by three other Bruce Power partners.

Purepoint announces drilling at Hook Lake JV; issues new and reprices old options

A $2.5-million, two-rig, 5,000-metre campaign has begun at Purepoint Uranium’s TSXV:PTU Hook Lake project. Of three prospective corridors on the 28,683-hectare property, drilling will focus on the same electromagnetic trend that hosts the PLS discovery five kilometres southwest, the company stated on January 30.

With a 21% interest in Hook Lake, Purepoint acts as project operator in joint venture with Cameco and AREVA Resources Canada, which hold 39.5% each.

On January 30 Purepoint also announced 2.51 million options to insiders at $0.075 for five years. The following day the company stated 1.94 million options granted last April would be repriced from $0.10 to $0.07.

In November Purepoint announced winter drilling plans for Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare project on the Basin’s eastern rim. Rio Tinto NYE:RIO acts as operator under an option to earn 51% by spending $5 million before the end of 2015.

International Enexco announces drilling at Mann Lake JV

Another Cameco/AREVA JV partner, International Enexco TSXV:IEC announced January 27 that a $2.9-million program has begun on the eastern Basin’s Mann Lake property. Up to 18 holes and 13,000 metres will test three types of targets—a footwall to the western axis of the property’s main C trend, conductive features near the western margin of the Wollaston sedimentary corridor and the remaining undrilled C trend targets, Enexco reported on January 27.

Cameco, with a 52.5% interest in the 3,407-hectare property, acts as operator. Enexco and AREVA hold 30% and 17.5% respectively. Enexco’s share of the $2.9 million amounts to $870,000, most of which comes from a $750,000 private placement that closed in December. The company also has a 20%/80% JV with Denison Mines TSX:DML on the southeastern Basin’s Bachman Lake project. Denison owns 7.4% of Enexco, which is also pursuing pre-feasibility at its wholly owned Contact copper project in Nevada.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

January 25th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 18 to 24, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium resumes Patterson Lake South drilling, focuses on delineation

Nature takes its annual repose as winter settles on Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Feathered flocks have flown to finer climes, leaving their four-footed furry friends to wander the white wilderness or succumb to seasonal slumber. Days are short but, as darkness descends, aurora borealis performs its passionate pantomime, twisting and twirling, shining and shimmering, in heavenly hues of silvery green and blue.

Purple runs the prose. And drilling resumes on Patterson Lake South.

With a few additions, that’s the gist of a January 20 announcement from Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU. The company expects to spend $12 million on PLS this season, part of the year’s $20-million budget. Five rigs will sink 90 holes totalling 30,000 metres. With seven zones open in all directions and situated along a 1.78-kilometre strike, Fission Uranium plans to direct about 80% to 85% of its drilling to the gaps between five high-grade zones. Additionally, exploration drilling will test electromagnetic conductors following interpretation of ground geophysics and radon results.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for January 18 to 24, 2014

Last year’s Patterson Lake South activity, pictured here,
will be dwarfed by this year’s $12-million winter campaign.

All that infill drilling can only heighten anticipation of a maiden resource, although the company has yet to set a target date. But to tease the market even more, Fission Uranium couldn’t resist stating its property “remains highly prospective for several kilometres, both in the immediate area of known mineralization and along strike in both the WSW and ENE directions.”

The company also granted insiders five-year options on 8.4 million shares at $1.20. The previous week Fission Uranium released assays from six holes drilled last summer.

NexGen Energy begins 6,000-metre Rook 1 program

With a geophysical interpretation that might validate closeology, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE has begun winter drilling at Rook 1, adjacently northeast of PLS. Two rigs will sink about 6,000 metres on the property, which the company says includes an interpreted extension of the 3B conductor that hosts Fission Uranium’s near-surface, high-grade discovery. Targets will follow up on three widely spaced holes from last summer that found mineralization in an area spanning 1.6 by 1.2 kilometres, according to the January 20 announcement. Further drilling will test areas already identified by VTEM, magnetics, ground gravity and DC resistivity surveys. One large structural zone will undergo additional ground gravity.

Recent financings have contributed to the company’s $7.8-million bank account, which has about $3 million slated for the flagship’s winter campaign. The previous week NexGen announced an extension to its 70% option on the Radio project in the northeastern Basin. Results have yet to be released from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre summer program.

Azincourt and Fission 3.0 start 3,000 metres at Patterson Lake North

Also adjacent to PLS, a drill’s turning at the Patterson Lake North joint venture of Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ and Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU, the companies announced in separate statements on January 20 and 21. The latter company, which holds the non-PLS assets spun out of Fission Uranium, acts as operator on the million-dollar program. The agenda includes a radon-in-water survey, ground geophysics and eight to 10 holes totalling about 3,000 metres over previously identified conductors.

The campaign’s focal points are Hodge Lake in PLN’s south-central area, the west-central Harrison Lake and Broach Lake in the southeast. Azincourt is earning a 50% interest in the 27,408-hectare project. The previous week Azincourt closed a $2-million cash-and-share deal with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and Vena Resources TSX:VEM to acquire two uranium properties in Peru.

TAD to begin Athabasca exploration with airborne geophysics

Having been diverted by other area plays, TAD Mineral Exploration TSXV:TJ “finally” starts work on the 4,000 hectares it staked in the PLS area last April. On January 20 the company announced an impending VTEM max program. TAD also holds claims near Colorado Resource’s TSXV:CXO North ROK copper-gold project in British Columbia and Zenyatta Ventures’ TSXV:ZEN graphite project in central Ontario.

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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 “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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Albany’s area play continues

August 16th, 2013

More companies move in on Zenyatta’s Ontario graphite project

by Greg Klein

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In just over five weeks at least a dozen companies have picked up properties around Zenyatta Ventures’ TSXV:ZEN Albany graphite project in north-central Ontario. A steady source of encouraging news since its January 2012 discovery, Albany was bound to attract admirers—but why so late and suddenly so many? Little is being said, other than the properties became available and the timing couldn’t be better.

“It’s been great for the markets,” says Michael England, CEO/director of Cariboo King Resources TSXV:CKR. “All the juniors that have gone in have seen an increase in volume and even some financings. It’s been fantastic. It’s kind of what the doctor ordered for our markets. All of us were so dead but with the [Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU] uranium play in the Athabasca Basin and this one—wow! What a change it’s made.”

More companies move in on Zenyatta’s Ontario graphite project

Among the earlier entrants reported by on July 17 were Brookemont Capital TSXV:BKT with its 416-hectare Albany East property, Cavan Ventures’ TSXV:CVN 768-hectare Cage claims, TAD Mineral Exploration’s TSXV:TJ 257-hectare Constance Lake property and Bluenose Gold’s TSXV:BN.H Zenyatta West project.

Other acquisitions include Weststar Resources’ TSXV:WER 304-hectare Albany South East property announced July 16, TAD’s second foray with the 386-hectare Constance Lake West property announced July 25 and Ashburton Ventures’ TSXV:ABR 16-claim, 256-hectare Page property announced the following day.

Cariboo King heralded its 256-hectare Nezen property July 29. The next day Alchemist Mining TSXV:AMS did the same for its 256-hectare Mondatta property and the day after that MPH Ventures TSXV:MPS got in on the act with its same-sized North Albany. On August 13 GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA said it increased its Auden project to over 26,000 hectares, making it the area’s largest landholder.

Then the play moved farther afield with two August 15 announcements, Cariboo King’s 1,536-hectare Pito property 20 kilometres west of Albany’s drill holes and, about 25 kilometres east of Zenyatta, the 256-hectare Hearst project for Benton Resources TSXV:BEX—which passed it on to Alabama Graphite CNSX:ALP the very next day. Alabama IR officer Danny Gravelle tells, “The property became prospective to Benton not only because of the location but an historic report by Noranda which gave some really strong indicators that there’s potential for graphite.”

But what prompted so many companies to pour into the Albany area at this time? Gravelle responds that Zenyatta’s story obviously has investors compelled. After trading for less than $2 in May the stock hit a 52-week high of $5 on July 26. “For a stock to perform as it has in the worst market I’ve seen in my lifetime shows a significant amount of strength. I think investors are convinced that Zenyatta has great potential because they’ve shown they like this story even in the worst of markets. That’s what really generated the interest.”

Cariboo King, with projects close to a number of former graphite mines in Quebec and also to Timcal Graphite & Carbon’s operating Lac-des-Iles mine, evidently lets others lead the way. “I do play closeology a lot with my companies,” England tells He saw the policy pay off when New Gold TSX:NGD took out Geo Minerals in December 2011. “That was something that we never even drilled but it was close to their Blackwater deposit.”

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Albany’s new neighbours

July 17th, 2013

Zenyatta Ventures gets company next to its Ontario graphite project

by Greg Klein

It might be ironic that a company named after a racehorse took so long to inspire nearby acquisitions. Zenyatta Ventures’ TSXV:ZEN Albany property in north-central Ontario has been one of the more prominent graphite projects since the discovery was announced in January 2012. Very wide intercepts and a distinctive type of high-purity graphite have made the company a market darling. Now, finally, other companies are moving in for a piece of the action.

Zenyatta Ventures gets company next to its Ontario graphite project

Recent acquisitions have brought more companies in the vicinity
of Zenyatta’s Albany graphite project.

On July 9 Brookemont Capital TSXV:BKT announced the acquisition of the 416-hectare Albany East property, contiguous to Zenyatta’s project. The next day Cavan Ventures TSXV:CVN said it nabbed another 768 hectares also contiguous to the east of Albany. TAD Mineral Exploration TSXV:TJ got in the act with the July 15 announcement of its 257-hectare Constance Lake acquisition. Two days later Bluenose Gold TSXV:BN.H announced its acquisition named, without excessive subtlety, the Zenyatta West graphite project.

Terms differ. Brookemont pays $10,000 and issues four million shares. Cavan pays $15,000, issues three million shares and must raise $400,000 in a private placement. Bluenose pays $20,000, issues 1.5 million shares and grants a 1% royalty. TAD got its property through staking.

Although Albany’s graphite has been known for over 18 months, the recent acquisitions might have been partly motivated by a flurry of Zenyatta news last spring. In April, the Northwest Ontario Prospectors Association named Albany its Discovery of the Year. The same month the TSXV named Zenyatta last year’s top-performing mining sector company. Zenyatta also announced that graphite beneficiation tests achieved over 99.97% carbon through a relatively inexpensive caustic baking leach process.

But maybe most noteworthy, the company began describing its find differently. No longer likening it to Sri Lankan vein or lump-type graphite, Zenyatta now ponders the potential of something much wider—a hydrothermal breccia pipe originating deep in the earth’s mantle, unlike the organic genesis of flake graphite.

TAD’s July 15 statement quotes company director Gregory Thomson describing the area’s geological setting as one in which “similar formations seem to occur in pod-like clusters.”

Obviously the newcomers want to find something. But why all the acquisitions just now? Cavan president Peter Swistak simply says, “Something came available and I got it…. I like Zenyatta’s project very much and I wish I was out there earlier. But better now than never.” With his company “aggressively focused” on its flagship Lake Pythonga rare earths project and additional graphite projects in Quebec, “we definitely plan to be aggressive in this one also,” he tells

Already positioned in two area plays, last May TAD expanded its Iskut copper-gold prospect to more than 1,800 hectares in the vicinity of Colorado Resources’ TSXV:CXO North ROK project, which stunned the market last April when its very first assay showed 0.51% copper and 0.67 grams per tonne gold over 333 metres, starting at 2 metres in downhole depth. Predictably, other companies swarmed in. In April TAD joined the Patterson Lake South staking stampede sparked by the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU high-grade, near-surface discovery.

I really liked what Zenyatta was doing and investigated whether there was any open ground in the area. I was kind of shocked when I saw that there was.—Property vendor Tony Beruschi

Brookemont has a Yukon gold prospect and an aluminous clay and rare earths prospect in Quebec’s Gaspe region, as well as nearly 3,400 hectares of REE prospects in the vicinity of Commerce Resources’ TSXV:CCE Ashram REE deposit, which is advancing towards pre-feasibility.

TAD and Brookemont share the same president, CFO and two of three directors.

As the vendor who turned Zenyatta West over to Bluenose, Tony Beruschi answers the “why now” question by saying, “I guess a better question might be, ‘Why wasn’t it done earlier?’ In the old days, people would have been all over that thing,” he tells “It seems a sign of the times that such a great opportunity as Zenyatta hasn’t been covered over with staking. There should have been a staking rush there.”

He says he began looking at the area last June, when he was offered a number of deals in different regions. “I really liked what Zenyatta was doing and investigated whether there was any open ground in the area. I was kind of shocked when I saw that there was.” Staking was stymied, however, by “brutal” terrain.

With Bluenose currently holding dot-H status on the TSXV’s NEX board, Beruschi says its new acquisition can help “reactivate” the company. To what extent any of the companies share in Zenyatta’s success remains to be seen. But Beruschi says Zenyatta “created a model for working there.” With a geologist who’s experienced in graphite, he says Bluenose “will do its exploration based in part on what Zenyatta’s saying.”

Albany’s maiden resource will follow Zenyatta’s current drill campaign, scheduled to end in late August.

Disclaimer: Commerce Resources is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Commerce Resources.

North ROK euphoria fizzles

June 6th, 2013

Colorado Resources’ results fall short of phenomenal but the area play looks resilient

by Greg Klein

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Despite additional intercepts of wide mineralization, June 6 assays from Colorado Resources TSXV:CXO failed to meet soaring hopes set by North ROK’s very first hole. That northwestern British Columbia discovery excited anticipation of a project comparable to Imperial Metals’ TSX:III Red Chris project, 15 kilometres east. But while Colorado’s stock has since suffered, a still-strong market cap and recent activity by other companies suggest the area play may yet endure.

The June 6 announcement gave results for three holes, with NR13-003 showing:

  • 0.21% copper and 0.55 grams per tonne gold over 152.4 metres, starting at 1.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.31% copper and 1.04 g/t gold over 52 metres).

NR13-003 was drilled at a -80 degree dip towards the northeast from the same location as discovery hole NR13-001, which was sunk at a -45 degree dip in the same direction. NR13-004 was drilled 100 metres southeast of the discovery hole, showing:

  • 0.4% copper and 0.5 g/t gold over 205.2 metres, starting at 158.8 metres
  • (including 0.56% copper and 0.68 g/t gold over 131 metres).
Colorado Resources’ results fall short of phenom, but area play looks resilient

North ROK’s first assays suggested boundless horizons, but three more holes from the early-stage project stifled enthusiasm.

True widths weren’t available. Hole NR13-002, drilled 350 metres west of the discovery hole, found no significant results. The company stated it “may have not been drilled deep enough or at the correct azimuth to adequately test the IP chargeability anomaly that is now better understood with the new detailed geophysics.”

Ongoing induced polarization surveys have so far shown an area 1,200 by 1,200 metres open to the south of the chargeability anomaly where the holes were drilled. The survey also found an area 500 by 1,000 metres open to the north of another chargeability anomaly one kilometre north of the drill holes. “To date less than 5% of the area of these geophysical anomalies has been tested by drilling,” the company stated. “Given these highly encouraging results and better understanding of the system, Colorado is planning an expanded drill program to commence shortly.”

Evidently investors expected better. The discovery hole reported April 25 produced a market-shattering 0.51% copper and 0.67 g/t gold over 333 metres, starting at 2 metres. That included a 242-metre interval of 0.63% copper and 0.85 g/t gold.

All that from the very first hole. Fuelling the excitement was Red Chris, only 15 kilometres away, where Imperial Metals’ open pit is scheduled for production in mid-2014. The project boasts reserves of 301 million tonnes averaging 0.359% copper and 0.274 g/t gold.

Consequently North ROK rocketed Colorado stock from an April 24 close of $0.16 to a May 21 high of $1.74. But by June 6 the shares opened on $1.17, down from a June 5 high of $1.34, then continued to fall. The stock closed June 6 on $0.80, albeit an improvement over the day’s low of $0.66 and far above the pre-discovery $0.16.

Disappointment notwithstanding, the area play may yet have a busy summer in store. Other companies attracted by the region’s porphyry copper-gold potential include Entourage Metals TSXV:EMT, which on June 3 announced its 100% option on the 6,499-hectare Odin copper-gold property, 22 kilometres north of North ROK and 35 kilometres from Red Chris.

The same day Victory Ventures TSXV:VVN announced drilling had begun on its 448-hectare Copau property, 11 kilometres northeast of Red Chris, to test a prospective IP anomaly.

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North ROK rocks the market

May 6th, 2013

Colorado Resources’ copper-gold discovery heats up B.C.’s Golden Triangle

by Greg Klein

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Geology has a way of stimulating even the most discouraged investors, as shown by the way North ROK excited an otherwise dismal market. The very first hole from the Colorado Resources TSXV:CXO project sent company stock soaring from an April 24 close of $0.16 to a May 6 high of $1.25. Along with the excitement comes revived interest in the northern part of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, in the region around the discovery hole and Imperial Metals’ TSX:III development-stage Red Chris project, 15 kilometres east.

For anyone coming out of cryogenic slumber, here’s the first North ROK hole announced April 25:

  • 0.51% copper and 0.67 grams per tonne gold over 333 metres, starting at 2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.63% copper and 0.85 g/t gold over 242 metres, starting at 2 metres)
  • (which includes 0.76% copper and 1 g/t gold over 180.47 metres, starting at 63.53 metres)
  • (and including 0.2% copper and 0.19 g/t gold over 91 metres, starting at 244 metres).

True widths haven’t been determined.

Still to come are assays for a second hole 350 metres west. Geophysical data, however, suggests drilling “may have been stopped short of adequately testing the IP chargeability anomaly.” Colorado now plans to deepen the second hole and sink a series of 100-metre-spaced step-outs from the 333-metre intercept.

Colorado Resources’ copper-gold discovery heats up B.C.’s Golden Triangle

Spectacular assays have put Colorado Resources on top of the world.

Could North ROK be a one-hole wonder? Maybe, but other companies aren’t wasting time getting in on the action. The region “may become the next significant mining district in British Columbia,” according to TAD Mineral Exploration TSXV:TJ. On May 6 the company reported staking a 876-hectare copper-gold prospect near the village of Iskut, north of North ROK. TAD could be a tad opportunistic, having announced on April 11 it staked 4,000 hectares in the region of Patterson Lake South, the Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU/Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW uranium discovery that sparked the southwestern Athabasca Basin acquisition rush.

Also on May 6, Teuton Resources TSXV:TUO reported it optioned its Yellow Chris South claims to Redhill Resources TSXV:RHR. Located “a few kilometres northeast” of Colorado’s discovery hole, Yellow Chris South shares a similar geophysical setting, Teuton stated. The company added that its optionee “plans an aggressive program of property-wide soil sampling, geological mapping and IP surveying” beginning immediately. Subject to regulatory approval, the option allows Redhill to earn an initial 50% by paying Teuton $300,000 and 1.4 million shares, as well as spending $4.5 million over four years.

Teuton still has several blocks in the Red Chris and Yellow Chris area totalling 10,256 hectares. “We’re currently negotiating with a number of other companies,” IR officer Gary Assaly tells ResourceClips. “We have several properties that are optioned in the Stewart region [roughly 190 kilometres south] and there will be a lot of work done by other companies on our properties,” he says. But there’s been sudden interest in the North ROK area. “The phone started ringing a week ago, on the weekend.”

Teuton president Dino Cremonese adds, “We feel that our claims have a lot of potential, especially those which have discrete mag highs, some associated with flanking mag lows, the latter suggesting an area where alteration has been so intense that the magnetite has been replaced. So far, because our attention has been on our many claims further south, we have done only very minor soil geochem. This, however, has also been positive, with a few areas reporting values to 271 parts per million copper.”

A company that diversifies its opportunism, Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST was advancing an Ontario graphite property while a big-name joint venture partner drilled one of its Athabasca Basin uranium projects. Then the Colorado Resources discovery drew Pistol Bay back to its Summit Lake B property contiguous to North ROK.

“When this hit we went back and looked at the results from our 2010 program,” Pistol Bay president/director Charles Desjardins tells ResourceClips. “When you look at the showing in North ROK and compare it to our Kitty showing, we have some good numbers.”

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Athabasca Basin report

April 27th, 2013

Who’s doing what in the super-charged Saskatchewan uranium play

by Greg Klein

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Denison gets Fission Energy, spinco Fission Uranium gets Patterson Lake South

It’s a done deal, both companies announced April 26. Denison Mines TSX:DML closed its acquisition of Fission Energy TSXV:FIS. The latter company stops trading at the close of April 29 but a new outfit, Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU, is expected to begin trading on May 1. (Update: Fission Uranium Corp TSXV:FCU began trading on April 30, 2013.) Fission Uranium will retain the Fission Energy team and their most celebrated asset, a 50% interest in Patterson Lake South.

For each Fission Energy share, holders get 0.355 of a Denison share, a full Fission Uranium share and, for good measure, one ten-thousandth of a penny. The new company also gets about $17 million from Denison, a handy sum to continue its share of PLS drilling while shopping for other properties.

The acquisition went much as planned except for a late decision to change the new company’s stock ticker to FCU. It was originally registered as FUC.

Read more about the Denison/Fission acquisition here.

Patterson Lake South rolls out the results

Patterson Lake South, meanwhile, continues to shock and awe the market with near-surface results showing off-scale scintillometer readings and high-grade assays about every week—at least.

Athabasca Basin report

Just a couple of examples: An April 22 announcement reported assays of 6.57% U3O8 over 53 metres, including 29.26% over 10.5 metres. The intercept started at a downhole depth of 95 metres. Only two days later came assays of 6.26% over 49.5 metres, including 35% over 6 metres, starting at 66 metres in downhole depth.

A 50/50 joint venture between Fission Energy and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, the PLS discovery sparked the current staking rush around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim. Alpha filed an NI 43-101 technical report for the property on April 14.

Read more about the Patterson Lake South discovery here and here.

Read more about the Athabasca Basin staking rush here.

Alpha private placement closes at $12.28 million

While Fission Uranium starts off with about $17 million from Denison, its JV partner-to-be, Alpha Minerals, has just picked up $12.28 million. On April 25 the company announced completion of 1.2 million flow-through shares at $4.40 each and 1.75 million units at $4. Each unit consists of one non-flow-through share and half of a warrant. Each whole warrant will be exercisable at $5 for 24 months.

The private placement was originally offered up to $7.28 million, but was increased by $5 million on April 9.

NexGen now on the TSXV

Its reverse takeover with Clermont Capital complete, NexGen Energy Ltd TSXV:NXE made its Venture debut on April 23. NexGen interprets its flagship Radio property to be on the same structural trend as Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposit and Denison’s Waterbury Lake J-zone. NexGen holds an option to acquire an initial 70%, then the remaining 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

Another NexGen standout is Rook 1, immediately northeast of Patterson Lake South.

Under a JV within a JV, NexGen and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC have an option to earn 30% each of the Northwest Athabasca project, currently held 87.5% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 12.5% by AREVA Resources. On April 10 project operator Forum announced completion of a 3,500-metre program that hit uranium mineralization in eight of 17 holes.

Last November NexGen picked up 10 Canadian uranium properties from Mega Uranium TSXV:MGA. On April 22 Mega acquired an approximately 25.2% interest in NexGen, which currently has about $6 million on hand.

Read more about NexGen here and here.

As for Waterbury and the J-zone …

In the eastside Basin neighbourhood of Radio and Roughrider, Waterbury Lake is now held 60% by Denison, a result of its Fission Energy acquisition. A consortium headed by the Korean power utility Kepco holds the remaining 40%.

Last winter Fission Energy sunk 68 holes totalling over 21,000 metres to define and expand the project’s J-zone. Scintillometer results announced April 5 showed mineralization in 35 holes. Assays are pending for this final stage of a three-year, $30-million campaign.

Forum to fly Clearwater

In addition to its NexGen collaboration, Forum plans an airborne magnetic and electromagnetic survey over its 100%-held, 9,910-hectare Clearwater property immediately southwest of Patterson Lake South. Funding comes from a $500,000 private placement that closed April 23.

Denison drills turn Wheeler River

On the Basin’s east side, winter drilling at Denison’s 60% Wheeler River project completed 14,577 metres in 27 holes. On April 24 the company announced it had extended the new 489 zone along strike by 65 metres. The zone lies 2.1 kilometres from the project’s Phoenix deposits, which Denison calls “the most significant new uranium discovery in the Athabasca Basin in many years.”

Denison acts as project operator for partners Cameco, which holds a 30% interest, and JCU (Japan-Canada Uranium) Exploration, which holds 10%.

Lakeland stakes more land

Now a “pure play uranium exploration company focused on the Athabasca Basin,” Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on April 25 it had staked three more properties. The Small Lake, Hawkrock Rapids and Circle Lake properties total 54,745 hectares in the northern and northeastern Basin.

The news followed an April 2 announcement that Lakeland staked two other northern Basin properties, the 9,645-hectare Otherside and 35,429-hectare Riou Lake. All five properties, totalling nearly 100,000 hectares, were chosen on the basis of previous work by former operators. Lakeland intends to study historic data prior to planning a work program.

The company has also signed a non-binding letter of intent for eight other Basin properties totalling about 190,000 hectares.

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Week in review

April 12th, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for April 6 to 12, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Projects go under, under new Ontario law

“We’re not working in Ontario any longer and, yes, that’s because of these regulations.” Friday’s Toronto Star quoted Wally Rayner, VP of exploration for Mineral Mountain Resources TSXV:MMV, on the provincial Mining Act amendments that took full effect April 1.

Gone is the free entry system. In its place are requirements that companies and individual prospectors file plans with the government for even the earliest-stage work. That’s followed by a minimum 30-day period for public comments. Prospectors and explorers are now specifically required to consult and accommodate aboriginals. “Many find the regulations too onerous for an industry already in dire financial straits,” the Star reported.

A mining and exploration retrospect

Last month, even before the new regs took hold, Solid Gold Resources TSXV:SLD was denied an exploration permit in what the company said “appears to be a politically motivated abuse of power and indicates the unfair political interference that permeates the new exploration regime.” Now trading for a penny, the company has had uneasy relations with a Timmins-region native band.

Last February International Millennium Mining TSXV:IMI backed out of an option on its Hope Lake property, saying “the constraints of Ontario’s modernized Mining Act provided incentive for ending the agreement.”

Mineral Mountain’s Rayner also told the Star that delays jeopardize spending deadlines mandated by flow-through shares. “If the exploration is held up because of consultations or permits, then this whole financing system falls apart,” he said.

The reporter added, “The Ontario Bar Association echoed that concern in a submission to the ministry last year.”

The new act presents problems for natives too. Shawn Batise, executive director of the Wabun Tribal Council, told the Star his group has been overwhelmed with requests for consultation. “Today we got 12 requests, eight yesterday, six the day before, 20 last week…”

As for Quebec …

Over 10,000 people signed a petition expressing concern about possible changes to the province’s royalties structure, the Quebec Mining Association announced on Tuesday. Following a round of talks with industry reps, the Parti Quebecois government now ponders a 5% tax on the gross value of annual mine production and a 30% royalty on yet-to-be-defined “super profits.”

“Quebec has already the highest royalties and corporate tax rates among all the main mineral-producing provinces in Canada,” the QMA stated.

QMA president/CEO Josée Méthot added, “The damage caused to the Quebec economy could be far greater than the benefits derived from an increase in royalties.”

But in Saskatchewan …

One provincial government has actually cut royalties. Saskatchewan’s new system re-evaluates uranium mining costs in a manner that will slash taxes by about $15 million a year, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported on Tuesday. Premier Brad Wall discussed the revamped royalties at the offices of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO, where he joined federal politicians to announce a uranium trade deal with India. Canada had banned uranium exports to the country in 1974, after it used a Canadian-made reactor to create plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

Following a recent and similar deal with China, the India agreement “will mean literally billions of dollars worth of sales of Saskatchewan uranium into these two markets,” the StarPhoenix quoted Wall.

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