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Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 23rd, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Azincourt and Fission update winter plans for Patterson Lake North

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

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

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

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

Denison considers compulsory acquisition as Rockgate takeover now 86% complete

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

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

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

Read more here and here.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Read about Denison’s Q3 report.

Denison moves its people into Rockgate management/board positions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ground gravity survey underway on Aldrin Resource’s Triple M

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

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

Zadar Ventures acquires two more properties from Canterra Minerals

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

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

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

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

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Ur-Energy boosts uranium resources at Wyoming’s Lost Creek ISR mine

November 18th, 2013

by Greg Klein | November 18, 2013

Measured resources increased 16%, indicated decreased 8% and inferred jumped 65% at Ur-Energy’s TSX:URE Lost Creek property in Wyoming. An update to an April 2012 estimate, the November 18 announcement results from exploration and delineation drilling at the mine and its contiguous LC north, south, east and west areas. The program coincided with the installation of in-situ recovery wells for Mine Unit 1, which began operation in August.

Using a 0.02% cutoff, the 16,187-hectare property now shows:

  • a measured category of 4.29 million short tons averaging 0.057% for 4.85 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8)

  • an indicated category of 4.04 million tons averaging 0.048% for 3.8 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 4.72 million tons averaging 0.051% for 4.74 million pounds
Ur-Energy boosts uranium resources at Wyoming’s Lost Creek ISR mine

Drilling at Lost Creek’s Mine Unit 1 contributed to
a 16% increase in measured resources.

The company attributed the indicated category decrease to resources that were re-categorized within Mine Unit 1 and a planned second mine unit. Some 1,036 holes preceded the installation of MU1 wells, adding 671,655 measured pounds and revealing “that mineralization is thicker, of higher grade and more extensive than previously estimated,” Ur-Energy stated. The 65% expansion to the inferred category came largely from widely spaced drilling at LC East. In addition to 180 exploration and infill holes, LC East had 26 monitor wells installed as part of the permitting process.

Breakdowns for five of the property’s six areas show:

Lost Creek

  • measured: 3.12 million tons averaging 0.058% for 3.59 million pounds eU3O8

  • indicated: 2.35 million tons averaging 0.052% for 2.44 million pounds

  • inferred: 1.84 million tons averaging 0.057% for 2.08 million pounds

LC East

  • measured: 1.17 million tons averaging 0.054% for 1.26 million pounds eU3O8

  • indicated: 1.69 million tons averaging 0.04% for 1.36 million pounds

  • inferred: 1.66 million tons averaging 0.046% for 1.53 million pounds

LC North

  • inferred: 489,100 tons averaging 0.049% for 481,600 pounds eU3O8

LC South

  • inferred: 710,000 tons averaging 0.042% for 602,600 pounds eU3O8

LC West

  • inferred: 17,200 tons averaging 0.11% for 37,400 pounds eU3O8

The company currently plans to process one million pounds from Lost Creek but has a nameplate capacity twice that amount.

In late October Ur-Energy closed a US$34-million Wyoming state loan after having previously borrowed $35 million from RMB Australia Holdings Ltd.

See last week’s uranium news roundup.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

November 3rd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission hit 5.98% U3O8 over 17.5 metres, including 19.51% over 5.5 metres

With so many scintillometer results announced already, assays for the same holes can be anti-climactic. But that’s the way Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have orchestrated their Patterson Lake South campaign, now giving observers a near sense of déjà vu. Assays from four holes announced October 29 add little to the news of August 8, although results from the lab are much more reliable than those from the hand-held radiation-detecting gizmo. The assays come from R00E, the farthest southwest of the project’s five zones.

Hole PLS13-074

  • 0.13% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 2.5 metres, starting at 65 metres in downhole depth

PLS13-076

  • 0.09% over 2 metres, starting at 178.5 metres

  • 0.08% over 1.5 metres, starting at 183 metres

  • 0.16% over 4.5 metres, starting at 186.5 metres

PLS13-077

  • 0.39% over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres

  • 0.13% over 15.5 metres, starting at 73 metres

PLS13-079

  • 5.98% over 17.5 metres, starting at 83 metres

  • (including 19.51% over 5 metres) (Update: On November 4 the JV partners corrected the intercept width from 5.5 metres to 5 metres.)

True widths were unavailable. Three of the holes were vertical, while 079 dipped at -75 degrees. That hole expands the zone’s high-grade southern area, the companies stated, while all four holes confirm R00E’s east-west strike at 165 metres. The zone remains open in all directions.

With the summer barge-based campaign complete, attention now turns to a land-based program west of R00E. Fission acts as project operator on the 50/50 joint venture until its acquisition of Alpha closes. Fission shareholders will vote on the deal’s spinout aspect on November 28.

(Update: On November 4 the JV announced a sixth PLS zone west of the discovery. Read more.)

Rio Tinto plans winter drilling at Purepoint’s Red Willow

Purepoint Uranium Group TSXV:PTU announced plans on October 29 by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for 2,500 metres of drilling at Red Willow, a 25,612-hectare property on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern edge. Rio identified targets based on historic drill logs and more recent geophysical and geochemical work. The company built a 28-person camp last summer.

Depth to unconformity in the area varies from zero to 80 metres, Purepoint stated. The company says five major deposits—JEB, Midwest, Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Millennium—“are located along a NE to SW mine trend that extends through the Red Willow project.”

Rio has so far spent about $2.25 million out of a $5-million commitment to earn an initial 51% interest by December 31, 2015. The giant’s Canadian subsidiary may earn 80% by spending $22.5 million by the end of 2021.

In early October Purepoint announced a winter drill campaign for the Hook Lake JV held 21% by Purepoint and 39.5% each by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada.

Strong Q3 financials surprise Cameco shareholders

Despite historic low uranium prices, Cameco came out with Q3 earnings far beyond the same period last year. In his October 29 statement, president/CEO Tim Gitzel attributed the success to a contracting strategy “providing us with higher average realized prices that are well above the current uranium spot price.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 26 to November 1, 2013

Rabbit Lake was one of three Cameco operations that received
10-year licence renewals the same week that the company
surprised investors with an especially strong quarterly report.

Adjusted net earnings for three months ending September 30 came to $208 million, a 324% increase over Q3 2012 or, at 53 cents a share, a 342% increase. Year-to-date figures came to $295 million (up 48%) and 75 cents a share (up 47%).

Gitzel added that Cameco’s “starting to see some of the cost benefits of the restructuring we undertook earlier” and plans to “take advantage of the opportunity we see in the long term.”

However the company’s statement noted “there have been some deferrals of future projects due to uranium prices insufficient to support new production. The deferrals will not directly impact the near-term market, but could have an effect on the longer term outlook for the uranium industry. Complicating the supply outlook further is the possibility of some projects, primarily driven by sovereign interests, moving forward despite market conditions.”

The company forecast strong long-term fundamentals, mostly to China which has “reaffirmed its substantial growth targets out to 2020 and indicated plans to pursue further growth out to 2030. Their growth is palpable as construction on two more reactors began during the third quarter, bringing the total under construction to 30.”

As for Cameco’s long-delayed Cigar Lake mine, the company’s sticking to its current plan of Q1 2014 production and Q2 milling.

But while junior exploration flourishes, especially in the Athabasca Basin, the major plans a 15% to 20% cut in exploration spending this year.

Three Cameco operations get 10-year licence renewals

Licences for Cameco’s Key Lake, McArthur River and Rabbit Lake operations have been renewed for 10 years, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced October 29. The CNSC granted the extensions after three days of public meetings that heard from the company, 27 interveners and CNSC staff. The commission agreed to Cameco’s request for 10-year renewals, twice the previous term.

MillenMin finds radioactive outcrops on east Basin properties, reports AGM results

MillenMin Ventures TSXV:MVM completed initial field work at two eastside Basin properties, the 2,759-hectare Highrock Lake NE and 1,648-hectare Smalley Lake W. Work included prospecting, outcrop mapping and examination of previously found mineralization, the company announced October 28.

Grab samples from radioactive outcrops on both properties have been sent for assays. MillenMin first announced its foray into uranium last May and has staked 11 claims totalling about 18,983 hectares in and around the Basin.

On October 31 the company reported AGM results with directors re-elected, auditors re-appointed and other business approved.

Declan options northeastern Alberta property

Southwest of the Basin’s Alberta extremity, Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has optioned the 50,000-hectare Firebag River property. Previous geophysical survey data “shows a complex pattern of magnetic lows and highs, truncated or offset in the northern part of the property by the Marguerite River Fault,” Declan stated on October 29. Exploration in 1977 “confirmed the presence of a southwest-oriented fault zone and a geochemical anomaly with 11 ppm cobalt in lake sediments atop this structure,” the company added.

The deal would have Declan paying $85,000, issuing five million shares over two years and spending $3 million over three years. The optioner retains a 2% NSR on metals and a 4% gross overriding royalty on non-metallic commodities.

In September Declan announced an option to acquire the Patterson Lake Northeast property. The company plans to engage Dahrouge Geological Consulting to explore its uranium properties.

Rockgate takeover offer: Denison softens conditions, extends deadline

Denison Mines TSX:DML advanced its attempted takeover of Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT by lowering the minimum tender condition from 90% to two-thirds of outstanding shares. In an October 30 statement Denison also extended the offer’s deadline again, this time to November 18, and dropped conditions related to staff retention and consulting agreements.

The same day Rockgate said insiders agreed not to exercise their options unless another company comes up with a better offer. Denison had requested a cease trade order on 11 million Rockgate options granted on September 30, which Denison termed “improper defensive tactics.” The British Columbia Securities Commission didn’t agree. But rather than risk Denison withdrawing its offer, Rockgate insiders “put the interests of the shareholders of Rockgate before their own personal interests and agreed to amend the terms of the options,” company president/CEO Karl Kottmeier said.

The tone of the companies’ statements has warmed considerably since Kottmeier labelled Denison’s offer an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid.” Denison president/CEO Ron Hochstein thanked Kottmeier and the Rockgate board “for their contributions to allowing the offer to proceed towards a successful conclusion.”

Meanwhile Rockgate continues prefeasibility work on its flagship Falea uranium-silver-copper project in Mali.

Read how Denison’s offer defeated Rockgate’s proposed merger with Mega Uranium.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland Resources’ JV partner New Dimension to drill for gold

Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK announced on October 31 an imminent drill campaign of at least 1,800 metres by JV partner New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR on the Midas gold property in north-central Ontario. Lakeland optioned the project to New Dimension in September in order to focus on Saskatchewan uranium exploration. But Lakeland will retain a 30% interest in Midas carried to an initial 43-101 resource estimate.

I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

“New Dimension is a great group to work with and the deal was easy to do,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “I’m excited that the project’s going to continue to be worked while we focus on uranium. The onus is on them to explore that project and we share in any benefits that result.”

The previous week Lakeland closed a private placement for a total of $1,057,718 and announced the appointment of Basin veteran John Gingerich to the company’s advisory board. Field work continues on Lakeland’s Riou Lake uranium project.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 26th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 19 to 25, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Forum reports radon results from PLS-adjacent Clearwater

Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC released soil and water radon surveys from its Clearwater project adjacently southwest to Patterson Lake South. Soil results “are similar and higher than those located immediately west” of the PLS R00E zone, according to Forum’s October 22 announcement. Radon surveys played an important role in identifying drill targets at R00E and east along trend. The Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU joint venture now plans autumn drilling west of R00E while waiting for freeze-up.

Forum’s results for three grids show:

  • Bear grid: Up to 1.33 picocuries per square metre per second (pCi/m2/s)

  • West Bear grid: Up to 1.08 pCi/m2/s

  • Mungo grid: Up to 0.92 pCi/m2/s

Additionally, a small lake in the Mungo grid returned up to 18 picocuries per litre (pCi/L), “which is considered to be very anomalous when compared with a maximum value of 12 pCi/L immediately over the Patterson Lake South deposits,” Forum stated. The company added that 428 samples were taken “over areas with electromagnetic conductors and over the interpreted extension of the Patterson Lake structure that hosts the PLS deposits.”

Near-term plans include a ground gravity survey over the same areas and possibly further radon studies prior to setting targets on the 9,910-hectare property for a drill campaign to begin in late January.

Lakeland Resources appoints expert adviser, closes second tranche

In joining the Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK advisory board, Athabasca Basin veteran John Gingerich returns to some familiar turf. With over 30 years’ experience, the geoscientist worked for Eldorado Nuclear from 1979 to 1986, spending most of that time in the north-central Basin exploring property now held by Lakeland, the company stated on October 23. Additionally he served in the Noranda group’s senior management, founded Geotechnical Business Solutions and chairs both the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization’s exploration division and the Ontario Geological Survey’s advisory board.

The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway. Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes says Gingerich “co-ordinated exploration activities from Stony Rapids to Fond du Lac, on properties we’re now exploring, so he’s quite familiar with that neck of the woods. But at that time they didn’t have some of the technologies we now have in the way of geophysics and radon surveys. He said it was tough determining where to drill back in those days. But he certainly feels there’s potential based on the historic findings. He’s also trying to dig up some additional historic work besides the data we’ve already found. He’s definitely a valuable addition to our board, given his experience up there.”

Gingerich joins two other industry authorities on Lakeland’s advisory board, Richard Kusmirski and Thomas Drolet.

Lakeland also announced the closing of a second and final tranche of its private placement, bringing in $318,948 for a total of $1,057,718 to fund further work. Activity focuses on the Gibbon’s Creek target of the Riou Lake property.

“The radon survey is done and line-cutting and resistivity are underway,” Armes says. “Once we compile that data we’ll have it interpreted and zero in on drill targets likely for January. We’ll have a fairly steady stream of news over the next few months. We also retained an interest in the gold project we vended to New Dimension Resources [TSXV:NDR], which will likely be drilled in the next few weeks. That’s a bonus side story for us while we continue our focus on the Basin. So things are going extremely well.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Rockgate reluctantly recommends Denison bid, Denison extends deadline

It’s an “unsolicited opportunistic hostile takeover bid,” according to Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors. So it was with obvious reluctance that they recommended shareholders accept the offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML. Nearly five weeks of effort failed to find a superior proposal, Rockgate announced October 21.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 19 to 25, 2013

A crew prepares to drill a target on
Rockgate’s flagship Falea project in Mali.

But three days later, and just one day before its offer was to expire, Denison extended the deadline to November 1. Denison stated that, while its bid remains open for acceptance, the company needed time to remedy change of control protections that Rockgate had provided to employees and consultants: “In light of these actions, the conditions to Denison’s takeover bid offer cannot be fulfilled.”

Read more about Denison’s offer, Rockgate’s response and the failed merger with Mega Uranium.

Read about other uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Zadar completes PNE Phase II, grants options

Results are pending but Phase II exploration at Zadar Ventures’ TSXV:ZAD PNE project has wrapped up, the company announced October 22. Work included scintillometer prospecting, boulder mapping and radon surveys over nine areas. The company added that an eight-kilometre conductive trend on the adjacent Patterson Lake North project announced earlier this month by JV partners Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ marks a “very positive development” for the 15,292-hectare PNE property.

Zadar also announced 100,000 incentive options at $0.25 for two years.

Last month the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 37,445-hectare Pasfield Lake property on the Athabasca Basin’s east side.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission extend one PLS zone, disagree about certainty of a “fifth zone”

The news from Patterson Lake South continues to impress—even when the joint venture partners don’t interpret it quite the same way. Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU says a 150-metre step-out found a “fifth high-grade zone.” Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW prefers to call it a “potential” fifth high-grade zone. Either way, the September 23 news was one of three announcements last week that included an extension to an existing zone’s strike length.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Patterson Lake South now has a fifth zone—or a
potential fifth zone, depending on whom you listen to.

The new or potential new zone sits about halfway between the R390E and R780E zones, which are either the second and third of four zones, or the second and fourth of five zones, along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend. With luck future drill results will bring Alpha into agreement with Fission, thereby simplifying sentence structure.

Hole PLS13-085 was collared 150 metres grid east of R390E, reached a depth of 317 metres and struck the basement unconformity at 62.4 metres without encountering sandstone. Preliminary results come from a hand-held scintillometer, which measures radiation up to an off-scale level of more than 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Some highlights showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 33.5 metres, starting at 67 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,200 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 111 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres, starting at 123 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. With a -89 degree dip, downhole depths were close to vertical depths.

Two days later, and with greater unanimity, the 50/50 partners released assays for holes that had previously reported scintillometer readings. Ranking as one of the best PLS holes so far, PLS13-072 reached a total depth of 209 metres. It found no sandstone and struck the basement unconformity at 55.7 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 8.15% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 19.28% over 7.5 metres)

  • (and including 21.53% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 98.5 metres

  • 0.57% over 8.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • (including 1.61% over 2.5 metres)

  • 2.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 137 metres

  • (including 10.65% over 1 metre)

With an -89 degree dip, the depths were close to vertical.

PLS13-073 struck sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 53 metres, before stopping at 248 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 0.25% over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 0.92% over 3 metres)

  • 0.59% over 10 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • (including 4.81% over 1 metre)

True thicknesses are still to come.

When their scintillometer readings were reported earlier (here and here), the two holes extended R390E’s strike 15 metres grid west and 15 metres grid east respectively. But on September 27 the JV announced a further extension, bringing the zone’s strike to about 255 metres and suggesting the possibility “of extending the zone south along the entire length of the corridor as it becomes further delineated.” Here are some highlights from the eight holes reported:

Hole PLS13-087A reached a total depth of 227 metres, encountering sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 50.9 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 68.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,100 cps over 17 metres, starting at 98 metres

Hole PLS13-088 reached a total depth of 296 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 54.3 metres.

  • <300 to 9,800 cps over 23.5 metres, starting at 80 metres in downhole depth

  • 400 to 8,100 cps over 8 metres, starting at 135 metres

Hole PLS13-094 reached a total depth of 272.3 metres, encountering sandstone at 50.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.4 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

Hole PLS13-095 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 47.6 metres and the basement unconformity at 51.7 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 68 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 7 metres, starting at 93.5 metres

  • <300 to 5,800 cps over 33 metres, starting at 116 metres

Hole PLS13-100 reached a total depth of 263 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.3 metres.

  • 790 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 53 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 8,000 cps over 20 metres, starting at 99.5 metres

  • <300 to>9,999 cps over 8.5 metres, starting at 134 metres

Hole PLS13-102 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 58.3 metres and the basement unconformity at 58.8 metres.

  • <300 to 6,000 cps over 29 metres, starting at 103 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

Again, true thicknesses were unavailable. With dips ranging from -84 to -89 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Assays are pending for these holes but this summer’s drilling has extended R390E more than four-fold from last winter’s 60-metre strike.

Fission acts as project operator on the current $6.95-million program. On September 18 the partners signed a definitive agreement for Fission’s acquisition of Alpha and sole control over PLS, with the companies’ other assets to be spun out into two separate companies.

Rockgate rejects Mega merger, mulls Denison deal and other possibilities

Just one day before their shareholders were to vote on a merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors scuttled the proposal. Although a “superior” offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML led to their September 24 announcement, Rockgate directors expressed reservations, said they needed more time for due diligence and expressed interest in receiving other offers.

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

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Rockgate delineates Falea project’s 880 zone in Mali

Meanwhile work continues on the object of those affections, Rockgate’s Falea flagship in southwestern Mali. On September 26 the company released assays from four holes on the 880 zone, which was discovered last fall. The results show:

  • 0.59% U3O8, 45.7 grams per tonne silver and 0.17% copper over 2.7 metres, starting at 301.4 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.06% U3O8, 118.3 g/t silver and 0.78% copper over 2 metres, starting at 303 metres

  • 0.12% U3O8, 86.3 g/t silver and 0.52% copper over 3 metres, starting at 320 metres

  • 0.17% U3O8, 17.1 g/t silver and 0.16% copper over 4 metres, starting at 304.5 metres

  • (including 1.13% U3O8, 96 g/t silver and 1.14% copper over 0.5 metres)

Intercepts are estimated at 96% to 100% of true widths. Mineralization remains open in several directions, the company stated.

This year’s 19-hole, 5,910-metre program included 14 holes totalling 4,563 metres on the 880 zone’s 500-metre strike length. Another five holes totalling 1,347 metres tested the project’s Central zone. The 880 zone has yet to be included in Falea’s resource estimate. Released last December, it shows:

  • a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% U3O8 for 4.29 million pounds U3O8, with 3.52 million ounces silver and 6.05 million pounds copper

  • an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% U3O8 for 25.29 million pounds U3O8, with 24.43 million ounces silver and 68.17 million pounds copper

  • an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% U3O8 for 15.69 million pounds U3O8, with 8.91 million ounces silver and 81.19 million pounds copper

Rockgate plans to incorporate the 880 zone into an updated resource, likely to coincide with a pre-feasibility study scheduled for completion early next year. The company says it’s been “entirely unaffected” by last year’s military coup and this year’s fighting between French troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels.

NexGen completes two-thirds of Rook 1 drilling, awaits Radio assays

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Brecciated core from NexGen Energy’s Rook 1 drill program.

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE updated its PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign September 25. With 3,000 metres planned, the company has sunk eight holes totalling 1,957 metres on an area about 700 metres along interpreted extensions of the PLS 3B conductor and a parallel conductor approximately 800 metres east.

“All holes intersected varying types of structural zones in basement lithologies, ranging from small fractures through to wide, heavily brecciated material,” the company stated. Scintillometer readings found intercepts of elevated levels in several holes, while all eight holes reached shallow basement rock at downhole depths ranging from 48.7 metres to 82.6 metres. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to October. Winter drilling is planned for the same area.

Assays are still pending from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at Radio, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits on the northeastern Basin. In late August NexGen closed $5 million in private placements.

Canadian International Minerals options two claim groups to Rio Grande;
Rio Grande offers $900,000 private placement, grants options

Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN announced on September 24 it optioned Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV a 75% interest in the Britts Lake East and Firebag East/Descharme claims about 35 kilometres southwest of PLS. Under the agreement Rio Grande would pay a total of $100,000 and issue Canadian International 500,000 shares. Rio Grande would also spend $250,000 by year one, $500,000 by year two and $1.5 million by year three. The companies didn’t specify whether those are aggregate or separate yearly figures.

Canadian International retains a 2% NSR, of which Rio Grande may buy half for $1 million. Canadian International will act as project operator on a planned winter campaign to include radon and helium surveys, as well as lake sediment sampling on the 18,041-hectare package.

Canadian International also holds a 50% interest in each of two other Saskatchewan uranium prospects, the 4,639-hectare Coflin Lake property and the 34,762-hectare Clearwater property.

On September 25 Rio Grande announced a private placement of up to $900,000, consisting of six million units at $0.10 and another 2.5 million units at $0.12. The company also granted 900,000 options to insiders at $0.12 for five years.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports radon and radiometric anomalies at Preston Lake

A four-company strategic alliance focused on the PLS area’s Western Athabasca Syndicate project reported anomalous radon and scintillometer findings on September 26. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY stated an initial radon-in-water survey found nine of 291 samples measuring over 23 picocuries per litre, with the highest reaching 98 pCi/L. The anomalies appear as both clusters and discrete point anomalies, the companies added. Fission and Alpha based their initial PLS drill targets on these measurements of radon gas.

Additionally, WASP’s 217-kilometre scintillometer survey found 25 areas radiating over 1,000 cps, more than twice the typical background level. More Phase II results are pending while Phase III field work continues with the intention of identifying drill targets.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 22nd, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 14 to 20, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission and Alpha sign acquisition agreement, Denison challenges Mega for Rockgate

Another burst of merger and acquisition activity hit the markets last week. Joint September 18 statements from Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW announced a definitive agreement for the former’s acquisition of the latter. The proposed Mega Uranium TSX:MGA/Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT merger, however, took a surprising turn with Denison Mines’ TSX:DML unsolicited pitch for Rockgate. Denison’s September 17 announcement claimed a 38% premium over Mega’s offer, based on the previous day’s closing prices.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 14 to 20, 2013

In addition to taking a run at Rockgate, Denison filed a revised
43-101 report for six deposits on its Mutanga property in Zambia.

The Fission/Alpha rationale is to put their 50/50 joint venture under a single owner, creating a company solely focused on Patterson Lake South and presumably a more attractive takeover target. Their other properties would go to two newly created spincos. Should Denison’s offer succeed, the company would spin out its African assets along with Rockgate’s advanced-stage Mali project. That would leave Denison focused on the Athabasca Basin.

Read more about these proposals and other uranium M&A news.

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

PLS assay backlog grows as Fission/Alpha release more scintillometer results

Step-out drilling confirmed strong mineralization in Patterson Lake South’s newest zone, Alpha and Fission stated on September 16. The JV partners released scintillometer readings for two new holes on zone R945E, the fourth of four zones along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend.

The hand-held device measures drill core gamma rays in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Hole PLS13-092 was collared roughly 10 metres north of existing holes. It reached a total downhole depth of 377 metres, striking the basement unconformity at 59 metres without encountering sandstone. Some highlights include:

  • <300 to 1,400 cps over 3 metres, starting at 157.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16 metres, starting at 163 metres

  • <300 to 1,800 cps over 11 metres, starting at 192.5 metres

  • 460 to 2,500 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 238 metres

PLS13-096 was collared about 15 metres grid west of PLS-084, replacing it as the zone’s most southwesterly hole. It found no sandstone, hit the basement unconformity at 56.5 metres and stopped at 365 metres. Highlights include:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 42.5 metres, starting at 135.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 310 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 185.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 235.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 249 metres

True widths weren’t available. The two holes were drilled at -88 and -89 degree angles respectively, making downhole depths close to vertical.

The $6.95-million program calls for 44 holes totalling 11,000 metres, along with geophysics. These results bring the summer’s drilling to 27 holes totalling 8,488 metres. So far just one of the holes has had lab assays released. Scintillometer readings have been reported for 18 holes this summer.

Denison files combined resources for Mutanga property in Zambia

Denison has filed a new NI 43-101 report to replace two previous reports for its Mutanga property in Zambia, the company announced on September 16. The New Mutanga Report follows an Ontario Securities Commission review of a resource filed in March 2012 for the property’s Dibwe East deposit. The OSC declared that report non-compliant because it didn’t include all resource estimates and material information for the property as a whole. Denison’s new report incorporates information covered in a 2009 report on the Mutanga and Dibwe deposits, as well as the 2012 info for Dibwe East.

Of the project’s six deposits, only Mutanga shows measured, indicated and inferred categories. Mutanga Extension, Mutanga East, Mutanga West, Dibwe and Dibwe East have inferred pounds only. Combined, the estimate shows:

  • a measured resource of 1.88 million tonnes averaging 0.048% for 2 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)

  • an indicated resource of 8.4 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 5.8 million pounds

  • inferred resources totalling 65.2 million tonnes averaging 0.029% for 41.4 million pounds

The 457.3-square-kilometre property is about 200 kilometres south of the capital city of Lusaka, near the Zimbabwean border.

The previous week, Denison updated two Athabasca Basin projects with a new resource for Waterbury Lake and more high-grade assays from Wheeler River.

Lakeland Resources options gold project to focus on Athabasca uranium

Now a pure play uranium explorer, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK optioned a north-central Ontario gold property to New Dimension Resources TSXV:NDR, the companies announced September 16. New Dimension may earn a 70% interest in the Midas project by paying $100,000, spending $1.2 million and issuing 1.5 million shares. New Dimension must spend $300,000 on exploration by December 31.

We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.—Roger Leschuk, corporate communications manager for Lakeland Resources

The 2,112-hectare road-accessible property has already seen ground magnetics, induced polarization and 16 drill holes that partially defined two gold-bearing zones, with 14 holes showing gold mineralization. Among the assays was 5.92 grams per tonne gold over 4.7 metres, starting at 45.7 metres in depth and including 8.88 g/t over 2.6 metres.

“We get to maintain an interest in a property that looks very encouraging to say the least,” Lakeland corporate communications manager Roger Leschuk tells ResourceClips.com. “The people who are picking it up are a very good group and they see this as potentially becoming their flagship property. The great part about it for Lakeland is we retain a 30% interest all the way potentially to a new discovery. We’re maintaining our focus on uranium, yet we’re not giving away what could turn out to be a valuable asset in the end. In our view there’s no downside to our shareholders, only a potential upside.”

A fall drill program is expected to begin shortly, the companies stated.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Forum announces fall/winter plans for its PLS-adjacent Clearwater project

In a September 17 report, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC updated its Clearwater project, which underwent ground radiometric prospecting, lake sediment geochemical surveys and soil radon surveys in late August and early September. The radon survey found anomalous zones immediately southwest of the adjacent PLS property, the company stated. Forum now plans further prospecting of radiometric anomalies, as well as an expanded radon survey to cover areas with electromagnetic conductors on strike with the PLS conductive trend. Autumn is scheduled for ground EM surveys and early winter for ground gravity work to identify drill targets for the 9,910-hectare property in late January.

One week earlier Forum said its private placement raised $2.59 million.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

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<p class=Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals
asked for more time to consider its proposal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

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

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

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

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 4th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 27 to August 2, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission extend Patterson Lake South R390E zone by 30 metres

Just two weeks ago they were crowing about “the most abundant off-scale mineralization of any hole” at Patterson Lake South. Now Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and 50/50 joint venture partner Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW say they’ve surpassed that. Scintillometer readings for one of two shallow step-outs reported July 29 represent “the largest accumulation of discrete off-scale mineralized intervals in any drill hole at PLS to date.” The two holes add 30 metres of strike to R390E, the middle of three zones along an 850-metre northeast-southwest trend. Including the 15-metre extension resulting from the hole announced July 18, the campaign’s first three holes have extended the zone’s strike by 75% to 105 metres.

The scintillometer measures gamma radiation from drill core in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading over 9,999 cps. Scintillometer readings are not assays, which are still pending. A radiometric probe will also be used to measure downhole radiation.

Hole PLS13-073, 15 metres grid east of the zone’s nearest hole, showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth
  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11 metres, starting at 142.5 metres.

True widths weren’t available. Drilled to a depth of 248 metres, the hole encountered Devonian sandstone at 50 metres’ depth and a basement unconformity at 53 metres.

Hole PLS13-075, 15 metres grid west of the nearest hole, showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 70 metres, starting at 57.5 metres in vertical depth
  • (including 580 to >9,999 cps over 23 metres)
  • <300 to 6,800 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres
  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 146.5 metres
  • 400 to 1,800 cps over 2 metres, starting at 151 metres
  • 1,000 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • <300 to 3,600 cps over 2.5 metres, starting at 160 metres.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Again, true widths were unknown. The 188-metre hole struck sandstone at 47 metres and the basement unconformity at 49.3 metres. The first PLS13-075 result above included 21.65 metres of mineralization over 9,999 cps in several intervals, which the JV partners call the project’s “largest accumulation of discrete off-scale mineralized intervals” so far. They include 16.7 metres of continuous off-scale readings starting at 73.5 metres’ depth. Although Alpha and Fission anticipate that its main zone of mineralization has been found, drilling on this hole continues.

As does the $6.95-million program, comprising ground geophysics and about 44 holes totalling 11,000 metres.

Paladin cancels sale; reports $180-million impairment, $81-million placement, fatality

Paladin Energy TSX:PDN has dropped negotiations to sell a minority interest in its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia. In one of three August 2 announcements, the company said uranium’s currently low price would drive down offers on an asset with expansion potential and a mine life of over 20 years.

Paladin also reported it expects a further non-cash impairment estimated at US$180 million before taxes, which the company attributed to its Kayelekera mine in Malawi, Niger exploration projects “and other smaller items.” Paladin suspended work in Niger following May 23 terrorist attacks.

Within minutes of reporting the suspended sale Paladin announced it was offering a private placement “to provide adequate funding for the company into the September quarter” despite low uranium prices. Later the same day Paladin announced it closed the placement at $C81 million. The money came from 125.6 million shares, representing 15% of the company’s existing issued capital, at a 30% discount to the stock’s previous ASX close.

Paladin managing director/CEO John Borshoff said the money would help “reduce debt in the mid-term.”

On July 31 the company reported a fatal accident in Kayelekera’s engineering workshop.

Read about Paladin’s last quarterly report.

Powertech forms strategic alliance with Asian uranium investor

A Vancouver-headquartered company with uranium projects in three American states announced a strategic alliance with Asia’s “only significant uranium investment and development vehicle.” On August 1 Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE reported Azarga Resources Ltd, a privately held Hong Kong-based company, agreed to a number of deals.

As of July 22 Azarga bought 24.65 million shares at $0.07 for a total of $1.72 million, giving the purchaser an initial 17.5% of Powertech. Azarga also provided Powertech with $514,350 in return for a debenture with the amount payable at 115% within 12 months or 130% within two years. Powertech may instead convert the principal into shares granted to Azarga at $0.07. Full conversion would leave Azarga with an approximate 22% interest in Powertech.

Azarga also agreed to buy a 60% chunk of Powertech’s Centennial project in Colorado for $1.5 million over two years. Should shareholders oppose the purchase, $1 million of the purchase price would be converted to a debenture on the same terms as the other. On completing the 60% purchase, the two companies would form a JV with Azarga acting as project operator.

The deal would include a put option, in which Powertech could sell its remaining 40% after January 1, 2017, for $250,000, and a call option, allowing Azarga to buy the 40% after that date for $7 million or, within 10 days of a change of control at Powertech, for $1 million.

The companies further agreed to share data and expertise, with Azarga using “its best efforts to support any equity financings” undertaken by Powertech. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Powertech president/CEO Richard Clement said Azarga’s “positioning in Asia will provide enhanced access and exposure to those markets.”

The transactions are subject to shareholder and TSX approval.

Powertech released a preliminary economic assessment for an in-situ recovery (ISR) mine at Centennial in August 2010. Following local opposition, Colorado imposed new restrictions on uranium mining the following month. Powertech lost its court challenge against the new regulations in July 2012. By that time the company had already shifted focus to its Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota, for which it released a revised PEA in April 2012. The project is now undergoing permitting and licensing with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Powertech has two other uranium projects in Wyoming.

Azarga stated it currently has no plans to develop Centennial but will instead review the project’s exploration and development potential. Azarga also holds an 80% operating interest in “the largest-known Soviet-era resource in the Kyrgyz Republic,” as well as interests in other uranium projects in the U.S. and Turkey.

Forum begins airborne radiometrics over PLS-adjacent Clearwater project

On July 30 Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC announced airborne radiometrics had begun over its Clearwater project, adjacently southwest of Alpha/Fission’s PLS property. The survey consists of 1,463 line-kilometres at 100-metre spacing over the 99-square-kilometre property to measure surface radioactivity in outcrops or boulder trains using a proprietary system of Goldak Airborne Surveys. Forum says preliminary interpretation of its magnetic and electromagnetic survey suggests one of Clearwater’s conductors hosts the PLS discovery.

On further scrutinizing the airborne surveys, the company will begin prospecting, radon surveys and lake sediment geochemical sampling this month. Ground geophysics might also be used to identify drill targets.

In a collaborative effort, the surveys have also been covering PLS-area properties held by Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and the Western Athabasca Syndicate. The latter is a four-company strategic alliance consisting of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX, which are jointly exploring a 275,361-hectare land package in the vicinity of the Fission/Alpha discovery. On July 23 the syndicate announced an extension of its portion of the surveys.

Earlier in July, Forum announced it extended the company’s Key Lake-area holdings in the Athabasca Basin’s southeast corner.

Ur-Energy begins Lost Creek production in Wyoming

Ur-Energy TSX:URE began mining its Lost Creek operation on August 2. The ISR project in Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin took eight years and US$95 million to develop and should, according to an April 2012 PEA, produce about 7.38 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) over 14 years. The 2012 numbers assumed uranium prices ranging from $55 to $80 a pound, substantially higher than the current seven-year low of $34.50. But with those numbers the PEA used an 8% discount rate to calculate a pre-tax net present value of $181 million and an 87% internal rate of return.

Ur-Energy says it holds long-term contracts with several U.S.-based utilities and will begin deliveries in Q4.

On July 30 the company reported filing its Q2 report on sedar.com.

Cameco reports Q2 results, makes company and commodity forecasts

Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO Q2 report came out August 1, with the company reporting $421 million in revenue, 49% above the same period last year and a $99-million gross profit, up 98%. Net earnings attributable to equity holders came to $34 million or $0.09 a share. Adjusted net earnings were $61 million or $0.15 a share.

Cameco president/CEO Tim Gitzel addressed a conference call, speaking optimistically about Cigar Lake’s imminent start-up, a planned 50% production increase and future uranium prices.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 13th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 6 to 12, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Four companies seal $6-million exploration plan for PLS-area’s largest package

With a formal agreement signed, an airborne survey about finished and a field crew on site, progress continues on the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate Project, the Patterson Lake South-area’s largest land package. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced the formal agreement July 10, saying the strategic alliance shares synergies while mitigating risk and dilution.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Four companies plan to spend $6 million over two years exploring the PLS-area’s largest package, the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

As previously reported in a memorandum of understanding, Skyharbour contributes seven Athabasca Basin properties to combine with Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake, forming a 287,130-hectare package. Apart from the 11,769-hectare Wheeler project on the Basin’s east side, the properties are contiguous to the high-grade, near-surface uranium discovery of Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW.

With 25% earn-ins for each company, the syndicate will jointly fund a $6-million program over two years. Noka and Lucky Strike will each put up $1 million a year while Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear will each spend $500,000. Cash and shares also change hands.

Data from the VTEM-plus time domain survey will be analysed for conductive trends like those hosting the PLS discovery. Under a joint program with two other companies, the survey also flew properties held by Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN. So far the survey has found two parallel basement conductive trends on Aldrin’s Triple M property and a conductive trend extending from the PLS discovery into Forum’s Clearwater project.

Referring to activity surrounding the Alpha/Fission discovery, Dundee Capital Markets senior analyst David Talbot told ResourceClips.com, “This is an area play because these are area-type deposits. They tend to occur in clusters. The chances that Fission and Alpha are the only ones that have uranium on their property is probably relatively low.”

Following the VTEM, a radiometrics survey will search for boulder trains and in-situ radioactivity. Also on the syndicate’s agenda are radon surveys, geochemical sampling, prospecting and scintillometer surveying. Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator, in consultation with the other three geological teams. The companies plan to follow Alpha’s 43-101 technical report, which details procedures leading to the PLS discovery.

Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble told ResourceClips.com, “I think it’s the lowest-risk way, on a per-company basis, to carry out this kind of large, aggressive exploration program.”

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

Noka picks up two more properties

One day after sealing the syndicate deal, Noka announced two more Basin acquisitions. For the 151,170-hectare Clearwater project, the company issues two million shares and grants a 5% NSR. The transaction makes one of the vendors, Ryan Kalt, a company insider. For the 50,161-hectare Athabasca North, Noka issues 600,000 shares and grants a 2% NSR. TSXV approval has already come through. Noka also issued 130,000 shares and paid $14,000 as a finder’s fee.

Cameco, Mega mull Kintyre deal Down Under

About 1,250 kilometres north of Perth, at the western edge of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, lies Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO Oz flagship, the Kintyre deposit. Now the major is negotiating with a junior to co-operate on some additional claims adjacent to the project. Announced July 11 by Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, the two companies have signed a non-binding understanding that could give Cameco an initial 51% interest in the Kintyre Rocks project, held by Mega’s subsidiary Boxcut Mining. The talks imply Cameco’s continued interest in a project that had its feasibility study shelved last year.

Kintyre, held 70% by Cameco and 30% by Mitsubishi, has a 2011 resource showing:

  • an indicated category of 5.26 million tonnes averaging 0.49% for 56.4 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8)
  • an inferred category of 505,000 tonnes averaging 0.47% for 5.3 million pounds.

The project reached pre-feasibility in 2012, detailing an open pit producing an average six million pounds a year for seven years. But economic survival called for $67-a-pound uranium, a price not seen after the March 2011 Fukushima accident. Full-feas was suspended and Cameco recorded a $168-million write-down. Work continued, however, on an engineering study and environmental permitting. The company also stated its interest in finding satellite deposits.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 6th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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Conductive trend links Forum’s Clearwater with Patterson Lake South

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese utilities to apply for nuclear reactor permits

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

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

Japan, Uzbekistan to co-operate on uranium exploration

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

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