Saturday 14th December 2019

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Posts tagged ‘utah’

Prima Diamond looks to Utah for lithium

February 18th, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 18, 2016

One’s a luxury, the other’s a practicality that many consider necessary. Prima Diamond TSXV:PMD apparently wants both, by adding an energy minerals project to its gemstones prospects. To that end the company announced on February 18 an agreement to acquire the Green Energy lithium property in Utah.

Prima Diamond looks to Utah for lithium

Forecasts for consumer electronics, electric vehicles
and energy storage present a bullish case for lithium.

The project comes with an historic, non-43-101 resource of 15 million barrels of brine containing 96,000 tons of sodium, 158,000 tons of potassium (302,400 tons of potassium chloride), 5,750 tons of lithium (30,535 tons of lithium carbonate), 157,000 tons of calcium and 147,000 tons of magnesium (576,450 tons of magnesium chloride).

Prima has yet to verify the data, which the company isn’t treating as a current resource.

Approximately 20 oil exploration wells have been drilled on the 1,683-hectare property, five of which have analytical data for lithium, according to the announcement. Lithium occurs “in an over-saturated brine (40% minerals, 60% water) and was discovered during oil exploration when drill wells intercepted Bed #31 of the Paradox Formation.”

Bed #31 is around 1,683 metres deep, consisting of 9.15 metres of shale, anhydrite and dolomite, Prima stated. “The bed is not part of any oil reservoir. Engineering reports from the 1960s conclude that the brine reservoir is extensive [over 25 square kilometres] and is recharged from fresh inflows as indicated by well pressure measurements, drawdown tests and oxygen-deuterium isotopes.”

Prima intends to review well logs, undertake chemical analysis and reprocess seismic data focusing on mineral brine to evaluate reservoir potential prior to re-entry of shut-in wells.

Prima shareholders will vote in March on a proposed 1:5 share rollback. Subject to approvals, the company would acquire Green Energy by reimbursing Zimtu Capital TSXC:ZC $10,000 in acquisition costs and issue Mesa Exploration TSXV:MSA 1.5 million post-consolidation shares within five days of TSXV approval and another 1.5 million shares within the following year.

The company also proposes a private placement of up to 15 million post-consolidation units at $0.05 for up to $750,000. Each unit would consist of one share and one transferable warrant, with each warrant exercisable for $0.075 during the first year and $0.10 during the second year. Funds would go to Green Energy exploration and general administrative purposes.

The company also announced debt settlement agreements with creditors. Subject to TSXV approval, Prima would issue 15.82 million post-consolidation shares at a deemed price of $0.05 to settle $791,000.

With Tesla/Panasonic’s Gigafactory one of three lithium-ion battery megafactories expected in the coming years, along with expansions to existing plants, lithium figures prominently among the niche minerals required for consumer electronics, electric vehicles and energy storage. Read more.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 1st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 1, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Saskatchewan’s number two for mining jurisdictions worldwide

The province has held a top 10 position for at least five years, but last week Saskatchewan reached second place in a global survey of miners and explorers. The Fraser Institute study released February 24 rated jurisdictions for a number of factors, with the most important attributes making up the Investment Attractiveness Index. There sits Saskatchewan, second only to Finland.

The index considers responses for two separate categories, giving a 60% weight to geology and 40% to public policy. As Macdonald-Laurier Institute managing director Brian Lee Crowley told ResourceClips.com, reserves aren’t much good without policies that allow responsible development. Some comments quoted by the Fraser Institute bear that out.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to February 27, 2015

A province founded on agriculture, Saskatchewan became one of
the world’s leading mining jurisdictions thanks to geology and policy.

“In Saskatchewan, ‘Duty to Consult’ is the responsibility of government, not the company. Something like the Ring of Fire fiasco in Ontario would not happen in Saskatchewan.”

“Good geoscientific support and permitting procedures which allow for timely planning and efficient support from provincial administration in addressing land access and Amerindian issues.”

“Saskatchewan is open to uranium exploration.”

Speaking to the Regina Leader-Post, survey director Kenneth Green said, “In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims.”

More good words came from provincial Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Clearly, there is a very good resource here in the province, whether it’s in potash, uranium or other minerals that we mine here in Saskatchewan,’’ the Leader-Post quoted him. “We’ve been able to create a business climate here in Saskatchewan that’s positive. There’s a good workforce in Saskatchewan, a trained workforce, as well.’’

Four other Canadian jurisdictions made the top 10 for investment attractiveness. Additionally the survey showed a significant improvement in Canada’s median score on the Policy Perception Index.

Read more about Canada’s performance in the global mining survey.

Download the survey.

NexGen adds third high-grade section to Rook 1’s Arrow zone

Having discovered another high-grade section of the Arrow zone with Rook 1’s best angled hole yet, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE assigned new names to the project’s features. A1, A2 and A3 designate three mineralized shears trending northeast to southwest. The latest hole, AR-15-39, found composite mineralization totalling 89.15 metres within 436.5 metres that started at 433.5 metres in downhole depth. Scintillometer readings above 10,000 counts per second coincided with “dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” the company stated February 24.

The results, from a handheld device that scans drill core for gamma radiation, are no substitute for the still-pending assays. Readings of 10,000 cps or more are called “offscale” due to the limitations of a previous model.

Drilled at a -70 dip between AR-15-37 and -38, the new hole went offscale for seven metres at A2, reinforcing “the continuity of semi-massive to massive pitchblende” in that shear. A3 revealed another 9.75 offscale metres, representing “a 200-metre down-dip extension from high-grade uranium assay intervals in drill holes AR-14-08 and -13,” NexGen added.

One week earlier the company released two holes extending mineralization 81 metres southwest along strike from Rook 1’s best hole so far—angled or vertical and “amongst the best drill results” in the Athabasca Basin.

Both holes revealed “significant dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” with AR-15-37 giving composite radiation readings for 76 metres within a 264.5-metre section beginning at 405 metres in downhole depth. That included an offscale composite of 9.35 metres.

AR-15-38 showed composite mineralization of 82.35 metres within a 247.5-metre section starting at 474 metres, with a composite 4.5 metres above 10,000 cps.

NexGen also reported its third rig began drilling 400 metres northeast along Arrow’s strike. That’s where a radon-in-lake-water anomaly, 480 metres long by 20 to 150 metres wide, is “optimally situated along the southeast-dipping VTEM conductor [and] projected to reach the unconformity.”

As of February 24, drilling hit mineralization in 37 of 39 Arrow holes, with 5,519 metres of the 18,000-metre winter program complete. The zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization as shallow as 100 metres and as deep as 817.5 metres in vertical depth.

Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.

Ever modest, NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said the zone “is quickly becoming a significant discovery on a world scale with relatively very few holes drilled.”

Fission hits high grade west of Triple R resource

Sunday’s not the usual day to release news of this nature. But March 1 begins PDAC 2015, so what better time to assert bragging rights? Whatever the reason, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU chose the day to announce a radioactive find 555 metres west of its Triple R deposit. The news reinforces interest in R600W, the most westerly of Patterson Lake South’s four zones, where five previous holes showed only low-grade mineralization.

Scintillometer readings for land-based hole PLS15-343 showed 65.5 metres of radiation starting at 105.5 metres in downhole depth, including a continuous 8.85 metres over 10,000 counts per second “with peaks up to 52,900 cps at shallow depth,” the company reported. A second radioactive interval of four metres began at 342.5 metres.

As explained in the NexGen item above, scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Readings above 10,000 cps are often called “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

Technical problems terminated the hole at 368 metres “in moderately altered semi-pelitic gneiss,” Fission stated.

R600W’s strike runs 30 metres with a north-south lateral width up to about 20 metres. The project’s four zones extend for a 2.24-kilometre potential strike along the PL-3B conductor. The two middle zones, R00E and R780E, comprise the Triple R resource that shook the market in January. In mid-February Fission announced nine holes that expand R780E, by far the project’s largest zone.

The $10-million, four-rig winter agenda calls for 35 holes on Triple R and R600W, along with 28 holes on regional targets, for a total of about 20,230 metres.

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources bolsters its Basin portfolio

Now with 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has enlarged what was already one of Saskatchewan’s largest exploration portfolios. New acquisitions announced February 20 include two land packages in the southeastern Basin’s Key Lake area, which gave up over 200 million pounds of uranium by 2002 and still hosts the Key Lake mill.

One of the area acquisitions, the KLR property, features “a significant number of historic conductors within basement rock types and at least two unexplained radiometric anomalies,” Lakeland stated. Sampling of surface rocks and lake and stream sediment brought results up to 691 ppm uranium. Historic drilling revealed 0.12% U3O8 across 0.1 metres. The new turf complements Lakeland’s existing Key Lake-region properties.

Six new claims sit adjacent to Lakeland holdings in the southwestern Basin’s Carter Lake area. The company also gained ground in the Mathews Lake area, north of Lake Athabasca and within basement rocks of the Beaverlodge Domain.

The Carson Lake property lies beyond the Basin’s northeastern margin but within the Wollaston Domain, which hosts most of the Basin’s currently operating mines.

South of the Basin, along the highly prospective Cable Bay shear zone, Lakeland picked up Black Birch East. Historic work on the 26,389-hectare property “showed a number of electromagnetic conductors and radiometric anomalies roughly coincident with the CBSZ.”

The acquisitions result from two transactions, subject to TSXV approval. One set of properties costs $40,880 and 1.12 million shares. A set of two other properties calls for $32,636 and 326,350 shares. Both transactions include a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy back for $2 million per property.

In late January the company began drilling its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Other drill-ready projects include Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern margin and Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s.

In December Takara Resources TSXV:TKK took out a 50% option on Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Last year’s private placements brought Lakeland over $5.1 million.

Read more about Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 5th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission strikes 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, delays maiden resource

All assays are in but Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) highly anticipated resource for Patterson Lake South seems to have been put off. The milestone was originally scheduled for this month but in a December 1 statement president/COO Ross McElroy said, “We expect to be able to release preliminary results by early 2015.” Meanwhile the company announced last summer’s final 18 delineation holes, again flaunting the PLS trademark of high grades at shallow depths.

This batch comes entirely from R780E, by far the biggest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike. R780E itself now extends about 164 metres at its widest point and 905 metres in strike, remaining open in all directions. The upcoming resource will focus on zones R780E and R00E.

Some of the best December 1 assays follow.

Hole PLS14-275

  • 0.2% U3O8 over 26 metres, starting at 137.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.26% over 2 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to December 5, 2014

A summer of round-the-clock drilling brought the
final assays prior to Patterson Lake South’s first resource.

  • 0.31% over 9 metres, starting at 171 metres
  • (including 1.96% over 1 metre)

PLS14-276

  • 13.84% over 10 metres, starting at 71.5 metres
  • (including 29.29% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-278

  • 0.48% over 13 metres, starting at 117.5 metres
  • (including 1.17% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-279

  • 0.83% over 30 metres, starting at 131 metres
  • (including 2.09% over 10.5 metres)

  • 1.24% over 6.5 metres, starting at 163.5 metres
  • (including 2.5% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-282

  • 0.4% over 14.5 metres, starting at 251.5 metres
  • (including 1.02% over 4 metres)

PLS14-283

  • 0.54% over 9 metres, starting at 177 metres
  • (including 3.84% over 1 metre)

  • 2.61% over 9 metres, starting at 257.5 metres
  • (including 8.61% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-285

  • 0.96% over 7.5 metres, starting at 287.5 metres
  • (including 2.56% over 2 metres)

  • 0.36% over 15 metres, starting at 299 metres

PLS14-286

  • 7.91% over 21.9 metres, starting at 61.1 metres
  • (including 17.3% over 9.5 metres)

  • 0.42% over 30.5 metres, starting at 86.5 metres

  • 1.49% over 4.5 metres, starting at 96 metres

PLS14-290

  • 3.72% over 64.5 metres, starting at 133.5 metres
  • (including 32.53% over 6.5 metres)

PLS14-293

  • 2.34% over 11 metres, starting at 198.5 metres
  • (including 11.74% over 2 metres)

PLS14-294

  • 0.8% over 10.5 metres, starting at 61 metres
  • (including 1.77% over 4 metres)

  • 0.27% over 21 metres, starting at 111 metres

PLS14-296

  • 0.7% over 33 metres, starting at 174 metres
  • (including 2.21% over 3 metres)
  • (and including 2.2% over 4 metres)

PLS14-297

  • 0.52% over 22.5 metres, starting at 184 metres
  • (including 1.39% over 3 metres)

  • 2.21% over 5.5 metres, starting at 210 metres
  • (including 6.76% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-298

  • 1.51% over 13.5 metres, starting at 246.5 metres
  • (including 2.38% over 5 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

Fission noted that scissor drilling brought “vastly improved strength of mineralization on section 735E.” Oriented opposite to the south-to-north holes, they “provide geometry control and confirmation on the mineralization.” One scissor hole hit the star assay for this batch, 3.72% U3O8 over 64.5 metres, in an area that had previously seen only moderate results, the company stated.

With assays for 22 exploration holes still pending and a winter program in the planning stages, speculation remains on whether the company will spend more time testing the property’s lesser-known areas.

Denison drills 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres at Wheeler River

The final batch of assays from Gryphon’s summer season at Denison Mines’ (TSX:DML) Wheeler River property revealed the zone’s highest grade so far, 22.2% U3O8 over 2.5 metres. Announced December 2, that hole was also the deepest, making down-plunge extensions a priority for the next round of drilling, scheduled to start next month.

As usual, the chemical assays generally show better grades than the previously reported U3O8-equivalents that came from a downhole gamma probe.

Some highlights include:

Hole WR-571

  • 8.8% U3O8 over 2.5 metres, starting at 757.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 1.9% over 1 metre, starting at 761.5 metres

WR-572

  • 2.5% over 1 metre, starting at 651.1 metres

  • 9.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 1.8% over 1 metre, starting at 714.5 metres

  • 2.1% over 1 metre, starting at 717.5 metres

WR-573D1

  • 22.2% over 2.5 metres, starting at 768 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 779 metres

WR-574

  • 5% over 2 metres, starting at 665 metres

  • 1.5% over 1 metre, starting at 675.5 metres

  • 14.6% over 2 metres, starting at 696.5 metres

WR-581

  • 2.7% over 2 metres, starting at 626.5 metres

The company estimates true widths at about 75%.

Wheeler River’s summer program comprised 20 holes totalling 14,937 metres, all of it at or near the newly discovered Gryphon zone.

Meanwhile, as a result of metallurgical testwork from the project’s Phoenix deposit, “a high-purity yellowcake product was produced that met all ASTM C967-13 specifications,” Denison stated. The sample grade was 19.7% U3O8, close to the average for Phoenix, which hosts 70.2 million pounds indicated.

The company closed a $14.99-million private placement in August.

With a 60% interest in Wheeler River, Denison acts as project operator. Cameco Corp TSX:CCO holds 30% of the 11,720-hectare southeastern Athabasca Basin property, leaving JCU (Canada) Exploration with the other 10%.

Lakeland Resources boosts portfolio, offers $1.88-million private placement

All acquired by staking, four new properties and five property expansions announced by Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK on November 19 increase the company’s portfolio by 40,218 hectares in and around the Basin.

The five expansions cover targets identified by historic data. Among the highlights is the 4,753-hectare addition to Lazy Edward Bay, which underwent extensive field work last summer. Now totalling 31,128 hectares, the project features eight exploration trends, many of them drill-ready. Other additions came to Lakeland’s Riou Lake, Hawkrock Rapids, Small Lake and Fedun Lake properties.

Of the new land, the 1,508-hectare Carter Lake property covers part of the Carter Lake Structural Corridor, parallel to the Patterson Structural Corridor hosting the discoveries of Fission and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE.

If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO of Lakeland Resources

Cable Bay, a 1,077-hectare property on the Basin’s southern rim, benefits from extensive geophysics showing a trend of graphitic meta-sedimentary rocks in the basement, below 10 metres or less of Athabasca sandstone.

The 6,479-hectare Highrock property on the Basin’s southeastern margin features a moderately strong conductor that has yet to see follow-up work.

Extending beyond the Basin’s eastern rim, the 8,889-hectare Wright River project underwent an airborne survey showing a radiometric anomaly in the property’s centre. Regional lake sediment samples have graded up to 61 ppm.

Early new year plans include a 1,500-metre program on Star/Gibbon’s Creek, two adjacent properties forming one project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Also drill-ready are Lazy Edward Bay and, east of Star/Gibbon’s, Newnham Lake. More funding is expected from a $1.88-million private placement announced December 4.

“There’s not that much ground left to be had in the Basin,” Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “Most of what we see as quality ground is not available. If you look back to 2006 and 2007, there were probably 60 to 70 juniors active in the Basin. Right now you’ve got about 20. So if we do see this [price] resurgence continue, we’ll have that opportunity to link up with JV and strategic partners and get as many drills turning as we possibly can.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

NexGen plans 18,000 metres for Rook 1, updates other properties

Funded by an $11.5-million private placement that closed last month, NexGen plans a three-rig, 18,000-metre program to start in January. Work will focus on Rook 1’s Arrow zone and along strike to the northeast and southwest, but will also test some of the project’s regional targets, the company stated on December 3. An infill ground gravity survey will precede the drilling.

Now complete are airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys over Rook 1 as well as additional nearby land that has had little or no previous mention from NexGen, the “SW2 property portfolio which includes Bishop 1 and 2, Meanwell and R-7 claims.” Winter plans include a radon-in-water survey.

NexGen also updated what it calls its “SW3 project portfolio (Rook 2, Sandhill and Dufferin).” Rook 2 and Sandhill underwent airborne gravity surveys. Dufferin got airborne VTEM and magnetometer surveys, as did the eastern Basin Madison and 2Z Lake properties.

Rook 1 covers all the southwestern Basin’s major uranium-bearing conductor corridors, according to the company. Still pending are assays from 16 summer holes on Arrow. In October the company claimed one of the Basin’s best-ever drill results.

UEC reports 77% increase in Burke Hollow’s inferred resources

Seven trends at Uranium Energy Corp’s (NYSE MKT:UEC) Burke Hollow project in Texas now have total inferred resources of 2.9 million tons averaging 0.09% for 5.12 million pounds U3O8. About 14,152 metres of drilling in 526 holes were used to calculate the 77% increase. UEC has three additional areas of the property under consideration for drilling.

Burke Hollow, potentially an in-situ recovery operation, has an application for a radioactive material licence and mine permit currently under review.

The 7,824-hectare project lies about 80 kilometres from the company’s Hobson processing plant, the centrepiece of UEC’s “hub and spoke” properties. The portfolio includes the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad ISR development project and nearly two dozen exploration projects, two in Paraguay and the rest in the western U.S. The company released a preliminary economic assessment for its Anderson uranium project in Arizona last September, as well as a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado last April.

On December 2 UEC stated it secured US$5.6 million of surety bonds to replace the same amount in reclamation deposits for future decommissioning. The bonds “require cash collateral of $1.7 million, allowing for the release of $3.9 million of previously restricted cash to the company.”

Last March the company received a two-year extension on a $20-million loan.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 31st, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to October 31, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission hits 8.53% over 24 metres at Patterson Lake South

The 600th company to graduate from the Venture to the big board since 2000,
Fission Uranium opens the TSX on October 30. (Photo: TMX Group)

 

Fission hits 8.53% U3O8 over 24 metres at Patterson Lake South

A second batch of assays hit the streets October 27 from Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) Patterson Lake South summer program, the final drill season before a maiden resource due in December. Thirteen holes from the R780E zone showed mineralization at shallow depths, some with very impressive results. Several holes broaden the zone’s lateral width at different locations up to about 93 metres north and 38 metres south, and also extend the depth. Still the focal point of PLS, R780E remains by far the largest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open at both ends.

Some of the best results follow:

Hole PLS14-253

  • 1.33% U3O8 over 16.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 3.57% over 5.5 metres)

  • 1.65% over 5 metres, starting at 155 metres
  • (including 5.37% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-254

  • 0.62% over 13 metres, starting at 169 metres
  • (including 2.42% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-256

  • 1.76% over 39.5 metres, starting at 61.5 metres
  • (including 3.16% over 8 metres)
  • (and including 6.22% over 3.5 metres)

  • 1.17% over 11.5 metres, starting at 104 metres
  • (including 3.99% over 2.5 metres)

PLS14-257

  • 5.02% over 5 metres, starting at 256.5 metres

PLS14-259

  • 4.21% over 38.5 metres, starting at 132 metres
  • (including 23.53% over 6 metres)

  • 2.77% over 13.5 metres, starting at 205 metres
  • (including 6.95% over 4 metres)

PLS14-261

  • 1.43% over 42.5 metres, starting at 58 metres
  • (including 5.91% over 9.5 metres)

  • 0.74% over 26 metres, starting at 104 metres
  • (including 2.42% over 6 metres)

PLS14-263

  • 1.85% over 8 metres, starting at 234 metres
  • (including 6.63% over 2 metres)

PLS14-264

  • 0.27% over 22.5 metres, starting at 191.5 metres

  • 0.37% over 19.5 metres, starting at 216.5 metres

PLS14-270

  • 0.56% over 16 metres, starting at 164.5 metres
  • (including 1.44% over 4.5 metres)

PLS14-271

  • 8.53% over 24 metres, starting at 78 metres
  • (including 24.87% over 7.5 metres)

  • 0.55% over 28.5 metres, starting at 105.5 metres
  • (including 2.02% over 3.5 metres)

True widths weren’t provided.

These results bring the total to 42 holes reported. Assays for another 18 delineation holes and 22 exploration holes are pending. The previous batch of summer assays, released earlier this month, included the project’s strongest intercept so far.

Lakeland Resources ready to drill Star/Gibbon’s project, confirms drill-ready targets at Lazy Edward Bay

A busy summer has moved two Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK projects to the drill-ready stage, one of which will see a rig working as soon as winter conditions allow. Announced October 28, a 1,500-metre program on the adjacent Gibbon’s Creek and Star properties follows positive results from surface sampling and a DC-resistivity survey, some of the Athabasca Basin’s highest RadonEx readings and confirmation of a radioactive boulder field grading up to 4.28% U3O8.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to October 31, 2014

A structural lineament connects this radioactive boulder field with
two other mineralized systems on the Star/Gibbon’s Creek properties.

The two properties on the Basin’s north-central rim host a regional, multi-staged, structural lineament immediately west of the Star Uplift, a basement outcrop about 350 metres by 700 metres, that extends south to the Gibbon’s Creek boulder field about three kilometres away. In addition an east-west resistivity low, interpreted as an alteration corridor, has been found near an historic intercept of 1,500 parts per million uranium.

Surface sampling at the uplift found a gold trend that also revealed platinum group elements, rare earths and anomalous low-grade uranium. Follow-up drilling will test the trend and examine basement geology as it relates to the Gibbon’s Creek targets, Lakeland stated.

With depth to the unconformity ranging from 50 to 250 metres, the company anticipates an economical program of shallow drilling. Roads and power lines cross the property, which lies a few kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids.

The company wholly owns Gibbon’s Creek and holds a 100% option on Star.

Meanwhile exploration at Lazy Edward Bay has confirmed the project’s drill-ready targets, as well as its prominence in Lakeland’s portfolio. Field work on two areas of the 26,375-hectare property on the Basin’s southeastern edge revealed anomalous rock samples, soil samples and RadonEx readings, the company announced October 30.

The Liberty Trend consists of an approximately five-kilometre-long conductive zone intruded by diabase dykes. Near a radioactive spring reported earlier in October, two boulders graded 537 ppm and 896 ppm U3O8, also showing anomalous levels of the pathfinder elements arsenic, cobalt, chromium, nickel and lead.

Two nearby soil samples returned uranium values of 13.7 ppm and 14.8 ppm, along with 2,920 ppm arsenic, 119 ppm cobalt and 112 ppm nickel. An outcrop sample farther south showed low-grade uranium and was also enriched in copper, cobalt and zinc, the company added.

The significance of the Liberty Trend “appears to be a rare combination of favourable geochemistry, geophysics and surface rock samples anomalous in radioactivity coupled with a series of radioactive springs within a complex structural setting,” said Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “This confluence of geologic features attests to the potential of this area to host a large mineralizing system.”

The project’s Bay Trend underwent 150 soil samples over a 789-sample radon-in-soil grid. The samples showed several anomalous geochemical results coinciding with previously identified basement conductors. This year’s work further refines the conductors.

Results from both the Liberty and Bay trends confirm high-priority drill-ready targets and Lazy Edward’s place among “the most promising early-stage exploration projects that Lakeland has assembled, which include the Gibbon’s Creek, Star and Newnham Lake properties,” Armes said.

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Fission 3.0 stakes new ground, joins Brades on Clearwater West fall campaign

Seven new acquisitions, along with expansions to four other properties, bring the Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU portfolio up to 17 projects totalling 232,088 hectares, all in the Basin area except one in Peru. The expansion came through staking, the company announced October 29.

Karpinka Lake, a 3,072-hectare property 40 klicks south of the Basin, features at least 14 historic uranium occurrences. The most significant “consists of a series of five discontinuous low-grade zones of stratabound uranium mineralization,” Fission 3.0 stated.

Midas, a 1,476-hectare property near Uranium City, has five known uranium occurrences including an historic intercept of 0.19% U3O8 over 9.6 metres.

On the Basin’s north-central rim, the 1,678-hectare Hearty Bay property sits up-ice from a boulder train that graded up to 3% uranium.

Eighty kilometres south of the Basin’s southeastern margin, the 5,745-hectare Hobo Lake property has had historic lake sediment samples showing anomalous uranium. South of the Basin but north of Hobo Lake, the 1,213-hectare Costigan Lake property benefits from a 2005 airborne radiometric survey that found anomalous radioactivity associated with conductors.

Just beyond the Basin’s southern edge, the 1,866-hectare River Lake “has potential to host outliers of sandstone cover, which is the favourable host rock for unconformity and perched styles of uranium mineralization.”

East of the Basin’s northeastern margin, the 2,412-hectare Flowerdew Lake underwent airborne geophysics in 2005, finding “moderate to strong formational electromagnetic conductors trending northeast.”

A 1,024-hectare addition to Beaver River covers an extension of the property’s EM conductors and includes two historic uranium showings. Cree Bay got another 5,252 hectares of contiguous turf along the prospective Black Lake shear zone. Grey Island grew by 1,271 hectares over a strong EM conductor. Thompson Lake added 577 hectares, also covering the extension of a conductor.

On October 15 Fission 3.0 and Brades Resource TSXV:BRA announced fall plans for their Clearwater West joint venture. The program calls for mapping, prospecting and a DC resistivity survey to follow up on radiometric anomalies identified last May. Brades holds a 50% option on the 11,835-hectare project, where Fission 3.0 acts as operator. Read a review of the companies’ announcement by Geology for Investors.

Winter drilling planned for Azincourt/Fission 3.0’s Patterson Lake North

Patterson Lake North’s agenda calls for a $1.5-million, 3,200-metre winter program, JV partner Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ announced October 21. Work will follow up on last summer’s drilling, targeting the property’s A1-A4 conductor area and two untested areas, the N conductor trend and the Broach Lake conductor system.

The 27,408-hectare property lies adjacent to and north of Patterson Lake South. Fission 3.0 acts as operator. Azincourt, which currently holds a 10% stake, said its $1.5-million winter expenditure will complete the $3-million year-two requirement, raising its total to 20%. The option allows Azincourt up to a 50% interest.

The company also stated it distributed the Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL stock resulting from that company’s acquisition of Azincourt’s Peruvian properties (read more here and here). Shareholders got “the equivalent of $0.09 per Azincourt share, based on the recent Macusani share price.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 13 to 19, 2014

by Greg Klein

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NexGen ends season with high-grade assays from Rook 1

A summer of largely successful drilling has come to a close at NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) Rook 1 project. Patterson Lake South’s neighbour got 33 holes totalling 18,885 metres, with 24 of the holes focusing on the Arrow zone. Radiometric results for the final two holes, released September 17, confirm the 515-metre strike for a zone that’s 215 metres wide and open in all directions. At the same time NexGen released the season’s first batch of assays, which the company said confirms mineralization indicated by previously reported radiometrics.

The last two holes were sunk vertically 15 metres northeast and southwest from the project’s previously released “landmark.” One hole found intersections totalling 123.9 metres of mineralization (not true width), with the shallowest intercept starting at 328.15 metres in vertical depth. The other showed a composite total of 107.9 metres of mineralization starting at 186 metres in depth.

These results come from a hand-held device that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. They’re no substitute for assays, which have yet to come for most of the season’s holes.

But assays for six earlier holes also released September 17 correlate well with the previously reported radiometric results, NexGen stated. Some highlights include:

Hole RK-14-31

  • 0.13% U3O8 over 28.2 metres, starting at 292.5 metres in downhole depth
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 13 to 19, 2014

  • 0.38% over 5.55 metres, starting at 618.1 metres

  • 0.29% over 3.9 metres, starting at 639.1 metres

  • 5.91% over 1.3 metres, starting at 650.8 metres

Hole RK-14-32

  • 0.17% over 7.6 metres, starting at 502.2 metres

  • 0.65% over 1.35 metres, starting at 514.3 metres

Hole RK-14-34

  • 0.12% over 96.75 metres, starting at 181.25 metres

  • 6.56% over 1.2 metres, starting at 540 metres

  • 0.12% over 3.7 metres, starting at 606.3 metres

  • 0.67% over 3.6 metres, starting at 621.9 metres

Hole RK-14-35

  • 0.21% over 2.85 metres, starting at 524.35 metres

  • 0.9% over 3.3 metres, starting at 600.55 metres

Hole RK-14-37

  • 0.1% over 7.5 metres, starting at 386.5 metres

  • 0.12% over 13.5 metres, starting at 401 metres

  • 1.08% over 18.25 metres, starting at 456.8 metres

  • 1.96% over 3.05 metres, starting at 482.4 metres

  • 2.66% over 0.65 metres, starting at 499.3 metres

  • 1.24% over 2 metres, starting at 505.45 metres

  • 1.31% over 11.85 metres, starting at 522.4 metres

  • 0.17% over 5.8 metres, starting at 541.2 metres

  • 5.35% over 4.6 metres, starting at 569.6 metres

Hole RK-14-39

  • 0.9% over 3.55 metres, starting at 540.7 metres

True widths were unavailable.

Thirty of 32 holes sunk on the Arrow zone over two seasons have shown mineralization. But not so with the project’s regional drilling, where five holes proved barren. The company still hopes they’ll show pathfinder elements.

Boasting a working capital of $6.5 million, NexGen’s now planning its winter campaign.

Uranium Energy Corp releases PEA for Anderson project

An Arizona project amenable to conventional mining and heap leach recovery would require low capital costs to produce a total of 16 million pounds of uranium over 14 years, according to a preliminary economic assessment announced September 16 by Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC.

Quoting all amounts in U.S. dollars, assuming a uranium price of $60 and using a 10% discount rate, the study calculated the Anderson project’s after-tax net present value at $76.4 million and the internal rate of return at 42%. With uranium at $65 a pound, the NPV comes to $101.1 million with a 50% IRR.

The initial capex comes to $43.9 million with an additional $8 million for four years of pre-production including development drilling, designing the mine and heap leach operation, as well as permitting. Another $87.6 million would be needed through years four to eight as the operation makes the transition from open pit to highwall and underground mining.

Heap leach recovery would produce a resin which would be processed at Energy Fuels’ (TSX:EFR) White Mesa mill in Utah.

The project has indicated resources showing 15.5 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent for an open pit and another 1.5 million pounds underground. The inferred resources have 2.5 million pounds eU3O8 in the pit and 9.5 million pounds underground.

Future studies will examine vanadium as a byproduct.

UEC operates the Palangana in-situ recovery mine, Hobson processing plant and advanced-stage Goliad and Burke Hollow projects in Texas. Last April the company completed a PEA for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. UEC holds over 20 projects in the western U.S. and two more in Paraguay.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 13th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 6 to 12, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission fattens main zone at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continues to widen Patterson Lake South’s R780E, where all the zone’s 54 summer holes so far have hit mineralization. Of 11 released September 8, one hole has extended the zone’s lateral width to more than 164 metres at one point. Two others confirm the previous merger of R780E with R1155E, formerly the next zone to the east.

That stretched R780E to 930 metres of continuous strike. It remains the largest of four zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 6 to 12, 2014

As usual with scintillometer results, a disclaimer applies. These readings come from a hand-held device that measures drill core radiation in counts per second. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

The standout of this batch was hole PLS14-286, which showed a composite of 97.2 metres of mineralization (not true width) that started at 60.8 metres and stopped at 173 metres in downhole depth.

Some other highlights included PLS14-276, which revealed 75 metres composite mineralization between 69.5 metres and 279.5 metres in depth. PLS14-283 gave up a composite 82 metres between 115 metres and 355 metres in depth.

While the summer program focuses on delineation for a December resource, last month’s widening of the main zone prompted Fission to add 10 step-outs totalling 4,700 metres to a seasonal campaign now expected to sink 73 holes for 25,000 metres. Still to come are assays for 12 of last winter’s 92 holes.

UEX plans 10,000-metre program after reviewing Hidden Bay’s historic data

A project that’s seen over four decades of exploration will get a $2.5-million, 10,000-metre winter campaign thanks to today’s better understanding of the Athabasca Basin’s basement-hosted deposits. Five target areas at UEX Corp’s (TSX:UEX) Hidden Bay property have been chosen following the first review of historic data, which includes a database of 1,800 holes. Less than a quarter of them reached more than 25 metres below the unconformity, demonstrating “the historic unwavering focus of previous exploration operators in the search for classic unconformity deposits and sandstone depths of zero to 175 metres,” according to a September 8 statement.

Two of the target areas show clay alteration in the basement, less than 75 metres from surface, similar to that of the Cameco Corp TSX:CCO/JCU (Canada) Millennium deposit. One clay alteration zone shows anomalous uranium over several metres both within the zone and in adjacent drill holes, UEX added. The company intends to analyze core from six other targets in the coming year.

The relatively recent grasp of basement-style deposits has led other companies to review historic work too, as is the case with Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) Newnham Lake project.

UEX’s 57,000-hectare eastern Basin Hidden Bay holds three deposits totalling:

  • indicated: 10.37 million tonnes averaging 0.16% for 36.62 million pounds U3O8

  • inferred: 1.11 million tonnes averaging 0.11% for 2.71 million pounds

In June the company reported drill results from the Laurie and Mirror River projects, part of a joint venture held 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by operator AREVA Resources Canada. Last April UEX released six holes from Black Lake, a JV with Uracan Resources TSXV:URC. UEX last updated its Shea Creek flagship, another 49.1%/50.9% JV with AREVA, in November.

On September 11 UEX announced a $2-million private placement. Cameco holds the right to participate to maintain its approximately 21.95% interest in UEX.

McArthur River/Key Lake labour dispute ends

With a tentative collective agreement signed by Cameco and the United Steelworkers, preparations are underway to resume operations at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill. Workers had been off the job since August 29, when the company issued a lockout notice in response to the union’s strike notice. Cameco announced on September 12 that the union would recommend its members vote in favour of the new contract.

The USW represents 535 workers out of about 900 Cameco staff and nearly 750 employees on long-term contracts at the mine and mill.

“The operations were maintained in a safe shutdown state by salaried Cameco employees and unionized personnel under an essential services agreement with the union,” the company stated.

Some commentators credited the dispute for uranium’s convalescing price, which reached $32.75 on September 8.

Cameco holds a 70% interest in the mine and 83% of the mill. AREVA holds the rest.

The previous week Reuters stated work had resumed at the delay-prone Cigar Lake mine, a JV with Cameco, AREVA, Idemitsu Canada Resources and TEPCO Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 23rd, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission widens main zone, plans more step-outs, arranges $12.5-million bought deal

Although infill drilling has been the priority for Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) summer program, two step-outs have widened Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, inspiring a 10-hole addition to the campaign. Radiometric results for nine holes released August 18 include one that extended the zone about 30 metres north and another 15 metres south. All nine holes returned wide mineralization, the company stated.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 9 to 22, 2014

R780E is the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open to the east and west.

These results, which are no substitute for assays, come from a handheld scintillometer that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second. Last month Fission replaced its old model, which maxed out at 9,999 cps, with a new-fangled gadget capable of measuring up to 65,535 cps. But the company still refers to anything above four nines to be “off-scale.”

By that standard several intervals were well off-scale, with a few reaching past 60,000 cps.

Another innovation introduced last month is barge-based angled drilling, allowing a better understanding of the geometry of mineralization beneath the lake. Encouraged by the widening of R780E, Fission plans another 10 step-outs. That adds 4,700 metres to a summer agenda now expected to total 25,000 metres in 73 holes.

There seems to be little worry about paying for all that. On August 18 Fission announced a $12.52-million bought deal that’s expected to close around September 23. Roughly three months later comes the maiden resource’s due date.

Winter assays reported August 13 further boosted confidence in R780E, while a summer exploration hole released two days earlier showed interesting radiometric results 17 kilometres away. Read more.

NexGen steps out to widen Rook 1’s Arrow zone

If any company can compete with Fission’s top spot as the Athabasca Basin’s number one newsmaker, it might be next-door neighbour NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. Four “aggressive” step-out holes have extended the company’s Rook 1 Arrow zone from 180 metres to 215 metres in width for a zone that’s 515 metres in strike and open in all directions. The northwest-southeast fence of drilling announced August 20 has also revealed “multiple sub-vertical stacked mineralized shear zones” increasing the company’s hopes of finding additional high-grade areas.

One of the five holes failed to find significant mineralization.

Like Fission’s August 18 news, the results come from scintillometer readings that don’t substitute for assays, which are pending.

So far 25 of 27 Arrow holes totalling 15,318 metres have shown mineralization. Another three holes at Area A, however, failed to find anomalous radioactivity. They tested an electromagnetic conductor that NexGen interprets to be PL-3B, which hosts the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources updates three projects, appoints uranium veteran to board

As a busy summer progresses, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK reported a new addition to its board and further work on one of the largest portfolios in and around the Basin. On August 20 the company announced the appointment of director Steven Khan, a veteran of Canadian investment and corporate governance with specific experience in raising funds and forging joint ventures for uranium companies. The next day Lakeland released a progress update for three of its projects.

The projects are Star, Lazy Edward Bay and Fond du Lac on the northern, southern and eastern margins of the Basin respectively. “That’s the shallowest depth—the depth to the unconformity becomes more shallow as you get closer to the Basin’s margin,” explains president/CEO Jonathan Armes. “At Gibbon’s Creek our target depths are between about 80 and 120 metres below surface. We hope the others will fall into that kind of range so we’ll be drilling 150- to 200-metre holes.”

At the Star property, crews from Dahrouge Geological Consulting have just wrapped up six days of sampling and mapping. They picked up some 73 rock samples and 124 soil samples around a basement outcrop that’s shown anomalous concentrations of gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as highly anomalous uranium. The combination suggests a strong hydrothermal system.

“Those are typical pathfinders for uranium in the Basin,” says Armes. “At Patterson Lake South they had gold grades running two or three grams. So with the first pass on our exploration program in late 2013 we had gold grades of four or five grams.”

Lakeland holds a 100% earn-in option on Star, which has year-round road access from the town of Stony Rapids a few kilometres away.

Now that permits have arrived, mobilization to Lazy Edward Bay should begin ASAP, he adds. Under initial scrutiny will be the BAY trend, actually two parallel conductive trends, which will undergo a RadonEx survey. Field crews will also search out boulders or other signs of unconformity-style mineralization.

“We have Lazy Edward drill targets already but a lot of them were defined by yesterday’s technology,” Armes explains. “We’ll use RadonEx and other work to re-interpret the historic data to better define targets.” In all, the property has six known trends.

Lakeland adviser Rick Kusmirski knows the property from his time as president/CEO of JNR Resources. “He dug up some historic data which is very helpful to identify areas to focus on. There’s some historic areas we want to re-visit.”

Also in line for RadonEx is Fond du Lac, initially targeting a coincident geochemical and conductive target. Geologist and Lakeland director Neil McCallum thinks historic work “missed it by a couple of hundred metres,” Armes says.

But while the summer activity continues, he also looks further ahead “from a treasury standpoint as well as our projects. We’re convinced that 2015 is going to see a significant move in uranium prices. If we ever re-visit 2006 and 2007 levels, when there were 50, 60, 70 juniors active, we hope to be ready and get as many drill programs going as possible through the joint venture and prospect generator model, along with any programs we focus on 100% ourselves.”

[Khan’s JV work with Sumitomo and Kepco] was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.—Steven Khan, director
of Lakeland Resources

Just one day before the exploration update, Lakeland announced Steven Khan’s appointment as director. His background includes key positions with uranium companies Energy Fuels TSX:EFR, Strathmore Minerals and Fission Uranium’s predecessor, Fission Energy. He helped found the latter company, holding the role of executive VP. Khan served as president/chairperson of Strathmore Minerals until last year’s takeover by Energy Fuels, where he stayed on as a director until recently.

Khan played an instrumental part in the negotiating team that brought Japan’s Sumitomo Corp into a JV on Strathmore’s Roca Honda project in New Mexico. He also helped bring the Korea Electric Power Corp into two other JVs, with Strathmore on the Gas Hills project in Wyoming and with Fission, leading to the Waterbury Lake discovery.

Khan has nearly 20 years of experience in all aspects of the Canadian investment industry, including fundraising for early-stage private and public companies.

A confluence of factors convinced him to join Lakeland, he says. “I’ve had a long-term relationship with some of the company’s principals and I’ve always been interested in returning to the Athabasca Basin arena after I left Fission Energy in 2010. Strathmore was more focused on the U.S., where I spent the last number of years. That combination of moving back to the Basin, working with a group of people I respect and seeing a number of properties that have potential presented an opportunity for me.”

He says his work with Sumitomo and Kepco “was certainly a great experience in negotiating and concluding contracts, and working with them on the joint management committees. That built long-term relationships but also gave me insight into the Asian psyche and some of the issues they have to deal with.”

Khan thinks Asian companies might revive their previous interest in early-stage explorers. “Before Fukushima they were attracted to earlier-stage projects like Fission had at the time, as well as more advanced projects like those of Strathmore in the U.S. When uranium prices come back I think they’ll be forced to return to earlier-stage projects because most of the advanced projects will have been tied up.”

As for uranium’s current price, “its resurgence has been muted and is taking longer than expected. But I think that in the medium to longer term, demand will certainly outstrip supply.”

“I’m quite excited about getting involved with the Lakeland team and I think the opportunity for the sector is attractive,” Khan emphasizes. “I think there’s going to be more Athabasca Basin discoveries and that bodes well for companies like Lakeland that are properly positioned and properly financed. So for me the timing is good and the interplay of several factors is favourable.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 14th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 7 to 13, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

For the $123 million spent on it so far, the project has a resource showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and 19.22 million pounds inferred. It also has an underground exploration permit issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. But Quebec’s moratorium on uranium activity has finally caused Strateco Resources TSX:RSC to shut down its Matoush camp in the province’s Otish Basin. Now with a $1.4-million financing that the company hopes will save its TSX listing, Strateco’s focusing on a Saskatchewan project acquired from Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Strateco turns to Saskatchewan while Quebec uranium inquiry comes under fire

Now mothballed, Strateco’s Matoush project has a 2012 resource
showing 7.78 million pounds U3O8 indicated and
19.22 million pounds inferred.

In a June 12 announcement, Strateco attributed Matoush’s cost-cutting closure to Quebec’s refusal to issue an exploration permit. Some of the project’s facilities and equipment have been sold. The company has already launched legal action over the permit refusal.

Strateco also closed a private placement to try to prevent a TSX delisting. The company raised $1.4 million from Sentient Executive GP IV, an insider.

Meanwhile a Strateco subsidiary, SeqUr Exploration Inc, issued just under 15 million Strateco shares to take on the Jasper Lake package, a 60% option on four eastern Athabasca properties totalling 45,271 hectares that Strateco negotiated with Denison late last year. SeqUr also closed a $100,000 private placement with Sentient. The subsidiary plans exploration “in the coming months.”

Two days before the Strateco announcements a Quebec inquiry into uranium mining and exploration was challenged again, this time by a group of 70 “scientists and professionals from industry and academia.” In an open letter distributed June 10, the group questioned the inquiry chairperson’s neutrality as well as the utility of the proceedings.

Quebec’s environmental watchdog, le Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), began hearings last month in a process expected to last 12 to 18 months. Until a decision is made whether to allow uranium activity, the moratorium imposed in March 2013 remains in effect. But Labrador, Greenland and Queensland have “recently lifted moratoria that they now perceive as unjustified,” the group maintained.

Calling Louis-Gilles Francoeur’s appointment as chairperson “perplexing,” the open letter stated, “Throughout his career, Mr. Francoeur has tended to echo uranium industry critics. The BAPE is an institution founded on the principle of absolute neutrality. What would become of the BAPE’s credibility if a former mining executive were appointed chairman of the commission?”

Francoeur was selected during the province’s previous Parti Quebecois government.

“Exploration for and development of any mineral, including uranium, cannot go against the public interest,” the group pointed out. But, the signatories argued, “We are heading into a process that was borne of uranium fear-mongering fuelled by an archaic and biased view of the mining industry.” They questioned whether the hearings, with a price tag they peg at over $2 million, “should even be held.”

Quoting November 2013 poll numbers, the group said Saskatchewan’s uranium industry has the support of about 80% of the population, “including 76% of people in the communities and reserves of northern Saskatchewan, where the uranium mines are found.”

The group also noted some environmentalists support nuclear energy, as indicated by “the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme and free from suspicion of complicity with industry.”

The 70 concluded that the industry already faces strict regulations. “It is impossible for any uranium deposit to be developed, and then mined, without the project meeting the most stringent standards and being subject to public hearings,” they stated. “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a globally recognized agency with no ties to industry, sets the standards and has permanent monitoring and, if needed, enforcement powers over all nuclear industry activities.”

The communique follows a similar challenge last month by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association. The organization called for Francoeur to be replaced, describing his previous statements on the subject as “prejudicial and non-scientific.” A coalition of Quebec natives, doctors and environmentalists, however, have argued for an outright ban on the industry.

Last month Strateco, which has previously stated its intention to take part in the BAPE inquiry, threatened legal action should Quebec not replace Francoeur.

Denison closes acquisition of International Enexco

Its takeover by Denison complete, International Enexco delisted on June 10. Expansionist Denison now holds former Enexco assets in the eastern Athabasca Basin consisting of a 30% interest in Mann Lake and an additional 20% in Bachman Lake, giving Denison full control over the latter project. The company now shares the Mann Lake joint venture with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%).

A spinco gets Enexco’s U.S. non-uranium properties including the Contact copper project, which approaches pre-feasibility in Nevada.

The transaction went through without the public acrimony that initially ensued when Denison snatched Rockgate Capital from its proposed merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA late last year. At the time, Denison stated its intention to spin out its foreign assets and concentrate on the Athabasca Basin.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Cameco suspends Millennium mine proposal

Declining uranium prices have forced Cameco Corp TSX:CCO to postpone its Millennium mine proposal. On May 16 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated a public hearing for a licence application scheduled for June had been adjourned at Cameco’s request. A brief message on the company’s website blamed “poor economic conditions in world uranium markets.”

Figures from 2009 credited the project with an indicated resource of 46.8 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) averaging 4.53% uranium. A 2013 environmental impact statement forecast an initial 10-year lifespan, but anticipated extensions if further resources were found. Ore would have been shipped 36 kilometres south to the Key Lake mill, held 83% by Cameco and 17% by AREVA Resources Canada.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

Although just last month Cameco expressed optimism in uranium’s
long-term outlook, the company blamed market conditions as it
withdrew its Millennium licence application.

Uranium prices have continued their slide to new record lows. Although there’s no spot price for the metal, UX Consulting’s most recent indicator, published May 12, came to $29 a pound.

In last month’s Q1 report, Cameco expressed optimism about the long-term outlook, expecting “an increase in annual uranium consumption from today’s 170 million pounds to about 240 million pounds” over the next decade.

In March Cameco finally put its Cigar Lake mine into production, nine years after construction began and 33 years after its discovery.

The CNSC left the door open for Cameco to make a future request that its licence application be considered by the commission, which would then call a public hearing.

Fission Uranium hits 30 metres of 2.58% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU unloaded assays for eight more holes from Patterson Lake South on May 13, all of them from the R780E zone. This week’s star, PLS14-158, marks the eastern-most R780E hole for which assays have been released, boosting the company’s optimism in the deposit’s eastward potential. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-141

  • 0.72% U3O8 over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.04% over 3 metres)

  • 0.77% over 6 metres, starting at 187.5 metres
  • (including 2.31% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-143

  • 0.26% over 14 metres, starting at 145 metres

  • 0.41% over 5 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-144

  • 0.79% over 19 metres, starting at 127.5 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.46% over 7.5 metres, starting at 151.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
  • (including 1.43% over 1 metre)

  • 2.07% over 3 metres, starting at 208 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-148

  • 1.83% over 3.5 metres, starting at 154.5 metres
  • (including 2.9% over 2 metres)

  • 0.63% over 5 metres, starting at 192.5 metres

PLS14-149

  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

PLS14-150

  • 2.94% over 7 metres, starting at 219 metres
  • (including 5.58% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.22% over 19.5 metres, starting at 285.5 metres

PLS14-157

  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

PLS14-158

  • 0.72% over 8 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • 2.58% over 30 metres, starting at 152 metres
  • (including 22.02% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 8.57% over 5 metres)

  • 6.85% over 10 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 12.23% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.53% over 4.5 metres, starting at 253.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t provided. R780E is the middle of five zones, and the largest of all five, along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open both to the east and west. With assays released for 30 winter holes so far, lab results are pending for approximately 62 more.

Although winter exploration drilling fell short of exciting, the season’s focus was on infill drilling to define a maiden resource that will—on some unspecified date—debut to an intensely curious audience.

Powertech files Kyrgyzstan resource held 80% by proposed merger partner, updates South Dakota licence challenge

Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE has filed an inferred resource for the Kyzyl Ompul licence in Kyrgyzstan, the company announced on May 13. The 42,379-hectare project is held 80% by Azarga Resources Ltd, which plans to merge with Powertech. The resource uses a 0.01% cutoff to show 15.13 tonnes averaging 0.022% for 7.51 million pounds U3O8 inferred.

Powertech described the Kok Moinok main zone as about 700 metres along an east-west strike, 600 metres north-south and 10 to 30 metres in depth. The report also included two conceptual exploration target area estimates.

Although Powertech acknowledged that access to the project was blocked by political unrest in 2005 and 2010, the company maintained that “the main risk factors at this stage are commodity prices….”

Last year Kyrgyzstan managed to fall a few spots to the very bottom of the Fraser Institute’s policy perception index and achieved near-bottom rankings for several other categories in the annual poll of mining professionals. But a May 7 Financial Post article by Peter Koven pointed out that despite public opposition, social unrest and ongoing government policy threats, Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan mine “continues to run and churn out cash.”

The Kyzyl Ompul licence expires at the end of 2015. Read more about the Powertech/Azarga merger here and here.

On May 14 Powertech updated events following a challenge to its operating licence for the company’s Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota. In oral hearings the previous day, opponents questioned procedures followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine the importance of possible native religious sites in the area.

As the hearings continue, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether Dewey-Burdock’s licence becomes effective or remains on hold until a formal hearing in August. Read more about the licence challenge.

MPVC begins drilling Maguire Lake target at NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun at MPVC Inc’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced May 14. While winter conditions persist, a diamond drill will focus on Maguire Lake. Preliminary radon measurements from the lake reported the previous week were, to the company’s knowledge, second only to PLS for a water-based survey. MPVC will also bring in a rotary air blast drill, which is intended to test shallow targets quickly.

With ground gravity survey results now in hand, the company has filled in gaps between three earlier sets of data, extending previously identified gravity lows and discovering new gravity lows.

To earn 80% of the 143,603-hectare project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 10th, 2014

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

by Greg Klein

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Paladin releases Labrador infill results, plans Q2 resource update

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

Hole M14-151

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

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

Hole M14-154

  • 0.14% over 15 metres, starting at 214 metres

  • 0.13% over 8 metres, starting at 256 metres

Hole M14-156

  • 0.095% over 12 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole M14-158

  • 0.096% over 16 metres, starting at 191 metres

Hole M14-162

  • 0.102% over 28 metres, starting at 348 metres

Hole M14-163

  • 0.114% over 9 metres, starting at 355 metres

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

Michelin’s resource currently shows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports initial Preston drill results

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

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

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

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

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

Anfield collects Colorado claims

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

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

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

European Uranium refines portfolio sale, intends to pursue other assets

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

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

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

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

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

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