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Posts tagged ‘Uranium One Inc (UUU)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 19th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 12 to 18, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Alpha/Fission upgrade R780E zone; final barge drilling shows zones open in all directions

Actual lab assays, not scintillometer readings, show the best results so far from Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, giving it high-grade status similar to the R390E zone. Announced by 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW on October 17, some highlights from hole PLS13-080 include:

  • 6.93% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 43 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 26.73% over 2 metres)
  • (and including 15.63% over 14 metres)

  • 0.28% over 5 metres, starting at 175.5 metres

  • 0.48% over 6 metres, starting at 236.5 metres

  • 1.98% over 2.5 metres, starting at 245 metres

  • 0.16% over 11 metres, starting at 290 metres
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for October 12 to 18, 2013

Alpha Minerals VP of exploration
Garrett Ainsworth surveys a PLS core shack.

True widths weren’t available. The hole reached a total depth of 347 metres, encountering basement bedrock at 54 metres. At an 89-degree dip, downhole depths are close to vertical.

One day earlier the JV reported more scintillometer results, largely the stock in trade of this campaign’s announcements, for the final 10 holes drilled from barges. The hand-held device measures drill core for gamma radiation up to an off-scale reading over 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

The two companies didn’t always report results the same way. Some highlights from Alpha’s chart include:

R390E zone, hole PLS13-104

  • <300 to <9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 98 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 131 metres

R780E zone

Hole PLS13-097

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 49.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

  • 340 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 228.5 metres

Hole PLS13-101

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 17 metres, starting at 179 metres

Hole PLS13-105

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 18.5 metres, starting at 113 metres

Hole PLS13-107

  • <300 to 8,400 cps over 24.5 metres, starting at 138.5 metres

Hole PLS13-108

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 20 metres, starting at 152 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 21 metres, starting at 174.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 6.5 metres, starting at 228 metres

Hole PLS13-109

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 105.5 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 34 metres, starting at 136 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 15 metres, starting at 197 metres

Again, true widths were unavailable. Dips ranged from -85 to -89 degrees.

Alpha noted that the five zones remain open in all directions and continuity is possible between some or all of the “zones.”

The quotation marks might reflect Alpha’s previous doubt that a fifth zone had been confirmed. But elsewhere in the company’s October 16 news release Alpha refers unequivocally to five zones.

Now Fission’s the more cautious partner. Two additional holes stepped out 195 metres grid east of the most easterly zone, R945E. Although mineralization wasn’t strong, Alpha said the results extend the PLS trend by 210 metres to 1.23 kilometres. Fission, on the other hand, said the holes may extend the strike at least 200 metres. Presumably these little differences will be forgotten once Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha, which might take place in November.

Meanwhile the recently extended campaign continues with 11 land-based holes, totalling 3,700 metres, west of the lake.

NexGen finds three mineralized holes at Rook 1, plans winter drilling

With Rook 1’s Phase I now complete, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported probe results for three of 12 widely spaced holes on October 16. Like the scintillometer, the downhole probe measures gamma radiation in counts per second while assays are pending. Some highlights include:

Hole RK-13-03

  • 350 to 508 cps over 0.8 metres, starting at 131.9 metres in downhole depth

  • 345 to 1,143 cps over 0.5 metres, starting at 149.9 metres

Hole RK-13-05

  • 380 to 4,379 cps over 2.7 metres, starting at 215.7 metres

  • 347 to 1,771 cps over 1.7 metres, starting at 219.2 metres

Hole RK-13-06

  • 481 to 2,297 cps over 2.1 metres, starting at 151.8 metres

True widths weren’t available. The three holes targeted three parallel conductors, one of them interpreted to be the same conductor hosting the PLS discoveries 2.1 kilometres southwest.

NexGen plans “a significantly large” winter drill campaign near the mineralized holes and on targets identified by geophysics.

The company’s portfolio includes a 70% option on the northeastern Athabasca Basin Radio project two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits. Assays are pending from Radio’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre program, which wrapped up in July.

Kivalliq to buy Nunavut uranium project in $275,000 deal

On the southern boundary of Nunavut’s Baker Lake Basin, Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV will acquire a 93,991-hectare property from Pacific Ridge Exploration TSXV:PEX. Subject to approvals, the deal has Kivalliq paying $55,000 to Pacific Ridge, issuing the company 600,000 shares at a deemed price of $0.25 and investing $70,000 by purchasing 1.4 million Pacific Ridge units at $0.05. Each unit would consist of one share and one-half warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable at $0.10 for a year, Kivalliq announced October 15.

The 100% acquisition doesn’t include any diamonds found on the property.

Previous work on the Baker Basin project included $7.1 million of exploration in 2006 and 2007. Among the results were:

KZ zone

  • 0.31% U3O8 over 11.5 metres, starting at 79.5 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 0.56% over 5.5 metres)

  • 0.27% over 5.8 metres, starting at 36 metres

True widths were unknown.

Lucky 7 zone

  • 0.3% over 17.3 metres, starting at 232.2 metres

  • (including 0.51% over 9 metres)

True widths were estimated between 50% and 70% of intercepts.

Four zones haven’t been fully evaluated, according to Kivalliq. The company plans to compile project data before planning additional work. The property lies 60 kilometres south of the hamlet of Baker Lake.

About 165 kilometres farther south, Kivalliq’s 137,699-hectare Angilak project has inferred resources of 43.3 million pounds U3O8, 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper. The company reported new geochemical and metallurgical results in September.

Pacific Ridge focuses on projects in the Yukon’s White Gold and Klondike districts.

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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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Ambitiously acquisitive

September 20th, 2013

Consolidation continues throughout the uranium space

by Greg Klein

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

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

Consolidation continues throughout the uranium space

Merger and acquisition activity
continues unabated among uranium companies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 15th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 7 to 13, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Denison updates Waterbury Lake resource, releases Wheeler River assays up to 43.8% U3O8 over 12 metres

Denison Mines TSX:DML confirmed its best-ever hole from the eastside Athabasca Basin Wheeler River project on September 11. Releasing lab assays to back up previously reported radiometric results from downhole probes, the company reported hole WR-525 with 43.8% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 12 metres, starting at 400.5 metres in downhole depth.

With intercepts approximately equal to true thicknesses, some other results include:

  • 20% U3O8 over 8 metres, starting at 407.5 metres

  • 10.9% over 8.5 metres, starting at 404.1 metres

  • 7.3% over 8 metres, starting at 405.5 metres

  • 0.5% over 5 metres, starting at 424 metres

  • 0.4% over 3 metres, starting at 411 metres

  • 0.1% over 3 metres, starting at 412 metres

The above results come from the Phoenix A zone. Apart from lab assays, the company released radiometric readings from probes of three new holes at the same zone:

Hole WR-533

  • 1.5% radiometric equivalent uranium oxide (eU3O8) over 4.5 metres, starting at 407.1 metres in downhole depth

Hole WR-534

  • 10.3% over 3.1 metres, starting at 407.7 metres

Hole WR-535

  • 19% over 2.5 metres, starting at 404.9 metres

  • 1.4% over 1 metre, starting at 408.1 metres

With 23 holes totalling 11,074 metres, Wheeler River’s summer campaign has finished. But while Phoenix A continues to impress, other parts of the project so far haven’t. Of 10 holes sunk in the 489 zone, only one found significant mineralization (0.4% over 3 metres, starting at 411 metres). Five others at the Phoenix North and REA areas also failed to find significant results.

The project has a December 2012 resource using a 0.8% cutoff. Phoenix A shows:

  • an indicated category of 133,500 tonnes averaging 15.8% for 46.5 million pounds U3O8

  • an inferred category of 6,300 tonnes averaging 51.7% for 7.2 million pounds

The Phoenix B deposit shows:

  • an indicated category of 19,000 tonnes averaging 14.1% for 5.9 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 5,300 tonnes averaging 3.5% for 400,000 pounds

The joint venture is held 60% by Denison, 30% by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and 10% by JCU (Canada) Exploration.

On September 12 Denison unveiled a new resource for the J zone of its Waterbury Lake project. The update, entirely in the indicated category, uses a 0.1% cutoff to show 291,000 tonnes averaging 2% for 12.81 million pounds U3O8. The resource reduces the overall tonnage but increases the grade reported in a December 2012 estimate compiled for Fission Energy prior to its acquisition by Denison.

Assays from 268 holes were used for the estimate. With an east-west strike as long as 700 metres and a width up to 70 metres, the J zone generally shows mineralization at depths of 195 to 230 metres, the company reported. No capping was applied because using “high composite values uncut would be negligible to the overall resource estimate,” Denison added. The crew now has a six-hole campaign following up on a DC-resistivity survey northwest along trend of the zone. Denison has a 60% interest in the project, with the Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) holding the remainder.

Denison also updated other Basin projects. Packrat has geochemical results pending, which will determine whether drilling resumes next year. Geochem results are also pending for South Dufferin, where 10 holes failed to find significant mineralization but did confirm the presence of the Dufferin Lake fault system. Crawford Lake, Moon Lake (held 45% by Uranium One TSX:UUU) and Bachman Lake (with International Enexco TSXV:IEC earning 20%) also have small drill programs underway.

Kivalliq reports geochem, metallurgical results for its Angilak property in Nunavut

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 7 to 13, 2013

Currently undergoing a $4.8-million campaign, Kivalliq Energy’s
137,699-hectare Angilak project in southern Nunavut hosts Canada’s
highest-grade uranium deposit outside the Athabasca Basin.

Extensive geochemical sampling has helped Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV find new anomalous areas and determine drill targets on its 137,699-hectare Angilak project in Nunavut. Some 1,538 samples brought 387 anomalous uranium soil geochem results along the three-by-12-kilometre Lac 50 trend, as well as the Nine Iron-KU trend 5.5 kilometres south. Some of the Lac 50 anomalies were found at least 600 metres beyond existing drill holes “demonstrating much more work is warranted in these areas,” the company stated on September 9. Anomalies also coincided with three electromagnetic conductor targets located 3.8 kilometres northeast, 1.8 kilometres southeast and one kilometre north of the Lac 50 resource.

Another EM target extending 8.1 kilometres from the Nine Iron zone to the KU zone showed 44 anomalous results.

Two days later Kivalliq announced positive metallurgical results for Lac 50 and J4 zone samples. In a statement accompanying the release, Chuck Edwards, director of metallurgy for the engineering firm AMEC, said: “Optimizing sulphide recovery, plus improvements to alkaline leach kinetics using oxygen as oxidant, could have a positive impact on reducing costs associated with potential treatment options.”

In addition, Kivalliq announced a trial run suggested radiometric sorting might “efficiently identify and segregate uranium-bearing minerals” from Lac 50.

Located 225 kilometres south of Baker Lake, Angilak has a 2013 exploration budget of $4.8 million. With Canada’s highest-grade deposit outside the Athabasca Basin, the project has a January inferred resource estimate using a 0.2% cutoff to show 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% for 43.3 million pounds U3O8. The inferred resource also shows 1.88 million ounces silver, 10.4 million pounds molybdenum and 15.6 million pounds copper. Kivalliq operates the project in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Alpha/Fission release scintillometer results, extend acquisition letter of intent

Somewhere there must be a considerable backlog of Patterson Lake South core waiting to be assayed. So far this year, 50/50 JV partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW have mostly released scintillometer readings. A preliminary indication of radioactivity, they measure gamma rays in counts per second, up to an off-scale reading above 9,999 cps. The September 12 batch comes from R780E, the third of four zones along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend.

Hole PLS13-082 reached a total depth of 380 metres, finding the basement unconformity at 55.3 metres without striking sandstone. Some results show:

  • <300 to 500 cps over 7.5 metres, starting at 118.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 820 cps over 3.5 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 35 metres, starting at 146.5 metres

  • 1,000 to 4,200 cps over 1.5 metres, starting at 237 metres

Hole PLS13-089 encountered no sandstone and hit the basement unconformity at 54.2 metres on its way to a total depth of 393 metres. Some examples show:

  • <300 to 1,800 cps over 5 metres, starting at 142.5 metres

  • <300 to 3,200 cps over 16.5 metres, starting at 150 metres

  • 740 to >9,999 cps over 1.5 metres, starting at 179.5 metres

  • <300 to 6,500 cps over 8 metres, starting at 198.5 metres

True widths were unavailable. Lab assays are pending.

With 25 holes totalling 7,746 metres complete by September 11, the campaign’s $6.95-million, 44-hole, 11,000-metre program is well advanced. Fission acts as project operator.

On September 13 the partners updated Fission’s proposed acquisition of Alpha. They’ve now extended to September 17 “the date by which the obligations set out in the LOI, including the signing of an arrangement agreement, must be completed.”

Zadar finds radioactive boulders in PLS-vicinity PNE project

With Phase I exploration complete on Zadar Ventures’ TSXV:ZAD PNE project, a scintillometer has found boulders measuring 130 to 405 cps. “The anomalous boulders sampled have basement rock lithologies similar to those reported in the early stages” of Alpha/Fission’s PLS, Zadar stated on September 11. The program also included taking boulder chip samples for assays and placing radon gas detector cups.

Phase II calls for additional scintillometer prospecting and boulder sampling, as well as a survey of more than 350 radon cups. The team also plans to locate the 15,292-hectare property’s single historic hole. PNE lies about 11 kilometres northeast of PLS and adjacent to Patterson Lake North, a 50/50 JV between Fission and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

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asked for more time to consider its proposal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

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

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

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

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 25th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

  • <300 to 5,900 cps over 10 metres

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fission, Azincourt complete airborne geophysics over Patterson Lake North

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The schedule calls for drilling to begin by January.

Skyharbour arranges additional $75,000 private placement

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

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

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

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 18th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

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

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

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

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

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

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

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

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

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

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 11th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 3 to 9, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha report 4 PLS holes, R00E zone still open

So far this summer, three previous step-outs have extended the middle of Patterson Lake South’s trio of zones. On August 8 Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released scintillometer results from four new holes in the southern-most zone, which remains open along strike and width. Along with the results came some interesting speculation about the mineralization.

The hand-held gamma-ray scintillometer readings, which are no substitute for assays, measure radiation from drill core in counts per second. Anything over 9,999 cps is off scale.

A 15-metre step-out testing the western extent of the zone, hole PLS13-074 was drilled to 203 metres in approximate vertical depth, encountering sandstone at 60.9 metres and a basement unconformity at 66 metres:

  • 550 to 1,050 cps over 1 metre, starting at 65 metres in approximate vertical depth
  • 370 cps over 1 metre, starting at 105 metres.
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 3 to 9, 2013

The other three holes tested the zone’s centre. Hole PLS13-076 was drilled to 267 metres in approximate vertical depth, encountering sandstone at 54 metres and the basement unconformity at 61.4 metres:

  • <300 to 2,700 cps over 14 metres, starting at 177.5 metres in approximate vertical depth.

Hole PLS13-077 was drilled to 259.5 metres in downhole depth, encountering sandstone at 56 metres and the basement unconformity at 61.4 metres:

  • 340 to 7,500 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 59 metres in downhole depth
  • <300 to 4,000 cps over 15 metres, starting at 73.5 metres.

Hole PLS13-079 was drilled to 218 metres in downhole depth, encountering no sandstone but hitting the unconformity at 59 metres:

  • 340 to >9,999 cps over 18.5 metres, starting at 82.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5,700 to >9,999 cps over 6.5 metres)
  • 300 to 490 cps over 2 metres, starting at 119 metres.

The 50/50 joint venture partners stated the mineralization “may have been derived from a high-energy erosion of mineralization exposed at the top of a body of basement mineralization on the floor of the Devonian sea. It does not have the characteristics of hydrothermal mineralization such as is seen in the basement mineralization elsewhere.”

Alpha’s news release added, “The Devonian cover appears to be patchy and the uranium boulders in the boulder field down ice did not show any evidence of association with Devonian sandstone lithologies. This is significant as it opens the possibility that the source of the uranium boulders may be located in a nearby window in the Devonian veneer where basement mineralization was scoured by the overriding till sheet as it was pushed towards the west-southwest by the ice. The uranium mineralization encountered to date in the three zones of high-grade mineralization was not the source of the large uranium boulder field down ice.”

The boulder train discovery, announced in summer 2011, brought assays up to 39.6% uranium oxide (U3O8). Since then drilling has attempted to find the motherlode that spawned the glacial migration.

With $6.95 million to spend, the partners continue their 44-hole, 11,000-metre drilling and ground geophysics campaign. Fission acts as project operator until April 2014, when it swaps with Alpha.

UEX releases Shea Creek drill results, updates Douglas River and Hidden Bay

UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced the first five holes from Shea Creek’s summer program on August 6 and also provided updates about its Douglas River and Hidden Bay projects.

Results came from downhole probes measuring gamma radiation, with two holes in the Kianna East zone finding basement mineralization. Hole SHE-142 was drilled to a total downhole depth of 1,056 metres, reaching the unconformity at 726.5 metres:

  • 0.2% uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) over 3.4 metres, starting at 885.3 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.35% over 1.2 metres)
  • 0.34% over 2.9 metres, starting at 907.9 metres
  • 0.85% over 22.3 metres, starting at 915.2 metres
  • (including 1.14% over 8.8 metres)
  • (which includes 5.93% over 1.4 metres).

Hole SHE-142-1 reached 1,083 metres in downhole depth, striking the unconformity at 727.4 metres:

  • 0.23% over 1.6 metres, starting at 939.4 metres.

True widths were unavailable. Hole SHE-142 expands the zone approximately 15 metres east of the previously reported SHE-118-24 that found 1.55% eU3O8 over 19.9 metres starting at 943.7 metres, the company stated. Mineralization remains open east and southeast of SHE-142. Hole SHE-142-1 stepped out approximately 35 metres north of SHE-118-24.

Three holes sunk in the Anne South zone to test a prospective conductor found no significant results. UEX holds a 49% interest in the Shea Creek JV, in which AREVA Resources Canada acts as project operator. The companies have now incorporated their 49%/51% Douglas River JV into the Shea Creek project, saying mineralization extends from Shea Creek’s northern boundary into the contiguous Douglas River property. Shea Creek sits about nine kilometres south of the former Cluff Lake mine, a 22-year operation that produced over 64 million pounds of U3O8.

The Athabasca Basin’s third-largest resource after Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO McArthur River and Cigar Lake, Shea Creek’s April update showed:

  • an indicated category of 2.07 million tonnes averaging 1.48% for 67.66 million pounds U3O8
  • an inferred category of 1.27 million tonnes averaging 1.01% for 28.19 million pounds.

UEX also announced it has shelved its 100%-held Hidden Bay project until spot and long-term uranium prices pick up. In February 2011 the company issued a preliminary economic assessment for the eastside Basin property’s Horseshoe and Raven deposits.

Western Athabasca Syndicate begins PLS-area fieldwork ahead of schedule

Backed by a four-company strategic alliance, fieldwork has begun on the PLS-area’s largest land package. On August 8 Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX announced completion of VTEM plus and radiometric surveys over their Western Athabasca Syndicate Project. After an initial review the companies decided on immediate follow-up work.

The package totals 287,130 hectares, with 275,361 hectares in the vicinity of the Fission/Alpha near-surface, high-grade discovery. On reviewing early survey data, the alliance expanded the survey for a total of 4,840 line-kilometres of VTEM plus and 4,400 line-kilometres of radiometrics to search for conductive anomalies, boulder trains and in-situ mineralization. The surveys focused on the syndicate’s Preston Lake property just south, southeast and west of PLS.

“Originally we were planning on having a field crew up there later in August,” Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble tells ResourceClips.com. “Now we’ve decided to send them up this weekend because we’re very, very encouraged with what we’ve seen initially.”

One area of Preston Lake especially caught their attention. “There were quite a few targets but this one really lit up,” Trimble says. “So we made the decision to expedite the program and begin the fieldwork immediately. We’ll be employing the same techniques that worked for Alpha and Fission.”

While geophysicist Phil Robertshaw works out a more detailed interpretation of the airborne surveys, ground work will consist of water and soil radon sampling, biogeochemistry, lake sediment and soil sampling, prospecting and scintillometer surveying.

“By the end of September or early October we’ll have spent $1.5 million, with each company contributing towards its 25% earn-in. The four companies with their respective geological teams are working harmoniously on this,” he adds.

“We’re now focused on the northern part of Preston Lake, but we have a large land package. As a four-company syndicate we have more ability to finance and explore. There’s certainly a lot of blue sky potential elsewhere on our properties.”

The current phase should last until early October, he explains. “Then we’ll decide what to do in the fall. There’s still a lot of work that can be done that time of year. Obviously we don’t want to drill just anywhere but if we can get definitive drill targets by then, winter would be the ideal time to drill. The earlier we can get these targets, the better. And that’s the goal.”

Combined, the four companies have agreed to fund $6 million of exploration over two years. Athabasca Nuclear acts as project operator.

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate.

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The contradictory commodity

August 9th, 2013

Toll Cross Securities analyst Tom Hope discusses uranium’s predicament and promise

by Greg Klein

Notwithstanding some of the lowest prices in seven years, uranium continues to inspire market optimism. Price forecasts remain bullish, while money pours into exploration and development. Much of the action takes place in northern Saskatchewan where, on the Athabasca Basin’s east side, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO prepares to add Cigar Lake to its producing portfolio. Further west lies a hive of activity for juniors conducting early-stage exploration. On August 6 Toll Cross Securities analyst Tom Hope spoke with ResourceClips.com about the outlook for this energy metal.

A Tokyo night scene shows the city ablaze with lights, currently powered by expensive, imported fossil fuels.

A Tokyo night scene shows the city ablaze with lights,
currently powered by expensive, imported fossil fuels.

What could account for such low prices coinciding with optimistic forecasts? Obviously Japan’s post-Fukushima shutdowns had an enormous effect on supply. The country removed over 50 nuclear reactors from service, out of a worldwide total of about 435.

As Hope suggested in a July 24 Toll Cross Uranium Update, the commodity’s record low might also be explained by a quiet sell-off. “It’s just a supposition,” he emphasizes. “But Japan’s inventory is about 90 million pounds now, which is in my estimate at least 30 million pounds in excess of what they might need if they restart 40 of their reactors. And they must have long-term supply agreements, close to 18 million to 20 million pounds, which must go at least another two to three years. I figure they’ll have at least 60 million pounds of excess inventory over the next three years, which would amount to about 20 million a year. So why wouldn’t they sell it?” he asks.

“They’re spending an extra $9 billion a month on fossil fuels. They’ve got to get cash from somewhere. These are private companies…. I think they’re cutting quiet deals. Who better to cut a quiet deal with than China?”

While uranium observers watch for Japan to spur prices by bringing reactors back into operation, Hope doesn’t anticipate a quick turnaround. So far the country has just one reactor tentatively planned to restart in July 2014. Apart from Japan, Hope sees no other likely near-term price-moving catalysts. But exactly when prices might pick up is hard to predict, he maintains. “In the long term I agree there’s going to be an imbalance, given that it takes eight to 10 years to get a new mine going.”

The actual cost of nuclear fuel is insignificant in the greater scheme of things. Even if it was $200 a pound, it would probably be one of the most economical forms of energy going.—Toll Cross Securities
analyst Tom Hope

But unlike natural gas, for example, the cost of the commodity has little effect on energy prices. “The actual cost of nuclear fuel is insignificant in the greater scheme of things,” Hope points out. “Even if it was $200 a pound, it would probably be one of the most economical forms of energy going.”

While Japan keeps the uranium world waiting, Russia’s state-owned company Rosatom aggressively sells its reactors and fuel to other countries. It’s also picking up Western assets like Uranium One TSX:UUU. That’s raised concerns that the former Soviet power has another agenda, to spread its power over a new group of dependent states. But Hope thinks Russia’s mainly motivated by security of supply. The country would have a long way to go before achieving a monopoly, he says.

Nevertheless, the country’s making its mark internationally. “Russia sells its technology with the guarantee of fuel supply,” Hope says. “They do a package deal. That’s their marketing strategy.” Russia also has long-term supply agreements for European reactors that aren’t of Russian design, he adds.

In the United States, meanwhile, the world’s largest uranium consumer has seen some reactors shut down due to regulatory concerns, while cheap natural gas has recently become popular with utilities. Hope advocates for diversification to guard against commodity shortages. “I think it makes sense for large industrial countries to ultimately have 30% or 40% of their power provided by nuclear,” he says. “The U.S. has about 20%. France has a high proportion of nuclear energy. Japan was around 30% to 35%.”

Looking at supply, “there’s going to be a problem by 2018 if things go as expected,” Hope says. “I think if Fukushima hadn’t happened, there’d be a problem right now or starting next year when the [Highly Enriched Uranium] downblending agreement finishes. I think the big overhang was Fukushima and shutting down 50-odd plants.”

As the world’s second-largest producer, Canada looms large over global supply thanks to the Athabasca Basin’s “huge” significance. “Nowhere else on the planet do you get concentrations of 30%, 40%…. Everywhere else it’s less than 1%. In the Athabasca it’s around 20% most of the time,” Hope says.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 28th, 2013

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

Three holes at the Phoenix A deposit showed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Western Athabasca Syndicate Project.

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

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

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

NexGen expands PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign

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

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

Fission, Azincourt announce summer program for Patterson Lake North

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

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

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

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

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