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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 28 to July 11, 2014

by Greg Klein

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NexGen extends Arrow’s reach at Rook 1

The first six summer holes at the Rook 1 project’s Arrow zone have more than doubled the potential strike, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE stated July 7. Radiometric measurements extended the 215 metres determined by eight winter holes to a potential 470-metre strike open in all directions.

Although assays have been released for the winter program, the company bases its summer results on radiation readings from a gamma spectrometer and a gamma probe. The results are no substitute for assays, which are pending.

Some of the highlights include hole RK-14-37, which totalled a composite 8.1 metres of “off-scale” radioactivity straining the spectrometer’s limit of 9,999 counts per second. The drill hit 17 anomalous intercepts totalling a composite 78.05 metres of mineralization within a 227.8-metre section beginning at 378 metres in downhole depth.

RK-14-34 found 29 intercepts totalling a composite 100.6 metres of mineralization within a 627.9-metre section that started at 221.4 metres in depth.

RK-14-31 found 35 intercepts totalling 125.8 metres of mineralization within a 430.7-metre section beginning at 221.4 metres in depth.

True widths weren’t provided. All six Arrow holes, which totalled 4,324 metres, showed visible mineralization. One hole is still in progress.

About 200 metres away, the Dagger area took in four holes totalling 1,349 metres without showing anomalous radioactivity. In addition to further Arrow drilling, “preparations have been made for regional drilling to continue at Area K (Dennis Lake),” the company stated.

Rook 1 straddles the southwestern rim of the Athabasca Basin, on the northeastern border of Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Fission Uranium drills 12.35% U3O8 over 13.5 metres, 4.68% over 25 metres at PLS

More high-grade assays from Fission Uranium continue to build Patterson Lake South’s R780E zone, focus of the highly anticipated maiden resource scheduled for December. Of nine holes released July 2 from last winter’s infill drilling, all showed mineralization. A half dozen brought especially impressive results. Some highlights include:

Hole PLS14-170

  • 0.35% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 58 metres, starting at 135.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.2% over 5.5 metres)
Fission drills 13.5 metres of 12.35%, 25 metres of 4.68% at Patterson Lake South

With 39 winter holes still to report,
Fission Uranium has embarked on
a 63-hole summer campaign.

  • 0.31% over 12 metres, starting at 202 metres

  • 2.9% over 20 metres, starting at 217.5 metres
  • (including 8.35% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 260 metres

Hole PLS14-174

  • 0.8% over 25 metres, starting at 105 metres
  • (including 3.45% over 1.5 metres)
  • (and including 2.8% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 4.39% over 1.5 metres)

  • 0.87% over 13.5 metres, starting at 135 metres
  • (including 9.24% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-175

  • 0.7% over 21 metres, starting at 120.5 metres
  • (including 3.35% over 2.5 metres)

  • 0.38% over 26 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 1.44% over 2.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-178

  • 0.12% over 25.5 metres, starting at 135.5 metres

  • 0.19% over 15 metres, starting at 164.5 metres

Hole PLS14-179

  • 2.99% over 1 metre, starting at 184.5 metres

  • 2.25% over 8.5 metres, starting at 244 metres

Hole PLS14-180

  • 0.44% over 21 metres, starting at 136.5 metres
  • (including 3.45% over 2 metres)

  • 4.68% over 25 metres, starting at 165 metres
  • (including 18.56% over 5.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-186

  • 12.35% over 13.5 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • (including 23.41% over 7 metres)

  • 1.52% over 2.5 metres, starting at 175 metres

  • 0.9% over 7 metres, starting at 188 metres
  • (including 3.61% over 1.5 metres)

True widths weren’t provided. With five PLS zones stretching east-west along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike, Fission Uranium stated these results show “the continued strong nature of uranium mineralization as the R780E zone moves eastwards.”

Still to come are assays for 39 holes from the 92-hole winter campaign. One week before unloading this latest batch of results, the company announced a 20,330-metre, 63-hole summer program that would eat $12 million of this year’s $28-million budget. As was the case last winter, most of the drilling will focus on delineation for a December resource.

Gold, PGEs and REEs suggest a “robust hydrothermal system” at Lakeland Resources’ Star uranium project

Recently compiled data shows potential for a regional hydrothermal system on Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) Star uranium property, adjacently north of the company’s Gibbon’s Creek joint venture. That’s the verdict for samples taken last year, which assayed for gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as uranium.

The Star property covers “a quasi-circular basement uplift,” a feature considered “an ideal location for the development of uranium occurrences associated with the unconformity or sub-unconformity of the Athabasca Basin,” the company stated July 8.

One outcrop sample assayed 5.7 grams per tonne gold, 0.36 g/t platinum and 0.39 g/t palladium. Another showed 1.8 g/t gold, 0.08 g/t platinum and 0.12 g/t palladium.

A sandstone boulder revealed 257 ppm uranium and 0.3% total rare earth oxides, including 1,216 ppm dysprosium and 321 ppm yttrium. Another outcrop sample showed 6.9% TREO, predominantly light REE-enriched.

The assays further indicate potential for a regional hydrothermal system as “demonstrated by intense alteration associated with historic uranium mineralization within the Gibbons Creek property located immediately to the south,” Lakeland stated. “Within the Athabasca Basin, there are a number of projects where highly anomalous precious metals and/or rare earth elements occur in spatial relation to uranium deposits and/or mineralization. Examples of such mineralization include the Nicholson Bay and Fish Hook Bay uranium-gold-platinum group elements occurrences, and the MAW zone-Wheeler River occurrences.”

The Star project’s now slated for a near-term mapping and sampling program. Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in the property by paying $60,000 and issuing 600,000 shares over 12 months. The vendor retains the option of a 25% buyback for four times Lakeland’s exploration expenses.

Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has an option to earn 70% of the adjacent Gibbon’s Creek JV, which has shown boulder samples grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

With an acquisition announced late last month, Lakeland now holds interests in 17 properties totalling 164,316 hectares in and around the Basin.

GoviEx debuts on CSE, orders enviro/social assessment for Niger project

The company began public trading just last month but GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU has been advancing its Madaouela project in Niger since 2008. On July 2 the company announced contracts to complete an environmental and social impact assessment expected to “culminate the detailed feasibility study and environmental work already undertaken.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 28 to July 11, 2014

Backed by Toshiba and a Cameco subsidiary, GoviEx’s
Madaouela project in Niger moves towards feasibility.

As of March 2013 Madaouela’s seven deposits showed resources totalling 22.92 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8) measured, 75.3 million pounds indicated and 24.1 million pounds inferred. Included are probable reserves of 25,300 tonnes.

Five of the deposits “have been developed to pre-feasibility level of confidence,” the company states.

The July 2 announcement quoted GoviEx chief executive Daniel Major, “Through the use of proprietary technologies never before used in Niger, our project team has presented a commercially viable project and one that seeks to limit its impact on the environment with a particular focus on limitation of dust, reduction in water usage and commercialization of the molybdenum byproduct resource.”

Executive chairman Govind Friedland’s bio lists a number of accomplishments even after he took part in the 1996 Voisey’s Bay discovery. Friedland went on to graduate from the Colorado School of Mines, provided business development services to Ivanhoe Mines and Ivanhoe Energy, and co-founded Ivanhoe Industries. Yes, he’s the son of that Friedland.

Two Niger mines operated by AREVA produce 7.5% of global supply, ranking the country as the world’s fourth-largest producer. While the government supports mining, the industry has been plagued by terrorist kidnappings and a bombing.

Fission 3.0, Azincourt report scintillometer results from PLN

One of four summer holes at Patterson Lake North shows anomalous radioactivity, JV partners Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ reported July 7. Two intercepts of 0.5 metres and 7.5 metres (not true widths) showed variable readings up to 1,450 counts per second on a hand-held scintillometer. Assays are pending.

The hole, PLN14-019, “is still in progress at 258 metres, although no further intervals of mineralization are expected,” the companies stated. The three other holes “intersected anomalous hydrothermal clay altered intervals, associated with structurally disturbed sections. This further highlights the partners’ confidence of the prospectivity and potential of the A1 conductor to host high-grade uranium mineralization.”

This summer’s five-hole program will total about 1,600 metres. Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 27,408-hectare property, where Azincourt has a 50% earn-in.

Last April the companies reported that winter drilling failed to find radioactivity but did “confirm the high prospectivity of the target areas.”

In late May Azincourt and Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL stated they would extend to June 15 a letter of intent to consolidate their Peruvian assets. That date passed without further announcement. (Update: The companies announced a definitive agreement on July 14.)

Those properties surround a project held by Fission 3.0, which holds interests in nine others in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Along with JV partner Brades Resource TSXV:BRA, Fission 3.0 announced VTEM results from their Clearwater West project in May.

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Gold, REEs, PGEs suggest “robust hydrothermal system” at Lakeland Resources’ Star uranium project

July 8th, 2014

by Greg Klein | July 8, 2014

Recently compiled data shows potential for a regional hydrothermal system on Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) Star uranium property, adjacently north of the company’s Gibbon’s Creek joint venture. That’s the verdict for samples taken last year, which assayed for gold, platinum group elements and rare earth elements, as well as uranium.

The Star property covers “a quasi-circular basement uplift,” a feature considered “an ideal location for the development of uranium occurrences associated with the unconformity or sub-unconformity of the Athabasca Basin,” according to Lakeland’s July 8 statement.

Gold, REEs, PGEs suggest “robust hydrothermal system” at Lakeland Resources’ Star uranium project

One outcrop sample assayed 5.7 grams per tonne gold, 0.36 g/t platinum and 0.39 g/t palladium. Another showed 1.8 g/t gold, 0.08 g/t platinum and 0.12 g/t palladium.

A sandstone boulder revealed 257 ppm uranium and 0.3% total rare earth oxides, including 1,216 ppm dysprosium and 321 ppm yttrium. Another outcrop sample showed 6.9% TREO, predominantly light REE-enriched.

The assays further indicate potential for a regional hydrothermal system as “demonstrated by intense alteration associated with historic uranium mineralization within the Gibbons Creek property located immediately to the south,” Lakeland stated. “Within the Athabasca Basin, there are a number of projects where highly anomalous precious metals and/or rare earth elements occur in spatial relation to uranium deposits and/or mineralization. Examples of such mineralization include the Nicholson Bay and Fish Hook Bay uranium-gold-platinum group elements occurrences, and the MAW zone-Wheeler River occurrences.”

The Star project’s now slated for a near-term mapping and sampling program. Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in the property by paying $60,000 and issuing 600,000 shares over 12 months. The vendor retains the option of a 25% buyback for four times Lakeland’s exploration expenses.

Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has an option to earn 70% of the adjacent Gibbon’s Creek JV, which has shown boulder samples grading up to 4.28% U3O8 and some of the Basin’s highest-ever radon readings.

With an acquisition announced late last month, Lakeland now holds interests in 17 properties totalling 164,316 hectares in and around the Basin.

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

Ashram advances

May 20th, 2014

Favourable mineralogy helps Commerce Resources move its Quebec rare earth project towards pre-feasibility

by Greg Klein

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On schedule and under budget, winter-spring drilling at Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit in northern Quebec wrapped up last week, bringing one of the world’s largest rare earth projects closer to pre-feasibility. Ashram advances at a time when China’s “costs of producing ‘cheap’ rare earths are becoming increasingly unsustainable in terms of the environment, the availability of reserves, the health of its communities and the political ramifications,” according to a 28-page report by Secutor Capital Management. The study adds that China “is beginning to worry about its own domestic supply, as China is its own biggest customer.”

Favourable mineralogy helps Commerce Resources move its Quebec rare earth project towards pre-feasibility

The Ashram deposit makes Commerce Resources “one of the most
advanced REE juniors in regards to metallurgy which, in the REE space,
is everything,” according to a report by Secutor Capital Management.

That puts an interesting perspective on Commerce, “one of the most advanced REE juniors in regards to metallurgy which, in the REE space, is everything,” Secutor analysts Arie Papernick and Lilliana Paoletti stated. “The Ashram project hosts a substantial resource with a well-balanced rare earth oxide (REO) distribution. The deposit is enriched in light and heavy rare earths, including all five of the critical elements. The mineralogy is simple due to the presence of the minerals monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime, which currently dominate commercial processing. Unlike many of its competitors, Commerce is able to produce a 43.6% total rare earth oxide (TREO) mineral concentrate due to the deposit’s simple mineralogy, allowing significant cost reductions.”

According to Ashram’s 2012 preliminary economic assessment, the extent of those critical elements—neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium—is “unusual in carbonatite deposits and especially those of such tonnage and grade.”

That resource used a cutoff of 1.25% total rare earth oxide to estimate a measured and indicated 29.3 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO, and an inferred 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO.

As the Secutor report emphasized, “REE mineralization is virtually completely contained within the minerals monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime, allowing Commerce Resources to use standard processing techniques. In the REE industry, the ability to use conventional metallurgy and processing is rather unique. Only four REE-bearing minerals out of over 200 have ever supplied the market in a material fashion. These four minerals currently, and historically, dominate commercial REE processing and are host to the REEs at Ashram.”

The 43.6% TREO concentrate, at a recovery of 70.7%, comprises “one of the highest-grade REE mineral concentrates which we are aware of produced by a junior mining company globally.”

It’s considerably higher than that of Ashram’s 2012 PEA, which anticipated reaching a target of 20% TREO at a recovery of 60% to 70% “through an established and commercially proven technology.” Yet the PEA’s base case considered a concentrate grading 10% TREO at 70% recovery.

In the REE industry, the ability to use conventional metallurgy and processing is rather unique.—Secutor Capital Management analysts Arie Papernick
and Lilliana Paoletti

The study used a 10% discount rate to project Ashram’s pre-tax, pre-finance net present value at $2.32 billion and a 44% internal rate of return. The capex, including contingency, came to $763 million with payback in 2.25 years. The PEA envisioned a 4,000-tonne-per-day open pit operating for 25 years—based on just 15% of the total resource.

And although rare earth prices have dropped since 2012, “the project remains robust,” Secutor maintains.

The higher-grade concentrate, with its capex and opex ramifications, is just one of the reasons analysts Papernick and Paoletti see a potentially more impressive pre-feas. Ashram’s infrastructure costs might benefit from proximity to the Lac Otelnuk iron project, 80 kilometres south. A joint venture of Adriana Resources TSXV:ADI and WISCO International Resources Development & Investment, it’s the “largest iron ore deposit in Canada with the potential of becoming one of the largest in the world,” according to Adriana. The project’s 2011 PEA calculated a $12.9-billion capex which included power and, via the link at Schefferville 165 kilometres southeast, railway to the deep sea port of Sept-Iles. Since then the Quebec government has indicated it will only permit a multi-user rail service.

Lac Otelnuk has full feasibility scheduled for completion by year-end.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 15th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 8 to 14, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

With production slated for Q4, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO got the final go-ahead to mine Cigar Lake uranium on June 13. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission issued the mining licence following a 1990s environmental assessment, a stalled construction phase and a one-day public hearing. “The licensed facilities include underground mine workings accessed by two mine shafts, a surface load-out facility, waste management systems, a mine water management system and associated site facilities,” the CNSC stated. Cameco expects jet-boring to begin this summer.

The world’s second-largest known high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake’s bounty holds:

  • proven reserves of 233,600 tonnes averaging 22.31% uranium oxide (U3O8) for 114.9 million pounds U3O8
  • probable reserves of 303,500 tonnes averaging 15.22% for 101.8 million pounds.

Those reserves give Cigar Lake a 15-year lifespan. With full production expected in 2018, it’s expected to give up 18 million pounds annually.

Cameco’s Cigar Lake granted mining licence

A Cameco crew installs freeze pipes at Cigar Lake
to protect against seeping water and leaking radiation.

The peak of construction could employ up to 500 workers, while production would require about 250 people. Jet-boring will extract the highly radioactive material using water pressure to carve underground caverns and push an ore slurry to underground grinding and thickening circuits, then to surface. The ground first must be frozen to prevent water seepage and radiation leakage. Processing will take place at the McClean Lake mill, 69 kilometres away.

Construction actually began in 2005. But the project hit delays due to flooding in 2006 and 2008. Cameco finally dewatered the workings in 2010 and restored the underground infrastructure the following year.

Located near Waterbury Lake on the Athabasca Basin’s eastern margin, Cigar Lake is a four-way joint venture in which project operator Cameco holds 50.025%, AREVA Resources Canada 37.1%, Idemitsu Canada Resources 7.875% and TEPCO Resources 5%. Another JV, the McClean Lake mill is held 70% by operator AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines TSX:DML and 7.5% by OURD Canada.

Pele Mountain increases Eco Ridge inferred U3O8 136%, REO 130%

Replacing a previous uranium-rare earths resource in the project’s July 2012 preliminary economic assessment, Pele Mountain Resources TSXV:GEM released a June 10 update for its Eco Ridge project in Elliot Lake, Ontario. The resource now shows:

  • an indicated category of 22.74 million tonnes averaging 0.045% U3O8 and 1,606 parts per million total rare earth oxides for 22.55 million pounds U3O8 and 80.51 million pounds REO, or 49.83 million pounds U3O8-equivalent
  • an inferred category of 36.56 million tonnes averaging 0.047% U3O8 and 1,554 ppm REO for 37.62 million pounds U3O8 and 125.25 million pounds REO, or 81.84 million pounds U3O8-equivalent.

The inferred numbers represent a 130% increase in total REO and a 136% jump in U3O8. The indicated category rose 10% in both REO and U3O8. The update shows “substantial increases in critical REO resources including neodymium, dysprosium, yttrium, terbium and europium oxides, as well as in scandium oxide resources,” the company stated.

Pele Mountain added that two higher-grade zones start at surface, which could allow higher-grade production during the first years of mining.

Working in Elliot Lake between 1956 and 1996 Rio Algom, later incorporated into BHP Billiton, and Denison produced over 300 million pounds of U3O8 and significant quantities of yttrium and heavy REO from deposits similar to that of Eco Ridge, Pele Mountain stated. The mining camp is about 160 kilometres west of Sudbury.

Aldrin increases resolution of PLS-area airborne geophysics

Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN will add infill lines to an airborne geophysics survey already underway over the Patterson Lake South area. Announced June 12, the decision will increase resolution from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing over conductive anomalies found on the company’s 12,001-hectare Triple M property. Aldrin interprets the anomalies as linear basement conductors over three kilometres long, parallel to a magnetically defined fault.

The company holds a 70% option on Triple M, which sits nine kilometres south and 11 kilometres west of the PLS discovery. High-grade, near-surface results from the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW/Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU 50/50 JV excited interest in the area in and around the Basin’s southwestern rim. The helicopter-borne VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey already underway is a joint project that’s flying contiguous properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC (formerly Yellowjacket Resources TSXV:YJK), Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC and Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH. Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each hold a 25% earn-in option on Skyharbour’s properties.

Aldrin stated the infill lines will help locate drill targets for early winter 2014.

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Commerce reports Quebec REE PEA of $763M CAPEX, 44% IRR, $2.32B NPV, 10% Discount Rate, 2.25-yr Payback, 25-yr Life

May 24th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningCommerce Resources Corp TSXV:CCE announced a preliminary economic assessment for the Ashram Rare Earth Element Deposit on its Eldor Property in the Labrador Trough of northeast Quebec. The study projects a 4,000-tonne-per-day open-pit mine with a pretax/pre-finance payback period of 2.25 years, a CAPEX of $763 million (including a 25% contingency amount), a pretax/pre-finance internal rate of return of 44%, a pretax and pre-finance net present value of $2.32 billion (at a 10% discount rate) and a 25-year mine life.

The operating cost is estimated at $95.20 per tonne treated or approximately $7.91 per kilogram of rare earth oxide produced. Annual production is estimated at an average of 16,850 tonnes REO over the life of the mine, including 2,870 tonnes neodymium oxide, 96 tonnes europium oxide, 26 tonnes terbium oxide, 106 tonnes dysprosium oxide and 440 tonnes yttrium oxide.

President/CEO David Hodge commented, “The PEA displays robust economics for the Ashram Deposit and recommends the next steps for the economic evaluation of this very large and highly strategic resource. The high NPV derives partly from the value of the Ashram material in that it is enriched with all five of the critical REEs, namely neodymium, europium, dysprosium, terbium and yttrium. Management believes that significant benefits will be further realized during the next phase of metallurgy based on the test work completed to date, given the deposit’s simple mineralogy and history of successful commercial processing of Ashram’s three host minerals. We look forward to initiating the prefeasibility study to demonstrate this.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
David Hodge
President/Director
866.484.2700
604.484.2700

Read a feature story about Commerce Resources

Read an interview with David Hodge.

Disclaimer: Commerce Resources Corp is part of Zimtu Capital Corp TSXV:ZC. Zimtu is a client of OnPage Media, and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu.

by Greg Klein

Elissa expands Nevada Rare Earth Drill Program

March 27th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningElissa Resources Ltd TSXV:ELI announced an expansion of the phase I drilling program at its Thor Heavy and Light Rare Earth Element Project in Nevada. The company has obtained drilling permits for additional targets in the project’s NED Area and a second rig is being mobilized. Drilling so far has examined targets along the 2.5-kilometre Lopez Trend.

The Lopez Trend is a major structural zone with a distinct geophysical signature. The NED Area is one kilometre east of the northern end of the Lopez Trend. Surface samples from both locations contain nearly all the strategic and potentially valuable rare earth elements including four that have been deemed in short supply by the US Department of Energy: neodymium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium. Planning for a phase II drill program is now underway. The company anticipates issuing a single news release summarizing phase I results by 3Q 2012. The project is located 28 kilometres from Molycorp’s MCP Mountain Pass REE deposit and processing facility in California.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Paul McKenzie
President/CEO
604.662.3692

by Greg Klein