PART 2: Athabasca Basin and Beyond
Click here to read PART 1: Athabasca Basin and Beyond
Lakeland picks up four properties, drops eight others
Reinforcing its reputation as a “pure play uranium exploration company” focused on the Basin, Lakeland Resources [V.LK] announced four more acquisitions on June 5.
Among the company’s first priorities are two optioned properties untested by modern exploration techniques. The 211-hectare South Pine project sits adjacent to Lakeland’s Riou Lake property in the northern Basin. Pre-1982 work found a 2.5-kilometre basement conductor and non-43-101 drill results up to 0.15% U3O8 over 0.13 metres immediately above the unconformity. In the northeastern Basin, the 1,681-hectare Perch Lake property hosts a four-kilometre basement conductive trend and an unexplained uranium radiometric anomaly, the company stated.
Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in these two properties by paying $70,000 and issuing 1.5 million shares over three years. The vendor retains a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy for $1 million, and the right to royalty payments of $10,000 after Lakeland has earned its interest.
The two staked properties total 1,892 hectares along the Basin’s eastern margin. Richmond Lake features a moderate-strength conductor and a geological setting similar to eastern Basin deposits like McClean Lake, the company stated. Jasper Lake also contains a moderate-strength conductor but has seen little exploration.
At the same time the company announced it’s pulling out of a February 26 letter of intent to pick up eight other Basin properties due to “risk associated with a third-party claim.”
Mega and Rockgate propose merger
A marriage of Mega Uranium [T.MGA] and Rockgate Capital [T.RGT] would combine their respective teams, bank accounts, investments and assets, the companies stated on June 6.
Their LOI proposes a 10-for-1 consolidation of Mega shares prior to the merger. The deal would then swap 2.2 consolidated Mega shares for 10 Rockgate shares, representing a 36% premium over Rockgate’s 20-day volume-weighted average. As a result, Rockgate and Mega shareholders would hold about 49% and 51% respectively of the combined company. Consummation is expected by September.
Rockgate hopes to finish a pre-feasibility study for its Falea uranium-silver-copper deposit in southwestern Mali by year-end. Work resumed in April after staff waited out insurgent violence in the country’s northeast. A December resource update shows:
- measured and indicated categories totalling 15.67 million tonnes averaging 0.086% U3O8, 55 grams per tonne silver and 0.22% copper
- an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% U3O8, 18 g/t silver and 0.24% copper.
Mega brings to the merger three Australian projects with resources, as well as earlier-stage properties. Now undergoing feasibility, Lake Maitland’s resource shows an indicated category of 18.9 million tonnes averaging 0.049% and an inferred category of 1.92 million tonnes averaging 0.037% U3O8.
Undergoing pre-feas, Ben Lomond hosts 1.33 million tonnes averaging 0.27% indicated and 600,000 tonnes averaging 0.21% inferred. Considering grade and a “substantial molybdenum credit,” Mega calls this “one of the highest value-per-tonne uranium resources outside the Athabasca Basin.”
The Georgetown project’s Maureen deposit shows 3.12 million tonnes averaging 0.09% indicated and 150,000 tonnes averaging 0.11% inferred. Mega holds other properties in Australia, Canada and Cameroon.
The companies say the merger will leave the new entity with about $22 million in cash and a uranium-focused investment portfolio worth around $12 million.
Kivalliq discovers new zone at Angilak
Nunavut explorer Kivalliq Energy [V.KIV] reported scintillometer readings from the newly discovered ML zone at its Angilak property on June 4. Gamma ray particles for one interval measured between 200 and 30,000 counts per second over 1.3 metres in true width at 60 metres in vertical depth. Three other holes drilled in the same conductor, however, found no radioactivity. Nevertheless the company stated “closer-spaced drilling is warranted on this mineralized structure.”
CEO Jim Paterson called the ML zone “Kivalliq’s second drilling discovery this season and the twelfth such discovery within the highly prospective Lac 50 trend since 2010.”
Located 225 kilometres south of Baker Lake, Angilak has a March 2013 inferred resource of 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% U3O8, Canada’s highest-grade deposit outside the Athabasca Basin. Kivalliq operates the project in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
UEX pumps up Shea Creek budget, closes $3.17-million private placement
Within hours of filing its Shea Creek resource update on June 4, UEX Corp [T.UEX] announced a $2-million increase to the project’s summer budget. Now a $5.1-million campaign, the extra cash will fund some 4,000 metres of drilling in the Kianna East zone and the northern part of the Kianna deposit. Previously budgeted was 5,000 metres south of the Anne deposit and, already underway, geophysics in the northern Colette and southern Anne areas. Two drills begin turning this month.
UEX pays $3.52 million of the $5.1 million, with operator AREVA Resources Canada paying the rest. UEX currently holds 49% of the JV, with an option to increase that to 49.9% by spending an additional $18 million over six years.
One day after announcing the $2-million increase, UEX announced completion of a $3.175-million private placement that opened May 24. Cameco waived its right to take part.
Uranerz gets $6-million bridge loan for Wyoming mine
A short-term financing of US$6 million will help Uranerz Energy [T.URZ] continue building its Nichols Ranch uranium mine in Wyoming. The company plans to repay the money on receiving a $20-million loan that’s been approved in principle by the state’s Industrial Development Revenue Bond program, Uranerz reported on June 7.
The $6 million comes with 6% interest, increasing to 10% if it’s not repaid by August 15, 2013. The lenders also get 1.6 million warrants exercisable for 30 months at US$1.60 and 400,000 additional warrants exercisable if the loan remains outstanding after August 15. The company may accelerate the expiry date if its stock closes over $2.75 for 20 consecutive trading days.
Uranerz plans to begin in-situ recovery mining in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin this year. The company has a processing agreement with Cameco and off-take contracts with two American nuclear energy producers.
Athabasca Nuclear closes second tranche of $138,000
On June 6, the same day the former Yellowjacket Resources began trading as Athabasca Nuclear [V.ASC], the company announced a fresh influx of money. A private placement’s second tranche brought in $138,000, in addition to the first-tranche $310,160 announced May 30. The company hopes to rake in a total of $600,000 by closing a third and final tranche in the coming week.
The dough goes into Saskatchewan uranium exploration and general working capital.
Uranium Participation NAV up 2.3%
On June 4 Uranium Participation Corp [T.U] announced its May 31 estimated net asset value was $595.9 million or $5.60 a share, up from $582.3 million and $5.48 a share the previous month.
The company’s portfolio consisted of 7.25 million pounds U3O8 and 2.37 million kilograms of uranium hexafluoride (UF6).
The U3O8 cost the company $342.5 million but had a May 31 market value of $303.58 million. The UF6 cost $390 million, with a market value of $283.52 million.
The company provides “an investment alternative for investors interested in holding uranium. Denison Mines Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Denison Mines Corp [T.DML], is the manager of Uranium Participation Corporation.”
AREVA agreements reaffirm Japanese commitment
In Tokyo French giant AREVA announced a number of agreements demonstrating Japan’s ongoing commitment to nuclear energy. On June 7 AREVA pledged to work with Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd on the commercial start-up of the Rokkasho-Mura used fuel recycling plant. AREVA will also contribute expertise to the construction of a Japanese fuel fabrication plant based on AREVA’s technology.
Additionally the company signed an agreement with ATOX Co Ltd to pursue “innovative solutions primarily destined for the rehabilitation of the Fukushima site and region,” AREVA stated.
On June 4 the company signed an accord with Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy to improve nuclear power plant safety.
Present at the June 7 ceremony were Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande. Among other subjects, they discussed continued co-operation to export nuclear technology. The talks followed last month’s $22-billion deal in which AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries won the right to build Turkey’s second nuclear energy plant.
Click here to read PART 1: Athabasca Basin and Beyond