Athabasca Basin Updated: Saskatchewan Uranium Activity from April 27 to May 10, 2013
Fission/Alpha conduct radon survey at Patterson Lake South
What? Two weeks without assays from Patterson Lake South? No scintillometer readings either? Taking a break from reporting drill results, Fission Uranium [V.FCU] and Alpha Minerals [V.AMW] instead revealed a survey showing “the strongest radon-in-water anomaly to date,” the companies stated on May 6. That result was 13.3 pCl/L, found about 170 metres northeast along strike of the project’s R780E zone.
By the way, pCl/L stands for “picocuries per litre.” But you knew that, didn’t you? Regardless, all those picolitres per whatever suggest good news for a project that based its initial drill targets on these measurements of radon gas, which is released by radioactivity. Those targets found two of three discovery zones featuring the high-grade, near-surface assays that sparked the acquisition rush around the southwestern rim of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin.
Overall the survey found six radon anomalies, in addition to the original five, “all associated with known conductors and offsetting structures.” One anomaly was found as far as 1,500 metres along strike of R780E. The 50-50 joint venture partners now plan summer drilling from barges on the lake and further radon surveys next winter.
Forum, NexGen release NW Athabasca assays
A JV within a JV, Forum Uranium [V.FDC] and NexGen Energy [V.NXE] reported assays on May 9 for their Northwest Athabasca project. Highlights from Zone A show:
- 0.14% triuranium octoxide (U3O8) over 3 metres, starting at 80.5 metres
- 1.34% over 3 metres, starting at 88.5 metres
- (including 1.86% over 1.5 metres)
- (which includes 2.48% over 0.5 metres).
True widths weren’t available.
A result from the Barney zone showed:
- 2.32% U3O8 over 0.5 metres, starting at 169 metres.
Still pending are assays for a 30-metre interval of uranium mineralization at the project’s Otis West zone, the partners stated. Zone A lies on the north side of the Maurice Bay deposit, which has an historic, non-43-101 resource of 1.5 million pounds uranium averaging 0.6% U3O8.
Forum and NexGen may earn 30% each of the project, which would leave Cameco Corp [T.CCO] a 27.5% interest in its JV with AREVA Resources, which holds the remaining 12.5%. Forum acts as project operator. NexGen made its Venture debut on April 23.
Yellowjacket offers $600,000 private placement, plans airborne survey
Having announced a $600,000 offering on April 30, Yellowjacket Resources [V.YJK] followed up on May 10 by saying it expects to begin flying its claims in the Patterson Lake South vicinity later this month. “The airborne survey will cover approximately 2,910 line-kilometres using VTEM-plus, EM and magnetometer arrays, with an additional 1,700 line-kilometres of radiometric sensor coverage,” the company stated. Results are expected in late July.
The private placement would issue up to 5 million units at 12 cents, with each unit consisting of one share and one-half share warrant. Each whole warrant will be redeemable for a share at 20 cents for 18 months. If the shares trade at or above a volume-weighted average of 30 cents for more than 10 consecutive trading days, any unexercised warrants will expire 30 days after the company issues written notice.
Yellowjacket will use the proceeds for its Saskatchewan uranium projects and general working capital. With over 158,000 hectares, the company says it’s the largest claim holder in the Patterson Lake area.
Zadar acquisition approved
Zadar Ventures’ [V.ZAD] 100% option on the Bull Run project cleared TSXV approval, the company reported on May 10. First announced April 17, the 9,185-hectare acquisition consists of three blocks in the southwestern Basin. In return Zadar pays $265,000 and issues 550,000 shares over six years, as well as spending $50,000 by July 2015 and $100,000 by July 2016.
Last month the company picked up the 2,729-hectare Upper Poulton Lake property adjoining the Richmond Lake project, part of the former Fission Energy portfolio acquired by Denison Mines [T.DML] in April. The same month Zadar announced completion of its 60% earn-in on the 17,300-hectare Whiskey Gap uranium project in southwestern Alberta.
Athabasca Uranium expands
Athabasca Uranium’s [V.UAX] eastside Basin portfolio grew by 10,157 hectares with the Fisher River option announced May 7. Three kilometres north of the company’s Keefe Lake project, it’s contiguous with the southern part of UAX’s McCarthy Lake project and some Denison claims.
The property’s Fisher River zone features “conductive targets near or at the unconformity and associated with faulting” which the company stated “are typically the mainstay of uranium exploration” in the Basin.
Additionally the zone “appears to be crosscut by a series of northwest lineaments, which is significant as secondary faulting greatly improves a target’s quality—deposits such as Shea Creek and McArthur River are unequivocally associated with cross-faulting. Unconformity depths at Fisher are shallow, estimated to be between 125 to 170 metres,” the company added.
The vendor gets $10,000 and 3 million shares up front and another $500,000 by the fourth anniversary, along with a 1% NSR. Athabasca Uranium may buy back half the NSR for $1 million.
The company also announced it’s reviewing a recently completed model of its Keefe Lake project by the University of Saskatchewan geophysical team prior to determining the Phase 3 drill program. Athabasca Uranium holds over 70,000 hectares in the eastern Basin.
Uravan to fly Stewardson Lake, review Halliday Lake
Uravan Minerals [V.UVN] announced on May 7 plans for its Stewardson Lake and Halliday Lake projects, both under option to Cameco. Stewardson, in the south-central Basin, will get a heli-borne EM survey over 779 line-kilometres with 500-metre spacing in June. A ground EM survey will follow, along with geochemical sampling on the 21,349-hectare property. The company is now interpreting ground geophysics undertaken last March on the 2,169-hectare Halliday project in the eastern Basin.
While Uravan acts as project operator, Cameco has an option to earn up to 70% of the two projects by funding a total of $22 million.
MillenMin lays claim to eastside properties
Staking continues, with MillenMin Ventures [V.MVM] grabbing six properties totalling nearly 19,000 hectares mostly on the Basin’s east side. One property lies about 40 kilometres beyond the rim, the May 6 announcement stated. The company plans to review data prior to a 2013 exploration program. In a change of focus from its Windpass gold project in British Columbia, MillenMin has its eyes open for additional uranium acquisitions in the Athabasca region.
Expert advisers join Lakeland
Lakeland Resources [V.LK] brought aboard new uranium expertise with the first two members of an advisory board announced May 2. Uranium geoscientist Richard Kusmirski’s resume includes service as exploration manager for Cameco and VP of exploration for JNR Resources, later moving up to the company’s president/CEO. JNR was taken over by Denison last February.
Uranium industry specialist Thomas Drolet spent 26 years with Ontario Hydro, led the Canadian Fusion Fuels Technology Project, was managing director of American Electric Power Canada and president of Canadian Energy Opportunities. He now heads Drolet & Associates Energy Services, a consultancy company.
Lakeland has staked five Basin properties totalling about 100,000 hectares. The company also announced the extension of a letter of intent for eight other Basin properties, totalling about 190,000 hectares, from April 30 to June 15.
Azincourt to fund Fission for 50% of PLN
Immediately north of Fission/Alpha’s Patterson Lake South project sits 27,408 hectares called, predictably, Patterson Lake North. On April 29 Fission optioned half of PLN to Azincourt Resources [V.AAZ]. The latter may earn its share by paying $4.75 million in cash or shares (Azincourt’s choice), granting a 2% NSR and spending $12 million by April 29, 2017. The deal requires Azincourt to close a $1.5-million private placement to fund the coming year of exploration, which will include 2,500 metres of drilling.
PLN features several EM anomalies “including what may be interpreted to be the southern extension of the Saskatoon Lake EM conductor, which itself is associated with the Shea Creek deposit to the north.” UEX Corp [T.UEX] calls Shea Creek the Basin’s third-largest uranium resource.
Fission, following success at PLS and the 60% Waterbury Lake interest acquired by Denison, will act as project operator. Fission has already spent about $4.7 million exploring PLN.
Denison increases exploration, offers $13-million private placement
Q1 results released May 8 show Denison’s net loss from continuing operations reached $5.47 million, a penny a share, for the quarter ending March 31. Among other expenses are Denison’s share of keeping the McClean Lake mill on standby. A JV held 22.5% by Denison, 7.5% by OURD Canada and 70% by operator AREVA Resources Canada, the mill is expected to resume operations with feed from the Cigar Lake mine (itself a JV held 50% by Cameco, 8% by Idemitsu Canada Resources and 5% by TEPCO Resources), anticipated to begin production about mid-year.
Denison also reported spending $4.71 million on exploration in Q1, compared with $3.02 million during the same period last year, most of it in Canada.
One day following the quarterly, Denison announced a $13-million offering of 10 million flow-through shares at $1.30 each, with options on an additional 1.5 million flow-through shares granted to the underwriters at the same price. The company expects to close the offering by May 28, with proceeds used to advance its Athabasca projects. On May 10 the company announced its board of directors had been re-elected.
Cameco posts reduced profit, reflects on supply and demand
As a major producer, Cameco’s quarterly showed net earnings of $9 million (2 cents per share) for the three months ending March 31, compared to $129 million (33 cents per share) for the same period last year.
Reflecting on uranium demand, Cameco’s May 1 report found “near to medium-term uncertainty continues to impede a recovery.” But the company stated, “We believe the long-term picture for nuclear continues to be strong” with annual growth of 3% to 2022.
Meanwhile supply “faces challenges both from primary and secondary sources.” Last year saw a number of projects delayed or cancelled due to post-Fukushima prices. Secondary sources continue to diminish, most notably the Highly Enriched Uranium (or megatons-to-megawatts) project. “The end of this agreement will remove more pounds from the market than our total annual production, and there is no secondary source of similar scale expected,” the company warned.
AREVA Resources rolls out a roadshow
An annual event with AREVA Resources Canada, the company’s visiting a dozen northern communities during May and June to discuss its work and recruit trainees for its mill operator program.