Energy

Here is a look at what uranium exploration companies were up to in the month of October.

Uranium juniors have been heating up the newswires in recent months, and October was no different. Here is a look at what uranium exploration companies were up to in the month of October. 

Exploration

It’s no secret that the Athabasca Basin, and more specifically, the Patterson Lake Mining Camp has sparked a flurry of activity in the uranium exploration sector. In October, much of the exploration efforts in the uranium space were localized near Patterson Lake as companies scramble to make the next best discovery.

Exploring on the northern edge of Patterson Lake, Azincourt Uranium Inc. (TSXV:AAZ) and joint venture partner Fission Uranium Corp (TSXV:FCU) released initial results of the recently acquired VTEM max airborne geophysical survey and exploration plans at the Patterson Lake North property.

With the VTEM Max survey, the companies have identified new north-south trending conductive basement package in northern PLN, which could be indicative of a possible extension of Saskatoon Lake Conductor system which hosts the Shea Creek uranium deposits.

Azincourt’s next steps at PLN include a winter drill program.

Uranium exploration supergroup, the Western Athabasca Syndicate, reported results from initial lake sediment geochemical survey on the Western Athabasca Syndicates’ 246,643 hectare Preston Lake Property. The Western Athabasca Syndicate consists of four companies —Athabasca Nuclear Corp (TSXV:ASC), Skyharbour Resources (TSXV:SYH), Noka Resources (TSXV:NX) and Lucky Strike Resources (TSXV:LKY) who have joined their efforts to explore a large land package in the Athabasca Basin.

Through through their exploration efforts, the companies have confirmed several historic clusters of anomalous uranium concentrations well above the background value of 1.0 ppm uranium in lake sediments. There have been a total of 133 samples that have indicated an anomalous uranium value including a peak of 7.0 ppm U, which is is higher than the highest values at Patterson Lake South.

Patterson Lake exploration company, Forum Uranium Corp. (TSXV:FDC) released results of a radon survey on its wholly owned Clearwater project. The company conducted soil gas radon surveys across three different grid areas at the end of the summer. From the surveys, five water samples netted positive results.

According to the October 22 release, “radon in water was also sampled on a small lake in the southeast corner of the Mungo grid which returned up to 18 pCi/litre, which is considered to be very anomalous when compared with a maximum value of 12 pCi/litre immediately over the Patterson Lake South deposits.”

Exploration company, Zadar Ventures Ltd. (TSXV:ZAD,FWB:ZAV) completed its Phase II exploration program on the PNE Uranium Project in the Patterson Lake region of the Athabasca Basin in late October. The company’s program included ground based geophysical surveys, boulder mapping and AlphaTrack radon detector surveys over 9 target areas.

Finished drilling

NexGen Energy (TSXV:NXE) completed the first phase drill program of 3,032 meters on Rook 1. Through the program the company discovered 3 mineralized drill holes with separate parallel conductors.

Leigh Curyer, the company’s CEO told investors in a statement that , “We are very pleased with the early results of this first drilling program at Rook 1. This initial drilling program at Rook 1 has identified several large alteration and mineralisation systems. The program was specifically designed to confirm the geological interpretation of several geophysical surveys over a large area, to discover new mineralisation, and to provide a firm basis for tightly-targeted follow up drilling programs. It has achieved all three aims above expectation.

Mergers and acquisitions

Mid-month, Kivalliq Energy (TSXV:KIV) made what it calls a strategic addition to its portfolio when it acquired the prospective Baker Lake Basin in Nunavut from Pacific Ridge Exploration. Per the terms of the transaction, Kivalliq will acquire a 100% interest in the Baker Basin properties, except diamonds, by issuing 600,000 common shares to Pacific Ridge at a price of $.25 per share, combined with a cash payment of $55,000 and a $70,000 private placement units of Pacific Ridge shares.

The Baker Basin uranium property consists of 232,262 acres on the southern boundary of the Baker Lake Basin. The property includes several target zones and highlight down hole intervals from publicly disclosed previous drill assays that include:

  • 0.56% U3O8  over 5.5m (within a broader interval of  0.31% U3Oover 11.5m) and 0.27% U3O8  over 5.8m at the KZ Zone (PEX press release Oct. 18, 2006)
  • 0.51% U3O8  over 9.0m (within a broader interval of 0.30% U3O8 over 17.3m) and 0.35% U3O8  over 10.0m at the Lucky 7 Zone (PEX press release Oct. 2, 2007)

The company has not yet established plans or a budget for exploration on the property. However, its priorities are to compile all available data in order to rank the uranium occurrences and targets for the future.

Anfield Resources (TSXV:ARY), who operates a copper mine in Chile, recently expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of several strategic uranium properties in the United States. The company has acquired a total of 26 mining claim groups representing 133 unpatented mining claims on federal land in the San Juan County in Utah, and Mojave in Arizona.

Corey Dias, Anfield’s CEO said in a statement that the company’s strategy “is to acquire strategic resource assets – on a commodity-agnostic basis – which can generate near-term revenue and cash flow.”

 Financing

In October, new uranium producer, Ur-Energy (TSX:URE, NYSEMKT:URG) closed a US$34 million state bond loan with Sweetwater County in the State of Wyoming. Now that loan has closed, Ur-Energy is able to retire its debts with RMB Australia Holdings, who helped finance the construction of Lost Creek, enabling the company to bring the project to its production phase. Furthermore, the company has commissioned the first three header houses in Mine Unit 1 and all of the production circuits in the processing plant. The company has drummed and packaged its first dried yellowcake.

The leading conventional uranium producer in the United States, Energy Fuels Inc. (TSX:EFR) closed its previously announced $5 million bought deal offering. Energy Fuels will use the net proceeds of the offering to further explore and develop its mineral properties, including Roca Honda, Sheep Mountain, Gas Hills, Juniper Ridge and Canyon Mine.

Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp (NYSE:UEC) announced a financing for up to $7.1 million at a price of $2.10 per share. The funding is aimed at supporting the company’s growth of its south Texas exploration projects, which include the Burke Hollow property.

Amir Adnani, President and CEO, was pleased with the capital injection the company secured and the potential for growth that it represents.

Aldrin Resource Corp. (TSXV:ALN) is optimistic when it comes to financing in current market. In early October, the company announced a private placement of $1,000,000. By month end, the company bumped its placement to $1,500,000, at $0.10 per unit.

Combined with its early financing announcement, Aldrin agreed to purchase a 100% interest in the the Virgin Uranium Property, a high-priority exploration property covering 49,275 hectares on the south-central margin of the Athabasca Basin. The property is located close to Cameco’s Centennial deposit near the Virgin River shear zone.

Fission Uranium and Alpha Minerals 

Standing apart from the crowd are Fission Uranium and joint venture partner Alpha Minerals (TSXV:AMW) that have been steadily releasing news over the course of the month of October. Early in the month the companies extended the budget of their summer program by $2.25 million, bringing the total of spending to $9.2 million. With the expansion, the companies conducted an additional 3,700 meters of drilling that was aimed at testing highly perspective targets west of the R00E zone. At the end of the month, the company released results from four drill holes on the R00E zone at Patterson Lake South. With drill hole PLS13-079, the company hit 17.5m of 5.98% U3O8, including including 5.5m of 19.51% U3O8.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold not investment interest in any of the companies mentioned. 

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