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  • Athabasca Basin & Beyond: Uranium News (June 15-21, 2013)

    NexGen drills Radio, prepares for Rook 1 geophysics

    No longer virgin territory, NexGen Energy's eastside Athabasca Basin Radio property is now undergoing its first-ever drill program. In a June 20 release, the company said a 4,000-metre campaign had begun on its flagship project adjacent to and about two kilometres on trend from Rio Tinto's Roughrider deposit, which hosts 17.2 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) indicated and 40.7 million pounds inferred.

    The program will test interpreted geophysical anomalies along strike with the Roughrider deposits through the interpreted shear zone towards Radio's centre, NexGen stated. Drilling began three weeks ahead of schedule and, depending on ground conditions, could continue to late July. NexGen holds a 70% earn-in on the 847-hectare property, with an option to earn the other 30% subject to a 2% NSR.

    Also on NexGen's agenda is a soon-to-begin DC resistivity survey on the southern part of Rook 1, adjacent to the northeast of, and along strike with, the Patterson Lake South project of Alpha Minerals (ESOFD.PK) and Fission Uranium. Repeated high-grade, near-surface results from the 50/50 joint venture drew other explorers into the PLS area near the Basin's southwestern rim. NexGen's survey is intended to identify targets for a 1,500-metre program planned to begin in August.

    Two conductive anomalies found on Aldrin Resource's Triple M

    At another project adjacent to PLS, ongoing airborne geophysics have so far found two conductive anomalies on Aldrin Resource's (OTC:AOUFF) Triple M property. In a June 18 announcement, the company interpreted the anomalies as "parallel basement conductive trends analogous to conductors associated with" the Fission/Alpha discovery.

    Triple M's conductive trends are two kilometres and 3.5 kilometres long. The latter "closely parallels a magnetic linear suggesting a basement fault and has localized anomalous conductivity along the entire trend. The two-kilometre conductor trend has sharp magnetic contacts flanking the strong conductive centre," Aldrin stated. Similar features are found at PLS and most of the Basin's high-grade uranium mineralization, the company added.

    The VTEM magnetic and electromagnetic survey continues, a joint operation that's flying contiguous PLS-area properties held by Aldrin, Athabasca Nuclear, Forum Uranium (OTC:FDCFF) and Skyharbour Resources (OTC:SYHBF). Lucky Strike Resources (OTC:LCKY) and Noka Resources each hold a 25% earn-in option on Skyharbour's properties.

    On June 12 Aldrin announced it was adding infill lines to increase the resolution of its survey from 200-metre to 100-metre spacing. The company holds a 70% option on the 12,001-hectare Triple M property.

    Fission plans summer program for North Shore property in Alberta

    Saying "there are still many underexplored areas of the Athabasca Basin," Fission announced plans for its North Shore property on June 17. Located in Alberta on the Basin's northwestern edge, the project was waiting completion of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, a provincial environmental and land use study. This summer's program now includes a high-resolution airborne radiometric survey as well as ground prospecting, geophysics and radon surveys.

    The 55,160-hectare property features several anomalous uranium showings in boulders and outcrop, including sandstone boulders grading up to 1.39% U3O8, the company stated.

    Lakeland appoints David Hodge and Ryan Fletcher directors

    Lakeland Resources (OTCQX:LRESF) announced two appointments to its board of directors June 21. With over 17 years' experience managing and financing publicly traded companies, David Hodge is president of project generator Zimtu Capital (OTC:ZTMUF) and a director of Western Potash (OTC:WPSHF), Commerce Resources (OTC:SMRZF) and Pasinex Resources. His approach emphasizes team-building, consultation and leadership, as well as a reliance on expert advice.

    Ryan Fletcher serves as president/CEO/director of Montan Capital and as a director of Zimtu. He's been responsible for identifying and sourcing projects, structuring companies and investments, raising capital, business development and marketing.

    The newcomers replace Robert Duess and Daniel Wilson, whom Lakeland thanked for their contributions. The company holds nine Basin properties totalling over 100,000 hectares.

    Purepoint reports winter drill results from Hook Lake

    Five kilometres northeast of the PLS discovery Purepoint Uranium's (OTC:PUMGF) Hook Lake project underwent a four-hole, 925-metre winter campaign, with results announced June 20. One hole on the D1 conductor found weakly radioactive graphitic pelite of 138 ppm over 2.3 metres starting at 301.7 metres in vertical depth. Another hole 800 metres south found no significant radioactivity. Two others on the D2 conductor were lost due to loose subsurface conditions. The drilling does provide "further evidence of widespread hydrothermal alteration and structural disruption," said Scott Frostad, Purepoint's VP of exploration.

    Following up on an airborne study, a 24-line-kilometre ground EM survey has identified targets for a winter program on the 28,683-hectare project, one of the company's 11 Basin properties. Purepoint holds a 21% interest in Hook Lake, a JV with Cameco Corp (NYSE:CCJ) and AREVA Resources Canada each holding 39.5%.

    Azincourt closes $1.5-million private placement to fund PLN work, revises appointments, plans name change

    Azincourt Resources announced June 19 the closing of a $1.5-million private placement, one of the requirements of its previously announced 50% option on Fission's Patterson Lake North property. The earn-in agreement has since received TSXV approval. The Venture also gave the go-ahead to an April 29 agreement in which Azincourt will pay a finder's fee in stages as it acquires incremental interests in PLN. On paying Fission $500,000 and funding $1.5 million of first-year work to earn an initial 10%, the company will pay Pure Capital Holdings $136,250 in shares.

    This year's campaign will include 2,500 metres of drilling and an airborne EM survey over selected areas. Radon and helium surveys might also take place. Fission has already spent about $4.7 million exploring the 27,408-hectare property north of PLS. Azincourt also announced it had filed a May 5 PLN technical report on SEDAR.

    Additionally the company revised the appointments announced May 15. As previously reported, Dev Randhawa, Ian Stalker and Ted O'Connor join the BOD, which Stalker will head as chairman while O'Connor becomes CEO. But now O'Connor, not Stalker, becomes president.

    Darren Devine and Latika Prasad have resigned as directors. Prasad also resigned as CFO, to be replaced by Vivien Chuang.

    Lastly, a name change. Pending TSXV approval Azincourt Resources becomes Azincourt Uranium Inc. Same old ticker, though.

    Uravan heads geochem research team with Cameco and others

    In the south-central Basin, four groups are collaborating on a study to improve geochemical techniques. They hope to better understand whether surface elements originate from a deposit at depth or from the natural geochemical composition at surface, and how elements move from depth to surface. Scheduled for completion this month, the study is managed by Uravan Minerals (OTC:URVNF), which made the June 18 announcement. Soil and tree core samples will be taken initially from a 600-by-950-metre grid over Centennial, an 800-metre-deep deposit currently being drilled by Cameco.

    Partnering on the study with Uravan and Cameco are the Queen's University Facility for Isotope Research and Environmental BioTechnologies Inc. The Centennial deposit forms part of the Virgin River property, a JV in which Cameco and AREVA Resources Canada each hold 59%, with Formation Capital holding the other 2%.

    UEX announces AGM results

    On June 19 UEX Corp TSX:UEX announced its AGM and special meeting re-elected, re-appointed and approved the entire agenda, including an advance notice policy for the election of directors.

    Niger mine re-opens after terror attack

    Partial production resumed at AREVA's Somair mine in Niger on June 18, according to a Reuters story posted in Mining Weekly. One of two Niger mines that total 7.5% of world uranium supply, Somair had been shut down following a May 23 terrorist bombing.

    Another June 20 Reuters story recounted the lawlessness and terror around the porous borders connecting Libya with Niger and other countries.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Additional disclosure: Disclaimer: Skyharbour Resources is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of Neither OnPage Media nor its owner hold a stock position or options in Skyharbour Resources. Zimtu Capital Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu Capital.

    Jun 25 5:56 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Yellow Peril: Gold Commentators On Paper Vs. Physical, West Vs East, Costs Vs Revenue - And Manipulation

    "There may come a day soon where the markets sell off if one of the whiskers in Big Ben's beard is out of place," wrote market strategist Andrew W. Sutton in Goldseek on June 20. "Or perhaps if his tie is a bit crooked. Or maybe we end up with Janet Yellen as the next puppet in charge over at the local banking cabal and we fret about her hairdo." Certainly gold, silver, platinum and palladium plunged that day and the reason, once again, was commonly attributed to Bernanke's musings.

    Rather bland musings at that. The Fed might ease quantitative easing later this year and might end QE by mid-2014. Yet that was enough to throw precious metals into a freefall. On June 21 former U.S. Treasury official Paul Craig Roberts told King World News that banks with inside info "cleaned up on this Fed statement. It's entirely possible that's what the Federal Reserve is doing is orchestrating events that make huge profits for the banks, and that this is the way it recapitalizes them."

    KWN recounted the sell-off with dramatic as-it-happened dispatches, like this one from trader Andrew Maguire: "Just off wholesaler calls. Most are too busy to talk at this time, but today [June 20] will be the largest volume day this year and possibly two years. Central bank purchases are almost certainly far in excess of paper sales. We are so close to the marginal cost of production that my contacts are saying the gates are wide open here to purchase all physical that is available…."

    Maguire called the events an "irreversible global balance shift in physical gold."

    Other KWN commentary came from mining veteran Keith Barron, who said: "I've done some calling around to key contacts around the world regarding this gold and silver smash, and again it has to do entirely with the paper market, with options and with large entities utilizing derivatives.

    "What's being done here is criminal," he stated. "But there won't be any investigation by the SEC, CFTC or the powers that be because they are sanctioning it. King World News often talks about a 'war going on in the gold and silver markets' and people should remember that this is in fact a war. It's a war to destroy the psychology of people invested in this sector, to destroy them mentally…."

    Also using a combat analogy, Brien Lundin offered his interpretation. "Simply put, there is a war going on right now between the paper gold markets of the Western speculators and the physical gold buyers elsewhere in the world, but primarily in Asia." In a June 19 Kitco piece the Gold Newsletter editor wrote, "While the speculators are playing their games in the futures and options markets, and generally driving the world price of gold much lower, the real investors and savers of the world are, thank you very much, buying as much gold as they can get at those bargain basement levels."

    Gold ETFs have attained powerful potential to rock the market. But, Lundin maintained, "using the ETFs as a proxy for global gold demand is a big mistake, and considerably misleading." This year China, just one of the major Asian consumers, has bought over 604 tonnes, more than twice the amount lost by the two major ETFs, GLD and IAU. Along with central banks' purchases, "the end result of the stunning short attack in the U.S. paper gold market has been a dramatic net increase in global gold demand."

    At the same time, lower gold prices inhibit miners and therefore supply. "So let the Western speculators play their games while they can," Lundin concluded. "In every war, even the ultimate victors will lose a battle here and there."

    But Lawrence Williams asked, "Will the continuing flow of gold and silver from West to East continue unabated?" In his June 20 Mineweb post, he argued, "That is the question facing the gold markets. If the Chinese don't come in as major purchasers then things could get worse for the gold investor before they get better.

    "The other factor to watch is whether some of the major short positions in gold and silver on the COMEX now get unwound at the lower prices," Williams pointed out. "If this happens gold and silver could both be set for a major upturn, regardless of China, as the big banks and hedge funds start to look for major profits on the upside."

    The previous day Williams noted that gold and silver prices are "currently being set by what is happening in the West-and in particular in the U.S., where there appears to be ever increasing evidence of gold price manipulation by major financial institutions, perhaps Fed-supported… But this price manipulation seems to be completely ignoring Eastern demand, and particularly that from China."

    Officially, Indian purchases have fallen since the country raised its import duty on gold from 5% to 8%. But Williams suspects an underground movement is reviving gold-smuggling routes. And he emphasized that not just China and India but "virtually the whole of Southeast Asia is predisposed towards holding gold as long-term wealth protection."

    Williams also referred to economist Jeffrey Nichols, who on June 18 wrote that gold bears "have a fairly provincial view and a limited understanding of gold's increasingly bullish long-term fundamentals. By 'provincial' I mean they are ignoring more than half the world-the half that loves gold and will accumulate more. They seem to think not much is important to the future of gold outside the United States and Europe."

    Writing in the Financial Post on June 20, Peter Koven addressed the impact on producers. "When bullion plunged 13% in two days back in April, miners evaluated contingency plans they would [adopt] if prices continued to weaken. Those included major production cuts, dividend cuts, layoffs and mine closures."

    Although gold remains high by historic standards, Koven stated rising costs place enormous pressure on some companies. But there is hope. "Numerous companies have reported that labour and equipment are easier to access today than they have been in years. Miners are also raising the cutoff grade on their deposits, which reduces costs while shrinking the mine life."

    He quoted Dynamic Funds portfolio manager Robert Cohen, who said both energy and chemical prices have also dropped. "Costs go up with the gold price and down with the gold price," he told the FP.

    Following a slight recovery on June 21, Kitco reported a survey of 19 reps from bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical-chart analysts who offered their prognostications for the following week: "Eleven see prices down, while four see prices up and four look for sideways consolidation."

    Whether pushing gold up, down or sideways, it seems any number of events might move-or maybe be used as an excuse to manipulate-the malleable metal. On June 21 Sharps Pixley director Austin Kiddle related the following week's agenda: "Apart from watching the physical demand response, we will also watch Germany's June IFO business climate index on 24 June, the June U.S. consumer confidence index and the May U.S. new home sales on 25 June as well as the June Germany unemployment change, the May CPI and the industrial production in Japan on 27 June."

    Jun 24 6:06 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Athabasca Basin And Beyond: Uranium News From Saskatchewan And Elsewhere For June 1-7, 2013

    Final assays wrap up rewarding winter at Patterson Lake South

    In a sense, the project's been making history all along. But Patterson Lake South's winter drill program is now history in another sense, with assays reported for 17 final holes. Alpha Minerals (ESOFD.PK) and Fission Uranium (FSSIF.PK) released the results June 5, with the latter company's president/CEO Ross McElroy calling the campaign "one of the most impressive uranium exploration programs I've ever seen or been a part of," citing "huge intersections and high grades." He forgot to mention near-surface depths.

    Fifteen holes represent closely spaced infill drilling in the project's three zones. Here are some highlights.

    R00E zone

    • 4.63% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6 metres, starting at 61.5 metres in downhole depth (including 6.86% over 4 metres)
    • 0.12% over 2.5 metres, starting at 51 metres
    • 0.36% over 1.5 metres, starting at 52 metres.

    R390E zone

    • 1.15% over 63.5 metres, starting at 82 metres (including 9.51% over 2 metres)
    • 1.39% over 23.5 metres, starting at 110 metres (including 4.34% over 6 metres)
    • 0.26% over 21 metres, starting at 77 metres (including 0.75% over 5 metres)
    • 0.43% over 10.5 metres, starting at 125.5 metres (including 1.37% over 2 metres).

    R780E zone

    • 1.22% over 7 metres, starting at 144 metres (including 3% over 2.5 metres)
    • 0.57% over 10 metres, starting at 166 metres (including 1.87% over 2.5 metres)
    • 0.2% over 15.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
    • 0.4% over 4.5 metres, starting at 109.5 metres.

    True widths weren't provided. Two additional holes tested regional targets but failed to find significant mineralization. The 50/50 joint venture partners claim an 82% drill strike rate that discovered two new zones as well as expanding the R00E zone.

    Drilling's scheduled to resume in early July, fuelled by a $6.95-million budget. Fission remains project operator until April 2014, when Alpha resumes the role.

    Fission stakes new ground, says "still many underexplored areas" in Basin

    Having helped bring fame to the area in and around the Athabasca Basin's southwestern rim, Fission's also looking at the Basin's northwest and northeast. That's where the company staked three properties announced in a June 3 news release.

    On the Basin's north-central edge, the 15,373-hectare Beaver River property "includes most of the known electro-magnetic conductors in the area," the company stated. Surface samples have shown grades of 3.66%, 3.37% and 2.93% U3O8.

    Fifteen kilometres west of Uranium City, in an area steeped in mining history, the 1,188-hectare Thompson Lake has provided grab samples of 2.23% and 0.11% U3O8.

    At 2,941 hectares, Manitou Falls has six radiometric anomalies and multiple conductors identified in historic data.

    Fission has Beaver River slated for summer fieldwork to determine winter drill targets.

    Forum, NexGen hit 39.5 metres of 0.152% at NW Athabasca

    Another JV with drill results, Forum Uranium (OTC:FDCFF) and NexGen Energy released more assays from their Northwest Athabasca project on June 5. The holes tested the Otis West zone, immediately south of historic Maurice Bay, which has a non-43-101 deposit of 680 tonnes averaging 0.6% U3O8.

    Assay highlights show:

    • 0.152% U3O8 over 39.5 metres, starting at 131 metres in downhole depth (including 0.211% over 24.5 metres)
    • 0.166% over 3.5 metres, starting at 125.5 metres
    • 0.243% over 0.5 metres, starting at 96.8 metres
    • 0.185% over 0.5 metres, starting at 101.5 metres.

    True widths weren't available. Mineralization remains open at depth and to the east, with future drilling planned to follow the Otis fault, parallel to the Maurice Bay fault, eastward. The companies added, "This is the fourth target drilled on the property that has intersected basement-hosted uranium mineralization typical of uranium deposits in the western Athabasca Basin such as Patterson Lake South, Cluff Lake and Shea Creek."

    The partners are earning 30% each of the project from Cameco Corp's (NYSE:CCJ) 87.5%. AREVA Resources Canada holds the remaining 12.5%. Forum acts as project operator.

    Forum issues options

    The same day Forum also reported that it granted insiders options on a total of 800,000 shares at $0.40 for five years.

    Skyharbour appoints Jordan Trimble president/CEO/director, looks for fourth JV partner

    A June 5 dispatch from Skyharbour Resources (OTC:SYHBF) announced Jordan Trimble's appointment as president, CEO and board member. James Pettit is now board chairman. Donald Huston has resigned as president/CEO but remains a director.

    Trimble holds a bachelor of science with a minor in commerce, is a 2013 Level II CFA candidate and has completed the Canadian Securities Course and Technical Analysis Course offered through the Canadian Securities Institute, as well as several courses in geology, exploration and mining. In his work with numerous TSXV-listed companies he has specialized in corporate finance and strategy, shareholder communications, marketing, structuring deals and raising capital.

    Trimble was heavily involved in Skyharbour's decision to move into the Basin after considering other properties around the world. "The strategy was quite simple," he says. "It was to go in there as early and as cheaply as we could, accumulate a large land position and employ this joint venture model to fund exploration and also create synergies with the partner companies. With our geological team I staked the first 100,000-acre land package and thereafter we acquired the other 300,000 acres that culminated in the total package."

    Having brought on Lucky Strike Resources (OTCPK:LKYSF) and Noka Resources to earn 25% each of the properties, Skyharbour is now looking for a fourth company. "With risk spread across four companies, four very capable technical teams, some really bright geologists, a methodology similar to what worked for Fission and Alpha, and this large land package, we can improve the chances of finding the next big discovery," Trimble says. "We're still working towards a final syndicate and JV structure and should have everything done within the next month or two."

    Skyharbour is currently taking part in a group airborne geophysical survey of PLS-area properties with Forum, Aldrin Resource (OTC:AOUFF) and Athabasca Nuclear.

    Lakeland picks up four properties, drops eight others

    Reinforcing its reputation as a "pure play uranium exploration company" focused on the Basin, Lakeland Resources (OTCQX:LRESF) 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 (OTCPK:MGAFF) and Rockgate Capital (OTC:RCKGF) 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 (OTC:KVLQF) 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 (OTCPK:UEXCF) 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 (NYSEMKT: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 (OTC:YWRLF), 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 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 (NYSEMKT:DNN), 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.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Jun 11 2:36 AM | Link | Comment!
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