Mining Energy Snapshot: Eight juniors active in world’s uranium hotspots
While uranium oxide prices continue to drift in the doldrums, several uranium companies have still raised a bit of money to explore and carry out modest programs. Here is a look at eight uranium-focused companies that are active in 2019.
Based in Vancouver and led by CEO and chairman Warren Stanyer, ALX Uranium (TSXV: AL; US-OTC: ALXEF) is the product of the merger between Alpha Exploration and Lakeland Resources.
ALX is focused on exploring for uranium and other minerals in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin.
In late May, ALX closed a $1.5-million private placement, with funds of the flow-through portion of the financing directed to exploring its uranium assets in Saskatchewan, which cover 2,000 square kilometres.
Earlier in May, ALX staked 271 sq. km of claims prospective for nickel, copper and cobalt mineralization at its wholly owned Flying Vee project located outside the Athabasca basin near Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan.
ALX says it first staked five claims at Flying Vee in 2018 covering the historical Reeve Lake nickel showing, and acquired another eight claims in April 2019 when a staking rush was triggered in the area by emerging battery metals company Kobold Metals.
ALX Uranium’s Hook-Carter uranium project in the Athabasca basin’s Patterson Lake corridor is more advanced — a 2019 drilling program began in January. Exploration at Hook-Carter is operated by 80%-owner Denison Mines (TSX: DML, NYSE-AM: DNN), with ALX holding the other interest.
Toronto-based Appia Energy (CSE: API; US-OTC: APAAF) is involved in uranium and rare earth elements (REE) exploration in the prolific Athabasca basin district of northern Saskatchewan, and uranium and REE development and mining in northern Ontario’s historic Elliot Lake mining camp.
Appia is led by president and CEO Anastasios (Tom) Drivas, who is described as a business entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in various industries, including more than 20 years in the mineral resource industry. He is also president and CEO of Romios Gold Resources, a publicly traded company founded in 1995.
Geologist James Sykes is Appia’s vice-president of exploration and development, and has done previous work in the Athabasca basin related to NexGen’s Arrow deposit and Hathor’s Roughrider deposits.
Appia’s uranium properties in the Athabasca include Loranger, Eastside and North Wollaston — all in the Wollaston Lake area.
At North Wollaston, the company is planning an airborne radiometric, magnetic and electromagnetic geophysical survey over the property, which hosts four uranium-bearing surface showings with grades up to 0.495% U3O8.
Appia’s REE project in the Athabasca is named Alces Lake and is located east of Uranium City. The company describes Alces Lake as the highest-grade REE occurrence known in Saskatchewan, with grades comparable to those found in South Africa’s world-class Steenkampskraal deposit.
In 2018, Appia completed the first-ever drill campaign on the property, with 15 holes confirming depth extension of high-grade surface REE mineralization.
Appia is returning to Alces Lake in June 2019 with a work program that will include 3,000 metres of drilling.
Vancouver-based, Alex Klenman-led Azincourt Energy (TSXV: AAZ; US-OTC: AZURF) has just raised $1.6 million in a private placement, with proceeds earmarked for general working capital purposes and to advance the company’s East Preston uranium project in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin, where it is partnered with Skyharbour Resources (TSXV: SYH) and Clean Commodities (TSXV: CLE).
Azincourt is earning a 70% interest the Eastern part of the Preston project, which is one of the largest tenured land positions in the uranium-rich Paterson Lake region, and near NexGen Energy’s high-grade Arrow deposit, Fission Uranium’s Triple R deposit and AREVA–Cameco–Purepoint’s joint venture (Spitfire).
Azincourt says Orano Canada (formerly Areva Resources Canada) optioned 49.6 sq. km of the Preston project for up to $7.3 million in exploration expenses, and over $2.5 million in exploration expenses have been spent on the East Preston project over the past three years.
Azincourt’s other major asset its Escalera Group uranium-lithium project located on southeastern Peru’s Picotani Plateau.
A member of the Lundin Group of Companies and led by David Cates, Denison Mines (TSX: DML; NYSE-AM: DNN) is a Toronto-based senior developer focused on exploration and development of uranium assets in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin.
Denison says its 90%-owned Wheeler River “ranks as the largest, undeveloped, high-grade uranium project in the infrastructure-rich eastern portion of the Athabasca basin.”
The camp at Denison Mines’ Wheeler River uranium project in northern Saskatchewan. Credit: Denison Mines.
Denison reported in June that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment have accepted the provincial technical proposal and federal project description submitted by Denison for the in-situ recovery uranium mine and processing plant proposed for Wheeler River.
Denison also said it has “executed a series of memoranda of understanding with Indigenous communities in support of the advancement of the project.”
The firm’s exploration portfolio in the basin consists of numerous projects covering 3,200 sq. km, and its other assets include: a 22.5% ownership interest in the McClean Lake joint venture, which includes several uranium deposits, and the McClean Lake uranium mill, which processes ore from the Cigar Lake mine under a toll-milling agreement; a 25.17% interest in the Midwest and Midwest A deposits; and a 65.45% interest in the J Zone deposit and Huskie discovery on the Waterbury Lake property.
Denison is also engaged in mine decommissioning and environmental services through its Denison Environmental Services division and manages Uranium Participation Corp. — a publicly traded company that invests in uranium oxide and uranium hexafluoride.