Fission and Alpha emerge as newest players to watch in Athabasca
March 25, 2013
The discovery of a high grade boulder field outside the southern boundary of the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan is shaping into a significant find for joint venture partners Fission Energy (FIS-V) and Alpha Minerals (AMW-V).
Initial tests on boulders at the Patterson lake South (PLS) property returned up to 40% U3O8, and drilling since then continues to impress as the latest round of results identified a third zone of mineralization 780 metres east of the original discovery, the R00E zone.
That means that the joint venture has now found three separate mineralized zones that are all along strike. The zones remain open along strike and width.
The discovery hole on the third zone intersected a band of weak to moderate mineralization over 22 metres from a depth of 155 to 177 metres. That initial intersection led the companies to do a step-out hole 15 metres to the south, which hit three intervals of weak to strong mineralization, 5 metres, 5.5 metres and 11 metres wide respectively, between 109 metres to 176.5 metres down hole, including two intervals — 0.1 metres and 0.8 metres wide — of off-scale (greater than 9999 counts per second) radioactivity in the two lower zones.
The new zone sits roughly 390 metres east of the R390E zone, which has previously returned highlights of 11.65 metres of off-scale radioactivity in 57.5 metres of mineralization and 13.89 metres of off-scale in 53 metres of mineralization. The R390E results were released only a week earlier, on March 11, and a day after the news of the new third zone was released, the companies released step-out results from the R00E zone.
The latest installment in the rapid succession of news flow showed R00E to be growing in size as 10 additional step-out drill holes hit anomalous radioactivity. Eight of the holes intersecting significant mineralization, including 6 holes intersecting off-scale radioactivity.
Highlights included: 31.5 metres of weak to strong mineralization with 5.95 metres of off-scale radioactivity; 26.5 metres of weak to strong mineralization with 4.63 metres of off-scale radioactivity; and 19 metres of weak to strong mineralization with 4.15 metres of off-scale.
The results came out of three different holes and mineralization in all three holes began at either a depth of 62 or 63 metres.
The R00E zone has returned previous highlights of 18 metres grading 1.78% U3O8 and 8.5 metres grading 1.05% U3O8. The zone has a strike length of 80 metres and is 50 metres wide.
Fission says mineralization at R00E is focused across a steeply south dipping package of pelitic gneiss, sandwiched between a semi-pelitic rock to the north and a quartz-feldspar gneiss to the south.
Mineralization also crosses lithological boundaries into the footwall and hanging wall adjacent the pelitic gneiss. The conductive lithologic package appears to be parallel along strike to the basement electro magnetic conductor that was identified from airborne and ground geophysics surveys.
Back in January Fission sold its 60% stake in the Waterbury Lake project along with all its properties in the Eastern Athabasca, Namibia and Dieter Lake in Quebec to Denison Mines (DML-T). The deal means that Fission shareholders will get 0.355 shares of Denison for each Fission share as well as one share in a new company that contains the company’s 50% stake in the PLS property. The new company will also retain $15 million in cash and Fission’s management and exploration team.
Fission shares have climbed 90% since announcing the Denison deal and were trading for $1.04 in Toronto on March. 20.
The recent exploration success of Fission and Alpha is unfolding against a back drop of pressure to allow more foreign ownership of Canadian uranium mines.
Rio Tinto (RIO-N, RIO-L) and AREVA, with the support of the Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador governments, are pressuring the Federal government to update what they call a Cold War era policy. Canada currently doesn’t allow a foreign owner to take more than a 49% stake in any uranium mine.
The restrictions came in to being in 1970 and were connected to fears about weapons proliferation.
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