International Enexco (TSXV: IEC) saw its shares climb 23% after announcing the thickest and highest grade hit yet from its 30%-held Mann Lake uranium property in Saskatchewan’s prolific Athabasca basin.
The Vancouver-based firm reported March 10 that operator Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) — holding 52.5% of Mann Lake — intersected 5.1 metres averaging 2.31% equivalent uranium in hole 60. That includes a 0.4-metre interval of 10.92% eU3O8.
Enexco’s corporate development manager Spiros Cacos says he was “blown away” by the results, noting that the thickness and grade highlight the project’s “strong, strong potential.”
Enexco’s chief operating officer William Willoughby says that “hole 60 was interesting because it was at the unconformity between the sandstones and the basement rocks. It was the second mineralized hole in the unconformity style mineralization on the property. We had one last year, which was hole 47.”
Hole 47 returned mineralization at similar depths below an unconformity in semipelite, including 0.7 metre of 0.114% eU3O8 from about 694 metres, and 2 metres of 0.272% eU3O8 from 696 metres.
Hole 60, the eighth hole completed in the 2014 program, was collared 300 metres south of hole 47. It could mark a discovery footwall to the western conductor in the northern portion of Mann Lake. Willoughby says he is waiting to see if the results from the next few holes confirm the discovery. A wedge hole from hole 60 is being drilled.
Cameco is using three rigs to punch 10,000 metres in 15 holes on Mann Lake this year. The program focuses on the C conductor, a 6 km long section of an anomalous regional trend, which includes the eastern, central and western geophysical conductors. The program would cost $2.9 million, of which Enexco will contribute $870,000.
To help fund its portion, the junior raised $750,000 in a non-brokered flow-through private placement last December, and another $217,000 in a placement earlier this year. Enexco has $1 million in its treasury, Cacos says.
Cameco discovered high-grade uranium at Mann Lake in 2006, when it intersected the basement formation. Before the latest hit, the two highest-grade intervals from the property came from hole 13, including 0.25 metre of 7.12% eU3O8 and 0.4 metre of 5.53% eU3O8 from a 500-metre depth.
“Basement-hosted uranium discoveries in the Athabasca basin are often more desirable in terms of ease of mining and avoidance of possible water problems that sandstone discoveries can sometimes exhibit,” Enexco says.
Mann Lake sits 25 km southwest of Cameco’s McArthur River uranium mine and 20 km northeast of its partner’s Millennium deposit. France’s Areva holds the remaining 17.5% of Mann Lake.
On the day of the latest results, Enexco advanced 8¢ to 43¢. Its shares more recently closed at 37¢.
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