Little-known junior, Lakeland Resources (LK-V), soared more than 60% after saying it’s shifting its focus from precious and base metals to uranium, and is in the midst of acquiring eight uranium properties in the Athabasca basin of northern Saskatchewan and Alberta.
“We've been sort of focused on gold and the base metals for the last two and a half years and we haven't been getting a lot of traction in that space,” Jonathan Armes, the company’s president and CEO, concedes.
“We are looking at the uranium space as an opportunity for an increase in the commodity price over the next sort of couple years. There have been some recent discoveries in the Athabasca basin suggesting that a good portion of that area is still underexplored, and with the opportunity I have with not just to get one project but eight — it looked to be an excellent strategy for the company moving forward,” he says in an interview.
Lakeland is buying the prospects from 877384 Alberta Ltd., a privately held company, and anticipates paying roughly 7.5 million shares and an undisclosed amount of cash to close the deal, which is still in the works.
Altogether the early-stage properties total 1,900 sq. km and are mostly within the western and southwestern parts of the uranium-rich basin, the company says.
While none of the properties host a delineated resource, they are strategically located within the shadows of head frames and near some new uranium discoveries, Armes says, noting geophysics have been carried on all of them, with some containing historic drill holes.
Out of the eight, Armes says the Kelic Lake and Davidson River properties appear the most promising and will be explored the first.
“We have some exciting targets on the Kelic Lake property, there's three high priority target areas on the property already identified and some historic drilling there as well so that is definitely one that we would like to proceed with in the initial stages as is the Davidson River property.”
Located along the southern margin of the basin, the 173 sq. km Kelic Lake project is about 60 km east from the recently discovered Patterson Lake South uranium project by Alpha Minerals (AMW-V) and Fission Energy (FIS-V) and 45 km west of Cameco’s (CCO-T, CCJ-N) Centennial zone. While the Davidson River property sits 18 km west of Patterson Lake South and spans 253 sq. km.
Before signing a more definitive purchase agreement, Lakeland is completing a NI 43-101 report on the properties, and if pleased with the results it will finalize the transaction. It has until the end of April to do so.
Following a favourable report on the projects, the company intends to shake up its management. David Hodge, the president of Zimtu Capital (ZC-V), a publicly held investment issuer, and the head of Commerce Resources (CCE-V), will take over as Lakeland’s president and CEO. He will also become a new director, along with Steven Khan, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the investment industry.
The news pushed Lakeland up 67% to close at 10¢ on more than 2 million shares traded. The junior on average sees 21,000 shares traded daily.
The firm has roughly $400,000 in its treasury and 22 million shares outstanding.
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