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NexGen Energy – Uranium Exploration in the Athabasca Basin

NexGen Energy Ltd.


The Athabasca Basin in Northern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada is host to high-grade uranium, supplying about 20% of the world’s demand. Sitting just on the outskirts of the basin, lies the Patterson Lake region, a district growing in significance for uranium exploration and development projects.

NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSXV:NXE) is one of the explorers in the area, and holds the most dominant land position in the region. Two of their properties are immediately adjacent to world-class deposits Roughrider (Hathor Exploration/Rio Tinto) and Patterson Lake South (Fission Uranium).

When a private company offered the Radio Project – the land package adjacent to Roughrider – CEO Leigh Curyer and his team did due diligence, formed NexGen Energy Ltd.

They then acquired all of Mega Uranium’s Athabasca Basin Properties including Rook l and in April 2013, commenced trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NXE” with $6 million cash-on-hand.

NexGen Energy Properties Athabasca Basin

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Top Uranium Experience

NexGen has a highly experienced team of exploration professionals with a track record in the discovery of unconformity-style uranium deposits in Canada.

Leigh Curyer, Chief Executive Officer and Director of NexGen, has a strong background in assessing uranium projects worldwide, with a focus on assets located in Canada, Australia, USA, Africa, Central Asia and Europe. He managed the exploration, permitting and feasibility study of Southern Cross Resources’ Honeymoon Uranium Project in South Australia, including raising over $250 million of equity in North America, US, Europe and Australia.

Vice President of Exploration, Andrew Browne has over 43 years of uranium exploration experience. He has been involved with exploration and assessment of uranium projects in Australia since 1969, and in the Athabasca and Thelon Basins of Canada since 1988. Prior to joining NexGen Energy, Mr. Browne operated a private geoscientific consultancy practice specializing in uranium projects globally.

Senior Geologists James Sykes and Matthew Schwab joined NexGen from Rio Tinto. They moved to Rio when it acquired Hathor and were key members of the team that deconstructed the drill data to create the first 3D geological model of Roughrider.

Director Christopher McFadden has 20 years of exploration and mining experience, and was most recently Rio Tinto’s Exploration Division Commercial General Manager. He has extensive international experience in managing large and complex transactions and has a broad knowledge of all aspects of project evaluation and negotiating project entry in challenging and varied environments.

Andriyko Herchak, Chief Financial Officer, was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of Hathor Exploration Ltd. and helped raise $100 million for Hathor and acquire its major joint venture partners to consolidate its assets before selling Hathor to Rio Tinto for $654 million in cash.

NexGen Energy’s Portfolio

NexGen Energy has a 100% interest in Rook 1, immediately adjacent to the north east of Patterson Lake South and a 70% interest in the Radio Project, immediately adjacent to Rio Tinto’s Roughrider Deposit.

Due to the recent discovery made by Fission Uranium at PLS, NexGen is currently focused on the Rook 1 Project.

Related reading:

Emerging Uranium District in Saskatchewan’s Patterson Lake Region
Juniors Hunting for Uranium in Patterson Lake Region

Rook 1


Rook 1 is NexGen’s current focus. It is adjacent to, and on trend with the Fission Uranium Patterson Lake South property to the northeast and along strike.

In the first drill program, 12 holes were drilled in an area of approximately 1.6km x 1.2km, with the closest two holes being 200m apart, and resulted in the following:

  • All 12 holes encountered alteration (up to 38.3m)
  • 3 of 12 holes encountered mineralization on three separate conductors
  • Shallow basement 48.7m – 82.6m
  • Max CPS counts from gamma probe of up to 4379 over 2.7m in hole RK-13-05 interpreted to be on the same conductor as the Patterson Lake Discovery (PLS) discovery

Fertile receptive basement graphitic lithologies were intersected in 11 of the 12 completed holes below 48.7-82.6m of glacial and Cretaceous overburden. The 11 holes also contained significant clay and hematite alteration while all 12 holes contained evidence of repeated structural dislocation, being primarily brecciation, offset faulting, shearing, and veining.

Uranium Investing News recently interviewed Canaccord Genuity’s senior mining analyst, Joe Mazumdar, and he agrees that NexGen’s Rook 1 property is in a good position, being on trend to the Patterson Lake South mineralization.

The first drilling results are compared below:


Highlights from the first phase, 2013 summer drill results totalling 3,032.0m on the property include:

  • Uranium confirmed in hole RK-13-05 as a downhole intercept between 220.5 – 224.5 m of 4.0 m @ 330ppm U3O8.
  • Holes RK-13-03 and -06 intercepted a combination of uranium- and thorium-bearing minerals.
  • All 3 holes were located on separate EM conductors as highlighted in Figure 1 immediately along strike of and adjacent to the Patterson Lake South discovery.

Radio Project

NexGen has the option to acquire a 70% interest in the Radio Project from the Optionors, Michael Lederhouse, Timothy Young and Matthew Mason. Radio is located directly adjacent to and covers the eastern extension of the interpreted structural corridor that hosts Rio Tinto’s Roughrider deposits (total indicated + inferred resources of 58Mlb at an average grade of 4.73% U3O8).

Previous detailed geophysical surveys of the Radio property have included aerial VTEM and magnetics, ground gravity and DC resistivity. Interpretation of this data indicated anomalous features on the property.

NexGen completed the first recorded drill program in July 2013, confirming that the property contains basement geology, alteration and structural features that host uranium mineralization elsewhere in the Athabasca Basin