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Canalaska Uranium's increase in activities looks well timed


Kazakhstan's decision to curtail uranium output by 10% from its mines gave a shot in the arm to the sector


Quick facts: CanAlaska Uranium Ltd

Price: 0.2 CAD

Market: TSX-V
Market Cap: $11.52 m

CanAlaska Uranium Ltd (CVE:CVV) has had much to cheer recently as activity ramps up and the uranium price looks like it will be bolstered.

Prices are still way off the all-time high of $140 a pound reached in the summer of 2007 (currently around $23 per pound), but analysts say there are grounds to be optimistic about the current rally.

At the beginning of the year, Kazakhstan's decision to curtail output by 10% from its mines meant 3% of global production was taken off the table.

Now, the US Department of Energy have made large cuts to the amount it puts out to market, which should provide a boon to the sector.

Effectively, the US is making an annual cut of 1.1 million pounds of uranium, or nearly half the Kazakh reductions, which should take some pressure off the spot market, reckons analyst Rob Chang at broker Cantor Fitzgerald.

It is worth noting that after the Kazakhstan output cut, prices soared by about 28%, and analysts are optimistic that uranium will continue to firm long term as a large number of nuclear reactors currently being built come online.

All this should augur well for CanAlaska, a company that has options and royalty deals over a swathe of highly prospective acreage in Canada - around 470,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) - one of the largest positions in the Athabasca basin.

Gold Newsletter rates the shares a 'buy' and expects plenty of news flow 

Last month, Brien Lundin, editor of the Gold Newsletter, rated the shares a 'buy' and said the firm was likely to see plenty of news flow this year.

The latest news hails from the West McArthur project, which covers 35,830 hectares, as CanAlaska received the budget from Cameco Corp for geophysics and drilling this summer, estimated to cost $1.9mln.

Cameco, now in its second year of work on the project, has paid CanAlaska $725,000 for the right to earn a first-stage 30% interest for a $5 million exploration program within three years, and the work is aimed at homing in on the source of mineralization identified in past programs.

Cameco will then have the right, after a $500,000 payment, to carry out a further $6.275mln  of work over the following three years to earn a further 30% interest and form a joint venture with CanAlaska.

Notably, West McArthur begins 15km west of Cameco's majority-owned McArthur River uranium mine and is immediately adjacent to its Fox Lake uranium discovery, which has reported inferred resources of around 68.1 million pounds based on 387,000 tonnes at 7.99% uranium.

In December last year, Denison Mines also resumed exploration on the Moon South property (Moon) in Athabasca.

An initial hole drilled at Moon South last year on the CR-3 trend, near the southern boundary of the Moon South property, hit 0.1% U3O8 (uranium) over 0.5 metres, and a second phase drill program is planned for this summer.

Elsewhere, AREVA is the  operator of the Waterbury uranium joint venture with Cameco, where currently drilling is going on at the Waterbury West site.

CanAlaska sold the project to Cameco early last year, and the property was transferred to the joint venture. CanAlaska retains a 2% royalty interest. Discussions are underway with other uranium groups about the firm's other Waterbury properties.

The Waterbury West property is 3,764 hectares, and lies over the central portion of Waterbury Lake, immediately north east of the Cigar Lake mine.

It's not all about uranium for the explorer...

But it's not all about  uranium for CanAlaska and its "project generator" business.

At the Nisku copper, zinc property, 7km east of CanAlaska’s North Ruttan copper-zinc property, four holes have been completed at three sites to depths of 140 to 260 metres from surface.

Preliminary logs show that at the first two sites, all three hit semi-massive to massive sulphide mineralization, which was very extensive, with widths up to 16 metres of combined massive and semi-massive sulphide. Drill assays are expected in May.

It appears to be part of a large VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphide) system extending along strike for several kilometres, the group has said.

CanAlaska also is poring over data left behind by its former joint venturer at the West Athabasca diamond project - De Beers.

"The data should help CanAlaska find another joint venturer to explore West Athabasca more thoroughly," said Lundin last month.

CanAlaska shares are currently changing hands at 41 cents. Lundin had previously said 'buy' in April last year when it was 51 cents and then six months later in October last year, when it was 80 cents.

"The company has a low cash burn rate and about $1.6-million in the bank. It is a buy at current levels," he reckoned.

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