Athabasca Basin Properties

Alces Lake

  • Snapshot
  • Location
  • Current Exploration
  • Historic Exploration
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry Results
  • Diamond Drilling
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • Posters
  • Reports

Rare Earth Elements (Ree), in Particular Neodymium (Nd), Praseodymium (Pr), Dysprosium (Dy) and Terbium (Tb) Which Are Critical for Fabrication of Permanent Magnets

Uranium, Thorium, Phosphates and Gallium

100% Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp.

14,334 hectares (35,420 acres)

Alces Lake property is located north of Lake Athabasca and the Athabasca Basin. The site is approximately 34 km east of Uranium City and 135 km west of Stony Rapids. A winter road is constructed annually to provide service to Uranium City from Stony Rapids. Uranium City has a certified airport, hydroelectric power, grocery store, bulk fuel dispensary, a fleet of heavy duty construction equipment, and telephone and internet communications.

Outcrop Near Alces Lake Trench 1
Outcrop Near Alces Lake Trench 1

Current Exploration

  • Summer 2023: Phase I – May to June: Property wide prospecting program investigating previous mineral showings and historical GSC Th anomalies on Appia’s newly acquired claims. Additional prospecting along the Alces Lake structural corridor.  

  • Summer 2023: Phase II – June to August: Commencement of Appia’s 5000m diamond drilling program. Drilling focused on delineating newly discovered targets during Phase 1 prospecting and further expanding the established Magnet Ridge and Wilson trends.  

  • Summer 2023: Phase III – July: Targeted RAMP high resolution radiometric survey over the Hinge Zone, Western Anomaly, and Alces Lake corridor. 

  • Summer 2023: Phase IV – August: Extensive outcrop stripping of newly identified Hinge Targets with shallow backpack DDH test holes. 

  • Summer 2022: Phase I – May to July: Commencement of the largest drilling program for Appia with 12,000+ metres planned for 2022; primarily focusing on further delineating identified targets from 2021 prospecting and intersecting deeper targets at the established WRCB mineralization. 

  • Summer 2022: Phase II – June to August: Regional prospecting, mapping and sampling of the previously visited western anomaly to further detail and evaluate mineralization’s discovered in 2021.  

  • Summer 2021: Phase I – June to July: a high-resolution air photo survey as well as a digital elevation model over the entire property to aid in aerial geophysical survey. Project-wide, high-resolution radiometric and magnetic survey designed with 50 m flight-line spacing and flying within 10 to 20 metres of the surface to commencing June 15, 2021.  2,500 by 2,500 metre ground magnetic and VLF-EM survey  

  • Summer 2021: Phase II – June to August: local and regional prospecting, mapping and sampling to discover more high-grade REE zones and to better understand the geological controls of REE mineralization 

  • Summer 2021: Phase III – June to November: 6,000+ metres of helicopter-supported diamond drilling with two diamond drill rigs focused on discovering new high-grade zones and delineating the extent of known high-grade REE mineralization; 

  • Summer 2020: Phase I – June to July: Airborne radiometric, magnetic, EM survey over Alces Lake property 

  • Summer 2020: Phase II – June to September: Continue ground prospecting and overburden stripping in main 500 m x 500 m grid area, also including Danny, Hinge and Biotite Lake zones, and reconnaissance exploration for the historic Forget Lake and Oldman River monazite occurrences 

  • Summer 2020: Phase III – July to September: Diamond drill testing of numerous surface zones, plus reconnaissance drilling of targets identified by geophysical review and geological compilation 

  • Summer 2020: Phase IV – August to September: Follow-up with heavy mineral black beach sand mapping and sampling around Alces Lake shores 

  • Summer 2019: Phase I – June: Ground gravity geophysical survey over surface REE zones and surrounding area (500 m x 500 m grid). Gravity survey identified numerous gravity-high targets interpreted as high-concentrations of monazite
  • Summer 2019: Phase II – June to August: Completed 44 diamond drill holes (2,042.1 m) on Charles, Dante, Ivan, Mikaela and Richard zones, plus reconnaissance drilling of targets identified by gravity survey. 40 drill holes intersected the REE mineralization system and 19 of those drill holes intersected high-concentrations of monazite and REEs
  • Summer 2019: Phase III – June to August: Ground prospecting discovered eight new surface zones (Biotite Lake, Quartzite, Thomas, Cone, Stan, Jason, Bo, Danny extension) with characteristics of the REE mineralization system, including high-grade REE
  • Summer 2018: Phase II – August to September: Diamond drilling of surface high-grade REE zones (Charles, Ivan and Wilson), discovered 3 new sub-surface REE occurrences; Charles Lower (high-grade REEs), Ivan Middle and Ivan Lower.  Assay results and maps can be accessed in the “Diamond Drilling” tabs above
  • Summer 2018: Phase I – June to September: Completed overburden stripping, surface delineation, mapping, and channel sampling of six high-grade REE zones (Bell, Charles, Dante, Dylan, Ivan, Wilson), and Wilson South-Central zone.  Assay results and maps can be accessed in the “Geochmistry Results” and “Maps” tabs above
  • July to September 2018: Appia stakes an additional 12,816 ha. (31,669 acres) surrounding mineral claim S-112033
  • June 2018: Scott Bell transfers remaining 10% stake in Alces Lake JV, Appia becomes 100% owner of the Alces Lake property (mineral claim S-112033)
  • August to September 2017: Appia completes a regional ground prospecting, mapping and radiometric surveying program. The program successfully identified 4 new areas of high-grade REE mineralization at surface at the Wilson, NW Wilson, Danny and Hinge zones. All samples show uniformly high concentrations of critical REEs, such as Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr). Assay results and maps can be accessed in the “Geochmistry Results” and “Maps” tabs above
  • August 2017: Appia allows 8 additional mineral claims (4,232 ha.) adjacent to the north and south of mineral claim S-112033 to lapse, focuses on core REE showings on S-112033
  • May 2016: Appia commissioned Geotech Ltd. to fly a helicopter-borne VTEMTM Plus Time-Domain EM, magnetic and radiometric survey over approximately 154.3 line-km of the property (Final Results posted in News Release for July 19, 2016, or see Maps section of Alces Lake).
  • May 2015: Appia stakes 8 additional mineral claims (4,232 ha.) adjacent to the north and south of mineral claim S-112033
  • September to October 2013: Joint Venture conducts small ground VLF-EM and magnetic surveys over Alces Lake occurrence, additional prospecting and sampling, discovery of Ivan high-grade REE-U zone
  • January 2013 to February 2014: Scott Bell transfers 40% ownership to Appia in 3 separate stages
  • October 2011: the Joint Venture conducts radiometric prospecting and rock sampling program, samples return high-grade REEs
  • December 2010: Scott Bell stakes mineral claim S-112033 (1,518 ha.), transfers 50% ownership to Appia

Historic Exploration

Loranger RCV Area

Normand, C. (2010). Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Ministry of Energy and Resources, Misc. Rep. 2010-4.2

The Appia project is located approximately 25 km east of the famous Beaverlodge uranium mining centre. Within the region, 284 uraninite (a.k.a. ‘pitchblende’) occurrences were known by 1969, of which 36 were explored underground with 16 of them advancing to a mining operation. Uranium mineralization occurs predominantly as vein-type systems localized in shears and faults but includes fracture-fillings or disseminations, or as a combination of both, with pitchblende as the main uranium-bearing mineral. Some of the uranium mines were significant. In the 1950s, the Lost Mine shipped 103,408 tonnes of ore to the Lorado Mill from which was recovered 223,574 kg (492,896 lbs) of U3O8. During eight years of operation in the 1960s, the Gunnar Mine processed approximately 4,988,500 tonnes of ore with an average grade of 0.175% U3O8 containing more than 19.2 M lbs of U3O8. The Eldorado-Ace-Fay Mine produced in excess of 19.2 tonnes (42.4 M lbs) of U3O8. The total production from the Beaverlodge vein systems from 1953 to 1982 was 22,467,229 kg of U3O8 (Potter, 2021).2

The uranium deposits in the Beaverlodge camp were recognized as carrying anomalous REE mineralization in ratios similar to those found in the leucogranite host rocks. Total REE contents ranged from 20 ppm to 2,595 ppm, however, at the time of mining there was no interest in REE’s due to the relatively small market for such metals.

During the 1950s, the Alces Lake area was subject to geological mapping, prospecting, ground radiometric surveying, minor trenching and limited diamond drilling. A few companies such as Goldfields Uranium Mines Ltd., Fargo Oils Ltd and J.H. Wilson, carried out exploration programs; however, the Beaverlodge area near Uranium City was main focus of exploration and mining activity in this region.

A second period of uranium exploration occurred between 1966 and 1968 consisted of an airborne radiometric survey and ground prospecting by Numac Oil & Gas Ltd. This coincided with airborne surveying activity over the Athabasca Basin by the Dynamic Group in the search for sandstone-hosted (roll-front) uranium deposits. This program was ultimately carried forward by Gulf Minerals and its partners resulting in the discovery of the Rabbit Lake unconformity-type uranium deposit. Numac’s airborne survey in the Alces Lake area resulted in the detection of 287 anomalies that led to the discovery of 79 radioactive occurrences. These were subsequently revisited by Wilson who trenched the better showings and discovered radioactive pegmatites which were named the “SCRUB” showing. However, the principal metal of interest was uranium and no significant value was given to rare metal mineralization.

During 1975, SMDC explored for the continuation of uranium deposits along the eastern strike of the St. Louis Fault, a major control on uranium mineralization in the mines in the Beaverlodge area. SMDC used water and lake sediment geochemical sampling together with VLF-EM techniques over the Alces Lake water body. The program failed to identify mineralization of economic significance. While exploration continued in the Uranium City area, principally for gold and uranium, the areas to the east saw no significant activity through the remainder of the 1990s.

During the summer of 2010, the Saskatchewan Geological Survey completed sampling and geological mapping in the area of the J.H. Wilson discovery trenches. The exploration program verified the existence of high-grade rare earth elements (“REE”s) from the old trench blasts, but also discovered some new outcrop showings. Samples taken from the trenches contained as much as 28.9% total REEs with spectrometer readings as high as 53,500 total counts per second (“cps”) from the old trench areas (Normand, 2010). During October the following year, Appia Energy Corp. and Mr. Scott Bell initiated exploration in the Alces Lake area with a helicopter-supported prospecting program in the area of the Wilson trenches that were previously resampled by Wilson. Appia’s exploration program is described in detail in the following chapter of this report entitled “Exploration”.


  • Three zones of surface mineralization on the Alces Lake property were first discovered by radiometric prospecting in the 1950’s; i) Alces Lake rare earth, ii) HALL-GRIF uranium, and iii) Scrub uranium.  A new high-grade rare earth surface discovery, the Ivan zone, was discovered 90 m NE of the Alces Lake zone in 2013.  It should be noted that the HALL-GRIF and Scrub showings have not been re-visited since the 1950’s.  
  • Alces Lake is located within the Beaverlodge Domain. The Beaverlodge Domain was host to over 17 individual uranium mines, having produced a total of 70 M lbs. U3O8 at an average grade over 0.20 wt% U3O8 

  • Rock types identified on the property include, in geochronological order from youngest to oldest; 

  • Proterozoic late-orogenic to metasomatic biotite schist, pegmatite augen and monazite accumulations (the REE mineralized system)   

  • Proterozoic syn- to late-anatectic pegmatites 

  • Proterozoic metasedimentary gneiss (pelitic and psammopelitic [+/- graphite], quartzite, amphibolite, pyroxenite, diatexite), and feldspathic gneiss 

  • Archean granitic gneiss 

  • The basement rock sequence of the metasedimentary gneiss is similar to those of the Beaverlodge deposits. 

  • The property boundary is approximately 28 km N of the current day Athabasca Basin margin. 

  • The St. Louis Fault, a regional scale fault, runs ENE-WSW in the northern portion of the property under the Alces Lake waterbody. The St. Louis Fault is a major tectonic boundary between the Beaverlodge and Train Domains, and also hosts at least 3 uranium deposits which produced over 45 M lbs U3O8 between 1950 and 1980. 


  • The Alces Lake REO geochemical assay results rank as the highest-grade REE occurrences in Canada. The results showcase world-class REO grades that are comparable to, if not better than, those encountered in the historic REE producing Steenkampskraal, South Africa and Mountain Pass, USA, deposits; and the currently producing Gakara project, Burundi; and Lynas Corp.’s Mt. Weld CLD mine, Australia, which produced over 12% of the global REE supply in 2017 

  • In-field radioactivity measurements of the Alces Lake outcrops and boulders have consistently exceeded 56,000 total counts per second (off-scale radioactivity) as measured with a RS-230 BGO Super-Spec hand-held spectrometer. The radioactivity is mainly due to the presence of Th. 

  • The Alces Lake property is host to numerous high-grade REE mineralization’s covering approximately 27 square kilometers.   

  • A total of 12 high-grade REE zones have been intersected within the WRCB group and surrounding mineralization's at both surface and in subsurface drill holes.  

Discovery Highlights:  

WRCB Group and Proximal Mineralization's 



21-WRC-015: 17.53 wt% TREO over 9.38m including 32.37 wt% TREO over 2.14m 

21-WRC-016: 15.38 wt% TREO over 3.19m 39.67 41.6 1.93 24.30 


DDH intersection Highlights: 

21-WRC-015: 3.62 wt% TREO over 4.3m including 14.6 wt.% TREO over 0.92m  

21-WRC-044: 7.98 wt% TREO over 3.3m including 0.55 wt.% TREO over 5.70m 


DDH intersection Highlights: 

 CH-18-008: 4.841 wt% TREO over 1.55m    

 CH-18-008: 10.017 wt% TREO over 3.55m 

 CH-19-014 : 11.75 wt% TREO over 1.3m  


DDH intersection Highlights: 

DT-19-004B: 23.891 wt% TREO over 1.2m  

IV-19-012: 31.339 wt% TREO over 7.9m  


Surface Channel Samples 

41.533 wt% TREO over 1.02 m  


Proximal Mineralization’s to the WRCB Group 


Surface Channel Samples:  

Channel 1: 0.81m @ 2.55% TREO  

Channel 2: 1.69m @ 6.23% TREO  

Channel 3: 1.20m @ 1.20% TREO  

Channel 4: 0.79m @ 0.85% TREO  


Surface Channel Samples: 

Channel 1: 2.16m @ 2.49% TREO 

Channel 2: 3.09m @ 2.84% TREO 

 Channel 3: 0.77m @ 3.40% TREO 

Regional High to Medium Grade Discoveries: 


DDH intersection Highlights: 


(7.07m - 13.20m) 1.836 wt% TREO over 6.13m  

(22.00m - 25.70m) 1.23 wt% TREO over 3.7m  

Surface Channel Samples:  

Channel 1: 2.22 wt% TREO over 3.32m  

 Channel 2: 5.83 wt% TREO over 2.50m 


Surface Channel Samples: 

Channel 1: 1.97 wt% TREO over 1.00m  

Channel 2: 0.96 wt% TREO over 1.3m  

Sweet Chili Heat: 

DDH intersection Highlights: 

21-SCH-001: 3.518 wt% TREO over 3.46m  

21-SCH-002: 9.667 wt% TREO over 0.25m  

21-SCH-004: 2.192 wt% TREO over 1.05m   

All 6 DDH mineralization intersections exceed 0.5 wt% TREO 

Train Domain:  

Surface Grab Samples: 

G-2021-1743: 2.72 wt% TREO 

West Limb Anomaly: 

Surface Grab Sample: 36.114% TREO – ID 8233outcrop 


Surface Channel Samples: 

Channel 1: 0.49 wt% TREO over 3.04m  

Channel 2: 0.26 wt% TREO over 3.83m 

Channel 3: 0.71 wt% TREO over 1.25m  

Low-Grade High-Volume Intercepts on the Alces Lake Property 

AMP Zone:  

DDH Intersection highlights: 

22-WRC-016: 0.33 wt.% TREO over 12.13m including 0.55 wt.% TREO over 5.70m  

22-WRC-008: 0.42 wt.% TREO over 10.30m including 0.61 wt.% TREO over 4.30m 

22-WRC-003B: 0.36 wt.% TREO over 8.83m including 0.55 wt.% TREO over 4.43m 

Magnet Ridge:  

DDH Intersection Highlights: 

22-AUG-031: 0.317 wt.% TREO over 19.85m including 0.467 wt.% TREO over 8.94m 

22-AUG-030: 0.245 wt.% TREO  over 18.67m including  0.344 wt.% TREO over 9.02m 

22-AUG-026: 0.190 wt.% TREO over 28.19m including 0.506 wt.% TREO over 28.19m  

Magnet Ridge West: 

22-MRW-005: avg 0.25 wt% TREO over 23.07m.  


See “Alces Lake – Summary REO Assay Results” table in “Geochemistry Results” tab for individual element grades supporting reported TREO and CREO results 

  • All REE elements are 100% hosted within monazite with a minor amount of Y within xenotime 

  • The REE mineralized system is a combination of late-orogenic to metasomatic biotite schist, pegmatite augen and monazite accumulations that clearly cross-cut and in sharp contact with solidified regional gneiss. Monazite is hosted within both biotite schist and pegmatite augen. Biotite schist, which is also typically sulphide-rich, shows signs of shear remobilization, having also incorporated and ‘rolled’ pegmatite clasts within the shears 

  • The REE mineralized system occurs in both Proterozoic metasediments and Archean orthogneiss 

  • REE mineralization is consistent in all zones and rock types; occurs as isolated grains to 1 to 3 cm thin lenses to isolated massive clusters to massive clusters (up to m’s thick) of 1 to 3 mm-sized grains (average) of monazite 

  • Monazite is enriched with critical REEs (Nd, Pr, Dy) necessary for the growing permanent magnet industry which in-turn is driven by technological applications such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, robotics, personal electronics, and advanced medical equipment 

  • Regardless of rock type hosting the mineralized system (i.e. metasediment or orthogneiss) or grades, the REE ratios are consistent from one zone to another 

  • In particular, Nd and Pr account for approximately 20% and 5% of the REEs 

  • See “Geochemistry Results” for assay results of respective zones 


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