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Rampart netting prime uranium near Nipigon.

For the "Fabulous Baker Boys," as colleagues call them, the desire to prospect runs almost as deep as the uranium veins they are today working to find. Several members of the Baker family run Rampart Ventures Ltd., a Vancouver-based junior mining exploration company.


Focused on the exploration and discovery of uranium and IOCG (iron, oxide, copper, gold) deposits, the company has family history and geological expertise on its side. The firm operates under the direction of Nelson Baker, a geological engineer with over 40 years experience in mineral exploration, Cem (CJ) Baker, former senior geologist for WMC International and vice-president for Goldcorp, and corporate development officer Brad Baker.

Brad Baker, grandson of one of Canada's top prospectors, Walter Baker, says the company will start drilling for uranium in the Sibley Basin in northwestern Ontario soon.

Walter is known for discovering both the Lac des Iles platinum-palladium and Hemlo gold deposits.

Within the last six months, the company has been prospecting areas in northern Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario, which has led to further exploration of potential uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin (Sask.) and the Sibley Basin in the Lake Nipigon region.

Although the Athabasca Basin has been mined extensively, Baker says there have been new discoveries that have developed new models of how these high-grade, "unconformity-type" uranium deposits uranium are formed.

According to Baker, most uranium mines grade well under one per cent [U.sub.3][0.sub.8] (that's the chemical description of unprocessed uranium ore, prior to the yellowcake stage). But the McArthur deposit in the Athabasca Basin hosts some deposits that grade in excess of 25 per cent [U.sub.3][0.sub.8].

"We were very fortunate that the property we have has not been worked," Baker says, comparing it to the surrounding area that has been mined since the 1960s.

Rampart discovered the Sibley Basin/Nipigon region shares characteristics similar to those in Athabasca while exploring.

The Sibley Basin is the least explored for unconformity uranium deposits in Canada, mostly due to a lack of the necessary technology. But now, with the use of VTEM airborne surveys technology, the company can get a much clearer picture of what's under the ground at depths of up to 700 metres.


Having received sample information from an Ontario geological survey performed in the '80s, and the company's investment of $350,000 in airborne surveys, Rampart was to be drilling approximately 5,000 metres at the end of May, says Baker.

Baker projects the company will spend about $11.5 million in northwestern Ontario.

"Most of that money will be going to people in the mining industry," he says. "We have hired geologists from Northern Ontario to work these projects. The money does go into the communities and areas where you are working."

Another claim of Rampart's is near Bearhead Lake, about 100 kilometres north of the Red Lake district. It is Rampart's intent to explore the area in the winter when they can access the property through winter roads.

With a company restructuring in the last year, the five-year-old company has almost 30 million shares outstanding and about $1.1 million in its treasury. Presently, Rampart is in partnership with New Shoshoni Ventures Ltd., a Canadian junior mineral exploration company.

With the anticipated Asian markets' demand for nuclear energy and the increased price of uranium (tripled in the last 18 months), Baker described these days as an "extremely exciting stage for the company."

"What is important is that we have the geologists with the knowledge, expertise and connections," Baker says.


Northern Ontario Business
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Author:Larmour, Adelle
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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