Surface Geochemical Study Completed over the Centennial Uranium Deposit
CALGARY, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Uravan Minerals Inc. (Uravan), in collaboration
with Cameco Corporation (Cameco), the Queen's Facility for Isotope Research
(QFIR), and Environmental BioTechnologies Inc. (EBT), completed a
multi-faceted surface geochemical sampling program over the Centennial uranium
deposit (Centennial Survey), located on the Virgin River structural trend
within the south-central portion of the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan [map
link]. The Centennial deposit is a high-grade unconformity-type uranium
deposit occurring at a depth of approximately 800 m that is currently in the
drill-developed stage by Cameco and its joint venture partners, Areva
Resources Canada Inc. (AREVA) and Formation Metals Inc. (Coronation Mines).
The Centennial Survey is an applied research study that capitalized on our
cumulative knowledge obtained from previous surface studies, including the
Cigar West Study and similar surface geochemical surveys conducted over five
(5) of Uravan's active exploration projects. The purpose in developing these
surface geochemical techniques is to provide a means of rapidly evaluating
under-explored basin environments with the goal to get to mineral discovery
more quickly and cost effectively (i.e. fewer drill-holes to discovery). The
objective of this survey is to advance our remote sensing geochemical
technology by (a) determining if we can identify unique geochemical and
isotopic signatures in the surface environment (soils and trees) that support
element migration from a high-grade uranium deposit at depths >800m; and (b)
investigating if these elements and isotopic signatures can be characterized
as distinct, deposit-sourced geochemical signals or derived from the natural
geochemical variations related to surficial geology and/or environmental
The survey was completed in June 2013 and managed by Uravan's technical group.
The sampling grid of 533 survey stations: (a) a primary sampling grid covering
a 600 x 950 m area was centered over the surface projection of the Centennial
uranium deposit. The central grid included 230 sample stations distributed on
an offset 50 m grid. An additional 303 survey stations were distributed on
100, 200 and 500 m spacing extending further into background away from the
deposit [map link].
Sample Media Collected
1. 495 B- and C-horizon soil samples;
2. 478 tree-core samples from black spruce and/or jack pine trees;
3. 557 MET samples from A2-horizon soils and;
4. 45 bulk B-horizon soil samples.
Sample Preparation and Analysis
Sample preparation of the tree-cores and separation of the clay-sized fraction
(<2μm) from the B-and C-horizon soils were completed by QFIR. All
clay-sized sample material from the B-and C-horizon soil samples were analysed
at Acme Laboratories in Vancouver by ICP-MS following an aqua regia digestion
for a suite of fifty-three (53) elements, plus all rare earth elements (REE)
and lead (Pb) isotopes. QFIR undertook the preparation and analytical work on
all tree-cores. Selected tree-ring intervals underwent total digestion and
analysis using high resolution ICP-SFMS for fifty (50) elements and Pb
A separate A2-horizon soil sample from each survey station was collected for
analysis using EBT's Microbial Exploration Technology (MET) process.
Conceptually, the MET analysis measures the population of
hydrocarbon-metabolizing microbes living in the near-surface aerobic
environment. Elevated populations of these micro-organisms in a soil sample
may be indicative of thriving microbial activity due to an increase in
hydrocarbon gas flux (primarily methane) that has migrated to the surface from
the redox environment of a uranium deposit at depth.
Survey Results - Data Analysis and Interpretation
The combined anomalous surface geochemical signals obtained from the various
surface media analyzed (tree-cores, clay-sized fractions of soils, and MET
samples) have clearly defined the surface projection of the Centennial uranium
deposit, which occurs at depths greater than 800 m [map link]. The spatial
relationship and surface distribution of certain pathfinder elements, lead
(Pb) isotopic ratios ((207)Pb/(206)Pb), and MET microbial values in the media
analyzed, provide a compelling, coincident surface anomaly that, when
displayed with other known geophysical survey data and interpreted structural
patterns, would certainly vector drilling to a deposit at 800 meters depth in
a 'green-fields' exploration setting.
These anomalous surface geochemical signals are interpreted to be the result
of the migration of gaseous compounds, mobilized metals, and distinct isotopic
compositions from the deposit at depth. The movement of these distinct
elements and gaseous compounds to the surface environment (soils and trees) is
interpreted to occur preferentially along fractures and fault systems, as well
as along grain boundaries through the Athabasca Sandstone. The structural
pathways extending upward through the overlying Athabasca Sandstone are a
result of basement structural reactivation and concurrent hydrothermal
activity, both of which are key components necessary for all
unconformity-related uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin.
Proof of Concept
A drilling program on the Stewardson Lake project is the next step in Uravan's
objective to apply our cumulative knowledge from these surface geochemical
surveys to active projects. In July 2011 a surface geochemical program was
completed over the Stewardson project followed by an airborne ZTEM geophysical
survey in June 2013 [map link]. A program and budget for the Stewardson
project for 2014 is currently under review by Cameco Corporation (Cameco).
Cameco has an exclusive option to earn a 51% interest in Uravan's 100% owned
Halliday Lake and Stewardson Lake projects. Uravan is currently the operator
with the responsibility to plan and implement the exploration programs on the
Stewardson project in consultation with and on behalf of Cameco. Details of
the approved 2014 program and budget will be announced in the near future.
Dr. Colin Dunn, P. Geo., technical advisor for Uravan, is the
Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101 with respect
to the technical information in this press release. Dr. Colin
Dunn, an independent specialist in biogeochemistry, is
working closely with Uravan's technical group and QFIR to
advance the interpretation of biogeochemical results.
This press release may contain forward looking statements including those
describing Uravan's future plans and the expectations of management that a
stated result or condition will occur. Any statement addressing future events
or conditions necessarily involves inherent risk and uncertainty. Actual
results can differ materially from those anticipated by management at the time
of writing due to many factors, the majority of which are beyond the control
of Uravan and its management. In particular, this news release contains
forward-looking statements pertaining, directly or indirectly, to the use of
proceeds of the Offering. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of
risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive. These statements speak
only as of the date of this release or as of the date specified in the
documents accompanying this release, as the case may be. The Corporation
undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements except as expressly required by applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that
term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for
the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Uravan Minerals Inc.
Larry Lahusen, CEO Uravan Minerals Inc. Tel: 403-264-2630
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