Energy Ventures drilling to target near surface uranium at Maybell project in Colorado

Sep. 04, 2011 9:14 PM ET
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Energy Ventures (ASX: EVE) has commenced a program of reconnaissance diamond drilling at its Maybell uranium project located in northwest Colorado, USA, aiming to verify and discover near surface uranium resources.

Based on historical uranium production records and reported exploration results, there is significant potential at the Maybell project area. Drilling is focussing on the South Block of the Maybell claims.

The project currently comprises a total of 586 lode claims, covering about 4,740 hectares, and is located about 40 kilometres west of the town of Craig.

The company said Diamond drilling has been selected in order to maximise the geological information that can be obtained from the work program and to ensure that downhole geophysical probes can be run in the holes.

Any mineralised intervals in the drill holes will be selected for sampling and assay for uranium.

Uranium mineralisation in the Maybell district occurs as near‐surface zones hosted in structures and tuffaceous sandstones of the Miocene age Brown's Park Formation.

These sandstone units vary from 60 metres to 300 metres total thickness and locally contain unusually thick zones (over 30 metres) of uranium mineralisation.

Importantly, the geometry and physical characteristics of these permeable sandstones, combined with the uranium mineralogy, suggests that a deposit would be amenable to shallow open‐pit mining and processing by a conventional heap leach process.

Regionally, the mineralised sandstones occur within an extensive area of uranium mineralised rocks approximately 13 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide. Historically this area has been subdivided into a North Block and a South Block.

The North Block includes much of the historic Maybell uranium mining district, with recorded production of over 4.3 million pounds (Mlb) of uranium (U3O8) at a grade of 0.13% U3O8.

All of this historic production was undertaken in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, principally sourced from shallow open‐pit mines, with treatment through an on‐site conventional mill.

Heap leach processing of additional ore and stockpiles was undertaken from the late 1970’s to 1981 was by heap leaching and recovered about a further 1 Mlb U3O8.

Further drill testing will be taken on the exploration targets in the Maybell area, subject to the results of the current drilling program.

The company is currently obtaining statutory access permits from the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety in order to conduct a more wide ranging program, including a drill test of historical resources that are reported to exist close to the existing workings in the North Block.

Energy Ventures, through its wholly owned US subsidiary Oregon Energy LLC, owns five uranium exploration and development projects located in the western USA, all of which have been subject to significant historical exploration and have historical resources.

The company's most advanced project is the Aurora uranium deposit located in southeast Oregon, which has a total resource base of 38 Mlb eU3O8 comprising an Indicated Resource of 36.7 Mlb eU3O8 at a grade of 253 ppm eU3O8, and an Inferred Resource of 1.2 Mlb eU3O8 at a grade of 151 ppm eU3O8 (grade cut‐off 100 ppm eU3O8).

Energy Ventures is currently advancing feasibility studies for the Aurora project, exploring other project areas and actively evaluating other uranium opportunities in the western USA.

The company's ultimate aim is to supply product to the domestic US market, which is the largest consumer of uranium in the world and is expected to have consistent demand in the longer term.

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