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Peninsula Energy unmasks further shallow high grade uranium at Karoo in South Africa

Peninsula Energy (ASX: PEN) is continuing its high grade run at the Karoo Project in South Africa, with further drilling continuing to demonstrate the widespread distribution of near surface high grade uranium in broad paleochannels.

High grade results returned from Site 29 include 10.7 feet (3.3 metres) at 1,755 parts per million equivalent uranium from 29.2 feet (8.9 metres), 3.6 feet (1.1 metres) at 2,560 parts per million from 31.2 feet (9.5 metres) and 20.5 feet (6.2 metres) at 300 parts per million from 23.8ft (7.3 metres).

The depth of mineralisation is shallow, averaging 13.1 metres within a range of 7.2-20.2 metres, which is very encouraging from a potential development perspective.

Importantly, exploration activity to date has been concentrated on a very limited part of Site 29.

Peninsula Energy also began initial exploration at the highly prospective Site 45 with the re-logging of 15 open historic drillholes, 13 of which recorded intersections greater than 200 parts per million.

Highlight intersections include 9.2 feet (2.8 metres) at 1,095 parts per million equivalent uranium from 45.4 feet (13.8 metres) and 7.7 feet (2.3 metres) at 592 parts per million from 47.4 feet (14.4 metres).


Site 29

Since the start of exploration at Site 29 in January last year Peninsula has completed 210 reverse circulation drillholes for 5,381 metres. Drilling has returned a total of 95 intersections in excess of 200 parts per million equivalent uranium.

A further 167 historic holes have also been probed returning 82 intersections in excess of 200 parts per million equivalent uranium.

Since July a total of 113 reverse circulation and diamond exploration and historic-hole-confirmation drillholes have been completed returning a total of 47 intersections in excess of 200 parts per million equivalent uranium.

These drill results continue to confirm strong high grade mineralisation in paleochannels averaging a thickness of 3.05 feet (0.9 metres). The thickness is consistent with the historic results for the project site and is typical of the thickness of mineralised zones at Karoo.

During the 1970’s Union Carbide calculated the presence of about 600,000 pounds of equivalent uranium  in a small part of Site 29 which in total covers 128 square kilometres.

Union Carbide reported an average grade exceeding 1,000 parts per million equivalent uranium and the mineralisation being hosted by the Poortjie formation. This sedimentary sandstone formation is the main target for uranium mineralisation at Karoo.

Peninsula is planning further exploration drilling for during 2012 for Site 29 to determine the subsurface extent of the host sandstone unit and to target further mineralisation.

This will be done by drilling 200 metre spaced stratigraphic holes in both east-west and north-south fences across the property.

Peninsula Energy chairman Gus Simpson said the next round of drilling would be done across and along the project to look for continuations or repetitions of the ore zone at Karoo.


Site 45

Site 45 is located 120 kilometres northwest of Beaufort West and comprises a contiguous area of 489 square kilometres.

During the late-1970’s JCI completed a total of 431 exploration holes in a central portion of the project area. Based on this data JCI calculated the presence of about 4.8 million pounds equivalent uranium in the Davidskolk formation.

Post JCI drilling, rock chip sampling by the South African Geological Survey returned maximum values of 4,210 parts per million equivalent uranium and 1,372 parts per million molybdenum within the project area, indicating an associated high grade molybdenum occurrence.

Peninsula is planning a reverse circulation drilling program at Site 45 following the final approval of drill permits.

Following drilling, Peninsula anticipates the definition of an initial JORC Resource for Karoo Project Sites 22, 29 and 45.

"We are hoping to do that in the first half of this year," Simpson told Proactive Investors today.


Karoo Potential

A defining factor of the potential of Karoo is evidenced in previous assays returned from Site 22 of 1.5 metres at 4,022 parts per million equivalent uranium and 1,313 parts per million molybdenum from 62 metres, as well as 0.5 metres at 6,170 parts per million equivalent uranium and 6,160 parts per million molybdenum from 70 metres.

In addition to existing resource drilling, 10 high ranking drill targets distributed across all six of Peninsula’s project areas have been prioritised from the 392 uranium occurrences generated by the 2008 helicopter-borne radiometric and magnetic surveys.

Simpson said Karoo is similar in mineralisation to other nearby deposits including ground held by Uramin.

"The ground that was held by Uramin has the same sorts of deposits as Karoo, they're not very thick but they are big and tabular. They tend to repeat themselves multiple times across a property," he said.

Preliminary geological studies estimate a combined exploration potential at Karoo of 30-60 million tonnes at 700-1,400 parts per million equivalent uranium for 90-150 million pounds.

Peninsula’s target over the next 12 months is to delineate 30 million pounds of equivalent uranium.