Uranium explorer Fission Energy Corp (CVE:FIS)(OTCQX:FSSIF) announced Monday the completion of the 2012 winter drill program at its joint venture Waterbury Lake property in Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin, with 40 of 49 holes at the all-important J Zone hitting mineralization and growing the target area in three directions.
In total during the program, 32,770 metres were drilled in 86 holes, with Uranium assays pending and to be released when available.
Drilling focused primarily on the central and western parts the J Zone, where 40 of the 49 step-out and infill holes successfully widened the lateral north-south mineralized dimensions by up to 55 metres and confirmed continuity of wide widths of mineralization in areas tested by earlier programs, the company said.
At the J Zone, nearly 82 per cent of the holes completed intersected mineralization, with radioactivity ranging from anomalous to "off-scale" in the sandstone, at the unconformity and in the basement.
Earlier this year, the company reported hand-held scintillometer results for 21 drill holes in the area, including several wider intervals of mineralization in the western part of the J Zone, and three step out holes drilled laterally in the north of the central J Zone boundary, which intersected "off-scale" radioactivity within wide intervals of mineralization in the sandstone and basement below the unconformity.
Fission said Monday that the remaining 37 drill holes were completed in the Summit Zone, located 525 metres west of the J Zone, as well as in several other high priority regional exploration targets including Murphy Lake, Oban, Oban North and Chivas.
The company noted its technical team is "encouraged" by the initial results from Murphy Lake, located in the northwest part of Waterbury, where holes WAT12-273, 279, and 287A showed potential to host new high grade mineralization.
And at Oban, holes WAT12-285A, 292 and 296A all intersected anomalous radioactivity near the unconformity, the company added.
At the J Zone, the western part from Line 510W to Line 540W was found to be predominantly basement-hosted mineralization, and has been intersected up to 31 metres below the unconformity (down-hole depth), the company said.
In addition, holes WAT12-294 and 297 intersected basement-hosted mineralization at 25.4 and 26.5 metres below the unconformity, respectively, further showing the potential for continued expansion of the J Zone to the west.
The Uranium explorer noted that discrete levels of "off-scale" radioactivity, or greater than 9,999 counts per second 9 (cps), was seen in a total of six drill holes in the area.
The J Zone's east-west strike length now extends 667 metres from the eastern Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO)(LON:RIO) property boundary. Mineralization continues to trend to the west and remains open along strike and laterally to the north and south, Fission said.
Some highlights of scintillometer results in the western part of the J Zone included hole WAT12-280, which returned 10.5 metres of anomalous to "off-scale" radioactivity at the unconformity in the area where three prior drill holes expanded mineralization in the sandstone and at the unconformity.
Meanwhile, at the Summit Zone, of the 12 follow up holes completed to test for extensions of prior basement mineralization, six intersected narrow widths of weak radioactivity, mostly in the basement.
Hole WAT12-251 showed the best result, intersecting 1.5 metres of weak to moderately strong radioactivity (maximum peak 3,800 cps) in the basement. Further drilling is required to assess this area, the company said.
The six other holes drilled in the Summit area during the winter 2012 program were barren.
Fission said Murphy Lake is now a high priority prospective area for uncovering new high grade mineralization, with 14 holes drilled to follow up some prior drilling completed in the summer of 2011.
Importantly, the final three holes completed at Murphy Lake intersected basement mineralization associated with the M8 Conductor at the south end of the Murphy Lake Corridor, with hole WAT12-273 intersecting 6 intervals with widths from 0.5 to 8.5 metres of anomalous radioactivity ranging from less than 300 cps to a maximum peak of 1,000 cps.
The company plans on further drilling to test this area.
Fission also drilled at the Oban, Oban North and Chivas targets during the latest campaign, as part of the company's ongoing regional exploration designed to test prospective geophysical anomalies identified by previous geophysical surveys.
The Oban Corridor parallels the Discovery Bay Corridor, which hosts the high grade J Zone Uranium discovery, roughly 4 kilometres to the south.
The Oban North Corridor is just immediately north of Oban and is characterized by a conductor system oriented to the northwest, while the Chivas Corridor is an east-west oriented conductor system located around 3 kilometres to the west and on strike of Oban.
All three holes at Oban intersected mineralization in both the sandstone above the unconformity and in the basement, with the best result being hole WAT12-296A, which intersected 5.0 metres of anomalous to moderate readings of radioactivity (maximum peak 2,600 cps) in the basement.
No significant mineralization was identified at Oban North or Chivas, the company said.
The company noted that scintillometer readings "are not directly or uniformly related to Uranium grades of the rock sample measured," and should be used only as a preliminary indication of the presence of radioactive materials.
Updated drill hole maps for the J Zone, as well as maps for the Summit Zone, Murphy Lake, Oban/Oban North, and Chivas can be found on the company's website at http://www.fission-energy.com/s/WaterburyLake.asp
The company holds the Waterbury property in partnership with the Korea Waterbury Uranium LP, which is a consortium primarily comprised of Korean-based companies, and led by state-owned Korea Electric Power (KEPCO).
Fission owns 60 percent of the venture, and is the operator, with Korea Waterbury Uranium holding the remainder.
Fission Energy was among Versant Partners' top picks for 2012, with the capital markets firm seeing "inevitable consolidation" for the company due to the proximity of Fission's Waterbury property to Hathor Exploration's (TSE:HAT) Roughrider deposit.
Hathor was the subject of a takeover battle between mining giants Cameco Corp. (TSE:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO)(LON:RIO) last year, with the latter emerging as the winner with a $654 million friendly bid trumping Cameco's $625 million hostile offer.
Fission is focused on the acquisition and exploration of Uranium properties in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec in Canada, as well as the Macusani District in Peru.
In Apri, the company agreed to acquire industry peer Pitchstone Exploration through a plan of arrangement.
Pitchstone is a Uranium explorer focused in three districts in Canada and Namibia. The company's property portfolio features 13 projects in the eastern Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, five of which are 100 percent owned.