UEX Corporation: Drilling to Expand the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit Underway
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Jan. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (UEX:TSX) (“UEX” or the “Company”), is pleased to announce that drilling has commenced on the Company’s 100% owned West Bear Property with the objective of expanding the high-grade West Bear Co-Ni Deposit (the “Deposit”).
The 2019 winter exploration program will consist of approximately 17,000 m of drilling in approximately 110-160 holes utilizing two drill rigs. Initially, the program will focus on extending high-grade cobalt mineralization along strike to the west (see Figure 1).
Results from UEX’s 2004 – 2006 sonic drill programs, located 100-500 m west of the Deposit highlight the excellent potential to expand the cobalt-nickel mineralization along strike to the west. These sonic holes were able to penetrate only 5-10 m below the uranium mineralization defining the West Bear Uranium Deposit terminating at vertical depths ranging between 25-35 m. Almost all the sonic holes ended in cobalt-nickel mineralization. The key fault structure hosting cobalt-nickel mineralization in the Deposit area occurs downdip of these mineralized sonic holes and remains untested by drilling.
Significant drill results from the 2018 program included hole WBC-012 that assayed 4.90% Co and 2.08% Ni over 8.0 m from 77.0 to 85.0 m (see UEX News Release dated April 19, 2018) and hole WBC-001 which intersected 2.00% cobalt and 1.26% nickel over 10.5 m between 46.0 m and 56.5 m (see UEX News Release dated April 9, 2018).
The drill program will also test for extensions of high-grade cobalt-nickel mineralization down-plunge and along strike to the southeast.
The goal of the winter program is to drill the Deposit to such an extent that the Company will be able to commence studies to determine the economic viability of the Deposit in the second half of 2019.
The winter drill program will also begin the process of investigating the area around the Deposit for additional cobalt-nickel deposits. Historical drilling along the margins of the West Bear Dome was focussed on targeting uranium mineralization at the unconformity and often failed to test these fault structures downdip into the basement for cobalt and nickel. Frequently, samples collected from these holes were not sampled for cobalt and nickel. Five high-priority target areas have been identified from the Company’s review of the historical data of previous explorers on the north and west flanks of the West Bear Dome (see Figure 1).
UEX believes the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit has potential to develop into a significant cobalt deposit with several potential advantages:
- High Grades
- Cobalt grades from several of UEX’s drill holes compare favorably to the grades of many global and North American deposits
- Open-Pit Amenable
- Open in All Directions for Expansion
- Historical Focus on Unconformity Uranium Targets Avoided Co-Ni Opportunities
- Historical drill holes did not test the clay-altered host fault structure down-dip from the unconformity, the host environment for the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit.
- Mining Friendly Location
- Located in Saskatchewan, the world’s second most attractive mining investment jurisdiction according to the Fraser Institute’s 2017 Survey of Mining Companies.
- Potential Secure and Ethical North American Cobalt Source
- Could help alleviate concerns regarding supply security and ethical sourcing of cobalt seen in other jurisdictions.
About the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit
The West Bear Property is an advanced exploration project located in the eastern Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada that contains both the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit and the West Bear Uranium Deposit. The Property is approximately 740 kilometres north of Saskatoon, west of Wollaston Lake and measures approximately 7,657.3 hectares comprising of 23 contiguous areas to which UEX has 100% ownership. The Deposit is located within an area of the Athabasca Basin that has excellent infrastructure and is situated within 10 km of an existing all-weather road and power lines that service Cameco Corporation’s nearby Cigar Lake Mine and Rabbit Lake Operation, as well as Orano’s McClean Lake Operation.
The West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit has a strike length of over 250 m and a dip length of over 100 m and remains open for expansion in all directions. On July 10, 2018, the Company announced a maiden inferred resource estimate for the Deposit of 390,000 tonnes grading 0.37% cobalt and 0.22% nickel, which equates to 3,172,000 pounds of cobalt and 1,928,000 pounds of nickel. The West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit mineral resources were determined using a cut-off grade of 0.023 percent cobalt equivalent (“CoEq”), using the equation CoEq = Co + (Ni x 0.2). Only mineralization located within a conceptual open pit was included in the final resource estimate.
A sensitivity analysis completed by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. within the Technical Report for the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Project, Saskatchewan, Canada dated August 7, 2018 (filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com) demonstrates the high-grade nature of the Deposit. Compared to the base case resource estimate, over 96% of the contained cobalt still lies within the conceptual pit shell when cut-off grades are increased to 0.09% CoEq (278,837 t at 0.50% Co and 0.29% Ni equaling 3.07 million pounds Co and 1.78 million pounds Ni).
Qualified Persons and Data Acquisition
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Roger Lemaitre, P.Eng., P.Geo., UEX’s President and CEO and Trevor Perkins, P.Geo., UEX’s Exploration Manager, who are each considered to be a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
UEX (TSX:UEX, OTC:UEXCF.PK, UXO.F) is a Canadian uranium exploration and development company involved in nineteen uranium projects, including eight that are 100% owned and operated by UEX, one joint venture with Orano Canada Inc. (“Orano”) and ALX Uranium Corp. (“ALX”) that is 50.1% owned by UEX and is under option to and operated by ALX, as well as eight joint ventures with Orano, one joint venture with Orano and JCU (Canada) Exploration Company Limited, which are operated by Orano, and one project (Christie Lake), that is 60% owned by UEX with JCU (Canada) Exploration Company Limited which is operated by UEX.
The company is also involved in one cobalt-nickel exploration project located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan. The West Bear Project was formerly part of UEX’s Hidden Bay Project and contains the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit and the West Bear Uranium Deposit.
The nineteen projects are located in the eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world's richest uranium belt, which in 2017 accounted for approximately 22% of the global primary uranium production. UEX is currently advancing several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Christie Lake deposits, the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits at its currently 49.1%-owned Shea Creek Project (located 50 km north of Fission’s Triple R Deposit and Patterson Lake South Project, and NexGen’s Arrow Deposit) the Horseshoe and Raven deposits located on its 100%-owned Horseshoe-Raven Development Project and the West Bear Uranium Deposit located at its 100%-owned West Bear Project.
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President & CEO
This news release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking information" for the purposes of Canadian securities laws. Such statements are based on UEX's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. Such forward-looking information includes statements regarding the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit drill program, UEX's drill hole results, uranium, cobalt and nickel prices, outlook for our future operations, plans and timing for exploration activities, and other expectations, intentions and plans that are not historical fact. Such forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions and is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from UEX's expectations include uncertainties relating to the, interpretation of drill results and geology, assay confirmation, additional drilling results, continuity and grade of deposits, fluctuations in uranium, cobalt and nickel prices and currency exchange rates, changes in environmental and other laws affecting uranium, cobalt and nickel exploration and mining, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in UEX's Annual Information Form and other filings with the applicable Canadian securities commissions on SEDAR. Many of these factors are beyond the control of UEX. Consequently, all forward-looking information contained in this news release is qualified by this cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that actual results or developments anticipated by UEX will be realized. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable law, UEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.