Cauldron Energy (ASX:CXU) is poised to start drilling at its wholly-owned Bennet Well Uranium Deposit in Western Australia that could extend resources and improve targeting to find additional deposits.
The majority of the 40-hole mud rotary drilling program totalling 4,000 metres is designed to increase the size of the deposit and to understand its metallurgy.
In addition, some of the drilling program aimed at greenfield type targets will be jointly funded by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum through a grant of up to $150,000 under its Exploration Incentive Scheme.
Data from the drilling will also be used to help in planning the Bennet Well Field Leach Trials that will improve the company’s understanding on the recoverability of uranium and improved greenfields targeting across its large land holding to find additional deposits like Bennet Well.
In July, the company upgraded the Bennet Well uranium resource by 16% to 21.5 million pounds of contained uranium oxide.
This also increased the Indicated Resource by 90% to 11.9 million pounds of contained uranium oxide.
Simon Youds, manager of operations, commented:
“We welcome the potential to increase shareholder value through drilling that is aimed to increase the Mineral Resource at Bennet Well, further our metallurgical understanding and to also attempt to define new zones of mineralisation that may, after further work, significantly add to the total mineral inventory of the deposit.”
Cauldron recently completed a comprehensive geological review of the mineralisation setting of its Bennet Well deposit.
This showed areas proximal to the deposit that have high potential to further extend the Resource.
The mud rotary drilling program is designed to test the high priority targets and also further improve the metallurgical understanding of the deposit.
Mineralisation at Bennet Well, part of the Yanrey Project, is a shallow accumulation of uranium hosted in unconsolidated sands close to surface (less than 100 metre downhole depth) in Cretaceous sedimentary units of the Ashburton Embayment.
The Bennet Well deposit is comprised of three spatially separate deposits; namely Bennet Well East, Bennet Well Central, and Bennet Well South.
Work completed during the quarter involved the revision of the 2014 interpreted geological setting and the development of a three-dimensional mineralisation model.
Cauldron used the information gained from re-logging core in the March 2015 quarter to develop the systems style exploration model.
Following a remodelling exercise an upgrade of the resource completed by independent consultants, Ravensgate Mining Industry Consultants was announced in July incorporating new results from the partially completed drill program of 2014.
Fifteen mineralised lenses have been identified and modelled providing a framework on which an upcoming resource revision can be based.
It also shows where mineralisation remains open having potential for further extension of deposit boundary.
This mineralisation model can also be extrapolated into more regional locations within the larger Yanrey area, which will assist targeting for potential new mineralised bodies.
The Yanrey Project comprises a collection of twelve exploration tenements in north-western Western Australia, one of which secures the Bennet Well Uranium Deposit.
The project is prospective of sandstone-style uranium mineralisation capable of extraction by in-situ recovery mining technique.
CXU’s recent review has developed a systems style exploration model that allowed for the selection of areas for further airborne electromagnetic data acquisition.
These will be used to identify target areas capable of hosting uranium mineralisation that require further follow-up exploration.
Cauldron Energy’s upcoming drilling program will be closely watched given its goal of increasing the size of the Bennet Well deposit and helping to find additional deposits on its land holding.
This is timely after an Australian Parliamentary Committee gave its support for a $1.75 billion deal to sell uranium to India if a number of safety recommendations are met.
Japan has also started to restart nuclear reactors while China’s use of nuclear power is growing.
Adding further interest, the UK has given approval for the construction of a prototype nuclear reactor in Essex, the first Chinese-operated facility in the West.
These could be half the cost and take half the time to construct compared to the Westinghouse 6000 standard.
Drilling is expected to take until the end of October though news flow will be coming through during this period as the company uses a gamma probe to sample the grade of intersections.
This will allow the company to report grades of holes as per JORC 2012 following a few days mathematical adjustment called ‘deconvolution’.
Cauldron had $1.2 million in cash as at 30th June 2015. A further $1.7 million is being held in trust in relation to the placement with non-executive director Qiu.
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