A-Cap Resources (ASX:ACB) has started a major reverse circulation and diamond drilling program at its Letlhakane Uranium Project in Botswana to infill and extend high grade mineralisation that is targeted for early production.
Letlhakane ranks as one of the largest under-developed uranium deposits in the world.
It has a global Resource of 662 million tonnes at 211ppm for a contained 308 million pounds of U₃O₈. This includes a higher grade component of 83.7Mt at 447ppm U₃O₈ for 82.5 Mlbs of U₃O₈.
Drilling results will provide valuable data for mine feasibility work and resource modelling.
The 5,000 metre of reverse circulation and diamond drilling will extend and further define areas that have been identified as high grade and provide valuable data for ongoing feasibility work and resource modelling.
This feasibility work will be completed and incorporated into a mining license application early next year.
Drilling will initially target the shallow primary resources at Serule West, Kraken and Gorgon South.
Holes will be located within the potential pit areas that would be early in the proposed mine life.
Localised drilling at a mine scale - grade control spacing will set the geological and grade parameters for future resource modelling. The continuity results within the mineralised horizon will also be utilised in ongoing pit optimisations, mining equipment selection and grade control methods.
A series of holes at a 20 metre spacing will establish the mining scale variability of the uranium mineralisation, defined by down hole gamma probing and advance these areas to a measured resource classification and support inpit reserve definition work.
The close spacing will allow:
- Spatial variograms to be developed for different grade cut-offs;
- Increased confidence in potential in-pit resources;
- Correlation of lithology;
- Selection of grade control parameters, including costing and selectivity.
Down-hole gamma surveys collected at 0.05m resolution will be completed on site using Auslog gamma tools.
The ability to collect gamma data at a small scale and calculate the equivalent uranium grade eU will drive the eventual mining methodology.
PQ Diamond drilling will be completed over all areas. The information will be used for:
- Lithological bases disequilibrium studies;
- Porosity differences in lithologies and related gamma corrections;
- Comminution test-work;
- Coal definition;
- Increased understanding of mineralisation.
All holes will be logged radiometrically, which should allow a rapid assessment of continuity at different cut-off grades and down-hole resolution.
Comminution test-work on selected PQ samples will confirm the mining and primary and secondary crushing parameters.
Letlhakane Uranium Project
Letlhakane is one of few global uranium projects capable of commencing production within the next three years and hosts a resource of 308 million pounds of U3O8 along with separate strata that contain 107.3 million tonnes of thermal coal.
Key shareholders (inc.) Praetorian Resources and China Growth Minerals that account for 30.6% are supportive of progressing Letlhakane.
The drilling at Letlhakane will provide valuable data for mine feasibility work and resource modelling.
This will also lead A-Cap to revise the Scoping Study to include the higher grade resource which is expected to impact significantly on operating costs for the project.
On the macro side, while uranium prices are softer with delays in the restart of reactors in Japan, there is significant scope for better tidings in 2014/15.
However, two brokers have forecast that the surplus will be almost reduced by 2015 with Morgan Stanley estimating the global surplus of uranium will arrow to 4.4 million pounds this year and move to a shortfall of 4.9 million in 2015.
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