Orezone Gold (TSE:ORE) Monday announced an exploration update for its 67 percent-owned subsidiary, Brighton Energy, from the Zéline 1 exploration permit in Niger, West Africa.
A 29-hole, 4,179 metre drill program completed during the third quarter has further expanded the uranium discovery made earlier this year at the project.
Results indicate that the previously delineated area of significant uranium mineralization extends to the north by an additional 2.5 kilometres, expanding the total area from six to 14 square kilometres.
In addition, Brighton completed a 46,049 line-kilometre airborne magnetometry-radiometry survey, at a 100 metre line spacing, over its five exploration permits covering a total area of 3,958 square kilometres.
Brighton and Orezone SVP Exploration, Pascal Marquis, said: "The recent results expand our discovery area and are quite positive given the widely spaced drill pattern and the consistency of the mineralization.
"We look forward to the next phase of definition drilling in order to outline the thicker and higher grade paleo-channels that are characteristic of the ores of the neighboring operations."
Several new targets have been identified from the geophysical data and a 15,000 metre program has begun. The program will focus primarily on the new targets on the Zéline 4, Abelajouad and Assaouas 2 permits, as well as follow-up definition drilling on the Zéline 1 and Assaouas 1 discoveries.
The Zéline 1 discovery drilling to date has focused on a 25 square kilometre area adjacent to the Arlit Fault in the southwest portion of the permit.
Twelve of the holes intercepted uranium mineralization above a lower cut-off 0.01% percent uranium oxide, with eight of the holes intersecting more than 200 ppm of uranium oxide.
The Guezouman-Talak Formation, which is the host rock of the neighboring Cominak mine and Madaouela deposits, was consistently mineralized within a six square kilometre zone at depths from 112 to 182 metres. Mineralization occurs in the same sequence of Carboniferous rocks and has a similar structural setting as the neighboring mines that have produced uranium for the last 40 years.
French nuclear utility AREVA's open pit SOMAIR mine, together with its COMINAK underground mine, have produced approximately 240 million pounds of uranium oxide since 1971, and are the highest grade uranium mines in Africa, located 25 kilometres to the south of the Zéline 1 permit.
The new discovery is considered to be shallow and amenable to open pit mining, and is also largely associated with reduced rocks that are typically amenable to standard extractive processes.
Brighton has a well-located 4,000 square kilometre land package and a seasoned team of nationals to carry out its ongoing exploration programs.
With analysts forecasting a fundamental shortage in uranium supply over the next decade, the stakeholders of Brighton and Orezone are well positioned to benefit from the recent exploration success.
Monday morning, Orezone shares were up 1.88 percent to $3.25.