The exploration and development company acquired the exploration tenure in South Australia and the Northern Territory through wholly-owned unlisted Orpheus Minerals, which plans to list on the local share market later this year.
As the initial public offering (IPO) preparations continue, Argonaut’s board is considering an entitlement offer and potential in-specie distribution to provide ARE shareholders with the chance to secure Orpheus shares when the company goes public.
Orpheus intends to further explore its newly acquired uranium tenure once it makes its ASX debut.
South Australian projects
South Australia hosts four out of six approved Australian uranium mines: the Olympic Dam, Beverley, Four Mile and Honeymoon assets.
Three of these mines lie in close proximity to Orpheus’ Frome Project, a substantial 2,894-square kilometre landholding that covers:
- A network of sandstone paleochannels containing groundwater that drains from uranium-bearing granite source rocks
- Existing drilling with downhole gamma logs that defines 12 line kilometres of 'redox fronts' within thick sandstone units; and
- Two walk-up high priority drilling targets plus at least six early-stage drilling targets.
The Frome project involves three prospective exploration licences in the Frome Embayment area of South Australia, which is arguably the most prospective region in Australia for sandstone-hosted uranium deposits.
Importantly, the area lies near existing, licensed uranium production sites, while the surrounding region hosts the Beverley and Four Mile deposits to the northwest and the Honeymoon, Goulds Dam and Oban deposits in the southeast.
Orpheus holds a 100% interest in two large exploration licences – both greater than 950 square kilometres — and a third licence via an option, sale and milestone agreement to secure 100% down the track.
Elsewhere in South Australia, Orpheus is exploring the Cummins project, a uranium asset in the southern Eyre Peninsula.
Four distinct uranium exploration targets have been identified within the Cummins exploration licence, and the up-and-coming ASX-lister has developed exploration programs to test all targets once it completes its IPO.
Orpheus holds its interest in the Cummins licence via an option, sale and milestone agreement, meaning it can move to a 100% stake down the line.
Northern Territory projects
Orpheus can explore three different uranium tenements in the Northern Territory — the Mount Douglas, Ranger North-East and T-Bone packages.
To the west, the Mount Douglas tenure covers several geological settings that are significantly prospective for deposits of gold, base metals and uranium.
However, these targets have received less attention than surrounding areas during historical exploration efforts due to the thin sedimentary cover of the rocks favourable for mineralisation.
Orpheus’ licence areas are about 130 kilometres southeast of Darwin and extend south from the Rustlers Roost Mine near Mount Bundey.
The imminent ASX-lister purchased the project via a two-stage payment plan, totalling $200,000, which kicked off earlier this year.
It owns 100% of a granted licence and licence application.
Further up and across, the Rangers North-East exploration project sits within the Alligator Rivers Uranium field, an area responsible for most of the historical uranium production in the Northern Territory.
The asset features a strong radiometric anomaly, situated at the base of the prospective Kombolgie sandstone unit, and lies at the intersection of a major northwest-trending fault and an intersecting east-northeast structure.
Orpheus holds a 100% interest in an exploration licence application at Rangers.
Finally, the T-Bone exploration tenure to the southeast sits within the South Alligator Valley Mineral Field which contains the Coronation Hill uranium deposit.
The Coronation Hill mine produced 26,000 tonnes of uranium ore at 2.6 kilograms per tonne triuranium octoxide during the 1950s and 1960s.
At present, the ARE spinout wholly owns an exploration licence application in the region, but no significant uranium exploration has been undertaken at the target area.
As a result, Orpheus has plans for a grassroots exploration program at the site following the licence grant and its potential IPO.