10/12/2020 - 16:14

Deep Yellow adds to uranium bounty in Namibia

10/12/2020 - 16:14

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Deep Yellow is continuing to extend the boundaries of its uranium find in Namibia as it charges towards the delivery of a feasibility study over the proposed mining centre at Tumas. Shallow drilling over the Tubas deposits, which are located 10km west of Tumas, has returned a wealth of uranium mineralisation including an intercept of 4m at 442 eppm uranium oxide from 4m.

RC drilling on the Namibian coastal plain, southern Africa. Credit: File

Deep Yellow is continuing to extend the boundaries of its uranium find in Namibia as it charges towards the delivery of a feasibility study over the proposed mining centre at Tumas. Drilling of the Tubas deposits, which are located around 10km west of Tumas, has returned a wealth of uranium mineralisation including an intercept of 4m at 442 eppm uranium oxide from only 4m below surface.

The Tubas deposits take in two prospect areas including the Tubas Red Sands and Tubas Calcretes. The calcrete deposits at Tubas take the form of the well-recognised paleochannel fill style of mineralisation, which is found throughout the Namibian coastal plain. However, the more exotic Tubas Red Sands are dune style deposits which also contain uranium-bearing carnotite, that has most likely been sourced from the underlying mineralised calcretes.

Deep Yellow is completing a program of systematic drilling across the Tubas deposits to confirm the results of previous wide-spaced exploration drilling and to allow the estimation of updated resources for the discoveries. The company completed 70 reverse circulation drill holes in October 2020, prior to pausing exploration for the Christmas break.

The first round of sampling from the Tubas campaign returned a number of interesting intercepts including 6m at 281 eppm uranium oxide from surface and 3m at 412 eppm uranium oxide from 8m, in addition to the above-mentioned interval.

Curiously, 60 per cent of all the drill holes from Tubas returned near-surface values that measured over 100 eppm uranium oxide indicating the presence of an extensive and well-developed uranium bearing system across the two prospects.

Deep Yellow’s Tumas uranium project is located on the west coast of Namibia in southern Africa, approximately 210km west of the capital Windhoek and 60km east of the country’s deep-water port at Walvis Bay. Tumas lies within the world-class Erongo uranium producing region that hosts the revered Rossing, Husab and Langer Heinrich uranium mines.

The extensive, near-surface uranium deposits at Tumas are hosted within an old riverbed, or paleochannels, which lie buried beneath the sands of the Namibian coastal plain. The majority of the uranium-vanadium mineralisation at Tumas shows strong similarities to the lucrative ores found at the nearby Langer Heinrich operation.

Deep Yellow launched into its PFS over the Tumas project in the first quarter of 2020 which fortuitously coincided with an impressive 33 per cent spike in uranium prices, from US$24 per pound in March to peak above US$34 per pound in June and settling at around U$30 per pound today.

The rising uranium prices were foreshadowed by a report tabled by the World Nuclear Association in September 2019 which flagged a looming supply crunch and suggested prices may continue to trend higher as demand begins to outstrip supply from 2023.

Deep Yellow’s PFS work program has included infill drilling, bulk sampling, and metallurgical test-work to refine the processing circuit for the operation. The company’s ongoing drilling program, outside the PFS and the planned mining centre at Tumas 3, is designed to sure up the company’s resource inventory and to pin-point high-grade mineralisation that may enhance the economics of the project.

Exploration by Deep Yellow shows the paleochannels west of the main Tumas 3 deposit have yet to be thoroughly tested and are only delineated by wide-spaced exploration drilling. The company estimates that less than 60 per cent of the prospective terrane has been drill tested, providing enormous scope for an increase in resources and potential mine life. The Tumas-Tubas paleochannel stretches over more than 5km of prospective strike.

In addition, the latest drilling at Tubas indicates that whilst most of the uranium-rich calcrete occurs in a single, near-surface layer which extends to around 10m below surface, a second uraniferous horizon has been intersected between 20m and 30m depth. This new, deeper horizon remains largely untested and may also add significantly to the resource inventory as exploration and development continues.

The Tumas project already boasts a resource of more than 108 million tonnes at 324 ppm uranium oxide but looks set to grow as the company continues to unlock the potential of this fertile terrane in southern Africa.

With drilling now paused for the Christmas period, Deep Yellow will be concentrating on putting the finishing touches on its pre-feasibility study for Tumas and will hoping to deliver a glowing Christmas present for market pundits in the coming weeks.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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