19/11/2007 - 14:12

Oropa to take 90% of two Malawi uranium exploration projects

19/11/2007 - 14:12

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South Perth-based gold explorer Oropa Ltd will secure a 90 per cent stakes in two uranium exploration projects in Malawi through the establishment of two independent joint venture companies with the current holders, the company has announced.

Oropa to take 90% of two Malawi uranium exploration projects

South Perth-based gold explorer Oropa Ltd will secure a 90 per cent stakes in two uranium exploration projects in Malawi through the establishment of two independent joint venture companies with the current holders, the company has announced.

 

 

The full text of an Oropa announcement is pasted below

Diversified exploration company Oropa Limited - (ASX: ORP - "Oropa") is pleased to announce that it has entered into arrangements to secure a 90% interest in two contiguous uranium exploration projects located 20km north of Paladin Resources Ltd's ("Paladin's") Kayelekera uranium deposit in northern Malawi, southern Africa.

The project areas, which are considered to be highly prospective for roll-front style uranium mineralisation based on an analogous geological setting to the nearby Kayelekera deposit, represent a strategic addition to Oropa's international exploration portfolio.

The Company's 100% owned subsidiary, Oropa Exploration Pty Ltd ("OEPL"), has executed Memorandum of Understandings ("MOUs") with the owners of the two granted Exclusive Prospecting Licences ("EPLs") for uranium and other minerals except coal covering Karroo sediments to the north of the Kayelekera deposit.

The MOUs cover the Ngana (EPL0133) and Ngana East (EPL0183) Project Areas which collectively cover an area of some 285 square kilometres.

Under the terms of the MOUs, OEPL is to incorporate two independent Malawian joint venture companies ("JVCs"), with OEPL holding a 90% shareholding in each JVC. The current holders' 10% interests are free carried with each having the option to buyback up to a 20% contributing interest from OEPL at cost in each JVC up until 1 month after the commencement of a Feasibility Study undertaken by either of the JVCs.

Immediately after incorporation, the JVCs will apply to the Malawian Government for the exploration rights to uranium and/or other minerals (excluding coal) within the respective EPLs.

Uranium exploration in Malawi currently reflects the high level of interest in the development of the Kayelekera Uranium Project in the north of the country, which is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2008 with planned annual production of 3.3 Mlbs of U3O8 over a mine life of 7 years, based on Proven and Probable Ore Reserves of 10.46 Mt at 0.108% U3O8.

Upon the granting of the other mineral rights to each JVC, OEPL will have acquired the exploration rights to significant portfolio of strategic landholdings in Malawi, which host some of the most actively explored sedimentary uranium provinces in southern Africa and which will position OEPL as a leading Uranium explorer in the country.

Roll-front style uranium mineralisation in northern Malawi is associated with basin structures containing Karroo sediments. The Kayelekera roll-front uranium deposit is hosted by Karroo sandstone and mudstone sediments typical of the mineralisation in the region.

The more favourable setting for uranium mineralisation is carbonaceous units which occur in the upper part of repetitious sequences of arkose (sandstone) beds.

At Ngana and Ngana East, the faulted Karroo sedimentary succession includes basal beds and coal measures, succeeded by North Rukuru sandstone and mudstone sediments covering a similar lithological setting to the nearby Kayelekera district.

Previous and current mineral exploration over the Ngana and Ngana East Project areas has been focused on coal. No previous uranium exploration has been undertaken over the project areas.

A starting point for target definition for uranium exploration in Malawi has been a country-wide radiometric survey conducted in 1984/85 by Hunting Geology and Geophysics Limited, which was based at the time in the United Kingdom. Despite the proximity of the Ngana and Ngana East Project Areas to the Kayelekera Uranium Project, these project areas were not covered by this survey and therefore offer a significant untested Karroo sedimentary environment for rollfront style uranium mineralisation in northern Malawi.

Oropa is currently conducting due diligence field visits to the Ngana and Ngana East Project Areas as the basis for formulating a sequential exploration program aimed at defining prospective targets for uranium occurrence.

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