05/08/2020 - 17:12

US lab rejects too hot to handle uranium samples from TNT

05/08/2020 - 17:12

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TNT Mines has delivered a set of smoking hot uranium samples to its assay lab in the USA where they were rejected due to their uber-high levels of radioactivity – a nice problem to have for a uranium explorer. The samples will now be assayed at an alternative lab in Canada that is better equipped to handle them.

Underground uranium sampling at East Canyon.

TNT Mines has delivered high-grade uranium and vanadium results from underground sampling at its East Canyon uranium project in Utah in the United States. Channel sampling in the historic ‘None Such’ mine returned a series of solid results in the old underground workings including 0.6 metres at 3,360 ppm uranium oxide and 15,500 ppm vanadium pentoxide.

An additional series of samples from the mine are yet to be reported as they were too radioactive for the assay lab in Reno – probably not a bad problem to have when you are searching for uranium.

The "too hot to handle” samples have been sent to Canada for processing, with results due in the coming weeks.

TNT’s sampling program shows the high-grade uranium potential of the project, with the initial exploration program focussed on the multiple sets of old workings in the north of the project area in the vicinity of the historic ‘None Such’ and ‘Bonanza’ mines.

The company has concentrated on channel sampling in the underground workings with ‘face-rock chip’ sampling replicating potential drill holes and being guided by a scintillometer to best target the exposed uranium mineralisation.

The underground sampling at None Such bettered the results from previous surface drilling which returned 2 metres at 2,370 ppm uranium down hole.

The mapping and sampling of the nearby Bonanza workings also resulted in more than a few surprises, with the historic mine turning out to be far more extensive than was first thought – results from the Bonanza sampling are expected ‘imminently’.

The high-grade results from the company’s US project come on the back of the recent sale of its tin-tungsten assets and successful pivot into the uranium space. The controversial energy metal is showing strong growth in the market with recent uranium shipments going through at an impressive US$72,500 per tonne, a 35 per cent increase in price from earlier this year.

The steadily climbing uranium price is due to concerns over forecasted supply constraints coupled with a nuclear technology building boom with more than 50 new reactors currently under construction around the globe and many more in the pipeline.

TNT’s East Canyon project is located in south-eastern Utah in the central United States. The project lies between the towns of Moab and Monticello with the company’s tenure being made up of over 200 contiguous claims covering more than 4,000 hectares in a region that is famous for its historical uranium production. The claims cover at least nine sets of old mine workings with a history dating back to the late 19th century.

The East Canyon project covers part of the Uravan Mineral Belt which is home to a number of significant uranium deposits. Past historical production in the region is estimated at an imposing 86 mlbs at 0.24% uranium and 441 mlbs at 1.25% vanadium.

The uranium and vanadium mineralisation in the Uravan Belt are hosted by near surface, flat lying sediments with deposits occurring as individual ore bodies or in clusters. The size of these deposits varies and can range from a few hundred thousand tonnes to more than a million tonnes of ore. The average grade across the field is 0.24% U3O8 with a high-grade kicker of 1.25% vanadium pentoxide.

Another attractive feature of TNT’s East Canyon project is something few projects can boast – it is within easy trucking distance of the only permitted, and operating, conventional uranium mill in the United States, the White Mesa Mill.

White Mesa is operated by Canadian-based Energy Fuels Inc and is presently operating at only 10% capacity. The mill may offer a toll treatment option for TNT. It produces both high-purity vanadium oxide and uranium and could potentially represent a rapid pathway to production should TNT hit commercially viable paydirt at East Canyon.

TNT has recently been joined by a host of other ASX-listed uranium hopefuls in the Uravan district with the likes of Superior Lake Resources, GTI Resources, Peninsula Energy and Delecta also taking up ground positions in historic mineral field.

TNT’s exploration program continues to confirm the presence of remnant high-grade uranium and vanadium mineralisation at East Canyon. With sampling and mapping already well advanced at the project and a bag full of smoking hot samples awaiting assay in the lab, things could get interesting for this new player that has only recently muscled its way into the uranium space.

 

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

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