Newly released resource figures for the Palangana in situ recovery (ISR) uranium project in South Texas show the deposit has "very substantial potential", while a major study on uranium mining in Virginia is about to proceed.
The new figures, which are prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) of the Canadian Securities Administrators, estimate measured and indicated resources totalling 1.057 million pounds U3O8 at an average grade of 0.135% U3O8, plus an additional 1.154 million pounds U3O8 of inferred resources at an average of 0.176% U3O8. The resource estimates were prepared by SRK Consulting US Inc of Colorado, and are based on results from 2694 drill holes completed by previous owners of the project.
Uranium Energy Corp president and CEO Amir Adnani said that the company's management was "very pleased" with the figures for the project which it recently bought from Uranium One. "As concluded in the Technical Report, there is very substantial potential at Palangana and the company is implementing two programs here," he said. The first program will involve advancing the engineering of the two mineralized zones where the measured and indicated resources have been found, with the objective of near-term production and processing at Uranium Energy Corp's fully licensed Hobson plant, 160 km from Palangana. The second program will see a 215-hole drilling campaign to further define and expand the inferred resources, which are present in six exploration zones.
The Palangana project achieved full permitting rights in January, when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) granted a Radioactive Materials Licence (RML), the final permit needed for development to proceed.
Previous owners of Palangana included Union Carbide Corp, Chevron and Uranium One. Union Carbide produced uranium at the project during the 1970s.
Virginia U study agreed
Meanwhile, the US National Research Council has agreed to conduct a scientific study on uranium mining in Virginia.
The state has a moratorium on uranium mining but is home to a large, near-surface uranium deposit at Coles Hill, estimated to contain a total of 119.0 million pounds U3O8 at 0.025% U3O8, or 27.56 million pounds U3O8 at 0.150%, according to would-be miner Virginia Uranium Inc. However, the moratorium does not extend to exploration, and in 2008 its state senate voted to allow an independent study into the likely impact of uranium mining in the state.
According to press reports, the independent National Research Council has now agreed to conduct the study, which will be carried out by Virginia Tech university. Virginia Uranium Inc has agreed to pay for the $1.4 million study, according to reports in local US news services.
The study is expected to take about 18 months, with a final report due by the end of 2011, and will start when contracts have been signed and funding released, according to a National Research Council spokesman quoted in the Chatham Star Tribune.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News