US-based Uranium Energy Corporation (UEC) has announced updated resource figures for its Goliad Project in Texas, updating measured and indicated resources to 5.475 million pounds U3O8 (2100 tU).
|Exploration drilling at Goliad (Image: UEC)
The new figure is up slightly on the 5.2 million pounds U3O8 (2000 tU) filed in previous reports. An additional 1.548 million pounds U3O8 (595 tU) has been classified as an inferred resource. All the figures are at cut-off grades of 0.05% U3O8, and are reported in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Estimates are based on the results from 1086 drill holes at the project.
Drilling results, core sample assays and other tests, plus the success of other nearby operations, indicate that geologic and hydrogeologic conditions at the project are suitable for uranium recovery by in situ methods, according to Thomas A Carrothers who wrote the NI 43-101 Technical Report. UEC submitted a mine permit application for an in situ leach (ISL) operation at Goliad to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in October 2007. The company says the permitting process can typically take 9-12 months. A radioactive materials licence application and a waste disposal well permit application will also need to be filed with TCEQ.
ISL mines pass a leaching solution - such as oxygen with sodium carbonate - through buried sand containing uranium, dissolving it on the way. The solution is then pumped to the surface. The uranium is removed from the solution using an ion-exchange process. Usually the ion-exchange resin or solvent would undergo stripping and precipitation on-site to remove uranium. Uranium Energy bills itself as a junior resource company with the objective of becoming a near-term in situ recovery uranium producer in the USA.