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UEX Reports Increase in Shea Creek Uranium Resource to 67.7 Million Pounds U(3)O(8) in the Indicated Category and 28.2 Million Pounds U(3)O(8) in the Inferred Category

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:00 PM


Trading Symbol: UEX-TSX

VANCOUVER, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - UEX Corporation ("UEX") is pleased to announce it has received an updated National Instrument 43-101 ("N.I. 43-101") independent mineral resource estimate for the Shea Creek Project ("Shea Creek"). Shea Creek is located in the western Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, and is owned 49% by UEX Corporation and 51% by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. ("AREVA"), the project operator. This estimate, commissioned by UEX, was completed by James N. Gray, P.Geo., of Advantage Geoservices Limited.

The updated uranium mineral resource estimate for the four Shea Creek deposits at a cut-off grade of 0.30% U3O8 totals:

  • 67.66 million pounds of U3O8 in the Indicated mineral resource category comprising 2,067,900 tonnes grading 1.48% U3O8 - an increase of 6% from the mineral resource estimate prepared for UEX by Golder Associates Ltd. ("Golder") in 2010

  • 28.19 million pounds of U3O8 in the Inferred mineral resource category comprising 1,272,200 tonnes grading 1.01% U3O8 - an increase of 15% from the mineral resource estimate prepared for UEX by Golder in 2010

This mineral resource estimate for Shea Creek incorporates resources from the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits ("Kianna", "Anne", "Colette" and "58B", respectively) based on drilling information up to December 31, 2012 (see Figure 1).  This estimate represents an update of a previous resource estimate prepared by Golder and reported in May, 2010.  A technical report supporting the new mineral resource estimate will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

This mineral resource estimate confirms that Shea Creek remains the largest undeveloped uranium resource in the Athabasca Basin. It also ranks as the third largest uranium resource in the Basin, exceeded in size only by McArthur River and Cigar Lake. Mineralization at Shea Creek is still largely open and has excellent potential to expand as drilling continues.

The changes in the mineral resource since the 2010 estimate reflect substantial increases in the basement mineral resources of the Kianna Deposit and new mineral resources from the recently defined 58B Deposit.  These resource increases are partially offset by mineral resource losses at Colette due to the restriction of mineralization in central and southern parts of that deposit based on new infill drilling. In addition, interpolation of anomalously high-grade samples was controlled not only by grade capping, as was done in 2010, but also through a process of restricted interpolation ranges applied to the very high end of the grade distribution.  This change in approach was applied to all of the Shea Creek deposits. The small reduction in the Anne mineral resource estimate, where no drilling has occurred since the 2010 resource estimate, reflects the effect of this change in approach to the treatment of high-grade drill intervals throughout the deposits.

The 2013 mineral resource estimate identifies that much of the mineralization at Shea Creek is found over an approximately one kilometre strike length in southern parts of the Shea Creek deposit trend at the Kianna and Anne deposits (see Figure 2).  Notably, at a 1.0% cut-off grade most of the resources are retained at much higher grades as shown below:

  • Combined mineral resources at the Kianna and Anne deposits at a cut-off grade of 0.3% U3O8 total 59.6 million pounds of U3O8 in 1,598,500 tonnes grading 1.69% U3O8 in the Indicated category and an additional 19.5 million pounds of U3O8 in 695,600 tonnes grading 1.27% U3O8 in the Inferred category

  • Combined mineral resources at the Kianna and Anne deposits at a cut-off grade of 1.0% U3O8 total 48.3 million pounds of U3O8 in 698,300 tonnes grading 3.18% U3O8 in the Indicated category and an additional 14.4 million pounds of U3O8 in 252,800 tonnes grading 2.59% U3O8 in the Inferred category

"The updated mineral resource estimate reflects the tremendous success of UEX and AREVA in expanding the Kianna Deposit.  Kianna and Anne, which are contiguous at the unconformity, host over 80% of the current mineral resource at significant grades," said Graham Thody, President and CEO of UEX.  "As these deposits are open in most directions, we are confident that future drilling programs will continue to grow these resources."

Mineral resource estimates at various cut-off grades are summarized in Table 1. Significantly, at higher cut-off grades most of the contained uranium is retained at substantially higher grades.

TABLE 1

Shea Creek Mineral Resource Estimates, Tonnes and Grade at Various U3O8 % Cut-off Grades
These mineral resource estimates were completed in April 2013 (incorporating drilling information
up to December 31, 2012) using CIM standards of estimation of mineral resources and reserves.

  Category   Cut-off
  U3O8 (%)  

Tonnes

Grade
  U3O8 (%)  
  U3O8 (lbs)  
Indicated 0.1   3,227,300 1.018    72,458,000  
0.3  2,067,900 1.484  67,663,000
0.5 1,464,800 1.935  62,492,000
1.0 795,800 2.966  52,047,000
1.5 521,300 3.883  44,625,000
Inferred 0.1 2,601,600 0.586  33,616,000
0.3 1,272,200 1.005  28,192,000
0.5 784,500 1.388  23,999,000
1.0 340,100 2.310  17,323,000
1.5 215,600 2.937  13,961,000

The majority of the estimated mineral resources are from the Kianna and Anne deposits, where a significant portion of the resources lie in impermeable basement rocks beneath the Athabasca unconformity.  Breakdowns of the mineral resource estimates by deposit at cut-off grades of 0.3% U3O8 and 1.0% U3O8 are provided in Tables 2 and 3, respectively.

TABLE 2
Breakdown of the Contribution of Each Deposit at Shea Creek to the Total Mineral Resource
Estimate at a 0.3% U3O8 Cut-off Grade
Deposit   Tonnes Grade
U3O8 (%)
U3O8
(lbs)
  Tonnes Grade
U3O8 (%)
U3O8
(lbs)
Kianna Indicated 1,034,500 1.526  34,805,000 Inferred 560,700 1.364  16,867,000
Anne 564,000 1.992  24,760,000 134,900 0.880  2,617,000
Colette 327,800 0.786  5,680,000 493,200 0.716  7,780,000
58B 141,600 0.774  2,417,000 83,400 0.505  928,000
TOTALS 2,067,900 1.484 67,663,000 1,272,200 1.005 28,192,000

TABLE 3
Breakdown of the Contribution of Each Deposit at Shea Creek to the Total Mineral Resource
Estimate at a 1.0% U3O8 Cut-off Grade
Deposit   Tonnes Grade
U3O8 (%)
U3O8
(lbs)
  Tonnes Grade
U3O8 (%)
U3O8
(lbs)
Kianna Indicated 446,800 2.796  27,544,000 Inferred 233,700 2.530  13,036,000
Anne 242,500 3.890  20,795,000 19,100 3.308  1,392,000
Colette 70,700 1.684  2,624,000 85,800 1.508  2,852,000
58B 35,900 1.370  1,084,000 1,500 1.280  43,000
TOTALS 795,800 2.966 52,047,000 340,100 2.310 17,323,000

Comparison with the Previous Mineral Resource Estimate

The new mineral resource estimate reflects the following changes at each deposit since the 2010 estimate prepared by Golder:

   
Kianna Deposit:  Discovery of new basement-hosted zones, including the Kianna East Zone, and drilling expansion of other zones has resulted in a very substantial increase of 54% in the Indicated mineral resource at a 0.3% U3O8 cut-off.  The majority of the current mineral resource estimate at Kianna is now found in basement rocks.  Areas of basement mineralization, particularly on the north side of Kianna and in the Kianna East Zone, are still open and will be targeted by future drilling.
   
Anne Deposit:  No new drilling was conducted at Anne since the 2010 mineral resource estimate.  The small decline in the Anne mineral resource estimate reflects a change in approach to the treatment of high-grade drill intervals.  In addition to capping high grades, a restriction was placed on interpolation distances for samples at the upper end of the grade distribution.  Further geological interpretation and potential infill drilling, particularly in the Anne basement mineralization where the widely spaced drilling restricts the ability to interpret the continuity of higher grade mineralization, may be undertaken to address this interpretation.  A review of this basement mineralization has identified additional areas for potential expansion.
   
Colette Deposit:  Since the previous mineral resource estimate, infill and step-out drilling was conducted throughout the Colette area.  While this drilling identified a thick unconformity-hosted pod in the north part of the Colette Deposit that now represents a significant portion of the current Colette mineral resource estimate, infill drilling in parts of the central and southern parts of the deposit failed to establish continuity of mineralization in some of the higher grade parts of the central Colette unconformity mineralization and also restricted distribution of some of the previously interpreted basement zones.  Basement mineralization in the southern parts of Colette has potential for expansion, and continuations of the Shea Creek trend to the north of Colette are still open.
   
58B Deposit:  This new deposit adds to the total Shea Creek mineral resource estimate.  Basement mineralization has been tested only by widely spaced drill holes, and the mineralization remains open in several directions.
   

Mineral Resource Estimation Details

The 2013 Shea Creek mineral resource estimate was prepared by James N. Gray, P.Geo., of Advantage Geoservices Limited, an independent Qualified Person as defined by N.I. 43-101. This estimate utilized results of 477 diamond drill holes and directional cuts (totaling 402,800 metres) which were drilled since 1992. Drill spacing across the deposits is variable, ranging between 5 metres to greater than 50 metres. On average, Indicated blocks are within 8 metres of a drill hole and Inferred blocks within 16 metres.

The mineralized wireframe models from the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits bounding perched, unconformity and basement mineralization were prepared at a 0.05% U3O8 cut-off and used to constrain the mineral resource estimate at each deposit area. Estimation was by ordinary kriging using Gemcom Software. The impact of anomalously high-grade samples was controlled though a process of grade capping as well as restriction placed on high-grade interpolation distances.

The mineral resource estimate primarily utilized uranium geochemical analyses from the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) Geoanalytical Laboratories in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The principal geochemical analytical methods used for uranium analysis on the Shea Creek samples are ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy) for samples with grades lower than 1,000 ppm U, and U3O8 uranium assay by ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy) for samples determined by ICP-MS to contain uranium concentrations higher than 1,000 ppm U.  In addition to AREVA's internal quality controls, duplicate and independent check analyses were performed by UEX on sample suites representing approximately 5% of the mineralized assay database since mineralization was discovered in 1992.

In cases where geochemical analyses were not available due to incomplete sampling or core recovery issues, downhole gamma probe data were used to calculate equivalent uranium grades obtained using a DHT27-STD gamma probe which collects continuous readings along the length of the drill hole.  Probe results are calibrated using an algorithm calculated from the comparison of probe results against geochemical analyses in previous drill holes in the Shea Creek area.

A total of 674 dry bulk density samples, representing all rock types and mineralization styles from the Shea Creek deposits, form a comprehensive basis for the density component of the mineral resource estimate.

About the Shea Creek Deposits

The Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits within Shea Creek are distributed along a strike length of over three kilometres of the north-northwest trending Saskatoon Lake graphitic conductor. The Saskatoon Lake Conductor is coincident with a southwest-dipping, reverse fault that displaces the flat-lying unconformity with the overlying Athabasca Group sandstone by several tens of metres. Depth to unconformity typically ranges from 700 to 740 metres. As a result of the sandstone thickness, drilling is normally completed by drilling a master pilot drill hole from which several directional cuts are drilled to enable close-spaced drilling.

Known deposits and mineralized areas along the Saskatoon Lake Conductor at Shea Creek occur often in areas where east-northeast trending discordant faults offset the north-northwest trending conductive graphitic unit. Three styles and settings of mineralization are present, all of which form components of the current resource estimate:

  • Perched, sandstone-hosted mineralization is found in discrete zones tens of metres above the unconformity;
  • Unconformity-type mineralization is found in close proximity to the unconformity; and
  • Basement-hosted mineralization is found in zones up to 280 metres below the unconformity.

Although each style of mineralization is comparable to individual uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin, the common vertical stacking of these three styles is unique to the deposits at Shea Creek. Mineralization is mineralogically simple comprising dominantly pitchblende as the primary host to uranium, typical of other significant deposits in the Athabasca Basin, and lacking significant quantities of deleterious elements such as arsenic, nickel and cobalt found in some uranium deposits. Some portions of the Shea Creek deposits contain significant gold grades, which were not assessed in this current mineral resource estimate.

Further information regarding UEX's projects, including maps and cross sections, is available on UEX's website www.uex-corporation.com.

To view Figures 1 and 2 (Shea Creek Deposits), please access this news release on UEX's website at www.uex-corporation.com.

Qualified Persons

Technical information in this news release has been reviewed by R. Sierd Eriks, P.Geo., UEX's Vice-President of Exploration, David Rhys, P.Geo., UEX Advisory Board member and James N. Gray, P.Geo., of Advantage Geoservices Limited, each of whom is a Qualified Person as defined by N.I. 43-101.

About UEX

UEX is a Canadian uranium exploration and development company actively involved in 17 uranium projects, including six that are 100% owned and operated by UEX, one joint venture with AREVA that is operated by UEX, as well as nine joint-ventured with AREVA and one joint venture with AREVA and JCU (Canada) Exploration Company, Limited, which are operated by AREVA. The 17 projects, totaling 264,363 hectares (653,255 acres), are located in the eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world's richest uranium belt, which accounts for approximately 15% of the global primary uranium production. UEX is currently advancing several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits at its 49%-owned Shea Creek Project, and the Horseshoe, Raven and West Bear deposits located at its 100%-owned Hidden Bay Project. UEX currently has a cash position of approximately $10.9 million.

About AREVA Resources Canada Inc.

AREVA, a uranium exploration, mining and milling company, is a subsidiary of AREVA group, the global nuclear industry leader with an expanding presence in the renewable energies field, and 47,000 employees worldwide to help supply safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people.  AREVA group, through its Canadian subsidiary, has significant interests in several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin, including the McClean Lake, Midwest and Shea Creek deposits operated by AREVA, as well as the McArthur River and Cigar Lake deposits operated by Cameco Corporation.  AREVA also holds a majority interest in the Kiggavik deposits in Nunavut.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release may contain statements that constitute "forward-looking information" for the purposes of Canadian securities laws. Such statements are based on UEX's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. Such forward-looking information includes statements regarding UEX's mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates, outlook for our future operations, plans and timing for exploration activities, and other expectations, intention and plans that are not historical fact. The words "estimates", "projects", "expects", "intends", "believes", "plans", or their negatives or other comparable words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking information. Such forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions and is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from UEX's expectations include uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and geology, additional drilling results, continuity and grade of deposits, participation in joint ventures, reliance on other companies as operators, public acceptance of uranium as an energy source, fluctuations in uranium prices and currency exchange rates, changes in environmental and other laws affecting uranium exploration and mining, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in UEX's Annual Information Form and other filings with the applicable Canadian securities commissions on SEDAR. Many of these factors are beyond the control of UEX. Consequently, all forward-looking information contained in this news release is qualified by this cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that actual results or developments anticipated by UEX will be realized. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable law, UEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

 

SOURCE: UEX Corporation

Graham C. Thody
President & CEO
(604) 669-2349

(Source: CNW )
(Source: Quotemedia)

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