Results of Phase One of the 2010/11 Exploration Drilling Campaign on Niger Licenses
Niger Uranium Limited (AIM: URU), the metals exploration and development company with uranium interests in Niger, Namibia and South America, and nickel interests in Southern Africa, announces the successful completion of phase one of its 2010/11 exploration drilling campaign on the Company's wholly-owned In Gall and Irhazer uranium licenses in Niger.
The exploration programme, which was announced on 15 October 2010 and commenced on 20 October 2010, was carried out in order to evaluate three previously identified uranium targets, at Aboye, Akenzigui and Azouza respectively.
· At Aboye, located in the north-eastern portion of the In Gall license area, eleven tricone boreholes
were drilled, totalling 2,931 linear metres. Significant uranium mineralisation was intersected. The next phase of drilling will further investigate the lateral extent of uranium mineralisation within the target geological formation.
· Borehole AB0018 (17m @ 131pm eU3O8) intersected the target horizon 2,000 metres from
borehole AB003, indicating a steady increase in the grade and thickness of the target horizon in a south-easterly direction. Follow up ground magnetic surveys and infill drilling will aim to identify a large scale laterally continuous uranium resource.
· At Akenzigui, in the south-eastern portion of the Irhazer license, 14 tricone boreholes were
completed, totalling 2,731 linear metres. Low grade uranium mineralisation was intersected over a narrow horizon along a regional unconformity. The next phase of drilling will be focused on delineating thicker sequences of uranium mineralisation targeting this horizon/unconformity.
· Drill sites have been identified at Azouza, enabling the Company to test the extensive Azelik fault
zone that connects the Azelik Mine to the Arlit fault, both structures considered to be related to uranium mineralisation. Mapping studies continue to be carried out in certain areas to the north of the Irhazer permit, where the Company has previously identified radon anomalies.
· The exploration programme was carried out without incident and was not affected by the security
problems previously associated with the northern districts of Niger. Both In Gall and Irhazer licences are located close to the military base at Agadez and exploration was carried out without the requirement for additional security.
· The exploration programme is to be continued, with the next drilling phase scheduled to
commence on completion of ground magnetic surveys.
Paul Loudon, Non-Executive Chairman of Niger Uranium, said:
"The results from our phase one 2010/2011 drilling campaign at the In Gall and Irhazer license areas are extremely encouraging. The Aboye target, in particular, has the potential to host large-scale uranium mineralisation, similar to that identified at the nearby Imouraren Mine. These results provide Niger Uranium with a good platform from which to move forward with the preparations for the phase two drilling campaign. I am particularly pleased to note the improving security situation in Niger and the support that our operations have received from the authorities in Niger, which have enabled this campaign to run smoothly. I look forward to reporting to shareholders results from phase two drilling as soon as they become available."
Details of drilling programme
The objective of the programme was further to evaluate prospective drill and other targets previously identified by the company during the 2007 and 2008 drill campaigns:
A total of 2,931 metres was drilled in 11 boreholes to test the previously intersection (6m @127 ppm eU3O8) in borehole AB003 drilled in 2007.
Drilling was completed utilising tricone drilling, followed up by estimating the uranium mineralisation by calibrated gamma ray probe.
Drilling to date indicates a steady increase in equivalent uranium content of the target horizon that trends in a south-easterly direction from the original discovery hole (AB003). Here borehole AB018 intersected 17m @131ppm eU3O8 from 204m to 221m, the target horizon some 2,000 metres from borehole AB003, indicating an apparent increase in equivalent grade and thickness of the target horizon in a south-easterly direction. Two higher grade uranium intersections, each with more than 300ppm eU3O8 over 1m, are included in the intersection. The style of mineralisation seen from this phase of drilling is similar to that of Areva's Imouraren Mine located 50km north of Niger Uranium's property, where a thick sequence of lower grade mineralised sediments contains higher grade lenses of uranium mineralisation.
The mineralisation appears to be open in a south-easterly direction, and a high resolution ground magnetic survey has been planned to further delineate structural (and hopefully high grade uranium traps that will guide future drilling efforts. Drill statistics are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 - Results of the latest 11 boreholes drilled at Aboye (primary intervals calculated by applying a 50 ppm cut-off)
Following completion of the ground magnetic survey, a number of tricone holes and diamond drill holes will be drilled in order to target and test the potential higher grade areas, with assay carried out by XRF to determine uranium mineralisation. The Company is targeting a minimum 3 km2 area with grades similar to that of the nearby Imouraren Mine, where economic uranium mineralisation has been defined 1 to 3 km2 areas over a 7km strike length.
Down hole probe analyses and their equivalent calibrated eU3O8 values have been used in this phase of the exploration progamme at Aboye. Results from using down hole probe analyses provide an indication of uranium mineralisation and they may also be affected by uranium mobility and disequilibrium. These factors should be considered when interpreting eU information whilst waiting for confirmation chemical assay results.
The second drill target at Akenzigui was evaluated by the completion of 2,731 metres of tricone drilling in 14 boreholes. Here, the mineralised sandstone target forms part of the Agadez Group, which is an important host to uranium in the district. Faulting associated with the dome appears to resemble that of the Azelik Mine, where a consortium led by China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation and the Niger Government is developing a deposit containing approximately 15,000 tonnes U3O8
Results of the drilling revealed a narrow mineralised sandstone horizon that increases in grade towards the east, with mineralisation appearing to terminate against a north-south trending fault. Borehole AKZ 026 intersected 1.3m @199ppm eU3O8 from 161m and a Borehole AKZ 024 intersected 1.8m @156ppm eU3O8 from 143m. Drilling will focus on identifying thicker sequences of the target mineralised unit down dip and to the east of the domal structure. Statistics for this first phase of drilling are shown in Table 2.
Table 2 - Results of the latest 14 boreholes drilled at Akenzigui (primary intervals calculated by applying a 50 ppm cut-off)
Depth drilled (m)
Geological information - barren
Geological information - barren
As with Aboye, a high resolution ground magnetic survey followed by tricone and diamond drilling will be completed as the next step. Mineralisation with economic potential will be drilled, utilising a combination of tricone and diamond drilling, and samples will be assayed by XRF for uranium content.
It must be noted that down hole probe analyses and their equivalent calibrated eU3O8 values have been used in this phase of the exploration program at Akenzigui. Results from using downhole probe analyses provide an indication of uranium mineralisation and they may also be affected by uranium mobility and disequilibrium. These factors should be considered when interpreting eU3O8 information whilst waiting for confirmation chemical assay results.
Borehole collar Positions
A summary of the borehole positions is set out in Table 3 below. Boreholes were surveyed from hand held GPS, pending formal surveying and are given as metres UTM zone 32 North. All holes were drilled vertically.
Table 3 - Borehole Positions
Mapping at Irhazer
Field mapping was completed over the Irhazer target located in the northern parts of the Irhazer license. Here previous work by the Company identified several interesting radon anomalies. The anomalies occur over a four kilometre strike on a zone of faulting known as the Azelik structure. This north-easterly trending structure, which passes through the Azelik mine to the south west of the target, is thought to act as either a trap or conduit to uranium bearing solutions.
Although mapping is still in progress, drill sites have been located to test the extensive Arlit fault zone, which is currently thought to host uranium mineralisation for many of the uranium mines in the district.
Political and security situation
As reflected during our recent drilling campaign, which was completed without incident, Niger Uranium continues to believe that the security risk at In Gall and Irhazer is low. France has deployed a military force in the Arlit region for additional security and large military camps are situated close to the Niger Uranium exploration permits.
The Board therefore remains confident that the next phase of our exploration programme at the In Gall and Irhazer license areas can proceed unaffected by the security problems that have been previously experienced in the northern regions of Niger.
For further information:
Gordon Cassidy, Finance Director
Tel: +27 (0)11 269 4900
Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nominated Adviser)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7628 3396
Brand: Mining IR
Andre Morrall /Dr Iestyn Adams
Tel: +44 (0)151531 7908
Competent Person for Niger Uranium
Mr. Mike Venter (Pr. Sci. Nat), Regional Consulting Geologist at The MSA Group, is the qualified person responsible for Niger and has verified the geological data reported above. Mr Venter is a consultant to Niger Uranium, with no interest in the company and has consented to the inclusion in this announcement of his name in the form and context in which it appears. Exploration data is acquired by Niger Uranium using best practice quality assurance and quality control protocols.]
The concentration of minerals in a body of rock
Parts per million, equal to gram per tonne. 1 ppm = 1 gram per (metric) tonne.
A rapid, relatively cost effective technique of drilling boreholes for uranium exploration by gamma ray probe. The tri-cone drill (or roller) bit, consists of three cone shaped toothed rollers in a cluster. Each of the cones has hard teeth mounted on bearings. The spatial control of sampling for laboratory purposes is not good with tri-cone drilling and alternative drilling techniques would have to be used.
Triuranium octaoxide. 1 ppm U308 = 0.848 ppm U.
The uranium content of a sample is reported as U3O8if the analysis is performed in a laboratory. Uranium content when measured by a gamma ray down hole probe is reported as eU3O.
X-ray fluorescence or XRF
XRF is the emission of characteristic "secondary" (or fluorescent) X-rays from a material that has been excited by bombarding with high-energy X-rays or gamma rays. The phenomenon is widely used for elemental analysis and chemical analysis.
This press release contains statements that are 'forward-looking'. Generally, the words 'expect', 'intend', 'estimate', 'will' and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or that of our industry, to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any of our forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release regarding the Company's business or proposed business, which are not historical facts, are 'forward looking' statements that involve risks and uncertainties, such as estimates and statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made.
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