Fission Uranium Corp. has completed the summer 2017 portion of the prefeasibility study (PFS) drilling, including three large-diameter holes for metallurgical sample collection and three geotechnical core holes, to generate rock quality data including strength testing, related to the proposed open-pit and underground mining areas of the Triple R deposit. Of particular note is hole PLS17-MET-C (line 660E), which intersected 153.5 metres total composite mineralization, including 61.09 m total composite greater than 10,000 counts per second. In addition, work related to long-term hydrogeology analysis and detailed baseline environmental studies is continuing.
Results of the phase 2 metallurgical study core drilling, designed to collect representative mineralized material from three discrete locations within the R780E zone of the Triple R deposit (west, central and east part of the zone), were successful in all measures and, over all, the mineralization met or exceeded expectations based off the resource model with respect to width and strength of mineralization.
- Core drilling for sample collection for a phase 2 metallurgical study completed:
- PLS17-MET-C (line 660E): 153.5 m total composite mineralization over a 176.0 m section (between 56.0 m to 232.0 m), including 61.09 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps;
- PLS17-MET-E (line 845E): 113.0 m total composite mineralization over a 166.0 m section (between 112.5 m to 278.5 m), including 15.48 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps;
- Geotechnical rock drilling:
- Three holes completed to depth as planned;
- Focused on providing information for PFS-level design recommendations for open-pit and underground excavations.
Ross McElroy, president, chief operating officer and chief geologist for Fission, commented: “The results of our metallurgical drilling highlight just how robust our high-grade, near-surface Triple R deposit really is. With the completion of the drilling to collect material for the phase 2 metallurgical study and also the geotechnical rock holes this summer, we are making excellent progress towards achieving PFS status. A PFS is an important milestone for any deposit — both derisking the asset for investors and advancing the project towards production. Both the Fission team and our strategic partner, CGN Mining, are very pleased with the work and results of testing to date and we remain on target to have a PFS ready in 2018.”
Summary of drilling for phase 2 metallurgical study
Phase 1 level of metallurgical, completed for the preliminary economic study (PEA), focused on Triple R’s ore mineralogy and tested grindability and leachability. As recommended in the PEA report, the phase 2 program focuses on proving the performance and efficiency of the processing steps postleach, which involves: solid/liquid separation testwork to size the CCD circuit, solvent extraction testwork, impurity removal testwork, yellowcake precipitation testwork and effluent/tailings treatment. The metallurgical work is being conducted and supervised under the direction of Mellis Engineering Ltd., widely recognized as the premier expert in this field.
To collect the appropriate and sufficient amount of mineralized material, three HQ-diameter holes totalling 811 m of core drilling were completed from various strategic locations within the R780E zone of the Triple R deposit: western, central and eastern parts of the zones, respectively. All three holes were designed to intersect a range of representative uranium grades and lithologies expected to be encountered in the proposed open pit and underground mine. Results of mineralized intersections are reported in the associated table.
R780E ZONE PHASE 2 METALLURGICAL SAMPLE DRILL HOLES Collar hand-held scintillometer results on mineralized drill core (greater than 300 cps/greater than 0.5-metre minimum) Basement Total CPS Lake Sandstone unconformity drill hole Hole From To Width peak depth from -- to depth depth ID (m) (m) (m) range (m) (m) (m) (m) PLS17-MET-WR 54.5 141.5 87.0 65,535 6.3 47.1 -- 50.3 50.3 224.0 176.0 177.5 1.5 590 -- 1,200 PLS17-MET-CR 56.0 167.0 111.0 65,535 6.1 NA 56.0 258.0 179.5 180.0 0.5 330 182.5 184.0 1.5 740 -- 4,700 188.0 216.0 28.0 65,535 less than 219.5 232.0 12.5 300 -- 12,200 PLS17-MET-ER 112.5 215.5 103.0 65,535 8.7 NA 60.2 329.0 224.0 225.5 1.5 590 -- 5,800 less than 230.5 233.5 3.0 300 -- 15,600 259.5 264.5 5.0 880 -- 7,900 278.0 278.5 0.5 1,800
PLS17-MET-W (line 335E) — located in the western area of the R780E zone: This hole was designed to intersect and collect representative sample material from the major graphitic shear zone that hosts the bulk of the Triple R deposit. The metallurgical hole was based off drill hole PLS13-075 and compares very well with it and nearby holes with respect to interpretation of mineralization and lithology. For comparative purposes, mineralization based on radioactivity is as follows:
- 91.5 m total composite mineralization over a 140.0 m section (between 57.5 m to 197.5 m), including 21.8 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps;
- Composite grade by thickness of 501.4 including an interval of 9.08 per cent triuranium octoxide (U3O8) over 54.5 m;
- 88.5 m total composite mineralization over a 123.0 m section (between 54.5 m to 177.5 m), including 9.28 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps.
PLS17-MET-C (line 660E) — located in the central area of the R780E zone: This hole was designed to intersect and collect representative sample material from the major graphitic shear zone that hosts the bulk of the Triple R deposit. The metallurgical hole was based off drill hole PLS14-187 and intersected wider and stronger mineralization. For comparative purposes, mineralization based on radioactivity is as follows:
- 146.0 m total composite mineralization over a 173.0 m section (between 58.5 m to 231.5 m);
- Including 53.47 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps;
- Composite grade by thickness of 639.7 including an interval of 5.98 per cent U3O8 over 102.5 m;
- 153.5 m total composite mineralization over a 176.0 m section (between 56.0 m and 232.0 m);
- Including 61.09 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps.
PLS17-MET-E (line 845E) — located in the eastern area of the R780E zone: This hole was designed to intersect and collect representative sample material from the quartz-feldspar-biotite-garnet gneiss unit which surrounds the graphitic shear zone noted above. The metallurgical hole was based off drill hole PLS14-259 and intersected wider and stronger mineralization. For comparative purposes, mineralization based on radioactivity is as follows:
- 100.0 m total composite mineralization over a 271.0 m section (between 111.5 m to 382.5 m);
- Including 11.0 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps;
- Composite grade by thickness of 226.3 including an interval of 4.21 per cent U3O8 over 38.5 m;
- 113.0 m total composite mineralization over a 166.0 m section (between 112.5 m to 278.5.0 m);
- Including 15.48 m total composite greater than 10,000 cps.
Summary of geotechnical rock drilling
The summer 2017 geotechnical rock drilling program, under the direction and supervision of BGC Engineering, targeted the onshore portion of the proposed open pit and underground mine. The program is designed to provide sufficient information for PFS-level design recommendations for open-pit and underground excavations proposed in the PEA study for the west end of the R780E and R00E zones. The primary objective of the summer program work is to investigate the pit wall rock wall stability by core drilling into the proposed pit wall and obtaining rock quality parameters and pertinent structures. The investigations include:
- Triple-tube-oriented core drilling to obtain structural geologic information and characterize the rock mechanics properties and distribution of the alteration halo around the mineralized zone;
- Collection of rock core and infill samples for testing;
- Core orientation to determine the attitudes of structural discontinuities encountered in the core holes;
- Borehole televiewer surveys;
- In situ hydrologic testing (packer testing) to estimate the hydraulic properties of the representative units, discrete structures, structural zones and the crown pillar;
- Point load testing to provide indication of rock strength and to calibrate laboratory strength testing of core samples;
- Installation of vibrating wire piezometers and dataloggers;
- A series of packer tests and vibrating wire piezometers.
A total of three holes in 526.6 m were completed to their targeted depth, successfully penetrating the overburden-bedrock interface and various recording instruments were installed and thus allowing the detailed geotechnical study to progress.
Groundwater monitoring holes (hydrogeology)
In 2016, BGC Engineering supervised the drilling and installation of seven monitoring wells at five locations. Five monitoring wells (three deep and two shallow) were drilled on land and two deep wells were completed within Patterson Lake. During the summer 2017 program, BGC will complete well development, conduct slug tests and sample all ground water monitoring wells.
Natural gamma radiation in drill core that is reported in this news release, with the exception of historic holes PLS13-075 and PLS14-187, was measured in counts per second (cps) using a hand-held RS-121 scintillometer manufactured by Radiation Solutions, which is capable of discriminating readings to 65,535 cps. Holes PLS13-075 and PLS14-187 measured natural gamma radiation using a hand-held GR-110 scintillometer which is capable of discriminating readings to 9,999 cps. Natural gamma radiation is also collected from an in-hole survey that is measured in counts per second (cps) using a Mount Sopris 2GHF-1000 triple gamma probe, which allows for more accurate measurements in high-grade mineralized zones. The triple gamma probe is preferred in zones of high-grade mineralization. The reader is cautioned that scintillometer readings are not directly or uniformly related to uranium grades of the rock sample measured, and should be used only as a preliminary indication of the presence of radioactive materials. The degree of radioactivity within the mineralized intervals is highly variable and associated with visible pitchblende mineralization. All intersection measurements are downhole. All depths reported of core interval and downhole gamma measurements including radioactivity and mineralization intervals widths are not always representative of true thickness and true thicknesses are yet to be determined in zones outside of the Triple R deposit. Within the Triple R deposit, individual zone wireframe models constructed from assay data and used in the resource estimate indicate that both the R780E and R00E zones have a complex geometry controlled by and parallel to steeply south-dipping lithological boundaries as well as a preferential subhorizontal orientation.
PLS mineralized trend and Triple R deposit summary
Uranium mineralization at PLS occurs within the Patterson Lake conductive corridor and has been traced by core drilling approximately 3.17 km of east-west strike length in five separated mineralized zones. From west to east, these zones are: R1515W, R840W, R00E, R780E and R1620E. Thus far only the R00E and R780E have been included in the Triple R deposit resource estimate, whereas the R840W and R1620E zones and the recent addition of the R1515W zone fall outside of the current resource estimate window.
The discovery hole of what is now referred to as the Triple R uranium deposit was announced on Nov. 5, 2012, with drill hole PLS12-022, from what is considered part of the R00E zone. Through successful exploration programs completed to date, it has evolved into a large, near-surface, basement-hosted, structurally controlled high-grade uranium deposit.
The Triple R deposit consists of the R00E zone on the western side and the much larger R780E zone farther on strike to the east. Within the deposit, the R00E and R780E zones have an overall combined strike length validated by a resource estimate of approximately 1.05 km with the R00E measuring approximately 105 m in strike length and the R780E zones measuring approximately 945 m in strike length. A 225 m gap separates the R00E zone to the west and the R780E zones to the east, though sporadic narrow, weakly mineralized intervals from drill holes within this gap suggest the potential for further significant mineralization in this area. The R780E zone is located beneath Patterson Lake which is approximately six metres deep in the area of the deposit. The entire Triple R deposit is covered by approximately 50 m to 60 m of overburden.
Mineralization remains open along strike in both the western and eastern directions. Basement rocks within the mineralized trend are identified primarily as mafic volcanic rocks with varying degrees of alteration. Mineralization is both located within and associated with mafic volcanic intrusives with varying degrees of silicification, metasomatic mineral assemblages and hydrothermal graphite. The graphitic sequences are associated with the PL-3B basement electromagnetic (EM) conductor. The R840W zone, located 495 m west along strike of the Triple R deposit, now has a defined strike length of 465 m and is still open. Drill results within the R840W zone have significantly upgraded the prospectivity of these areas for further growth of the PLS resource on land to the west of the Triple R deposit. The recent discovery of high-grade mineralization farther to the west on line 1515W (R1515W zone), located 510 m to the west along strike of the R840W zone, has significantly upgraded the prospectivity for further growth to the west along the Patterson Lake corridor. The recently discovered high-grade mineralization in the R1620E zone, located 210 m to the east along strike has significantly upgraded the prospectivity for further growth of the PLS resource to the east of the Triple R deposit.
Updated maps and files can be found on the company’s website.
Patterson Lake South property
The 31,039-hectare PLS project is 100 per cent owned and operated by Fission Uranium. PLS is accessible by road with primary access from all-weather Highway 955, which runs north to the former Cluff Lake mine and passes through the nearby UEX-Areva Shea Creek discoveries located 50 km to the north, currently under active exploration and development.
The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 and reviewed on behalf of the company by Ross McElroy, PGeol, president and chief operating officer for Fission Uranium, a qualified person.