UEX Corporation (TSX:UEX) (“UEX” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its 2022 winter exploration plans for its projects located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan (see Figure 1). UEX will be operating drilling programs at the Christie Lake and Hidden Bay Projects this winter. Winter programs are also planned on UEX’s 50% owned company, JCU Canada Exploration Company, Limited (“JCU”) partner-operated projects.
Christie Lake Project
Winter exploration drilling is planned for three target areas at Christie Lake using two drill rigs. The winter program will consist of approximately 15 holes for a total of 9,000 m of drilling. Based upon the UEX Exploration Team’s updated structural interpretation of the Yalowega Trend, the priority of the winter program will be focused on exploring for basement-hosted uranium deposits below, down-dip and down-plunge of the Paul Bay, Ken Pen and Ōrora Deposits, as well as down-dip of existing uraniferous holes located in the gap areas between the three deposits. The presence of structurally-controlled basement mineralization below known unconformity-hosted mineralization is commonly observed in the Athabasca Basin, such as at the Kianna, 58B, and Anne Deposits at UEX’s Shea Creek Project, the Millennium Deposit and at the mined out Gaertner and Deilmann Deposits at Cameco’s Key Lake Mine.
The program will be testing the down-dip direction of known shallow basement-hosted mineralization encountered in UEX and the previous operator’s drill programs that remain open for expansion. Targets selected for drilling include:
- Between the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits, where uranium mineralization perched in the sandstone 50 m above the unconformity and strong hydrothermal alteration was encountered and has not been tested down-dip of the Yalowega Fault;
- Below the Ken Pen Deposit where drill-indicated basement-hosted uranium mineralization is present and included within the current resource estimate, but has not been closed off down-dip;
- Between the Ken Pen and Ōrora Deposits where several holes have encountered low grade uranium mineralization at the unconformity and in the shallow basement less than 50 m below the unconformity that are untested and open in the down-dip direction, including hole CB94-038 (drilled in 1994 by the previous operator) that encountered multiple mineralized intervals in the basement rocks which included an interval averaging 0.78% U3O8 over 2.0 m from 439.5 m to 441.5 m; and
- Below the southwest end of the Ōrora Deposit where several holes encountered low grade uranium mineralization in basement structures up to 60 m below the unconformity.
The winter program will also test for the down-plunge extension of the Paul Bay Deposit. The deepest existing hole at Paul Bay, CB-094-1 encountered two uranium mineralized intervals within a wide alteration zone (see UEX news release dated September 7, 2016) indicating that the mineralizing system remains open at depth.
Since acquiring the Christie Lake Project from JCU in 2016, UEX has been eager to test the basement potential of the Yalowega Trend. Our first drill program as operator in 2016 tested the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits and clearly demonstrated that the classic unconformity uranium deposit potential of the Yalowega Trend was significantly undertested, a thesis proven correct by UEX’s discovery of the Ōrora Deposit in 2017. Since the discovery and delineation of Ōrora, our exploration programs have focused on targeting the unconformity potential along strike and to the northeast of deposits area, albeit with modest exploration programs and budgets. With the first pass unconformity potential of the Yalowega Trend now evaluated, armed with a much more thorough understanding of the structural geology of the three deposits, and with plans to conduct our most aggressive exploration program since 2018, we are excited to be turning our attention back to the basement targets that initially motivated the Company to pursue and acquire the property.
— Roger Lemaitre, President and CEO
The Company will also be completing its first ever drilling this winter alongthe A Conductor trend, which is interpreted to be the northeast extension of the P2 Fault Structure, host of all the uranium mineralization at the adjacent Cameco’s McArthur River Mine. The A conductor has only been intersected in one hole by the previous operator along its entire 2.8 km defined length, and that hole encountered the structure and conductor well below the unconformity (see Figure 2).
Additional drilling will also be completed on the B Conductor Trend, located between the Yalowega and A Trends. Holes are planned to test the resistivity anomaly coincident the B2 Conductor, and the along previously untested B1 conductor, flanking the B Trend Resistivity Anomaly (see Figure 2).
Hidden Bay Project
This winter, the Company will be following up on two target areas on the 100% owned Hidden Bay Project, located in the heart of the eastern Athabasca Basin, adjacent to Cameco’s Rabbit Lake Mine and Orano’s McClean Lake Operation.
During the winter program, the Company will be testing drill targets in the U-Ni Sands area and in Dwyer Lake area (see Figure 3). During the winter of 2021 UEX completed a reconnaissance drilling program of six holes at the U-Ni Sands area and identified alteration and geochemical anomalism consistent with the geochemical and alteration signatures associated with UEX’s Raven and Horseshoe uranium deposits, located approximately 2.5 km to the south. The indicative hydrothermal alteration encountered in these drill holes has been traced over a 1,300 m long area from drill hole VIX-004 to VIX-006 (see Figure 4). The geology and alteration encountered in this area suggests that there is potential for the discovery of shallow uranium mineralization similar to that observed at the Raven and Horseshoe deposits to the south. A total of up to 20 holes for 3,000 m are planned to follow up the 2021 drilling results.
The Company will also be testing drill-ready targets in the Dwyer Lake area. The focus of the Dwyer Lake program will be to follow-up anomalous uranium and pathfinder geochemistry in historical drill holes located along the northeast end of the Dwyer Dome and to follow-up the promising intense hydrothermal clay alteration zone defined by 14 holes drilled in 2015, and a nearby untested resistivity/IP geophysical anomaly.
Exploration activities will be occurring on two partner-operated JCU joint-venture projects this winter. A total of 7,400 m of drilling in 10-12 drill holes and 18 line km of Moving Loop Electromagnetic surveying is planned for the Waterfound River Project along the D1 conductor trend, which hosts the Alligator Zone where unconformity uranium mineralization was encountered in several holes including hole WF-08, which interested 4.49% U3O8 over 10.53 m. JCU has a 26.98% interest (as of December 31, 2020) in the Waterfound River Project and has elected to participate in the 2022 program.
Drilling and geophysical surveys are also planned on JCU’s Wolly Project, located adjacent to Orano’s McClean Lake Operation. A total of 2,150 m of drilling in 8 to 12 holes is planned in three areas, including holes on the Collins Creek conductor along strike and to the west of the McClean North and South deposits, the Geneva area and the Rainbow North grid. Four lines totaling 10 km of Moving Loop Electromagnetic surveys are planned for the West Creek area. JCU has elected not to participate in the 2022 exploration program at the Wolly Project and will be diluting from its current 13.11% interest (as of December 31, 2020).
About the Christie Lake Project
UEX currently holds a 82.775% combined direct and indirect interest in the Christie Lake Project which the Company is in joint venture with JCU (Canada) Exploration Company, Limited. The Project is located approximately 9 km northeast and along strike of Cameco’s McArthur River Mine. The P2 Fault, the controlling structure for all of the McArthur River deposits, continues to the northeast beyond the mine and onto the Christie Lake Project. UEX believes that through a series of en-echelon steps the northeast strike extension of the P2 Fault not only crosses the Project but also controls the three known uranium deposits on Christie Lake: the Ōrora, Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits.
The Christie Lake Project is currently estimated to contain 588,000 tonnes grading 1.57% U3O8, which equates to 20.35 million pounds of U3O8 using a cut-off grade of 0.2% U3O8 and as documented in the “Technical Report for the Christie Lake Uranium Project, Saskatchewan, Canada” which was filed on February 1, 2019 and has an effective date of December 13, 2018. The Technical Report is available on the Company’s website at www.uexcorp.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Qualified Persons and Data Acquisition
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Roger Lemaitre, P.Eng., P.Geo., UEX’s President and CEO and Chris Hamel, P.Geo, UEX’s Vice President, Exploration, who are each considered to be a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
UEX is a Canadian uranium and cobalt exploration and development company involved in an exceptional portfolio of uranium projects.
UEX’s directly-owned portfolio of projects is located in the eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world’s richest uranium region which in 2020 accounted for approximately 8.1% of the global primary uranium production. In addition to advancing its uranium development projects through its ownership interest in JCU, UEX is currently advancing several other uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Paul Bay, Ken Pen and Ōrora deposits at the Christie Lake Project , the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits at its currently 49.1%-owned Shea Creek Project, the Horseshoe and Raven deposits located on its 100%-owned Horseshoe-Raven Project and the West Bear Uranium Deposit located at its 100%-owned West Bear Project.
UEX is also 50:50 co-owner of JCU (Canada) Exploration Company, Limited with Denison Mines Corp. JCU’s portfolio of projects includes interests in some of Canada’s key future uranium development projects, notably a 30.099% interest in Cameco’s Millennium Project, a 10% interest in Denison’s Wheeler River Project, and a 33.8123% interest in Orano Canada’s Kiggavik Project, located in the Thelon Basin in Nunavut, as well as minority interests in nine other grassroots uranium projects in the Athabasca Basin.
UEX is also leading the discovery of cobalt in Canada, with three cobalt-nickel exploration projects located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, including the only primary cobalt deposit in Canada. The 100% owned West Bear Project hosts the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit, the newly discovered Michael Lake Co-Ni Zone, and the West Bear Uranium Deposit. UEX also owns 100% of two early-stage cobalt exploration projects, the Axis Lake and Key West Projects.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
President & CEO
This news release contains 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 drill hole results, uranium, cobalt and nickel prices, outlook for our future operations, plans and timing for exploration activities, and other expectations, intentions and plans that are not historical fact. 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 the, interpretation of drill results and geology, assay confirmation, additional drilling results, continuity and grade of deposits, fluctuations in uranium, cobalt and nickel prices and currency exchange rates, changes in environmental and other laws affecting uranium, cobalt and nickel 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.
Figure 1 – UEX and JCU Projects – Athabasca Basin
Figure 2 – Planned 2022 Winter Targets at Christie Lake
Figure 3 – The Hidden Bay Project and the U-Ni Sands and Dwyer Lake Targets
Figure 4 – U-Ni Sands Area and 2021 drill holes
Source: UEX Corporation