Okapi’s Athabasca thrillers are in the sweet spot for uranium exploration
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Okapi now has many more uranium targets to choose from after sealing its acquisition of six advanced exploration properties in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan.
Due diligence, already carried out since the company declared its intention to acquire the properties has resulted in the selection of Middle Lake and Newnham Lake as being the most prospective for drilling this year.
And there is good reason for Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR) to be excited given that the properties covering over 55,000 hectares are located within a prime, Grade A uranium province that includes the likes of Cameco’s McArthur River and Cigar Lake mines – amongst the world’s largest and highest-grade mines.
To top it off, it won’t have to drill too far (or potentially mine too deep) as the new assets are all located along the margin of the Athabasca Basin or in the Carswell Impact Structure where depth to the unconformity is relatively shallow being 300m or less and typically closer to 100m.
It shouldn’t be surprising then that the company has already lodged a permit to drill at Middle Lake and is in the process of submitting a drill permit for Newnham Lake.
Work is also underway on a comprehensive compilation, review and reinterpretation of historical exploration data with a view to creating updated geologic models that will help generate drill on all six properties.
The latest image interpretation and modelling technologies will also be used to remotely identify underlying potential for economic uranium mineralisation in both the Athabasca Group sediments and the Pre-Cambrian Basement rocks below the unconformity.
This will be followed up with conventional surface-based exploration methods using portable, hand-held devices to identify near surface uranium, thorium and other pathfinder elements.
“We are excited to close the acquisition of the six high grade exploration properties in the Athabasca basin, the world’s premier uranium district,” managing director Andrew Ferrier said.
“Our detailed due diligence over the past two months has demonstrated the excellent geological potential across all six properties.
“The initial focus of the team’s work will be on the Middle Lake and Newnham Lake Projects that have the hallmarks for potential tier-1 uranium discoveries.”
He expressed his belief that uranium is on an upward trend and that the company was currently assembling and developing the right portfolio of assets to create value.
Middle Lake adjoins the former Cluff Lake mine that produced 64.2 million pounds of uranium at a grade of 0.92% U3O8 between 1980 and 2002, and is just 10km from Orano-UEX’s Shea Creek deposit that hosts a resource of 96Mlbs at 1.3% U3O8.
Boulder-trains with grades of up to 16.9% U3O8 have been discovered in the northern portion of the Middle Lake project, which consists of three claims totalling 4,833 hectares.
Limited historical drilling in this area has intersected anomalous radioactive anomalism and strong pale green alteration associated with the Cluff Lake breccia, which is 40m thick at the Donna Zone and sits on a 3km long VTEM anomaly that is coincident with the boulder train samples.
In the southern area there are six sandstone boulders together that assayed between 0.32% and 3.7% U3O8 with adjacent basement boulder assaying 8.95% and 1.72% U3O8.
Historical drilling in the south encountered 10m wide pyritic-graphitic shear to breccia zones which are an ideal reductant for the precipitation of uranium.
These host rocks and alteration zones that are similar to those that hosted significant uranium mineralisation at Orano’s Cluff Lake Mine.
Newnham Lake consists of 14 claims totalling 16,940 hectares and straddles the north-eastern margin of the Athabasca Basin.
Multiple intercepts with grades between 1,000 parts per million (PPM) U3O8 and 2,000ppm U3O8 have been intersected in relatively shallow historical drilling within a 25km folded and faulted conductive trend.
It is also a prime example of the likely shallow nature of drilling in the company’s Athabasca portfolio with the target unconformity averaging just 100m, mitigating the need to drill deep holes in order to discover either sandstone or basement hosted uranium mineralisation.
Previous drilling at Newnham Lake has focused on the areas within the Athabasca Basin where mineralisation has been identified but the same mineralised structures continue past the edge of the basin and have not been tested.
This is exciting as they make up 50% of the property and have the potential for basement hosted deposits akin to Triple R and Arrow in the southern part of the basin.
This article was developed in collaboration with Okapi Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.