Okapi’s Tallahassee now a standalone uranium play after key acquisition
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Okapi’s uranium ambitions have been boosted with the acquisition of a 51% stake in the high-grade Hansen deposit in Colorado.
There is a lot going in favour of the strategic acquisition, chief of which is increasing the size of its JORC resource at the Tallahassee uranium project by 81% to 49.8 million pounds of U3O8 while increasing its grade by 10% to 540ppm U3O8.
This gives Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR) a significant slice of the US uranium pie at a time when the world’s largest consumer of the energy metal is trying to reduce its reliance on imports from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which supply 46% of its demand.
Adding further interest, Hansen – located immediately south of and adjacent to the company’s wholly-owned Taylor and Boyer deposits – actually had feasibility studies completed and all permits secured to start production prior to the collapse of the uranium market in 1982.
While these permits have long since expired, they do indicate that the company has control over a well-defined uranium deposit that has already proven to be attractive enough to be considered for development.
That the acquisition has a modest upfront cost of just $500,000 that will be covered by existing cash reserves is just the cherry on top of the cake.
“This acquisition represents a very important transaction for Okapi and its shareholders. By securing this strategic 51% interest in the Hansen Uranium Project, we now have sufficient resource inventory to advance the Tallahassee Uranium Project as a stand-alone asset,” managing director Andrew Ferrier said.
“Recent geopolitical events have put increased focus on the importance of the US revitalising its domestically sourced uranium, which will undoubtably place a significant premium on US uranium assets such as Hansen.”
Okapi’s Tallahassee uranium project is located within the Tallahassee Creek Uranium District, one of the most prolific uranium districts in the US.
Since the company first acquired the project in July 2021, it has continued to consolidate its position in this strategic area.
Hansen and the accompanying Picnic Tree deposit have both been extensively drilled in the past with a relatively tight drill spacing of 100 feet (30.5m).
First discovered in 1977, Hansen features some of the highest grades and widths in the district contained within flat-lying tabular horizons up to 50 metres thick and at a depth of between 150m and 200m over an area of about 1,400m by 500m.
It was previously envisioned as an open pit mine with underground mining continuing from the base of the pit.
Ore would have been processed through a conventional 1Mtpa acid leach plant on the adjoining Taylor Ranch Property with expected metallurgical recoveries of 95%.
Okapi is planning to commence metallurgical testwork and initial conceptual mine design work to determine the most appropriate work programs to implement.
This will focus on in situ recovery, which is currently the dominant method used to extract uranium in the US due to its safety and low impact.
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.