PNX discovers a forgotten treasure trove of high-grade uranium at Thunderball
Special Report: PNX Metals has uncovered high-grade uranium of up to 10.2% during a review of historical, previously unreported drilling results, demonstrating significant potential to extend the high-grade mineralisation at its Thunderball deposit in the Northern Territory.
During the review, PNX Metals (ASX:PNX) identified eight drill holes from 2014 which had not previously been released or included in the historical Thunderball resource estimate.
The most notable of these results was an intersection of 15m @ 1.35% U3O8 from 210m, which included a much higher-grade interval of 1.5m @ 10.2% U3O8 from 215m.
The Pine Creek region of the Northern Territory, where the Thunderball deposit is located, is renowned as one of the world’s most prolific uranium provinces, hosting the Alligator River, Rum Jungle and South Alligator Valley uranium fields.
“These are fantastic results and add considerable excitement to our planning for the 2024 field season,” PNX executive chairman Graham Ascough said.
“As we go through the large volume of historic data, it is apparent that there are a number of high-priority, near-surface targets that require further evaluation.
“The 2014 drill program was limited in scope but demonstrates the potential for high grade domains in both the upper and lower lodes at Thunderball and the potential for new near-surface regional discoveries.”
Late last year, the uranium rights over a substantial portion of its Pine Creek tenure were returned to PNX following the expiration of a 10-year third-party agreement with Oz Uranium.
The Thunderball uranium deposit and several nearby uranium prospects – all of which are inspired by James Bond films – sit adjacent to PNX’s Hayes Creek zinc-gold-silver and Fountain Head gold projects.
Originally owned by Thundelarra and acquired by private company Oz Uranium in November 2013, Thunderball was subject to significant uranium exploration work between 2008 and 2011.
This led to the discovery of numerous uranium prospects and culminated in an initial resource at Thunderball. In 2014, Oz Uranium completed eight drill holes in the Hayes Creek uranium tenure that were not publicly reported at the time.
Regionally, a single hole drilled in 2014 at the Goldeneye prospect, situated 4km south-west of Thunderball, returned accompanying platinum, palladium and gold.
Top intercepts measured 1.5m @ 94.7ppm uranium and 2.36g/t gold, platinum and palladium from 34m, and 4m @ 1.94 g/t gold, platinum and palladium from 37m.
“The association of potentially economic grades of platinum, palladium and gold with uranium at the Goldeneye prospect is also compelling due to its similarity with the Coronation Hill deposit to the east,” Ascough noted.
Coronation Hill was originally a uranium mine, located in the South Alligator Valley, 80km east of Pine Creek, which produced 26,000 tonnes of ore, and some gold as a by-product at 10.4 g/t, from a small pit.
Drilling for precious metals in the 1980s also identified a high-grade uranium-gold deposit 120m below the old pit.
Drilling at Thunderball between 2008 and 2010 resulted in the delineation of two discrete sub-parallel dipping uranium lodes and the estimation of a pre-JORC 2012 resource, which PNX is now working to bring in line with current compliance requirements.
Previous owner Thundelarra discovered numerous uranium prospects at Hayes Creek, with Thunderball being the most prominent, delivering thick and high-grade intervals from drilling like 15m at 1.5% U3O8 from 139m, including 1m at an impressive 20.3% U3O8.
Significantly, these uranium grades at Thunderball were among the highest ever reported in Australia.
Just before Christmas, PNX revealed that an early review of key data had identified several priority uranium targets, including potential extensions to the near-surface Thunderball deposit.
Thunderball and Goldeneye remain open and largely untested.
PNX said all the relevant information has now been provided to SRK, which calculated the historical Thunderball resource, to undertake a gap analysis and provide guidance around new drilling and a subsequent resource upgrade.
This article was developed in collaboration with PNX Metals, 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.