Veteran ex-Cameco geologist leads Norfolk’s maiden uranium drilling at Orroroo
Norfolk has underscored how keen it is to start drilling at its Orroroo uranium project in South Australia by appointing experienced geologist Mark Couzens to oversee the maiden program.
Uranium has been on a tear since mid-to-late September after the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and uranium specialists Ux Consulting agreed that much more will be needed to meet demand in the next 10-20 years.
The energy metal is currently trading above US$72/lb with analysts predicting US$100/lb in the not-too-distant future.
More recently, French nuclear energy company Orano flagged that it would invest €1.7bn to increase its uranium enrichment capacity to ‘security of supply’.
The perfect time for Norfolk Metals (ASX:NFL) to start drilling its 659km2 Orroroo project, which host the 50km long by 15km wide Walloway Basin, which has never been explored for uranium despite being the same age as sediments from the Frome Embayment, home to several commercial deposits such as Honeymoon and Four Mile.
Previous coal exploration had identified multiple gamma anomalies which are typical of the “oxidized tails” and “interface zones” of roll-front uranium mineralisation.
Notable examples of roll-front uranium deposits are Four Mile and Honeymoon.
Norfolk has appointed Mark Couzens from Indepth Geological Services as a consulting technical advisor and operations manager to lead the first phase of drilling, which will target the Western Channel target.
Up to 20 rotary air blast holes will be drilled down to 160m deep within the approved area(s) and pending roadside approvals.
Couzens has over 10 years’ experience in sandstone and paleochannel uranium exploration including exploration roles with Cameco Australia, Heathgate Resources and Mega Hindmarsh, overseeing more than 1,000 holes drilled throughout Australian and Argentinean sandstone hosted uranium prospects.
He was most recently the exploration manager for Cauldron Energy (ASX:CXU) where he played a key role in upgrading the Bennett Well deposit from 4.8Mlbs to 30.9Mlbs and was in charge of uranium exploration in Argentina.
Couzens was also a member of the exploration team that discovered the world-class Four Mile deposits in a geological setting analogous to Orroroo 280km to the north.
“We are pleased to have secured Mr. Mark Couzens from Indepth Geological Services Pty Ltd as a consulting technical advisor and operations manager to lead us into this first phase of drilling,” executive chairman Ben Phillipss said.
“Mark is a specialised uranium geologist with discovery expertise at numerous large sediment-hosted uranium deposits, including Beverley, Four Mile and Bennett Well.”
Couzens adds that Orroroo is an exciting discovery opportunity with many similarities to the Beverley and Honeymoon uranium mines, which are world-class uranium deposits located in similar sedimentary units.
“Following my first trip to site, we have developed a palaeochannel style uranium model which I believe explains the localities of all known gamma anomalies and uranium occurrences,” he said.
“This new model underpins the district-scale with potential for paleochannel-hosted uranium mineralisation within four east-west ‘corridors’ over a cumulative strike of over 15km.”
Norfolk submitted the PEPR (application paperwork for drill permitting) as a prerequisite to drill permitting shortly after the land access agreements were secured in the first week of October.
It has since progressed further towards permitting addressing all relevant queries requested by the Department of Energy and Mining South Australia.
This article was developed in collaboration with Norfolk 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.