U3O8 Corp. advances towards NI 43-101 resource estimation
on the Laguna Salada Project, Argentina
Surficial uranium in sandy gravel offers low-cost mining potential
Toronto, Ontario ? June 3, 2010 ? U3O8 Corp. (TSX Venture: UWE), a Canadian-based company focused on uranium exploration and resource expansion in South America, reports trench results from the Laguna Salada Project in Chubut Province, Argentina. A total of 463 trenches have defined two areas of near surface uranium-vanadium mineralization extending over 16.4 square kilometres (Figure 1). The trenching program continues, aimed at expanding the mineralized area and towards completing a National Instrument 43-101 (?NI 43-101?) resource in late 2010. The Laguna Salada Project is a grassroots discovery recently acquired from Mega Uranium Ltd. (?Mega?) in which uranium-vanadium mineralization occurs within three metres from surface in unconsolidated gravel in a semi-desert environment.
?The Laguna Salada Project gives our shareholders exposure to a style of uranium deposit that consists of low-grade mineralized layers located very close to surface that can typically be easy and inexpensive to mine and process. Laguna Salada is similar to known surficial uranium deposits found in arid regions in the world including Paladin?s Langer Heinrich and Areva?s Trekkopje both in Namibia and Mega?s Lake Maitland in Australia,? said Dr. Richard Spencer, U3O8 Corp?s President and CEO. ?We are focused on extending the mineralized zones at Laguna Salada through a mechanized trenching program of about 1,000 trenches planned for completion in September. We aim to complete a NI 43-101 resource estimate on the project by the end of 2010 under the guidance of Coffey Mining (?Coffey?).?
Table 1 ? Summary Trench Results from the Laguna Salada Project
Summary of assay results from the 285 trenches (of the 463 trenches excavated) in the Laguna Salada Project that have grade-thickness values greater than 50 parts per million ? metre (ppm-m).
Number of Trenches in Grade-Thickness Interval
Thickness of Mineralized Zone
GxT 50 - 100
GxT 100 - 250
GxT 250 - 1400
Total Area GxT >50
The results have been separated into three groups according to the uranium grade-thickness value from each trench. Grade-thickness (the uranium grade in ppm multiplied by the thickness in metres of the uranium-bearing layer in each trench) provides a way of visualizing the distribution of uranium as shown in Figure 2. This table shows the average grade and average thickness of all the trenches within each of the three groups or contour-bounded intervals (each of which is coloured differently in Figure 2). The arithmetic average thickness of the uranium-vanadium-bearing layer in the 285 trenches is 0.82 metres at an average sample grade of 201ppm U3O8 and 881ppm V2O5. The average density of the gravel is 1.72 tonnes per cubic metre.
Uranium-vanadium mineralization at Laguna Salada occurs from surface to a depth of three metres in unconsolidated sandy gravel. This surficial uranium target is typical of a class of deposits known as caliche-type uranium, which is similar to, but softer than, calcrete-type uranium deposits such as Paladin?s Langer Heinrich and Areva?s Trekkopje, both in Namibia and Mega?s Lake Maitland in Western Australia (Table 2)1. The continuity of mineralization, shallow depths and unconsolidated nature of the gravel that contains the uranium-vanadium at Laguna Salada potentially offers a lower-cost mining opportunity than calcrete-type uranium in which the hardness of the uranium-bearing layer may necessitate blasting.
Table 2 ? Resource and Average U3O8 Grade for Surficial Type Uranium Deposits1
Million Pounds U3O8
Measured & Indicated
Measured & Indicated
Mineralization at Laguna Salada is contained in two flat-topped mesas that are about 10 metres higher than the surrounding plain. Carnotite, the principal uranium-vanadium mineral at Laguna Salada, occurs as a powdery filling between the sand grains in the gravel and also as a partial rim on pebbles. Tests done at the time of sampling suggest that dry sieving through a quarter-inch (nominal six millimetre) mesh may augment the uranium and vanadium grade of the sand by up to 20%.
Extension Program and NI 43-101 Preparation
Exploration at Laguna Salada has been mainly through mechanized trenching since the unconsolidated nature of the gravel renders conventional diamond, aircore or reverse circulation drilling an ineffective means of sampling. An extension program of approximately 1,000 trenches is underway to expand on the potential size of the mineralized zones through follow-up of significant uranium-vanadium grades identified in exploration trenches both to the west and east of the central zones (Figure 2). Trenches will be spaced in a 400 by 400 metre square grid and reduced to 200 by 200 metre spacing in mineralized areas. Extension trenching is expected to be completed by September 2010.
Coffey, an independent consulting company experienced in surficial-type uranium, has been retained to undertake a NI 43-101 resource estimate on the Laguna Salada Project. A consultant from Coffey made a site visit in May 2010. Ongoing exploration data will be submitted to Coffey at regular intervals towards the planned completion of a NI 43-101 resource estimate in late 2010.
Regulatory Update in Chubut Province
The Laguna Salada Project is located in Chubut Province of Argentina, where a ban on open-pit mining is currently in effect. Numerous statements made by the Governor of the Province indicate that this law is under review and the Provincial Government may be moving to support pro-mining legislation.
Discussions are underway between government officials and mining industry representatives to lift the provincial ban in certain areas, including the central semi-desert plain, where Laguna Salada is situated. Another positive sign is that Pan American Silver has commenced an aggressive program towards development of its La Navidad silver project. The proposed open pit mine is located in Chubut Province about 300 kilometres northwest of Laguna Salada. Progress to date suggests the policy change could occur as early as 2011.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
Trenches were excavated at a nominal 400 metre by 400 metre square grid and reduced to a 200 metre by 200 metre grid in the mineralized areas. The mineralized layer, identified with a scintillometer, was marked in the trench wall and its thickness and depth below surface recorded before the sample was removed with the bucket of the excavator. This sample material was placed on a tarpaulin where it was homogenized and quartered, one quarter being bagged and weighed before being shipped to the laboratory in Mendoza city in Argentina. Standards and blank samples were inserted at an average of one per 32 field samples. The samples were analyzed by either Alex Stewart Assayers S.A. or ALS Chemex. The samples were dried, jaw crushed to -10 mesh (2.0mm grain size), riffle split and pulverized with a puck and ring to -140 mesh (106 micron grain size). A split of the -140 mesh pulp was analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES) after four-acid digestion. Samples sent to Alex Stewart Assayers were prepared and analyzed in Mendoza, while those submitted to ALS Chemex were prepared in Mendoza and the pulps analyzed in its assay laboratory in Lima, Peru.
Density measurements were taken on 268 samples and the average measured was 1.72 tonnes per cubic metre. The sandy gravel contains, on average, 37% sand.
Mr. Richard Cleath (M.Sc.), Vice President of U3O8 Corp., a Qualified Person within the definition of that term in NI 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators, has supervised the preparation of, and verified the technical information in this release.
About U3O8 Corp.
U3O8 Corp. is a Toronto-based exploration company, focused on uranium exploration and resource expansion in South America ? a promising new frontier for uranium exploration and development. U3O8 Corp. has one of the most advanced portfolios of uranium projects in the region comprising NI 43-101 compliant resources in Guyana to significant historic resources in Colombia and near-resource and discovery potential in Argentina.
For further information on U3O8 Corp?s Laguna Project, refer to the technical report entitled ?The Geology of Uranium Mineralization of the Laguna Salada Project, Chubut Province, and exploration strategies for exploration of early-stage properties in Argentina? prepared by Richard Spencer and Richard Cleath dated March 23, 2010, which is available on the company?s web site at www.u3o8corp.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
(1) The uranium deposits (Lake Maitland, Langer Heinrich and Trekkopje) referred to in this press release have not been independently verified by U3O8 Corp. and information regarding these deposits are drawn from publicly available information. There is no certainty that further exploration of U3O8 Corp?s uranium resource or other targets will result in the delineation of a similar mineral resource.
Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of U3O8 Corp., including, but not limited to, the possibility that the open-pit mining ban in Chubut Province may not be lifted or amended on terms that would allow for mining of the Laguna Salada Project, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of commodity prices, risks associated with the uncertainty of exploration results and estimates and that the resource potential will be achieved on exploration projects, currency fluctuations, dependence upon regulatory approvals, and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing and exploration risk. There is no assurance that the Laguna Salada Project will add to U3O8 Corp?s resource base in the short-term, or at all.
Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
For information, please contact:
Nancy Chan-Palmateer Richard Spencer
Vice President, Investor Relations President & CEO
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Figure 1 ? The Laguna Salada Project in Argentina
Map shows location of the Laguna Salada Project in the Patagonia region in Chubut Province, Argentina.
Figure 2 ? Uranium Grade-Thickness Map of the Laguna Salada Project
Uranium grade-thickness map of the Laguna Salada Project on a satellite image, which shows the principal geographic features of the area. Grade-thickness is the product of the thickness of the mineralized zone in metres and the U3O8 grade in ppm. Two mineralized zones have been identified from a trenching program whose results are reported in this press release (Table 1). Exploration is underway to the east and west of the contoured areas (red outlined areas) to identify potential extensions to the mineralized zones.