Boss Energy continues to build strategic uranium footprint ahead of Honeymoon start-up
Boss Energy (ASX: BOE) has added further strategic upside to its already significant South Australian uranium portfolio with the award of four highly prospective exploration tenements under a minerals rights sharing arrangement with copper developer Coda Minerals (ASX: COD).
The joint award of the new tenements under the Government of South Australia Exploration Release Area (ERA) process comes just months before Boss commences production at the Honeymoon uranium mine.
The four licences form the Kinloch Project, located approximately 130km south of the Honeymoon mine and cover prospective cambrian-ordovician delamerian orogen basement rocks and the overlying cenozoic Murray basin sediments in eastern South Australia.
Boss managing director, Duncan Craib, said Kinloch’s geological setting is broadly analogous to the Lake Eyre basin to the north, where Boss is actively exploring and exploiting palaeovalley-hosted uranium deposits including its Honeymoon, Jason’s, Gould’s Dam, Billeroo and Sunrise operations.
Recent drilling success
In late September, Boss revealed it had confirmed significant potential to add further uranium resources to Honeymoon with scout drilling at the Billeroo and Sunrise prospects.
As with those two prospects, Boss views the Kinloch project as an opportunity to utilise its expertise in this deposit style and leverage the infrastructure of the Honeymoon mine.
“Boss has a thorough understanding of the geology style and its uranium potential due to its striking similarities with the geology at Honeymoon and surrounding areas,” Mr Craib said.
“Boss will apply its wealth of exploration knowledge and in-depth understanding of uranium to the Kinloch Project area with the aim of establishing a new uranium province”.
The Kinloch area was recently investigated via the South Australian government’s Delamerian National Drilling Initiative (NDI) series with 12 drill holes completed using a MinEx CRC coiled tubing rig in the Quandong Vale area.
The program was conducted to provide new insights into the geological setting and prospective mineral systems of the Delamerian basement in eastern South Australia, while at the same time providing important insights into the geology and prospectivity of the overlying Murray basin sediments.
The government then advertised the availability of a series of exploration release areas, with Boss and Coda applying for and successfully winning the four granted ERAs.
Those applications will now be processed by the SA Department for Energy and Mining into standard exploration licence applications (ELA), prior to the grant of final exploration licences.
Lower Murray basin target
While previous uranium exploration around the Kinloch project area tenements has concentrated on the upper Murray basin stratigraphy, Boss’ major focus is on the unexplored lower Murray basin stratigraphy – in particular palaeochannel sequences within the Renmark group.
The large Murray Basin is a regionally extensive intracratonic sedimentary basin comprising fluvial to shallow marine sediments which extends into south-eastern South Australia, western New South Wales and western Victoria.
The northern Murray Basin within South Australia is considered prospective for sediment-hosted uranium analogous to deposits within the Lake Eyre Basin to the north, which hosts Boss’ Honeymoon, Jason’s and Gould’s Dam uranium deposits.
Uranium-rich basement rocks
Mr Craib said the prospectivity of the uranium-rich basement rocks in the surrounding highlands has been highlighted by the historic Radium Hill uranium deposit.
Boss believes these rocks provide an excellent potential source of uranium while reduced, carbonaceous fluvial sequences within the Renmark group represent potentially suitable trap sites for uranium-rich groundwaters moving through the palaeochannels.
Notably, a number of the recently completed MinEx CRC drill holes, intercepted interpreted Renmark group sands within the newly granted project area, while several historic gold exploration drill holes also intercepted likely Renmark group sands in the western part of the project area.
“This is highly encouraging given the overall lack of drilling across the project area,” Mr Craib said.
Shared tenement agreement
Under the mineral rights sharing arrangements with Coda, Boss will be the operator for uranium exploration and is entitled to 100% of the uranium rights.
Coda will be the operator for base metals exploration and be entitled to 100% of the base metal rights.
Mr Craib said it is expected that the parties will enter into a future mineral rights agreement on customary terms.
Number of planned activities
The two companies are preparing to commence extensive stakeholder engagement in the lead up to on ground exploration activities, along with the preparation of an exploration program for environment protection and rehabilitation and compilation/interpretation of all available geological and geophysical data.
This will then be utilised to generate planning for significant regional geophysical surveys which will be designed to define basement architecture and identify potential palaeochannel sequences within the Renmark group.