Junior explorer Deep Yellow (ASX: DYL) has reported significant new uranium mineralisation in an area surrounding a fourth drilling program at the EPL3497 target, within its Reptile project in Namibia.
The mineralisation, estimated to be around 5 metres thick, was identified in the Tumas 1 East palaeochannel area over two prospective zones which have been delineated for “high priority attention”.
The discovery joins already-identified distinct mineralised zones at Tumas 1 and 2, Tumas 3, Tubas Sand/calcrete deposits and Tumas East.
These zones were previously identified within the 125 kilometres of palaeochannel systems occurring within the Reptile project tenements.
Approximately 60%, or 75km, of this system which deepens to the west remains to be properly tested.
Tumas East success
Exploration drilling at Tumas East upstream of Tumas 1 is testing part of a three-pronged tributary system draining into the main Tumas 1 channel.
To date, 95 holes for 1199m have been drilled in the area, with drill spacings varying from 50m to 100m along lines up to 800m apart.
Of these holes, 64 have returned positive results of more than 100 parts per million uranium oxide over 1m, reflecting a 67% success rate, and will be validated by a competent geophysicist for resource estimation purposes.
Drilling outlined a uraniferrous channel approximately 3.5km in strike length and up to 900m wide, showing continuous calcrete uranium mineralisation.
The mineralisation is believed to be located at shallow depths of up to 12m below surface and remains open to the east.
Deep Yellow said air photo and satellite image interpretation has identified further untested channels to the south of the discovery, adding up to 16km of untested prospective palaeochannel to the target area.
“Testing for mineralisation in tributary channels entering the main channel from the south-east and north-east now becomes a priority for eventual upgrade of the overall resource base associated with these highly fertile palaeochannels,” it said.
“[This] uranium mineralisation is not confined to one simple, single channel but rather is associated with a complex palaeodrainage system containing several channels.”
S-Bend drilling not so fruitful
Semi-regional exploration drilling in the S-Bend area near to Tumas 1 was completed in August, and aimed to test surface radiometric anomalies over interpreted palaeochannels.
A total of 148 holes for 2171m was completed, with highly-variable drill hole spacing was ranging from 100m to 200m, along profiles up to 800m apart.
Although the drilling confirmed the presence of a palaeochannel system, Deep Yellow said no new continuous calcrete-type mineralisation could be identified.
Positive results from drilling programs and reinterpretation of historic exploration data have confirmed Deep Yellow’s belief that the uranium resource base within the Reptile project area can be further increased.
The company said ongoing drilling will be aimed at defining the extent of the mineralised system before infill drilling for resource definition will start.
An updated inferred resource estimation for the Tumas East Zone, in conjunction with Tumas 1 and 2, is expected in early 2019.
As a proven uranium province with world-class prospectivity and a supportive jurisdiction, Namibia has long been considered a favourable exploration destination.
Located in southwest Africa, the large region is believed to contain 1.5 billion pounds of measured and indicated uranium oxide resources, plus 350 million pounds in the inferred category.
Since 1974, Namibia has produced 320mlbs of yellowcake from large-capacity, long-life uranium mines such as Rössing (owned and managed by Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO)), Husab (Swakop Uranium) and Langer Heinrich (Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN)).
Deep Yellow’s Namibia exploration projects at Reptile and the Nova JV (shared 65/35 with Japanese partner JOGMEC) have a combined resource base of 126.4mlb uranium oxide averaging grades of around 321 parts per million.
At morning trade, shares in Deep Yellow were up 1% to $0.475.