Renewed optimism on future uranium prices has seen Perth company Delecta (ASX: DLC) resume exploration at its majority-owned Rex uranium-vanadium project within North America’s Uravan mineral belt.
Uranium-focused exploration is underway, with some sampling and mapping programs already completed over the 256 contiguous Bureau of Land Management claims covering 20.72 square kilometres in the mountain state of Colorado.
Sampling of surface outcrops and selected underground workings has identified visible uranium mineralisation and returned a series of high-grade results.
Twelve samples recorded an average 2,246 parts per million uranium oxide, with a peak value of 5,280ppm.
Delecta said it would continue to explore the sandstone mesa rims in and around Rex which are known to host significant uranium mineralisation.
Exploration will employ a scintillometer and handheld XRF (x-ray fluoresence) analyser.
It will involve geo-referencing of the area’s existing underground mines to establish the presence of mineralisation and locate previous surface drill holes to delineate new targets.
“We believe Rex’s history of uranium mining, its proximity to operating infrastructure and the prevailing supportive government regime bodes well for the development of this project,” the company said.
“We look forward to continuing our exploration and evaluating other potential uranium-vanadium projects in the area.”
The Rex project lies within Colorado’s famed Uravan mineral belt which has been the subject of mineral exploration dating back to 1898.
The region has a past production total of around 86 million pounds grading 0.24% uranium oxide and 441Mlbs grading 1.25% vanadium.
The belt is hosted by near-surface, flat lying carbonaceous sandstone and sediments with deposits occurring as individual ore bodies or in clusters.
The size of the deposits varies but can range from a few hundred thousand tonnes to more than a million tonnes of ore, with an average grade across the field of 0.24%.
Old uranium mines
The Rex project hosts at least four old uranium mines including Rex 38, South Blackfoot, Sunbeam and Helen C which date back to the early 20th century.
Delecta owns a share of Rex through its 60% holding in US-based project generator Sunrise Minerals Inc.
Rex is located within trucking distance of White Mesa mill owned by US uranium producer Energy Fuels.
It is the country’s only fully-licenced and operating conventional uranium mill and has 90% spare capacity available to toll-treat mined ore.