Wednesday 13th December 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘new mexico’

Double discovery

November 18th, 2017

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

by Greg Klein

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

The Southern High Plains of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma
might someday boost U.S. domestic uranium supply.
(Photo: Public domain)

 

The dream of discovery must motivate many a geologist. Through skill, effort and luck they hope to eventually find something precious, useful or otherwise valuable—something well known yet found in a previously unknown location. But a group of geo-boffins from the U.S. Geological Survey not only identified a type of uranium deposit previously unknown to their country, they discovered a new mineral.

It’s finchite, “a new uranium mineral species,” as a press release described it last week. The discovery actually dates to 2015, says Brad Van Gosen, the USGS scientist who did the discovering.

While surveying a Texas cotton ranch Van Gosen collected samples of what he and his colleagues thought was carnotite, “a pretty common yellow, near-surface uranium mineral.” Back in the lab, he put it under a scanning electron microscope, which kept showing strontium with the uranium and vanadium, he recalls. To a geologist, it was unusual—very unusual. A eureka moment was looming.

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

First to recognize the new mineral finchite, USGS scientist
Brad Van Gosen examines rock layers in Texas.
(Photo: Susan Hall/USGS, public domain)

“We looked it up and there’d been no strontium-uranium mineral ever reported before. So [team leader Susan Hall] worked with a crystallography/mineralogy lab that specializes in micro-analysis up at Notre Dame and they concluded, ‘By gosh you’re right.’” Further study continued before sending the evidence to the International Mineralogical Association. “They’re the high council and they blessed it as a new mineral.” Finchite’s moniker honours the late Warren Finch, a USGS uranium expert.

Another major finding was that the uranium was hosted in calcrete rock formations, a style of deposit known elsewhere but reported for the first time in the U.S.

Some previously secret info led to the twin epiphanies. Hall, as leader of a project that’s reassessing national uranium resources, gained privy to some unpublished 1970s and ’80s data from the former Kerr-McGee company. Included were estimates for two deposits, Sulphur Springs Draw and Buffalo Draw, with marginal grades of 0.04% and 0.05% U3O8 respectively. Together they held an estimated 2.6 million pounds U3O8.

(Of course data from historic sources and the U.S. government agency falls outside the framework of NI 43-101 regulations.)

The newly transpired, near-surface deposits led Hall and her group to the Southern High Plains spanning parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. It was there that they recognized calcrete, its first known manifestation in the U.S.

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

Surface showings of yellow finchite might have previously
been mistaken for sulphur, says Van Gosen.
(Photo: Susan Hall/USGS, public domain)

The stuff’s associated with uranium in other countries. Among major calcrete-style deposits listed by the World Nuclear Association are Yeelirrie in Western Australia, along with Trekkopje and Langer Heinrich in Namibia. Yeelirrie is a potential open pit held by a Cameco Corp TSX:CCO subsidiary and averaging 0.16% U3O8. Trekkopje, a potential open pit majority-held by AREVA Resources, averages 0.01%. Langer Heinrich, an open pit mine operated on behalf of Paladin Energy, the majority owner now under administrative control, averages 0.052%.

According to the USGS, grades for potential Southern High Plains deposits range from 0.012% to 0.067%, with a median 0.034% U3O8. Gross tonnage estimates range from 200,000 to 52 million tonnes, with a median 8.4 million tonnes. Together, the region’s calcrete-style potential comes to 39.9 million pounds U3O8.

But that’s a regional assessment, not a resource estimate, reflecting how USGS methodology contrasts with that of exploration companies. The agency uses a three-part approach, explains Mark Mihalasky, who co-ordinated the assessment. The procedure first delineates areas that would allow the occurrence of a particular kind of deposit. Using additional geoscientific evidence, the agency estimates how many deposits might be awaiting discovery. How much those potential deposits hold can be estimated through comparisons with similar known deposits around the world.

Mineral assessment and mineral exploration are two different things…. It’s not a ‘drill here’ assessment.—Mark Mihalasky

“Mineral assessment and mineral exploration are two different things,” Mihalasky emphasizes. “The purpose of our assessment is to help land planners, decision-makers and people in the region get an idea of what could be there, based upon probability. It’s not a ‘drill here’ assessment.

“This whole region is a relatively newly recognized area of potential and while we’re not saying this is a new uranium province we are saying there’s something here that hasn’t been found before in the United States and this might be worth looking into in greater detail if you’re an exploration company.”

Already one company from Australia has been asking “lots of questions,” says Van Gosen. Although most uranium mining in the American west uses in-situ recovery, the shallow depth and soft host rock of the Southern High Plains could present open pit opportunities “assuming uranium prices and other factors are favourable.”

Any positive price assumption will have to wait, however. One week earlier Cameco announced the impending suspension of its high-grade McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. The company said that long-term contracts had shielded it from uranium’s post-Fukushima plunge of over 70%, but those contracts are now expiring. Cameco had previously suspended its Rabbit Lake mine and reduced production at its American operations.

But while production faces cutbacks, controversy over American dependence on foreign uranium flared up again last month with renewed questions about the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s state-owned Rosatom. The formerly TSX-listed Uranium One holds American resources that could potentially produce up to 1,400 tonnes of uranium annually, according to the WNA. But last year the company’s sole U.S. operation, the Willow Creek ISR mine, produced just 23 tonnes of the country’s total output of 1,126 tonnes.

As the world’s largest consumer of uranium for energy, the U.S. relies on nukes for about 19% of the country’s electricity, according to USGS numbers. Only 11% of last year’s uranium purchases came from domestic sources.

USGS reports new domestic uranium potential and new uranium “species”

November 14th, 2017

This story has been expanded and moved here.

Far Resources drills wide intercepts of spodumene on Manitoba lithium project

October 11th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 11, 2017

Having finished field work that included the Zoro lithium project’s first modern drill program, Far Resources CSE:FAT reports wide intervals showing visual evidence of spodumene. Still to come are lab results from the 710-metre program, as well as from rock and soil samples taken from the property in Manitoba’s Snow Lake camp.

Far Resources drills wide intercepts of spodumene on Manitoba lithium project

The first modern drill program follows extensive sampling
and other field work on Far Resources’ Zoro lithium project.

Targeting Zoro’s pegmatite dyke 1, drilling revealed light green spodumene in widths of 40.5 metres, 39.8 metres, 23 metres, 19.8 metres and 7.5 metres. Additionally, the company’s waiting on assays for 60 rock samples taken from dykes 2, 3 and 4. Also pending are lab results for 410 soil samples collected from areas north and south along trend of all known dykes on the property.

Previous samples taken from historic trenches and pits on dykes 5 to 7 brought results as high as 3.87% Li2O. Earlier composite rock chip samples graded up to 6.35% for dyke 5.

Late last month the company added another 2,200 hectares to Zoro, extending the property towards Ashburton Ventures’ (TSXV:ABR) Thompson Brothers lithium project.

In December Far Resources shareholders will vote on a proposal to spin out the Winston gold project in New Mexico to a newly created company.

Far Resources expands Manitoba lithium property as drilling continues

September 28th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 28, 2017

Far Resources expands Manitoba lithium property as drilling continues

New ground brings Far Resources a new neighbour.

An additional 2,200 hectares extends Far Resources’ (CSE:FAT) Zoro project towards Thompson Brothers, a lithium project held by Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR. Both of the properties in northern Manitoba’s Snow Lake camp have historic, non-43-101 resources and current drill programs. Far Resources has field work planned for its new turf.

The 100% option calls for $25,000 and the same amount in shares on signing. Further commitments would add $225,000 and the same in shares, along with $500,000 in spending over 84 months. A 2% NSR applies, half of which Far Resources may buy for $1 million.

Last week the company began Zoro’s first modern drill campaign with a planned 700 metres focusing on the property’s dyke 1. The program follows soil sampling as well as sampling from historic trenches and pits elsewhere on the property that brought high-grade results.

Far Resources also holds the Winston gold project in New Mexico.

Far Resources samples more high-grade lithium, prepares to drill Manitoba project

September 8th, 2017

This story has been updated and moved here.

Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project reveals additional spodumene-bearing pegmatite

July 27th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 27, 2017

Far Resources CSE:FAT has identified spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes at its Zoro project in Manitoba to a greater extent than previously understood, enhancing the property’s lithium potential. The company confirmed the presence of a dyke swarm following a field visit to the Snow Lake region property, which was originally known to host seven spodumene-bearing dykes. Far Resources announced the discovery of additional dykes earlier this month.

Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project reveals additional spodumene-bearing pegmatite

A drill program would be necessary to determine their full dimensions, the company stated. Eighteen chip samples have been sent for assays.

Prospecting found dyke 7 exposed over 220 metres before it trends beneath a swamp. Dyke 7 has two smaller pegmatite dykes associated with it, both mineralized with spodumene and possible tantalite. One has a strike of about 80 metres and width up to 13 metres. The other shows about 75 metres in strike and two to three metres in width. Twenty-one pits and trenches have been documented from dyke 7, the company reported.

Dyke 6 outcrop was identified for about 100 metres in strike and widths of 0.5 to two metres. “It has not been exposed by trenches or pits and remains untested although spodumene is present in the dyke,” Far Resources added.

Dyke 5 extends for a 250-metre strike with widths from two to 12 metres at surface. Nineteen pits or trenches have revealed spodumene and possible tantalite.

“With the success of this field program we are looking forward to completing further work to assess dykes 2, 3 and 4 for additional mineralized pegmatites,” said president/CEO Keith Anderson. “This field work will lay the ground work for further drilling in the winter of 2017.”

In late June the company closed its acquisition of the Winston gold project in New Mexico. Last week Far Resources announced it would propose to shareholders that a new company be created to manage the project.

Update: Far Resources mobilizes for Manitoba lithium on finding more spodumene-bearing dykes

July 11th, 2017

(Update: On July 11 Far Resources announced a helicopter-supported field crew had mobilized to assess the newly found spodumene-bearing dykes, supplement historic data and build a 3D model prior to further drilling.)

by Greg Klein | July 4, 2017

Seeing further potential for its Zoro lithium project in Manitoba, Far Resources CSE:FAT reports additional spodumene-bearing dykes on the Snow Lake region property. A field program found the dykes in trenches, pits and outcrops between previously reported dykes 5 and 7, the company stated. “Accordingly, potential exists for new spodumene-bearing dykes adjacent to dykes 2, 3, 4 and 6 on the property and the area will become the focus of upcoming field work in 2017.”

Far Resources finds more spodumene-bearing dykes on its Manitoba lithium project

Chip sampling results released in May assayed from 1.46% to 6.35% Li2O for Dyke 5 and 1.35% to 2.91% for Dyke 7. Later that month results from a seven-hole, 1,088-metre stepout drill campaign on Dyke 1 showed intercepts up to 1.2% Li2O over 38.3 metres.

Site exploration and 3D modelling has been assisted by advice from Robert Linnen of the University of Western Ontario and Tania Martins of the Manitoba Geological Survey, two pegmatite scientists who accompanied the most recent field study.

In New Mexico, meanwhile, Far Resources last month closed its acquisition of the Winston gold project, where the company hopes to begin an initial program of six to eight holes to confirm historic results. “We have compiled two separate expert teams to advance these projects and, over the coming months, we will be making some strategic decisions on how best to advance both these projects to ensure each is managed to its best advantage,” said president/CEO Keith Anderson.

Far Resources finds more spodumene-bearing dykes on its Manitoba lithium project

July 4th, 2017

This story has been updated and moved here.

Stepout drilling hits 1.2% Li2O over 38 metres at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

May 30th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 30, 2017

Phase II drilling on Far Resources’ (CSE:FAT) Snow Lake-region Zoro property supports the continuity of lithium mineralization at depth, the company announced May 30. The seven-hole, 1,088-metre program on pegmatite Dyke #1 stepped out from last year’s Phase I campaign that found results comparing favourably with historic data. Phase II highlights show:

Hole FAR17-008

  • 1.1% Li2O over 2.4 metres, starting at 144.6 metres in downhole depth
Stepout drilling hits 1.2% over 38 metres at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

FAR17-010

  • 1.2% over 38.3 metres, starting at 164 metres
  • (including 2.3% over 4.6 metres)
  • (and including 2.6% over 2.1 metres)
  • (and including 1.4% over 7.7 metres)

FAR17-011

  • 1.3% over 1.3 metres, starting at 46.7 metres

FAR17-012

  • 1.7% over 10.7 metres, starting at 104.3 metres
  • (including 4.1% over 107.3 metres)
  • (and including 2.1% over 5.1 metres)

FAR17-013

  • 1% over 1.7 metres, starting at 75.3 metres

True widths weren’t provided. Holes FAR17-009 and FAR17-014 showed pegmatite over 1.8 metres and eight metres respectively, but without significant assays.

Overall the results support a 3D model that’s now being updated to incorporate the new info. The standout intercept of 1.2% over 38 metres confirms “that Dyke #1 thickens at depth and continues to host high-grade lithium,” said president/CEO Keith Anderson. “Further exploration will be focused on expanding the mineralization both along strike and at depth of this impressive intersection.”

Field work beginning in June will examine six other dykes on contiguous optioned land as well as Dyke #1, before planning Phase III drilling. The accelerated 100% acquisition of Zoro 1 closed this month, as did an oversubscribed private placement of $315,000.

Far Resources also holds the Winston silver-gold property in New Mexico.

Far Resources hastens 100% acquisition of Manitoba lithium project

May 9th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 9, 2017

Encouraged by exploration results and a substantial price reduction, Far Resources CSE:FAT will take a 100% interest in its Zoro hard rock lithium property earlier than planned. The company expects to close the deal on May 9.

Far Resources hastens 100% acquisition of Manitoba lithium project

An expedited acquisition gives Far Resources
a 100% stake in its northern Manitoba project.

An accelerated payment plan calls for six million shares at a deemed price of $0.10, as well as $100,000 payable within a year. That’s on top of a previous $50,000 and one million shares. The new deal cuts the price by $200,000, Far Resources stated.

Last week the company announced sample results of 1.35% and 2.91% Li2O that surpassed historic results of 0.46% and 0.5% from the same pegmatite dyke on the Snow Lake-region project. Zoro hosts seven known spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes.

Meanwhile the company awaits drill results from a Phase II program that finished last month. Seven holes totalling 1,088 metres targeted Zoro’s Dyke #1, where one hole found spodumene-bearing pegmatite over 53.7 metres and another found coarse spodumene crystals over 12.2 metres. Last year’s Phase I program brought grades up to 1.13% Li2O over 12.1 metres and 1.1% over 23.4 metres.

In New Mexico, Far Resources has a purchase agreement for the Winston silver-gold project pending approvals and due diligence.