UEX Corporation (TSX: UEX) ("UEX" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the 2017 drilling program on the Christie Lake Project (the "Project") has commenced. The Company has met its 2016 obligations under the Christie Lake Option Agreement and UEX's ownership interest has increased to 30% of the Project.
2017 Drill Program Underway
The program has a two-pronged approach to grow resources in the known deposit areas and begin exploration on the next segment of the Yalowega Trend. The $3 million program will consist of approximately 12,000 m of drilling in 20 holes, utilizing two drills. Both drills have been set-up on their first targets.
The first drill will test the Shoreline and Otter Creek targets located along strike and northeast of the Ken Pen Deposits (see Figure 1). Shoreline and Otter Creek cover highly prospective segments of the uraniferous Yalowega Trend. Sparse historical drilling in the 1990's encountered uranium mineralization, indicative hydrothermal alteration, and prospective structures at both the unconformity and in the shallow basement environment that have yet to be followed up by drilling using modern exploration models and techniques.
After an incredibly successful inaugural 2016 drilling campaign, where we determined the controlling features of the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits, I am excited to see what our exploration team will do applying this new-found knowledge at the Shoreline and Otter Creek target areas.
Roger Lemaitre, President & CEO
The second drill will focus on continuing to grow uranium resources in the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposit areas. The main objectives are:
- Expansion of high-grade mineralization up and down-plunge of CB-102, which encountered 3.40% U3O8 over 11.2 m within the Paul Bay Deposit -- see news release dated December 15, 2016,
- Expansion of the Ken Pen Zone to the southwest, northwest, and northeast at the unconformity and into the basement, and to follow up CB-104 (2.37% eU3O8 over 4.2 m) and CB-107 (1.06% U3O8 over 4.0 m) -- see news release dated December 15, 2016,
- Testing of the unconformity and basement environment in the 200 m long gap between the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits to determine if these deposits are connected,
- Testing of the unconformity above the Paul Bay Deposit to determine whether the existing uranium mineralization extends up-dip to the unconformity.
Our team has thickened the lake ice for drilling, as many of this winter's targets are best drill-tested from lake ice platforms.
UEX remains on track to complete its first NI-43-101 interim resource estimate of the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits by the second quarter of 2017.
Increase in Ownership Interest Achieved
UEX completed the required $2 million property payment to JCU and its 2016 exploration work commitments under the Christie Lake Option Agreement prior to the January 1, 2017 deadline. UEX's ownership interest in the Christie Lake Joint Venture has increased from 10% to 30% effective December 31, 2016. UEX has made cumulative property payments of $4 million and conducted approximately $3.9 million in exploration activities on the project.
UEX intends to continue growing our interest by meeting the next tranche of annual obligations outlined in the Christie Lake Option Agreement. UEX anticipates achieving a 45% ownership interest in the Christie Lake Project by the end of 2017.
The Company remains on track to earn its full 70% interest in the Project.
About the Christie Lake Project
UEX currently holds a 30% interest in the Christie Lake Project and is working under an option agreement to earn up to a 70% interest. The Project is located approximately 9 km northeast and along strike of Cameco's McArthur River Mine, the world's largest uranium producer. The P2 Fault, the controlling structure for all of the McArthur River deposits, continues to the northeast beyond the mine. UEX believes that through a series of en-echelon steps the northeast strike extension of the P2 Fault not only crosses the Project but also controls the two known uranium deposits on Christie Lake, the Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits.
The Paul Bay and Ken Pen Deposits are estimated to host a combined 20.87 million pounds of U3O8 at an average grade of 3.22% U3O8 and were discovered in 1989 and 1993 respectively. This is a historic resource estimation which does not use resource classifications consistent with NI 43-101. The historical resource estimate was presented in an internal report titled Christie Lake Project, Geological Resource Estimate completed by PNC Tono Geoscience Center, Resource Analysis Group, dated September 12, 1997. The historical resource was calculated using a 3 D block model using block sizes of 2 m by 2 m by 2 m, and block grades interpolated using the inverse distance squared method over a circular search radius of 25 m and 1 m height. Specific gravities for each deposit were averaged from specific gravity measures of individual samples collected for assay. UEX plans to complete additional infill drilling on the deposits during the option earn-in period to upgrade these historic resources to indicated and inferred. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historic estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. UEX is not treating the historic estimate as current mineral reserves or mineral resources.
Qualified Persons and Data Acquisition
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Roger Lemaitre, P.Eng., P.Geo., UEX's President and CEO and Trevor Perkins, P.Geo., UEX's Exploration Manager, who are each considered to be a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.