Uranium Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq:URRE) (ASX:URI), an energy metals development company, announced today that it has completed certain key activities in support of ongoing work at the Columbus Basin Project, including the acquisition of geophysical data from a major mining company and the submittal of two water rights applications to the State of Nevada.
Chris Jones, URI’s President and CEO said, “We have significantly reduced the cost and schedule for our exploration activities at the Columbus Basin Project with the acquisition of geophysical data and are excited about the potential of this project. Additionally, our water rights application is key to brine production and has real potential to put URI in a prime position to develop any resources we discover.”
URI has acquired a license for a substantial amount of geophysical data from two parties previously engaged in mineral exploration adjacent to the Columbus Basin Project. The geophysical data covers the southern half of the Columbus Salt Marsh, including a significant portion of the Company’s 11,200 acre Columbus Basin Project. The license allows URI to utilize data from previously completed gravity surveys and a magnetotelluric (MT) survey for further analysis and evaluation of the project.
URI has also engaged a consulting geophysicist to integrate and reinterpret this data with other geophysical data in possession of the Company. This work is presently ongoing. Following integration and reinterpretation of the available data, URI will determine the necessity and scope of further geophysical surveys within the Columbus Basin Project. The results of the geophysical data studies will be combined with geological and geochemical sampling data (please refer to the News Release of February 22, 2017 for details) to guide our forthcoming exploration drilling program at the project.
URI subsidiary Lithium Holdings Nevada, LLC has submitted two water rights applications to the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR). Unlike other basins in Nevada that are prospective for lithium brine development, water rights in the Columbus Salt Marsh basin are not over-allocated and there are significant groundwater resources available for appropriation through the water rights application process. Each water rights application submitted requests a 2 cubic foot per second (cfs) point of diversion, equating to a total of approximately 3,000 acre feet per year (af/yr) between the two applications. Although there is some uncertainty with all water rights application processes, the Company believes that one or both of the water rights applications can be approved by NDWR by the end of 2017.
About URI’s Columbus Basin Project
The Columbus Basin Project is located within the Columbus Salt Marsh Basin of western Nevada, approximately 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of the town of Tonopah, Nevada, 140 miles (227 kilometers) southeast of the city of Reno and 137 miles (221 kilometers) southeast of Tesla Motors’ “Gigafactory”. The Columbus Basin Project is approximately 27 miles (43 kilometers) northwest of the Clayton Valley/Silver Peak lithium brine operation of Albemarle Corporation, the only lithium brine production facility in the United States.
The Columbus Salt Marsh is a closed drainage basin that covers an area of approximately 370 square miles (960 square kilometers) with a geologic setting that is dominated by lake and basin-fill sediments that have been past sources of borate and salt production. The basin is bounded on its south and east sides by Tertiary-age volcanic rocks, including some that are considered to be potential source rocks for lithium.
The approximately 11,200 acre Columbus Basin Project was acquired through staking in 2016, and is 100% owned by URI through its subsidiaries. URI is presently advancing through a series of exploration activities to determine the potential of economic concentrations of lithium within the subsurface brines of the basin.