Uranium Resources, Inc. (URI) (Nasdaq:URRE) (ASX:URI), an energy metals development company, announced today that its independent geophysical consultant has completed the review, integration and reinterpretation of historical geophysical survey data recently acquired by the Company, that covers its Columbus Basin lithium brine exploration project in Nevada. The results of this work include:
- The indicated depth of the Columbus Salt Marsh basin is greater than expected and in excess of 6500ft (2000m). This increases the probability of intersecting favourable geology for lithium brines at depth.
- The combined presence of hypersaline brines and shallow low density geologic horizons, as indicated by resistivity modelling, present excellent targets for lithium brine exploration.
“This is great news,” said Chris Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of URI. “We have confirmation of our exploration model with the early acquisition and analysis of this data. URI has, as a result, reduced its planned exploration costs and we will target our drilling more accurately and sooner than expected. We plan for drilling to commence in July of this year.”
Over the past 6 months, URI has obtained historical geophysical data from multiple sources covering the Columbus Basin Project (refer to the News Release of March 6, 2017). This data included gravity survey data from 440 stations on variable 1,000ft to 2,600ft (300m to 800m) spacing, and nearly 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) of magnetotelluric (MT) survey line data. The data predominantly covered the southern half of the Columbus Salt Marsh Basin, including the major gravity low within the basin and a significant portion of the Company’s 14,200 acre Columbus Basin Project. The acquired data was generated in multiple field campaigns from 2006 to 2010.
Results of Geophysical Data Integration and Reinterpretation
URI contracted with an independent geophysicist to integrate the multiple historical data sets and to reinterpret the merged data. As part of this integration of data, a new 3-D gravity model of the basin was completed, as well as 1-D inversions of the MT data to generate a resistivity cross section. The interpretation then leveraged both models to provide characterization of both the geometry and depositional patterns within the basin. The summary results of this reinterpretation include:
- Determination of basin geometry and confirmation of basin fill sediments to a depth in excess of 6,500ft (2,000m). This depth is greater than previously reported for the Columbus Salt Marsh, and demonstrates the maturity of the basin.
- Identification of additional basin constraining faults and geologic structures, including those which may support migration of geothermal fluids or inter-basin groundwater flow.
- Cross-section mapping of low density materials within the basin fill sediments are indicative of ash beds or similar high porosity stratigraphic horizons.
- Extremely low resistivities were encountered within the basin fill sediments; this condition is attributed to the existence of hyper-saline groundwater.
Overall the geologic information derived through the integration and reinterpretation of the historical data sets significantly exceeded the Company’s value expectations from the acquired data.Due to the thoroughness of the work completed, no additional geophysical surveys are planned for the project at this time. The new geophysical data interpretation will be coupled with the Company’s geochemical sampling results (refer to the News Release of February 22, 2017), to finalize geologic targets and drill hole locations for a 3rd Quarter drill campaign at the Columbus Basin Project.