Uranium Resources, Inc., an energy metals development company, reported results from additional grid-based geochemical sampling of surface sediments across its Columbus Basin Project.
The geochemical sampling program focused on the 3,040 acre land package optioned by the Company in March of this year. (See News Release dated March 27, 2017)
Selected highlights of these 54 geochemical samples include:
- Maximum lithium value in surface sediments was 348 parts per million (ppm);
- Average lithium concentration across a total of 54 grid sample locations was 144 ppm; and
- Lithium concentrations exceeded 200 ppm in 10 sample locations.
These data support the previous grid-based geochemical sampling of surface sediments that included a high value of 392 ppm lithium, and 21 sample locations that exceeded 200 ppm lithium. (See News Release dated February 22, 2017)
The next stage in the exploration process at the Columbus Basin Project will be to complete an initial exploration core drill and hydrogeologic test program. URI has completed the permitting process with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for five exploration drill holes up to 2,000 feet in depth, and is on schedule to initiate this work within the month. Results from the first phase of drilling are expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“The results from this newest round of sampling confirms and extends the area of anomalous levels of lithium in the near-surface environment of the Columbus Basin Project area” said Chris Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With our now expanded property position and continued positive surface sampling results, we are in position to put exploration drills to work and test the subsurface brines for both quality and quantity of lithium”.
Geochemical Sampling Program
The grid-based sampling program was designed by the Company to determine surface sediment geochemistry across 3,040 acres of newly optioned ground that expanded the Columbus Basin Project to 14,200 acres. URI will merge this data with that from the previous sampling programs at the project to further identify spatial trends in the near surface lithium mineralization. A total of 54 sample locations were evenly spaced on a grid across the approximately 3,040 acre area of the recently acquired claim block. Samples were obtained from the uppermost 6 inches of surface sediment and were collected by URI technical staff following Company sampling procedures, including detailed location survey data, collection of field duplicates, and appropriate sample security. Field work was completed on May 10, 2017.
All samples were submitted to the ALS Minerals laboratory in Reno, Nevada for analysis by four-acid digestion and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) multi-element analysis.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control
ALS Minerals laboratory of Reno, Nevada maintains ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation and operates under a mature Quality Management System. Internal laboratory quality control includes both control standards and replicate sample analysis.
Furthermore, URI submitted five (5) random field duplicate samples each to American Assay Labs, Inc. of Reno, Nevada (ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited) and Western Environmental Testing Laboratory (WETLABB) of Reno, Nevada. The field duplicate assays were analyzed with four-acid digestion and ICP-AES/ICP-MS at both laboratories, matching the analytical methods utilized by ALS. The analysis and comparison of data from the field duplicates yielded no statistically significant variances with the ALS Minerals analytical results.
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 initial 11,200 acres of the Columbus Basin Project was acquired through staking by URI in 2016, and is 100% owned by URI through its subsidiaries. Acquisition of the additional federal mineral claims covering 3,040 acres in March 2017 was completed through an option agreement with a private party. URI now controls over 14,200 acres in total at the Columbus Basin Project. URI is presently advancing the project through a series of exploration activities to determine the potential for economic concentrations of lithium within the subsurface brines of the basin.