Energy and Minerals Australia (EMA) has lodged two mining lease applications over its Mulga Rocks Uranium Project in Western Australia. The lodgement is an important step towards the company's aim of beginning production during 2014.
EMA is focusing exploration activities on utilizing historic drillhole and other data to better understand the distribution of the sandstone units known to host uranium mineralization in areas around the Ambassador deposit, which forms part of Mulga Rocks.
This work is expected to identify additional prospects to those previously announced as exploration targets. A substantial increase in the size of the sandstone-hosted uranium resource in the Ambassador area that may be amenable to insitu recovery (ISR) is a priority objective.
Recovery and re-logging of historic percussion drilling cuttings has expanded beyond areas of known mineralization, for which EMA has established exploration targets of 7600 to 13,000 tonnes at grades of 240 to 650ppm eU3O8 in three prospects adjacent to the Ambassador deposit.
The work in progress allows better correlation and interpretation of the structural setting of the basin at a regional as well as prospect scale. This work involved the excavation, re-logging, sampling and analysis of 149 historic drill holes as well as 15 recent holes.
Analysis of about 5000 historic duricrust geochemical samples obtained by vacuum drill was carried out in-house using a Niton portable XRF tool. This rapid non destructive method of analysis provides a useful way of levelled based metals values to account for variations in the concentrations of specific major elements known to scavenge heavy metals in the regolith. Limited chemical analysis of these samples has showed that, where properly levelled, they can provide useful vectors to uranium and base metals mineralization.
Planning of the field-based work to be completed during the pre-feasibility study (PFS) and gaining of the required approvals for this work, is ongoing. This work is focusing on conversion of uranium exploration targets to inferred mineral resources with priority on targets previously announced within about 10km of Ambassador and other targets being developed.
The company has also been advised that the High Court of Australia refused the application by Yarri Mining for special leave to appeal from the decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court of Appeal that the grants of the exploration licences covering the Mulga Rock Deposits were valid. No further appeals are possible and the High Court awarded costs to EMA.