AREVA Resources Australia has begun an exploration drilling campaign on Toro Energy’s Wiso project, 15km northwest of Barrow Creek in the Northern Territory. A previously identified potential paleochannel system in the joint venture property is the main focus.
The drilling campaign will comprise up to 5000 metres of mud-rotary drilling with an absolute minimum of 2000 metres and expected drill hole depths of between 50 and 300 metres. The program is expected to be complete by mid-July.
The exploration target is the prospective more recent sediments (65 million years old and younger) overlying the Wiso Basin in the Northern Territory. These sediments have the potential to contain significant amounts of sandstone hosted uranium mineralization that will be amenable to the relatively benign and cost-effective In-Situ Leach (ISL) extraction method, similar to those found at Beverley or Four Mile in South Australia.
A large airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey (Tempest system) undertaken by Toro Energy in 2012 and jointly funded by the Northern Territory Government shows that an extensive palaeochannel system may exist below cover that has previously shed sediments from uranium rich rocks of the Arunta Complex in the south into the basin.
The EM survey also shows that the possible palaeochannel system is still connected to those uranium-rich rocks and so has an even greater potential to host uranium rich groundwater capable of depositing uranium in economic proportions ‘downstream’, given the right conditions. This palaeochannel system is the main focus of AREVA’s exploration program.