VANCOUVER, Athabasca Uranium Inc. (“Athabasca” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the commencement of its multiphase exploration program for the Company’s McGregor Lake and Webb River uranium projects, located on the southeastern margin of the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan. The Company is also pleased to provide an update on its current suite of properties.
Phase One exploration, already underway, consists of a 2,740 kilometer heli-borne Z-TEM (Z-Axis Tipper EM) survey – a leading edge solution, particularly efficient at identifying discrete vertical conductive anomalies at depth. Conductive anomalies existing within magnetic discontinuities are key exploration indicators for altered sandstones and mineralized zones. In the Athabasca Basin, the vast majority of uranium mines and exploration deposits – including Denison’s Wheeler River Project, Fission’s Waterbury Lake Project, Hathor’s Roughrider Zone and JNR/Denison’s Moore Lake Project – are associated with subsurface graphitic conductors.
Results from the Z-TEM survey will be used to further refine conductive anomalies already identified at McGregor Lake and Webb River through previous ground and airborne surveys. Subject to the results, Athabasca will proceed with Phase Two Magnetoteulleric (MT) ground surveys to further identify and refine targets. High priority targets should then be available for Phase Three testing by diamond drilling. Athabasca will also employ 2D seismic surveys, utilized by Hathor at Roughrider and JNR/Denison at Moore Lake, to increase the likelihood of drilling success.
Gil Schneider, Athabasca Uranium’s president was quoted as saying: “Given the current bull market and positive outlook for uranium world-wide, this is a very exciting time to be exploring in the world’s richest uranium region.”
Geotech’s ZTEM system is an innovative airborne EM system which uses the natural or passive fields of the earth as the source of transmitted energy. The earth and ionosphere, both conductive, act as a waveguide to “transmit” the source energy great distances. Due to the manner in which they propagate, these natural fields are planar and horizontal. Any vertical field is caused by conductivity contrasts in the earth. The vertical EM field is referenced to the horizontal EM field as measured by a set of horizontal base station coils. The proprietary receiver design using the advantages of modern digital electronics and signal processing delivers exceptionally low-noise levels.
The Company currently controls three projects which cover approximately 31,700 hectares in the most prospective part of the Athabasca Basin.
McGregor Lake (100% Interest)
The 18,699ha McGregor Lake Project adjoins Denison/JNR’s Moore Lake Deposit (Maverick Zone), where significant uranium mineralization has been identified through multiple diamond drill programs. The unconformity related uranium mineralization in the Maverick Main zone has now been intersected over a minimum strike length of 350m. In 2005, Denison/JNR reported intersecting “classic unconformity-style mineralization, best exemplified by holes ML-61, ML-54 and ML-55, where respective intervals of 4.03% eU3O8/10 m (incl. 1.4 m @ 20% eU3O8), 3.5% U3O8/5.0 m and 5.14% U3O8/6.2 m were obtained. In ML-29, returning 1.61% eU3O8/7.5 m, an 0.5 m intersection graded 7.91% U3O8, 3.65% Ni, 2.8% As, 1.6% Cu, 0.9% Co, 0.35% REE and 5.3g/t Ag, confirming the polymetallic nature of the mineralization. Together with the newly discovered 527 and 525 zones, mineralization occurs over a 1.7-kilometre length of the minimum 6.5-kilometre long Maverick structural corridor. Over 50% of this corridor has yet to be drill tested.
Webb River (100% Interest)
The 5,386ha Webb River Project is located on the eastern edge of the Basin in similar geological setting as the West Bear (IUC) and Moore Lake deposits. In 1979-1980 Sander Geophysics conducted an 850m line airborne VLF-EM and magnetometer survey in an east-west direction with 200m line spacing. Later that year 85km of ground VLF-EM was completed by Sander and another 678km were completed by Phantom Exploration Services. Both surveys were successful in delineating an array of north-east trending conductors.
McCarthy Lake (50% Interest)
The 7,584ha McCarthy Lake Project adjoins Denison/JNR Resources South Cigar Project northwest of the Webb River Project. In 2007, the project was examined with a 4,600 line kilometer airborne Tempest Mag/EM survey, performed by Fugro, which delineated several lobed-shaped subsurface conductive anomalies within magnetic corridors.