Uravan Minerals: Using Geochemistry to Explore For Deeply Buried Unconformity-Related U at the Stewardson Lake Project
Uravan Minerals Inc. is a junior mining and technology company focused on exploring for high grade unconformity-related U deposits in the Athabasca Basin, Canada. Since 2009 Uravan has been developing innovative exploration geochemical techniques in collaboration with leading academic and industry partners. The company’s Stewardson Lake Project consists of 5 claims covering a total area of 21,349 ha and is located in the south central portion of the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan.
Uravan has been developing innovative surface and lithogeochemical techniques in collaboration with Cameco Corp., Areva Resources Canada Inc., Dr. Colin Dunn, consulting geochemist and Dr. Kurt Kyser and his lab, the Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR). Orientation surface geochemical surveys have been completed over the Cigar Lake (216 million pounds of 18.3% U3O8 at a depth of ~430 m) and Centennial (up to 8.72% U3O8 over 33.9 m at a depth of ~800 m) unconformity-related U deposits. Both surveys identified anomalous geochemical signatures in surface media that appears related to U mineralization at depth. Three promising geochemical media were identified by the orientation surveys: <2 µm clay fraction from C horizon soils, black spruce and jack pine tree cores and new growth from black spruce and jack pine trees. In 2010 and 2011 these media were collected on a regional scale at all of Uravan’s grass roots exploration projects delineating numerous anomalies. Selected anomalies have been followed up with infill surface sampling, geophysics and diamond drilling. Uravan samples faults and fractures in the drill core for lithogeochemical analysis to evaluate whether anomalous geochemical dispersion can be traced from the unconformity into the surface environment.
Uravan’s Stewardson Lake project is located within the Virgin River structural corridor ~19 km northeast and on trend with Cameco and Areva’s Centennial deposit. Early exploration in the area identified regional scale sandstone hosted clay alteration, unconformity depths between ~1140-1250 m and no significant U enrichment. Surface geochemical sampling by Uravan in 2011 was followed up in 2013 with a property scale helicopter-borne Z-Axis Tipper Electromagnetic (ZTEM) geophysical survey identifying two conductive trends (C and E conductors). In 2014 two areas host to coincident anomalous surface geochemistry along the C and E conductive trends were followed up with ground geophysics (Area A) and infill surface geochemical surveys (Area A and B). Diamond drilling in Area A (2014, E conductor) and Area B (2015, C conductor) identified significant post Athabasca structures and sandstone clay alteration. Drilling in Area B also identifying significant sandstone enrichments in U, pathfinder elements, and weak U mineralization (0.025% eU3O8 over 6.3 m in the basal sandstone). Based on results from Area B Uravan believes that the C conductive trend is highly prospective to host one or more pods of high grade U mineralization.
Paul Stewart – Bio:
Mr. Stewart has a B.Sc. in geology (2011) and a M.Sc. (2014) focused in exploration geochemistry from Queen’s University. He is currently employed as Uravan’s project geologist and has been working with them since 2010. His masters research was part of a collaborative research project between Uravan Minerals and the Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR) developing innovative surface and litho – geochemical techniques intended to explore for deep (>600 m depth) unconformity-related U deposits.