Tenement EPL 7278 (called Hirabeb) is the largest of Marenica’s strategically located tenements in the Namib Desert region of Namibia, to be explored. The maiden exploration program has identified an extensive palaeochannel system with the major palaeochannel longer than the width of the English Channel. Uranium mineralisation has been intersected over a distance of 30 kilometres of the palaeochannel.
In the Company’s view, this is potentially the most significant new uranium discovery in Namibia since Extract Resources discovered Husab in 2008, which is expected to be the second largest uranium mine in the world.
The significance of this efficient low cost exploration program is that Marenica has identified an extensive palaeochannel system that exploration activities indicate is mineralised for the majority of its length and it remains open in all directions. The reconnaissance exploration program was designed to focus on identifying the location of palaeochannels and thus, associated potential mineralisation on the tenement. Detailed follow-up work will be required to identify geological characteristics along the palaeochannels that would be suited to increased deposition of mobile uranium that has precipitated to form these calcrete hosted uranium deposits. Consequently, there is significant upside potential for large scale uranium deposits along the identified palaeochannel as well as in other areas of the tenement.
With an area of 730 km2, Hirabeb is Marenica’s largest tenement in the Namib Area, 15 times the area of the Koppies tenement. The scale of the palaeochannel at Hirabeb is evident by the comparison with the English Channel shown below in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – Comparison of the Hirabeb Palaeochannel with the English Channel
Figure 2 shows the location of the drill holes at Hirabeb relative to the Horizontal Loop Electromagnetics (HLEM) survey lines and the extent of the mineralisation and palaeochannels.
Figure 2 – Location of Hirabeb HLEM Survey Lines, Drill Holes and Potential Extent of Palaeochannels
Although the Company used historical exploration information produced by General Mining Corporation (“Gencor”) in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as the basis for selecting areas in Namibia to apply for exploration licences, Gencor did not drill on the Hirabeb tenement. No exploration occurred on this tenement since Gencor, which is likely due to the lack of radiometric signal in this area. Historically, surface radiometric anomalies derived from airborne surveys have been used to target drilling for mineralised palaeochannels, however, this has not been the case at Hirabeb. The greater Namib Area, including Hirabeb, is characterised by featureless terrain with no obvious surface expression, which highlights the importance of surface geophysics (HLEM) and drilling to locate palaeochannels.
Marenica’s low cost exploration method of selecting potential areas that could host palaeochannels, completing HLEM surveys to confirm the location of the palaeochannels, before drilling to validate the HLEM survey results and to determine the area of uranium mineralisation, has produced these significant exploration results.
The location of Hirabeb (EPL 7278) relative to Marenica’s other EPL’s and nearby known calcrete deposits, is shown in Figure 3 below.
Figure 3 – Location of Hirabeb in the Namib Desert, Namibia
Mineralisation identified within the palaeochannels is calcrete hosted uranium, the same style of ore used to develop Marenica’s U-pgradeTM uranium beneficiation process. The Company, is therefore, confident that based on the results of the Marenica Uranium Scoping Study, U-pgradeTM could be successfully applied if mining and processing operations were developed at Hirabeb, for a consequent significant reduction in development costs compared to Marenica’s peers with similar grade ores in Namibia.
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