Marenica’s strategy in Namibia is to build and then explore a portfolio of tenements that are highly prospective for surficial uranium mineralisation.
Marenica controls the largest land holding for nuclear fuels (uranium) in Namibia.
Figure 1 Marenica EPL Map – Erongo Region of Namibia
Technical Background to the Strategy
Surficial uranium deposits are broadly defined as near-surface (usually less than 20 metres deep) uranium concentrations in sediments or soils. The largest and most common style of surficial deposits worldwide are calcrete hosted uranium deposits and Namibia contains the majority of the known deposits. These deposits include Langer Heinrich, Tumas, Trekkopje, Marenica and Aussinanis.
Calcrete deposits form in semi-arid to arid climatic regions and contain uranium dominantly as the mineral carnotite, which is composed of uranium, vanadium and potassium (K2(UO2)2V2O8.3H2O).
The formation of surficial uranium deposits requires:
- Sources of uranium, vanadium and potassium.
- A means of transport for the weathered and dissolved metals.
- Suitable climatic and physical conditions for deposition of carnotite.
The Erongo region of Namibia fits this model, with suitable source rocks and an ideal climate. South of the Swakop River, the Namib Desert stretches west from the Khomas Highlands for about 120 kilometres to the Atlantic Ocean. The rock types in the plains at the foot of the Highlands are sources of uranium, vanadium and potassium. These elements have been dissolved by weathering of the rocks over millions of years and concentrated by evaporation as they flow downslope in groundwater, to precipitate as carnotite in calcrete and associated sediments.
Figure 2 is a map of Marenica’s EPL’s in the Namib Desert in the south of the Erongo region of Namibia. The source rocks for uranium and vanadium underlie the plains at the foot of the Khomas Highlands, and the groundwater containing the dissolved metals moves laterally down slope to where the Langer Heinrich, Tumas and Aussinanis deposits have been found. The groundwater has clearly had to move through the Namib Desert through Marenica’s tenements and the known deposits to the west.
Figure 2 Calcrete Hosted Uranium Deposition Model – Erongo Region of Namibia
Marenica has obtained historical maps and reports from exploration activities undertaken by General Mining Union Corporation Limited (“General Mining”) in the 1970s on which extensive fieldwork identified exploration targets. The vast majority of these exploration targets are located east of known deposits. Ground proofing work completed by Marenica over the last several years has confirmed the potential of General Mining’s exploration targets and has identified additional targets. In the late 1970s, following the discovery of Langer Heinrich, General Mining moved all exploration activities to Langer Heinrich and later exited the country without completing follow up exploration on the identified targets.
The identification and analysis of this historical information has led Marenica to apply for EPLs between the known deposits and the foot of the Khomas Highlands.
Amenable to U-pgradeTM
Marenica targets uranium mineralisation styles suitable for our proprietary U-pgradeTM beneficiation process. The patented U-pgradeTM beneficiation process, has been demonstrated at scoping study level, to materially lower development and operating costs for calcrete hosted uranium projects, like those targeted on these EPL’s.
Marenica has previously announced successful results of extensive U-pgradeTM testwork programs on the Tumas deposit, samples from the Langer Heinrich uranium mine, samples from the Trekkopje uranium mine and samples from the Aussinanis deposit, which confirmed the amenability of the U-pgradeTM process. Marenica has a high level of confidence that its proprietary U-pgradeTM process will be effective on any calcrete deposit found in the area of its EPL applications.