Vancouver – This fall UEX (UEX-T) leveled its 2009 resource-estimate sights on a target of 40 million lbs. U3O8 at its 100%-owned Hidden Bay project in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan.
In January it hit 32 million lbs. with a resource estimate of 7.6 million indicated tonnes grading 0.175% U3O8 and 800,000 inferred tonnes grading 0.144% U3O8 in the combined Horseshoe, Raven and West Bear zones of the Hidden Bay property.
Now UEX believes step-out drilling beyond the Horseshoe resource area will help it make its 40-million-lb. mark.
UEX is intersecting two new zones of mineralization 50 to 250 metres northeast of the resource area.
One of the zones lies at a depth between 300 and 400 metres where, for example, hole 289 hit 23 metres grading 0.567% U3O8 and hole 302 hit 42 metres grading 0.258% U3O8.
The other zone lies at a depth between 80 and 250 metres. Here hole 267 cut 54 metres 0.051% U3O8 and hole 308, 41 metres grading 0.066% U3O8.
At this point UEX sees the former zone, about 30-100 metres northeast of the resource-defined Horseshoe area, as deeper and of a higher grade than the latter zone which is about 80 to 250 metres northeast of the resource area.
In terms of mineralization UEX says it is finding nodular and disseminated pitchblende-uranophane-boltwoodite within a hematite alteration and next to zones of clay alteration which are in turn hosted by folded, competent, arkosic quartzite gneiss and quartzite. This style of mineralization is similar to what UEX finds in parts of the main Horseshoe zone.
With drilling ongoing UEX says its priority now is to test the extent of the two zones of mineralization. It is also putting in more infill holes to prove-up inferred resources at Horseshoe.
UEX also says it will soon start feasibility work on the project and that it should be able to open-pit mine Hidden Bay.
The Horseshoe deposit lies at a depth between 100 and 400 metres and has a dip length of 300 metres and a strike length of 600 metres. The Raven deposit, which is 500 metres west of Horseshoe, is similar in size, with 700 metres of strike and a depth of 100 to 300 metres.
UEX notes that the Hidden Bay property is only 12 km southeast of AREVA’s McClean Lake project and 5 km south of Cameco’s Rabbit Lake.
Considering that proximity UEX has said it might go with toll milling in any project design.
As of mid-November UEX reported having $25 million in the bank and that it was planning on a $16.5 million exploration program in 2009. Of that the company will be responsible for $11 million, half of which is slated for the Hidden Bay property.
UEX has one project under option, eleven joint-ventured and seven that are 100%-owned in the Athabasca Basin.
On news of the drill results UEX’s share price had gained 1¢ at presstime and was trading at 86¢. The company has about 184 million shares outstanding.