Vancouver – With uranium prices reaching multi-decade highs of over US$18 per pound, UEX Corporation (UEX-T) is aggressively increasing exploration programs and holdings in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan.
Adding to its uranium portfolio, the company signed an agreement with Japan-Canada Uranium Company (JCU) to acquire a 25% interest in the latter’s Beatty River project. The project is presently a joint venture between Cogema Resources 50.71% and JCU 49.29%.
UEX is acquiring the interest for exploration funding of $865,000 by the end of 2008. Cogema plans on maintaining its interest and will match UEX’s spending.
The Beatty River project is in the western basin and has been extensively worked by Cogema since the late-1980s. Programs of airborne and ground geophysics as well as drilling were conducted.
Meanwhile, at the eastern end of the Athabasca Basin, the final winter exploration results from UEX’s Hidden Bay joint venture with Cameco (CCO-T) were received.
Work was primarily focused on the West Bear deposit which hosts an estimated reserve (historical by Gulf Minerals) outlining 131,000 tonnes at an average grade of 0.44% U3O8, a contained 1.26 million pounds of yellowcake. Mineralization occurs at depths of 15-26 metres, making this the shallowest discovered uranium deposit in the entire basin.
Cameco’s sonic drill program on the deposit was aiming to confirm and upgrade Gulf’s previous results. The exploration team believes previous drill results may have not been representative of actual mineralization and the resource may be understated.
This latest drilling, twinning previous holes, delivered substantially higher uranium grades than historically reported. Additionally, the extent of the deposit is showing potential boundary expansion.West Bear has been prioritized for further drilling enroute to an updated resource estimate and possible pre-feasibility study. Close proximity to surface and to existing processing facilities are positive parameters in its potential development.
UEX was formed by Pioneer Metals (PSM-T) and Cameco, in 2002, to explore for uranium in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Pioneer transferred its uranium projects to UEX for 46.5 million shares, which were subsequently redistributed to shareholders. Cameco transferred its advanced-stage Hidden Bay project in exchange for 31 million shares, making it the largest stakeholder in the company.