VANE Minerals (US) LLC's Uranium Prospects
VANE's entry into uranium is a reflection of the Company's belief in the renewed strength of the uranium market and growing predictions of long-term supply shortages. The requirement for clean, long-term, safe, and environmentally friendly energy sources is now recognised throughout the world. It is this and the fact that the U.S. imports over 90% of its uranium to fuel its nuclear power industry (although the U.S. has the capability to fuel 100% of its needs, therefore making uranium a strategic resource) which are the driving forces behind the Company's move into U.S. uranium.
The Company has assembled a substantial portfolio of high-quality projects in the Colorado Plateau Uranium District in southwestern U.S. The portfolio consists of projects in Utah and northern Arizona. The Utah projects consist of properties covering the Chinle and Morrison Formations which host stratabound uranium and uranium-vanadium deposits. These formations have historically been significant producers. In Arizona, the projects are located on the Arizona Strip where uranium is hosted in solution-collapse breccia pipes.
The breccia pipes are a major target of VANE’s efforts due to their history of discovery and production of high-grade uranium. Including the properties gained by the joint venture with Uranium One Exploration U.S.A. Inc., and agreements with Neutron Energy Inc. and Sage Associates., VANE now has an interest in about 270 projects in the Arizona Strip breccia pipe district on federal, state, and private lands outside the Grand Canyon National Park boundary on lands intended for mining.
The focus of the program on these breccia pipe projects includes the evaluation of known uranium content, further exploration of identified pipes, as well as capitalising on the potential for new pipe targets to add to the pipeline. The lead properties at the moment are the Wate and Rose Pipes.
The breccia pipe portfolio is strongly supported by USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) Report c.1051, 1987, which states the potential undiscovered uranium reserves of the Arizona Strip as 42% of the total U.S. potential. In addition, SRK Consulting completed a Canadian NI43-101 report in 2007, which verifies VANE’s breccia pipe holdings as of that date.
VANE’s uranium holdings in southeastern Utah are situated in a district where historic production totals approximately 200 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) and several hundred million pounds of vanadium oxide (V2O5). Several mines on these types of deposits are active as well as the White Mesa Mill at Blanding, Utah, owned by Denison Mines, which processes uranium and uranium-vanadium ores. The Company has the Happy Jack Mine and the North Wash deposit having combined drill indicated resources of 310,000 pounds of eU3O8 (non-NI 43-101 compliant). Two drilling campaigns have been completed on each of these properties with very positive results.
The company also has the North La Sal property located on the La Sal Channel that extends from the Uravan Mineral Belt, a prolific uranium/vanadium producing trend. The North La Sal property is located adjacent to the Energy Queen Mine, owned by Energy Fuels Resources and on which EFR has announced plans to reopen.
EFR and Denison announced on 16 April 2012, an agreement whereby EFR will acquire all U.S assets of Denison including the White Mesa Mill in Utah.