Uranium Update - Acquisition of New Uranium Prospects & Receipt of Drilling Permits
VANE Minerals Plc ("VANE") today announces that its uranium subsidiary VANE Minerals (US) LLC ("VANE (US))" or "the Company") has successfully acquired exploration rights for an additional three breccia pipe prospects, Cholla, NCP-7 and CP-14, all located on Federal lands in northern Arizona. These new acquisitions bring the total number of breccia pipe prospects in VANE's portfolio to 22, with the total number of uranium projects in the Colorado Plateau Uranium District now standing at 25. These 25 projects consist of 131 Federal mining claims and 5 State permits.
The breccia pipe district in northern Arizona is a relatively new district which produced approximately 23 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) prior to the decline of uranium prices in the 1980's. Individual economic mineralised breccia pipes generally contain between 1 million and 6 million lbs U3O8 (based on historical data reported by Energy Fuels Nuclear, Inc).
VANE plans to undertake a drilling programme to define the value of the breccia pipes in its suite of uranium properties and prioritise their development. The Company has now received approval on drilling permit applications for its Miller and Red Dike breccia pipes, two of the previously reported properties acquired by VANE that are located on Arizona State lands, and plans to conduct deep drill testing on these pipes. Drilling permit applications have been submitted on 9 additional pipe targets located on Federal lands in Arizona.
VANE (US) has also received approval to drill at the North Wash Project located in Utah. As previously reported on the acquisition of the project in November 2005, this project contains an inferred resource of 150,000 pounds of U3O8 based on data from holes drilled between 1977 and 1979 by Cotter Corporation. Assay data also from Cotter Corporation indicated high vanadium to uranium ratios and reported vanadium oxide grades ranging from 1.5% to 15.2%. Drilling is expected to further define the vanadium oxide grades. This programme is planned to coincide with drilling at the Happy Jack Project, also located in Utah, where a review of previous exploration work has identified nine targets. VANE (US) geologists have conducted an internal conceptual study of these properties which determined that each property could have the potential to produce up to one million pounds of uranium oxide.
Moving forward, VANE plans to continue permitting for drilling on all its uranium properties. The Company continues with its programme of property acquisitions and is in various stages of negotiation on several projects.
Michael Spriggs, Chairman of VANE commented, "We are pleased with the further growth of our uranium portfolio. As a result, we now have a substantial asset base and are very well placed to capitalise on the increasing interest in the uranium and nuclear markets. We have built up a strong land position in a key uranium district, within a stable geopolitical environment, and are now looking at various options which will enable us to accelerate the development of our uranium assets."
Kristopher K. Hefton, Chief Operating Officer VANE Minerals (US) LLC, BSc Geology, who meets the criteria of a qualified person under the AIM rule guidance for mining, oil and gas companies, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this announcement.