UEX Updates West Bear Co-Ni Resource
Announces Results from the Winter Drilling Program
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, April 15, 2020 – UEX Corporation (TSX:UEX) (“UEX” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce an updated mineral resource estimate for the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit, located on the Company’s 100% owned West Bear Property. In 2019, UEX completed a 126 hole – 11,412.5 metres drill program that expanded the size of the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit by extending its strike length from 225 to 600 metres.
The updated mineral resource estimate was completed internally by UEX’s exploration team comprising Mr. Nathan Barsi, P.Geo., Mr. Chris Hamel, P.Geo., and Mr. Trevor Perkins, P.Geo. in accordance with Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and has an effective date of December 31, 2019. Mr. Barsi, Mr. Hamel, and Mr. Perkins are employees of UEX Corporation and are Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 but are not considered to be independent of the Company.
The West Bear Co-Ni Deposit mineral resources were determined using a cut-off grade of 0.023 percent cobalt equivalent (“CoEq”), using the equation CoEq = Co + (Ni x 0.2). The resource is classified as an indicated mineral resource, totalling 1,223,000 tonnes averaging 0.19% cobalt and 0.21% nickel which equates to 5,122,000 pounds of cobalt and 5,662,000 pounds of nickel.
Table 1 - Mineral Resource Statement*, West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Project,
Saskatchewan, UEX Corporation, December 31, 2019
|Tonnes||(%)||(%)||(‘000 lb)||(‘000 lb)|
|* Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and have not demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates. Composites were capped where appropriate. Mineral resources are reported at a cobalt equivalent cut-off value of 0.023 percent, and consider metal prices of US$35.00 per pound of cobalt and US$7.00 per pound of nickel.|
The current mineral resource includes the results from 379 diamond drill holes totalling 23,110 metres drilled by UEX in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2018 and 2019 targeting mineralization between 18 and 130 metres from surface. The reported mineral resource was constrained within modelled cobalt mineralization wireframes and estimated using an inverse distance squared/block modelling approach. A block size of 5 x 5 x 2 metres for all mineralized lenses was used. Wireframe modelling, and block modelling were performed using Datamine Studio RM software.
A Technical Report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") will be filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com within 45 days.
The mineral resource model is relatively sensitive to the selection of reported CoEq cut-off grade. The following table illustrates the sensitivity to various cut-off grades. The reader is cautioned that the figures presented in the table below should not be construed as mineral resources but are presented to show the sensitivity of the block model estimates with changes in CoEq cut-off grade.
Table 2 - Global Block Model Quantities and Grade Estimates
at Various Cobalt Equivalent Grades
The sensitivity analysis indicates the importance of the high-grade core within the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit. Even at a significantly higher cut-off grade of 0.1% CoEq, it is estimated that 87.2% of the cobalt and 78.9% of the nickel is still contained within the smaller tonnage resource at a much higher average grade of 0.40% Co and 0.40% Ni.
While our updated West Bear cobalt resource may not be large enough yet to support a stand-alone cobalt mining operation, this discovery is proof that the Athabasca Basin hosts a new and previously unknown type of cobalt deposit. Armed with our exclusive knowledge of these deposits, our historical database, and extensive land holdings, UEX is uniquely positioned to make future cobalt discoveries that could grow the Athabasca Basin into a key strategic cobalt district.
Roger Lemaitre, President & CEO
All samples and specific gravity determinations used to calculate the resource estimate were assayed at the Saskatchewan Research Counsel’s Geoanalytical Laboratories and umpire sampled assayed at TSL Laboratories of Saskatoon, SK. Analytical quality control data was reviewed and validated internally and is considered sufficiently reliable to support a resource evaluation of the Deposit.
The database used to estimate the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit mineral resources was validated by Mr. Barsi, P.Geo. and Mr. Perkins, P.Geo. and each are of the opinion the current drilling information is sufficiently reliable to interpret with confidence the boundaries for cobalt mineralization and the assay data is sufficiently reliable to support mineral resource estimation.
Results of the 2020 Winter Drilling Program on the Umpherville Prospect
In February and March, UEX completed 13 drill holes totalling 1,314 metres that tested a historical area of hydrothermal alteration and anomalous uranium and nickel concentrations in the Umpherville Prospect area. The Umpherville Prospect is located approximately 2 kilometres directly north of the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit and was identified as a high priority target area based upon geological and structural similarities to the area hosting the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit, and includes historical 1977 drill hole ML-77-05 which intersected 0.22% eU3O8 over 4 feet (1.22 metres) (see Figure 1).
The winter drill program was successful in locating and intersecting the North Rim fault structure coincident with the West Bear Graphitic Package at the unconformity at depths averaging approximately 45 metres. The program substantially expanded the size of the known hydrothermal alteration system within the Athabasca sandstone from approximately 600 metres to a strike length of approximately 1,500 metres (see Figure 2). The alteration zone is uncommonly enriched in uranium with values ranging from 2 ppm U to 13 ppm U, which are concentration levels often observed proximal to many Athabasca unconformity uranium deposits and the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit. The alteration system remains open along strike to the northeast and for 2 kilometres to the southwest in the direction of UEX’s North Shore Uranium Occurrence (see Figure 2) where several historical holes have intersected unconformity-related uranium and nickel.
With the expanded hydrothermal alterations system and high uranium enrichment of the sandstone column, the area southwest of the Umpherville Prospect remains a high-priority exploration target for the Company warranting further exploration work in the future.
About the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit
The West Bear Property is an advanced exploration project located in the eastern Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada that contains both the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit and the West Bear Uranium Deposit. The Property is approximately 740 kilometres north of Saskatoon, west of Wollaston Lake and measures approximately 7,983 hectares comprising of 24 contiguous areas to which UEX has 100% ownership, with the exception of Mineral Lease 5424 in which UEX owns a 77.575% interest. The Deposit is located within an area of the Athabasca Basin that has excellent infrastructure and is situated within 10 kilometres of an existing all-weather road and power lines that service Cameco Corporation’s nearby Cigar Lake Mine and Rabbit Lake Operation, as well as Orano’s McClean Lake Operation.
The West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit currently has a strike length of over 600 metres and a dip length of over 100 metres. On April 15, 2020, the Company announced an updated indicated resource estimate for the Deposit of 1,223,000 tonnes grading 0.19% cobalt and 0.21% nickel, which equates to 5,122,000 pounds of cobalt and 5,662,000 pounds of nickel The West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit mineral resources were determined using a cut-off grade of 0.023 percent cobalt equivalent (“CoEq”), using the equation CoEq = Co + (Ni x 0.2).
Qualified Persons and Data Acquisition
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Roger Lemaitre, P.Eng., P.Geo., UEX’s President and CEO, Trevor Perkins, P.Geo., UEX’s Exploration Manager, Mr. Chris Hamel, P.Geo, UEX’s Chief Geologist, and Nathan Barsi, P.Geo., UEX’s Project Geologist, who are each considered to be a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
UEX (TSX:UEX, OTC:UEXCF.PK, UXO.F) is a Canadian uranium and cobalt exploration and development company involved in an exceptional portfolio of uranium projects, including a number that are 100% owned and operated by UEX, one joint venture with Orano Canada Inc. (“Orano”) and ALX Uranium Corp. (“ALX”) that is 51.43% owned by UEX, as well as eight joint ventures with Orano, one joint venture with Orano and JCU (Canada) Exploration Company Limited, which are operated by Orano, and one project (Christie Lake), that is 64.34% owned by UEX with JCU (Canada) Exploration Company Limited which is operated by UEX.
The Company is also leading the discovery of cobalt in Canada, with three cobalt-nickel exploration projects located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, including the only primary cobalt deposit in Canada. The 100% owned West Bear Project was formerly part of UEX’s Hidden Bay Project and contains the West Bear Cobalt-Nickel Deposit and the West Bear Uranium Deposit. UEX also owns 100% of two early stage cobalt exploration projects, the Axis Lake and Key West Projects.
Our portfolio of projects is located in the eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world's richest uranium belt, which in 2018 accounted for approximately 22% of the global primary uranium production. UEX is currently advancing several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Christie Lake deposits, the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits at its currently 49.1%-owned Shea Creek Project (located 50 kilometres north of Fission’s Triple R Deposit and Patterson Lake South Project, and NexGen’s Arrow Deposit), the Horseshoe and Raven deposits located on its 100%-owned Horseshoe-Raven Development Project and the West Bear Uranium Deposit located at its 100%-owned West Bear Project.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
This news release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking information" for the purposes of Canadian securities laws. Such statements are based on UEX's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. Such forward-looking information includes statements regarding the West Bear Co-Ni Deposit updated resource estimate and drill program, the Christie Lake Property drill program, the McClean South drill program, UEX's drill hole results, uranium, cobalt and nickel prices, outlook for our future operations, plans and timing for exploration activities, and other expectations, intentions and plans that are not historical fact. Such forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions and is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from UEX's expectations include uncertainties relating to the, interpretation of drill results and geology, assay confirmation, additional drilling results, continuity and grade of deposits, fluctuations in uranium, cobalt and nickel prices and currency exchange rates, changes in environmental and other laws affecting uranium, cobalt and nickel exploration and mining, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in UEX's Annual Information Form and other filings with the applicable Canadian securities commissions on SEDAR. Many of these factors are beyond the control of UEX. Consequently, all forward-looking information contained in this news release is qualified by this cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that actual results or developments anticipated by UEX will be realized. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable law, UEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.