Vancouver uranium junior to commence drill program for 43-101 compliant uranium resource estimate
On Tuesday February 13, Ultra Uranium (TSX: V.ULU, BullBoards) announced its first 43-101 technical report on its Kalnica-Selec Uranium Project in Slovakia with an initial historical resource estimate of 5.5 million pounds uranium oxide (U308). The company halted trading prior to the disclosure and resumed on Wednesday morning, down $0.45 cents trading at $1.15 per share.
Anthony Beruschi, the Vancouver lawyer and investor who in 1997 staked the 10 million pound Blizzard uranium deposit in southern British Columbia, brought Kalnica-Selec to Ultra. Beruschi and two other colleagues recently sold Blizzard for $105 million to Boss Gold in a reverse takeover deal.
"I always thought uranium was going to have its day," Beruschi said in a recent interview with Resourcex. "You've got to have nuclear power otherwise we'll end up knee deep in water at the top of the Rocky Mountains because the polar ice caps are going to melt. That's global warming for you."
Beruschi says he learned about Kalnica-Selec through his extensive mining connections in Eastern Europe. After talking to Slovakian geologist, Dr. Boris Molak, who was an acquaintance of one of the original geologists on the property, Beruschi was convinced that Kalnica-Selec had potential.
Molak told Beruschi that a former Czechoslovak government company, Uranovy Prieskum State Enterprise (UP) extensively explored and developed the Kalnica-Selec uranium deposits until 1984, when it abandoned the project due to depressed uranium prices.
The technical report, which was written by Molak, summarizes UP's exploration results, which Ultra obtained from Slovakian government archives. Exploration and development by UP on this 28.91sq km property in the 1970s and early 1980s included radiometric surveys, geological mapping, extensive pitting and trenching, vertical and horizontal drilling, and tunnelling.
This technical report is significant because it places Ultra Uranium significantly ahead of many of its peers in the race for new uranium deposits. The price of uranium has rocketed from $7 per pound in 2000 to more than $70 per pound today, largely due to low global uranium stocks and increased demand for enriched uranium as numerous new nuclear power plants come online around the world.
For many uranium juniors, the tenfold jump in price led to a significant trickle down effect as the market poured capital into uranium exploration companies, often with little consideration for merit.
With Kalnica-Selec, Ultra Uranium has an advanced project with extensive work on it, which essentially puts the company two to three years ahead of many peers. UP drilled 339 holes, 171 of them to a maximum depth of 100 metres. The remaining 168 diamond drill holes were drilled to a maximum depth of 680 metres. Exploration work also included three adits with numerous crosscuts, totalling approximately 2,900 metres. Small diameter horizontal drilling was conducted from the underground workings.
The historical resource estimate for Kalnica-Selec comprises three mineralized zones, the Kalnica, Selec, and Krajna Dolina zones. UP recorded numerous other significant mineralized areas in its documentation, but none was included in the historical resource estimate, possibly because the company abandoned the project in 1984 before completing a final resource estimate.
In fact, only five mineralized bodies of a total of fifteen were included in the historic resource calculation. The remaining ten mineralized bodies are situated to the north-east of the calculated block and are all well defined by many intersections in the adits, cross cuts, and by surface and underground drillings.
In addition, many drill holes with significant mineralization that were outside the calculated blocks were not used in the historic resource calculations, even though geological studies showed continuity between these holes and the mineralization inside the calculated blocks.
Throughout 2005 and 2006, Ultra Uranium also conducted radiometric surveys, geological mapping, structural studies and minor litho-geochemical sampling on the property. Anomalous radioactivity was detected in areas surrounding the exploration adits, and in the south and south-eastern extremities of the license area.
In the Selec zone, Ultra detected an almost one kilometre wide anomalous strip running north to south. Its highest values surpassed 23 times the average background values, and indicate outcropping and near surface uranium mineralization and additional exploration targets to the numerous existing targets.
Recognizing that UP calculated the historical resource estimate from less than one third of the existing positive exploration results, Ultra applied for an additional 10 square kilometres of land adjacent to the existing Kalnica-Selec property, bringing to 40 square kilometres the total property size.
Ultra Uranium's geologists are planning an initial drill program of approximately 4,000 meters consisting of confirmation, fill-in and limited step-out drilling within and outside of the historic grid. The drill program's objective is to confirm historic results and provide new data for a 43-101 compliant uranium resource estimate that, if successful, would add to the historical resource calculations from existing exploration results that were not included in the prior calculations and extension of mineralized areas.
Beruschi told Resourcex, "It's a really quick step from the historic resource to potentially a larger resource that's 43-101 compliant. This is a really mine friendly country, and a uranium friendly country. And based on the success of other companies in the area with confirmation drilling, it looks very positive."
"There's a quote for you," he concluded.
Doug Hadfield is the Chief Editor of the Resourcex Investor, an internationally distributed newsletter specializing in identifying as-yet-undiscovered resource companies representing the best in their class. For more information, visit the website www.resourcexinvestor.com.
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