Niger – Daniel Major, GoviEx’s CEO comments: “We are undertaking this survey as part of our on-going and measured efforts to advance all of our uranium projects and in particular, seek to improve the economics of our Madaouela project from that reported in the project’s pre-feasibility study technical report.”
Even though GoviEx currently has substantial uranium reserves and resources ‒ in fact, one of the largest resource of any publicly traded uranium explorer or producer Major continues ‒ finding more resources that are amenable to lower-cost, open-pit mining is important in the current uranium price environment.
“Obtaining favourable results from these tests should positively impact our recently announced initiative to seek debt financing for our planned mine at the Madaouela project.”
“GoviEx continues to move forward in its quest to become a significant, low-cost uranium miner. This is just a part of our strategic efforts to further develop our four projects in Africa,” adds Govind Friedland, GoviEx’s executive chairman.
GoviEx has four different uranium projects in Africa containing combined resources of approximately 124 million lbs U3O8 (measured and indicated) and 73 million lbs U3O8 (inferred) estimated in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.
Among the four projects, GoviEx’s Madaouela project has approximately 61 million lbs U3O8 of probable mineral reserves.
The radon survey is planned for the company’s flagship Madaouela project in Niger, and is being undertaken to identify drill targets adjacent to its Miriam deposit, with a goal of expanding the deposit’s resources.
Miriam is one of six deposits at the Madaouela project, and is estimated to contain over 22 million lbs U3O8. Miriam also is expected to be developed first and to provide the mill feed for the initial eight years of the project’s mine life.
Radon gas is produced by the radioactive decay of radium-226, which is found in uranium ores. Radon gas detection can be a reliable indicator of the presence of uranium and its radon measurement is a technique frequently used in uranium exploration.
Importantly, at the Madaouela project, the radon survey can first be correlated to known drilled deposits, and then may be able to provide a rapid, low-cost approach to highlight previously untested uranium targets with the potential to increase the project’s resource base.
The initial survey area selected covers part of the Miriam deposit and is designed to confirm the suitability of the survey. Once the suitability of the survey has been validated, the survey area will then extend along controlling structures to look for similar deposits.
The radon flux monitors will be set out on an initial spacing of 100 m along lines 400 m apart. Upon completion of the initial survey, the grid will be closed up where anomalies have been identified to achieve a higher resolution.
A successful radon survey could lead to the expansion of resources at the Madaouela project that that are amenable to open-pit mining (as contemplated in the Madaouela PFS), which could enable GoviEx to defer capital associated with the underground mine development and increase the scale of the project’s lower-cost, open-pit mining at the beginning of the planned mines’ operation.
The combination of factors should result in an improvement in the projects’ economics and valuation as compared to that set out in the Madaouela PFS.
RadonEx is a Canadian-based company specialising in radon gas surveys for uranium exploration. It has been in operation for 10 years in North America and Africa and are recognised experts in electret ionization chamber (EIC) radon surveys.
The EIC technique measures a voltage drop on a positively-charged Teflon surface (the electret), caused by alpha radiation generated by the influx of radon-into-radon flux monitors. It is a passive time-integrating approach to the science of radon measurement.