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A few months after tabling its maiden resource, Blue Sky Uranium (TSXV: BSK; US-OTC: BKUCF) is performing metallurgy and step out drilling at the Ivana deposit on its Amarillo Grande uranium project in Argentina’s Rio Negro province. It aims to form the foundation of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) it hopes to table by the end of 2018.

The company released the project’s maiden resource in March 2018 following a drill program it began in 2016. Surface exploration, geophysics and more than 8,000 metres of drilling went in to developing Ivana’s near surface 23.9 million inferred tonnes grading 0.036% uranium for 19.1 million lb. uranium. It intends to use this resource for the forthcoming PEA.

Since then, the company has been working on the metallurgical aspects of the project.

In the past, the company has tested smaller composite samples from the deposit. But in an interview with The Northern Miner, Blue Sky vice president of exploration David Terry says the company has now assembled “a global composite that represents the deposit.” He says it’s being processed right now.

Blue Sky is working on upgrading the current mineralization by using a wet screening and scrubbing technique. Terry says the technique allows Blue Sky to “significantly upgrade” the grading of the uranium and vanadium it would later feed into a processing plant. The process also allows Blue Sky to identify and reject more un-mineralized material, lowering potential transportation costs from site to a processing plant.

Though not exposed at surface, Blue Sky’s deposit sits within the top 24 metres of overburden. It consists of two stacked zones.

The upper zone averages 2.6 metres in thickness, but can get as thick as 10 metres; the lower zone averages 6.2 metres in thickness, but can get as thick as 20 metres. The zones usually appear together, although in some spots there is only one.

Terry says in some areas the deposit is 20 metres thick, and buried by only a few metres of flat topography. He says it’s hosted in “unconcolidated” sands and gravels that would create almost no strip ratio.

“So it’s very easy digging material,” Terry says. “And obviously a great place for the development of a mining operation. It could be a very low impact and low cost type of activity.”

The company scans rock samples for radiation at the Ivana property in Argentina. Credit: Blue Sky Uranium.

The company scans rock samples for radiation at the Ivana property in Argentina. Credit: Blue Sky Uranium.

The current deposit covers roughly 5 km of a 140 km long uranium trend. It remains open to the north and south. The trend hosts two other known deposits, Anit and Santa Barbara. Blue Sky has drilled both properties, although it does not yet have a resource estimate for either. All the properties can be accessed by the gravel provincial road 66.

To prepare for its step out campaign, Blue Sky has auger drilled as much as 8 metres below surface to both recover new material and create room for a radiometric probe, which it sent down to detect further mineralization. It aims to begin reverse circulation drilling the edges of the deposit by the end of August.

As one of the few uranium explorers in Argentina, Blue Sky hopes it can position itself uniquely for success.

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