Blue Sky Uranium Announces Initial Mineral Resource Estimate for Ivana Deposit, Amarillo Grande Uranium-Vanadium Project, Argentina
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (TSX-V:BSK) (FSE:MAL2) (OTC:BKUCF), ("Blue Sky" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the initial independent mineral resource estimate for the Ivana Deposit at the Company’s 100% owned Amarillo Grande uranium-vanadium project, in Rio Negro Province, Argentina.
- Inferred mineral resource estimate of 23.9 million tonnes averaging 363 parts per million (“ppm”) U308 containing 19.1 million pounds of U3O8 at a 100 ppm uranium cut-off.
- Mineralization at Ivana is hosted by loosely consolidated sediments from surface to 24 metres depth; it is expected that resources would be extracted via open-pit methods
- Metallurgical and beneficiation test work in progress to provide additional data for a maiden Preliminary Economic Assessment in 2018
- The Ivana deposit remains open for expansion
- Additional resource potential exists in the Ivana area and throughout the 140-km long trend at the Amarillo Grande project
“This first resource estimate represents the biggest uranium discovery in Argentina in the last 40 years and it represents for Blue Sky a major step towards our goal of defining a low-cost regional-size uranium producing district,” commented Nikolaos Cacos, Blue Sky President & CEO. “We are excited to move forward with a preliminary economic assessment this year, particularly as the project remains open for expansion.”
A NI 43-101 Technical Report supporting disclosure of this mineral resource and containing additional details will be filed by Blue Sky on SEDAR within 45 days of this press release.
Results from ongoing metallurgical studies and preliminary beneficiation studies are expected by the end of the first quarter. This data will contribute to a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Ivana deposit, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
The arcuate (“C”) shape of the Ivana deposit is believed to represent a preserved sector of a regional mineralized redox-front, which often include more than one deposit. Therefore, follow-up drilling programs will test for lateral extensions to the currently defined deposit, as well as previously recognized local targets identified by airborne and hand-held radiometric surveys and geological modeling.
Ivana Location, Geology and Metallurgy
The Ivana deposit is located in the southernmost of three target areas that comprise the Amarillo Grande Uranium-Vanadium project. The project has year-round access through a well-maintained gravel road, and is in a semi-arid area with low rainfall and population density. Mineralization was first identified at Ivana after field follow-up of a 2010 regional high-resolution airborne radiometric and magnetic survey.
The Ivana deposit displays characteristics of surficial-type and sandstone-type “roll front” uranium-vanadium deposits. Mineralization at Ivana includes primary coffinite and uraninite, in pore spaces of poorly-consolidated sandstones and conglomerates, in addition to peripheral secondary carnotite, which occurs interstitially to and coats pebbles and clasts in loosely consolidated sandstones and conglomerates. The Amarillo Grande project is believed to have district-scale potential for discovery of similar styles of mineralization.
The deposit is characterized by two stacked zones of uranium mineralization, the upper zone and the lower zone. The two zones occur together through most of the deposit but there are localized areas where only one zone is present. The upper zone averages 2.7 metres in thickness, with a maximum of 10 metres, while the lower zone has a maximum of 20 metres and has an average thickness of 6.2 metres. Plan view of the modelled Ivana deposit can be found here:
Preliminary metallurgical and beneficiation studies for Ivana are underway and expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018. Initial alkaline leach testing on composite samples with carnotite-mineralization resulted in recovery of 95% of the uranium in 2 hours (see news release dated January 22, 2018). Ongoing metallurgical testing includes initial work on coffinite (+uraninite) mineralized material, as well as physical beneficiation assessments. The beneficiation testing is similar to that carried out previously on samples from the Anit target area of the Amarillo Grande project (see release dated February 7th, 2011). The Anit preliminary beneficiation test work demonstrated that a very simple wet screening method could be utilized to reject unmineralized coarse clastic material, producing a lower-mass higher-grade concentrate containing a high percentage of the insitu uranium.
Mineral Resource Estimate Details
Mineral resources, which are not mineral reserves, do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred resources are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to classify these inferred resources as Indicated or Measured, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to an Indicated or Measured category.
|Table 1. Mineral Resource Statement for the Ivana Deposit, Amarillo Grande Project, February 28, 2018|
|Inferred Resources – Base Case at 100 ppm Uranium cut-off grade|
|Contained U308 |
Notes to Table 1:
1. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
2. The Mineral Resources in this estimate were not constrained within a conceptual pit shell owing to the shallow nature of the deposit (0 to 24 m) and blocks above cut-off being reasonably contiguous.
3. The 100 ppm uranium cutoff grade is based on operative costs of $12/t, a price of $50/lb U3O8, and a process recovery of 90%. A density of 1.84 was applied.
4. It is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.
5. The resource was estimated within distinct zones of elevated uranium concentration occurring within the host sediments. Vanadium is associated with uranium and is estimated within the same zones. There is no indication that Vanadium occurs outside of the elevated uranium zones in the Ivana deposit area in sufficient concentrations to justify developing estimation domains focused on Vanadium.
The mineral resource estimate in Tables 1 & 2 has been prepared by Bruce M. Davis, FAusIMM, BD Resource Consulting, Inc., and Susan Lomas, P.Geo., Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. who are both independent Qualified Persons as set forth by National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”). The overall effective date of this resource estimate is February 28, 2018.
Mineral resource estimates are made from a 3D block model based on geostatistical applications using commercial mine planning software (Geovia Gems, Version 6.7.4). The block model has a nominal block size measuring 50 x 50 x 2 m and utilizes data derived from 427 drill holes in the Ivana Deposit. The resource estimate was generated using reverse circulating (RC) drill hole sample assay results and the interpretation of a geological model which relates to the spatial distribution of uranium and vanadium. Interpolation characteristics were defined based on the geology, drill hole spacing, and geostatistical analysis of the data. The effects of potentially anomalous high-grade sample data are controlled by top cuts and limiting the distance of influence during block grade interpolation. The grade models have been validated using a combination of visual and statistical methods. The resources were classified according to their proximity to the sample data locations and are reported, as required by NI 43-101, according to the 2014 CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining) Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. Model blocks estimated by three or more drill holes spaced at a maximum distance of 200 metres are included in the Inferred category. The estimate of Inferred mineral resources is reported without a limiting pit shell due to the shallow nature of the deposit (from 0 to 24 metres below surface) and the majority of blocks above cut-off are reasonably contiguous. Additional information about the resource modeling methodology will be available in an NI 43-101 technical report within 45 days of this news release.
|Table 2. Sensitivity of Resources to Cut-Off Grade|
|U Cut-off |
|Contained U308 |
Quality Assurance and Quality Control
The resource estimation was based on 427 RC drill holes, representing 6,577 metres of drilling with one metre samples. The drilling was completed in two phases starting in January 2017 and finishing in January 2018. Only 2 holes were inclined, and 425 holes were vertical. Bedding and mineralized horizons are approximately horizontal so vertical samples are believed to represent true thickness. The resource area is typically covered by drill holes on a 100 x 100 metre spacing, however holes on the periphery of the deposit were spaced as much as 400 metres apart. A summary of hole locations and significant intervals for the 427 RC holes can be viewed here: https://www.blueskyuranium.com/assets/docs/nr/2018MAR5_Amarillo_Grande_IVANA_Total_Drill_Summary_TABL.pdf
The drilling program was carried out using an Roc L8 and FlexiROC D65 drill rigs from Atlas Copco, ore-control track-mounted rigs adapted to RC with double and triple cyclone, respectively, to reduce the dust loss during sampling and automatic sampling. The difficulties encountered n casing every hole, due to the presence of very poorly or unconsolidated sediments, resulted in limited gamma probe surveying of drill holes. Approximately half of the holes were surveyed by a senior geophysicist using a natural gamma probe previously calibrated at the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica facility (Atomic Energy National Commission, CNEA). Samples were sent to Bureau Veritas Minerals of Mendoza, Argentina for preparation by drying, crushing to 80% passing 10 mesh and then pulverizing a 250g split to 95% passing 150 mesh. Pulps were sent to Bureau Veritas Commodities Canada Ltd. for analysis of 45 elements by means of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) following a four-acid digestion (MA-200). Samples over 4,000ppm uranium are re-assayed, after phosphoric acid leach, by Inductively Coupled Plasma Electron Spectrometry (ICP-ES). Approximately every 10th sample a blank, duplicate, or standard sample was inserted into the sample sequence for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) purposes.
The results of the Company's drilling program were reviewed, verified (including sampling, analytical and test data) and compiled by the Company's geological staff under the supervision of David Terry, Ph.D., P.Geo. Dr. Terry is a Director of the Company and a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. The contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Dr. Terry.
The mineral resource estimate and associated information in this news release was prepared under the direction of Bruce Davis Ph.D., F.AusIMM, of BD Resource Consulting Inc. and Susan Lomas P.Geo of Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. Based on education, work experience relevant to this style of mineralization and deposit type, and membership in a recognized professional organization, both Dr. Davis and Ms. Lomas are independent Qualified Persons (QP) within the requirements of NI 43-101 for the purposes of the mineral resource estimate contained in this release. Both Dr. Davis and Ms. Lomas have reviewed and approved this news release.
About the Amarillo Grande Project
This new 140-kilometre-long uranium district was first identified, staked and underwent preliminary exploration by Blue Sky from 2007 to 2012 as part of the Grosso Group’s strategy of adding alternative energy focus to its successful portfolio of metals exploration companies. The proximity of several major targets suggests that if resources are delineated at more than one area a central processing facility would be envisioned. The area is flat-lying, semi-arid and accessible year-round, with nearby rail, power and port access.
The near-surface mineralization, ability to locally upgrade, amenability to leaching and central processing possibility suggest a potentially low-cost development scenario.
For additional details on the project and properties, please see the Company’s website: www.blueskyuranium.com
About Blue Sky Uranium Corp.
Blue Sky Uranium Corp. is a leader in uranium discovery in Argentina. The Company's objective is to deliver exceptional returns to shareholders by rapidly advancing a portfolio of surficial uranium deposits into low-cost producers. Blue Sky has the exclusive right to over 434,000 hectares (equiv. to 1,072,437 acres) of property in two provinces in Argentina. The Company’s flagship Amarillo Grande Project was an in-house discovery of a new district that has the potential to be both a leading domestic supplier of uranium to the growing Argentine market and a new international market supplier. The Company is a member of the Grosso Group, a resource management group that has pioneered exploration in Argentina since 1993.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Nikolaos Cacos, President, CEO and Director
For further information please contact:
This news release contains forward-looking information which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, Blue Sky’s objectives, goals or future plans, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, exploration and mine development plans, timing of the commencement of operations and estimates of market conditions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, political risks, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry, and those risks set out in Blue Sky’s public documents filed on SEDAR. Although Blue Sky believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Blue Sky disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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