F3 Uranium (TSX-V: FUU)(OTC: FUUFF) President Ray Ashley on Hitting Strongest Radioactivity To-Date at Flagship Patterson Lake North Uranium Project, Saskatchewan
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the recently-appointed president of F3 Uranium — Mr. Raymond Ashley. Ray, it's great to have you back on. It's been a few months. How are you, sir?
Raymond Ashley: Hi, Gerardo. I'm doing really well. Great to be on. Thank you for having me.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get right into it. I chatted with you a bit off air and you gave me the best answer I've heard all week. I asked you how life was outside of the exploration success and work as it related to F3 Uranium. And your answer was great and I wish I heard more of that. You said, ‘I don't really know… I don't do much else but work and focus on this discovery!’
So clearly, that's starting to pay off in a pretty material way. You had some news here a couple of days ago. You also had some news earlier last month. And so I just wanted to get an update on how the exploration program is coming along. If you could touch on the recent success. And then, we could of course get into what comes next.
Raymond Ashley: You bet. Look, as you just said, we put out a news release on Tuesday. And that was the handheld spectrometer results from the first 8 holes of our 30-hole summer drill program that's still ongoing as we're speaking now.
Look, we're really happy with the results so far in the program. The key outcomes are two things. First, we had a great mineralized intersection in Hole 68. And Hole 68 is on Line 60 South, which is 60 meters south of the discovery hole. That Hole 68 was 22 meters up dip, so above, towards the unconformity, 22 meters up from Hole 60.
And Hole 60 had been our best hole to date. So Hole 68 hit 19 meters of mineralization. And what's significant is that the high-grade core within that was 6 meters of off-scale; 5 meters of which was continuous. So really a beautiful great mineralized intersection in that hole.
And the second thing of significance is that we've managed now to grow the zone 50% in strike length, north-south, extended by 50% from where we ended off in the winter program. So now, the strike length is 156 meters. And the way we did that is we started with a 15-meter step-out. That's what we had done all winter. We were stepping out conservatively to get a handle on the shape of the mineralization and where it was heading.
Now that the technical team feels more comfortable about that, we were able to step-out 30 meters from Section 105; slightly bigger step-outs. That's how we managed to get it to 156 meters in strike length so far. So we're only a quarter of the way through the drill program and we're really happy with how fast things are progressing.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I've got to say — and I'll commend you because I was a tad bit critical, me not being a geologist, right — initially I was a tad bit critical of the 15-meter step-outs. I thought those could have been more aggressive. Me, of course, not being a geologist, I can absolutely appreciate you wanting to get the geometry down first before you go spend shareholder dollars sorting it out in an uneducated way.
So I say all that to say that while I was critical of the 15-meter step-outs, I absolutely commend you now for the more aggressive step-outs and the fact that you're extending the strike length in the manner that you are. Clearly, it was the right approach. So congrats on that front.
I also want to congratulate Sam Hartmann, who I believe is now the vice president of exploration. And I know you mentioned off air what a big, big boost to the team his addition has been.
Raymond Ashley: Yeah, absolutely. He was the technical advisor. Now that he's applying his skills full-time to the program and to F3, it really helps the entire team and the entire effort.
Gerardo Del Real: What comes next, Ray?
Raymond Ashley: Gerardo, a second diamond drill and a second sonic drill are coming to the site in about a week. And that's going to let us do several things that we set out to do.
One is to test exploration targets to the south of the mineralization we've found so far along this shear zone. It's a 3.6 km shear zone, and we have targets along that to look for, really, additional pods of uranium mineralization. So that's in the plan upcoming.
Then, we want to continue to grow the zone along strike the way we have but this time to the north and to the south and updip towards the unconformity. We have a plan in this current program to test for flat-lying mineralization at the unconformity, or in the sandstone, to see if this discovery has a component at the unconformity or in the sandstone.
So we will look for a target; the best target to try that test would be a vertical hole. Maybe it is on Line 60 South. That Hole 68 is only 17 meters below the unconformity so it's getting close. There's still about 45 meters of room up the shear zone before getting to the unconformity so we'll be continuing to test updip.
And where we have strong mineralization near the unconformity, that's where we'll try this test for flat-lying mineralization. So all of this is ahead. We're only, as I said, a quarter of the way through the program. The drilling is going very well. Part of it is working out the practical matters of drilling in difficult conditions. And we've really done that.
The drillers and the people have put their noses down and found a way to overcome the difficulties. And so things are really going well. I completely look forward to the results that are coming ahead of us.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to having you back on, Ray. Exciting times. I think it's worth mentioning, as you mentioned in the latest release, but it was further down and I know a lot of people just look at the headline number and don't tend to appreciate some of the smaller details.
But you mentioned in the latest release that all depth measurements reported are down hole and that true thickness is yet to be determined. But you noted that you estimate that the true thickness of the reported intervals in the release is close to the reported interval widths.
And I thought that was an important point to make because, oftentimes, when we see that the true thickness has yet to be determined, it's very easy in this space, which sometimes can lead to dubious claims, to just assume that the actual true thickness of the intervals is going to be but a fraction.
And I really appreciate you including that in the latest release. It's got to give shareholders a boost of confidence in the numbers that they're seeing.
Raymond Ashley: That’s great that you noticed that. Often these shear zones are steeply dipping, and diamond drills are used. And because of the difficulty of the conditions with the overburden, steep holes are drilled. And, like you say, it's drilling near-vertical holes into near-vertical structures — and that's difficult.
It's difficult for the reasons you mentioned, and also it's not the way to learn and to understand how to grow the thing. So that's a big part of how we've come to utilize a sonic drill to get through the casing and a diamond drill to core.
And the other thing is the sonic drill. It wasn't straightforward. But now, they've got it down. And they're putting a casing all of the way down through the sandstone in three shifts. But more than anything, the holes are also dead straight.
So they're doing it fast. And that way, when we have an idea that we want to test, the holes go where we want them to go. So we learn with each hole. It's great to be drilling perpendicular and getting near true thickness on the zone that we're trying to expand.
Gerardo Del Real: Always exciting to follow a discovery in real time. Ray, I am looking forward to having you back on and looking forward to results. Thank you so much for your time, sir.
Raymond Ashley: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Take care, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Cheers.
Raymond Ashley: Cheers.Click here to see more from F3 Uranium