Standard Uranium (TSX-V: STND)(OTC: STTDF) President & VP Exploration Sean Hillacre on Hitting Anomalous Radioactivity in All Holes Completed in First-Pass Drilling at Atlantic Uranium JV Project in Canada’s Prolific Athabasca Basin


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and VP of Exploration for Standard Uranium — Mr. Sean Hillacre. Sean, it’s great to have you back on. How are you today, sir?

Sean Hillacre: Doing really well, Gerardo. Thanks for having me back. It's been a while!

Gerardo Del Real: Well listen, it’s been a whopping three days, I think, but let's get into it. When we spoke three days ago, we talked about how busy 2024 was going to be for Standard Uranium, not just on the flagship projects that Standard has in its portfolio but also on a lot of the high-quality, high-merit projects that Standard either has joint ventures on or is looking to joint venture. 

One of those is the Atlantic project with a company that I'm also a shareholder of — Atco Mining — which has the option to earn into 75% of the project. You just completed a drill program that had sniffs of uranium in every single hole. But the actual release was really technical in nature, and I thought what better way to get an update than to have you on with a non-geologist like myself so that you can explain some of this in layman's terms. 

The headline reads,

Standard Uranium intersects anomalous radioactivity, prospective structure and alteration in multiple drill holes at the Atlantic project; concludes inaugural drill program”

So let's get into how the program went. And then, let's get into what some of these technical details mean.

Sean Hillacre: Sounds great, Gerardo. Like you said, first pass drilling, our very first program on the project; we've never drilled it before. So having such a successful program, both logistically and technically, is really a testament to our field team and our vendors and the quality of the people we operate with. 

And it looks really good. We're very happy with the way things went. We surpassed our meterage expectations, and we did that under budget, which is fantastic. Not only that, we came up with some really, really encouraging results. Like you said, we hit a sniff of radioactivity in every single drill hole that we completed; all five of those in a brand new target area that was completely untested before we came over here. 

Cost per meter was super low, very logistically successful… and just big props to our technical team and our vendors on completing this on-time and under budget. The importance of the radioactivity we hit in all of these drill holes is that we’re seeing radioactivity in both the sandstone and the basement. There's been quite a few drill holes historically along this conductor, which is about 18 km long. 

The Atlantic project holds about 6 to 7 kilometers of that trend. So we were expecting to see some radioactivity at the unconformity in the sandstone. That is the model that we're looking for here is high-grade unconformity-hosted uranium similar to that at the Hurricane deposit, which is just a little bit to the south and to the east of where we're at here. 

The fact that we saw radioactivity both in the sandstone and in the basement is an important takeaway for people reading these results and getting excited about the story we have here… the fact that we hit radioactivity in the basement, which is not linked to pegmatite rocks.

Pegmatite rocks are naturally enriched in uranium; they often give you a kick when you intersect them. But the radioactivity we intersected is structurally controlled, which is a very important aspect and distinguishing feature of what we're seeing here. It indicates that we have the plumbing system here to host something substantial like the Hurricane deposit. 

The link between the basement radioactivity and the sandstone is very important here; we're seeing that, which is fantastic. And some of the wizardry we can do with our scintillometers and things like that is that we can get a good sense of different ratios of the radioactive elements such as uranium, obviously, and thorium. We can put together some ratios and get a sense of whether this is in-situ and native to the rock, like a pegmatite, or if it has been hydrothermally mobilized and inputted into the system. 

What we're seeing here is the latter. We're seeing the hydrothermal input of the uranium into the system, which is exactly what we want to see to try and find a deposit. So it is really good to see all of these signs lining up and verifying our targets on the project.

Gerardo Del Real: What comes next? That's always the million-dollar question that everybody wants to know. And look, you could have put out the most phenomenal hole ever, and I still would've asked the exact same question because that's just the nature of the business, right, so what comes next?

Check out our latest free research reports for in depth analysis on specific market trends. View Reports

Sean Hillacre: Yeah, for sure. Like you said, this is just our first pass drilling. Our budgets with Atco are going to get bigger in year two and year three… so we've got a lot of work to do, and we're really happy with these encouraging first results on the program. 

Another thing I'll just add to that is we've confirmed some dravite alteration on the project, which, in layman's terms, is just a really good indicator mineral that's associated with high-grade uranium deposits across the Athabasca Basin. The fact that we are seeing that in the sandstone column is also fantastic. 

And not only that but a lot of the sandstone is completely obliterated by all of the types of alteration that we want to see… so we're really, really excited about that. And now, using this data from our first program, we've got a really good understanding of what's happening here geologically.

Like I said, there was only one drill hole for several kilometers in this area. So the fact that we came in here and hit these results with our first 5 holes and got a good sense of what's happening here is great. And we have lots of targets remaining along strike. 

Following up on the great results that we saw on this first pass, as well as the other claims that make up Atlantic; so towards Hurricane to the east, we have some more claims that are part of the project, which also cover more of this trend and also have some historic uranium mineralization in them. So we've got lots of work to do on those. 

And while we're letting the geology marinate here and waiting for our assays to come back, we will put out some more news once we get those back, of course, outlining all of the great geochemistry that comes from this and then some nice sections to help people understand what's happening geologically.

Not only that, we're looking into doing some additional geophysics on the project. To help us sharpen our pencils when we come back for phase two and phase three drilling on the project, we'll be looking at doing some additional surveys to help us vector into the most interesting parts along this 18 km trend. 

So lots happening. We're doing what we can to keep at it and continue the news flow for us and Atco on this thing. And look, we've got a great story developing here, and we're all really excited to continue pushing this along and keeping this in front of people's eyes.

Gerardo Del Real: I can't stress enough to everyone how important this part of the exploration process is. I know for non-geos and definitely a lot of retail speculators, this is the boring part where people just want drill holes and a discovery hole right away. 

But when you have a project like Atlantic that covers 6.5 km of an 18-km-long east-west trend, it's important to do this work so that you don't blow budgets out and spend five years vectoring in. So kudos to you and the team for doing it on-time and under budget. 

You exceeded the target meterage… and really looking forward to you narrowing down some of these targets and getting to phase two and phase three, which I'm really excited about. Anything to add to that?

Sean Hillacre: No, we feel the same. Obviously, we are, like I said, really excited about these results, and I think people should get excited about them. It's pretty rare to come into a brand new area and strike some radioactivity along with all of the ingredients that we're looking for for something significant here on the first program. 

There’s a great story developing here for Atlantic, and we're in the right area, and we're seeing all of the right ingredients. So we're stoked to keep the drill spinning and to look at what we can do in the next couple of years with Atco.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Thank you so much. I appreciate the update and look forward to having you back on to discuss the many, many catalysts you have here for 2024.

Sean Hillacre: For sure, Gerardo. Thanks a lot, cheers.

Gerardo Del Real: Alright, cheers.

Click here to see more from Standard Uranium