Africa's 2006 output of 17,5 million lbs of uranium oxide would more than double by 2011 from the projects of just one company, UraMin Inc, which is seeking to become the world's fourth biggest uranium producer with production of 18 million lbs.
Click HERE for an overview ( Mbendi)
- Abankor (Vein deposit)
- Daira (Vein deposit)
- Tahaggar (Sandstone basal channel deposit)
- Timgaouine (Vein deposit)
- Tinef (Vein deposit).
- Landmark Minerals Inc is involved in a legal dispute with the government over validity of prospecting rights at Timgaouine and Asseo in southern Algeria.
- A-Cap Resources Ltd is exploring the Mokobaesi No. 1 deposit (Surficial, Karoo sandstone). An area of surficial uranium oxide mineralisation has also been discovered during regional grid clearing at the Serule prospect 10km south of the current drilling at Mokobaesi. The mineral occurrence is noted to be largely confined to fracture and joint planes within a fine-grained sedimentary unit of the Karoo Supergroup. This unit is geologically similar to the rocktypes that host the mineralisation at Mokobaesi and Kraken. A-Cap Resources announced in January, 2008, an initial Inferred Mineral Resource at its Mokobaesi and Kraken prospects of 20 million pounds of uranium. The prospects, which form part of the larger Letlhakane Projcet in the North East, come from a resource covering an area of approximately six kilometres (east to west) by three kilometres (north to south) and extends from the surface to a depth of 45 metres.
- Bannerman Resources Ltd is exploring the occurrences at Serule (Surficial) and Dukwe (Surficial) with the aid of 1970's radiometric data of Falconbridge.
- Energy Ventures Ltd (also in Zambia) is exploring Sese.
- UraMin Inc (also active in CAR, Chad, Mozambique and Namibia) is exploring the Botsalano Ring Complex.
- UraMin Inc stated on 15 January 2007 that initial exploration results for the Patricia deposit at Bakouma in the Central African Republic have exceeded expectations. “High grade mineralization was encountered with significant intersections at the Patricia uranium deposit,” it said in a statement. “The open ended mineralization and high grade intervals identified thus far could result in the historical resource target of 18,000 tonnes U3O8 (uranium oxide) being exceeded,” said chief executive Ian Stalker.
- UraMin Inc holds four exploration permits in the Sodje Mbaye, Madagzang, Yedri Ténéré and Fada Itou areas in northwest, east and southwest Chad. These areas were previously explored by the United Nations Development Programme and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- Signet Mining Services Ltd holds four concessions to mine uranium in Chad. Under the provisions of the Mining Convention of Chad, ownership of these concessions was transferred to Chad Mining Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Marine Global Ltd, which forms part of Signet Mining Services Ltd. Exploration is currently underway in close proximity to the towns of Pala and Lere, both located in the Mayo Kebbi district. The two concessions close to Lere also include 12 boreholes drilled by the UNDP. The majority of these show positive intersections of pitchblende associated with pyrite, particularly along fracture zones in a suite of silica-undersaturated granite rocks. Signet is also prospecting in South Africa and Niger and hopes to produce 1 000 t/y, or 2,2-million pounds of uranium a year in three to five years, the Gibraltar-based firm said in January, 2008.
Historically the DRC has been a significant producer of uranium. The Shinkolobwe Mine in the Katanga Province is known for producing ore rich in uranium. Deposits in the area are understood to have been discovered in 1915 and extraction began in the 1920's. Commercial production ceased in 1960.
The Shinkolobwe mine is a vein type deposit, with most of the deposits having grades between 250 and 8,500 ppm. Uranium extracted from Shinkolobwe was used to develop the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the Second World War.
- UraMin was reportedly interested in buying the Shinkolobwe uranium mine.
- Brinkley Mining plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") which will provide the company's 70% owned subsidiary, Brinkley Africa Ltd, with priority access to the DRC’s uranium resources. The Congo government subsequently said it would block a joint venture between Brinkley Mining and the Atomic Energy Authority (CGEA) after finding terms of a memorandum of understanding between the parties to be 'questionable'.
Click HERE for an overview (MBendi)
- COMUF, a subsidiary of Areva, mined the uranium deposits in the Mounana area in southeastern Gabon from 1960 to 1999. The most famous of these deposits is Oklo. The ore was mined in a quarry type operation as well as underground. It was concentrated in the site processing plant. COMUF produced a total of 26,000 metric tons of uranium. Mining operations were shut down in June 1999 due to a lack of economically recoverable reserves. The facilities were dismantled and the site is in the final phase of reclamation.
- Murchison United NL (Australian) has been granted six uranium exploration licences and started drilling the Firawa prospect in southern Guinea in May, 2007. The company intends drilling the Bohoduo prospect and doing reconnaissance exploration at the Sesse uranium prospect during 2008.
Uranium mineralization occurs in the sediments of the Morondava Basin of western Madagascar, which consists of Karoo Supergroup continental sediments.
Uranium in the Tranomaro Zone, in southern Madagascar, typically occurs as uranothorianite hosted in north-south trending lineaments of pyroxenite.
- Pan African Mining Corporation announced that it has been granted 36 additional research permits for uranium exploration in Madagascar. The permits were issued to the company’s subsidiary PAM Atomique Sarl (Pama), which is 20% owned by the Malagasy state. Pama’s uranium exploration programme is ongoing in the Antsirabe and Tranomaro Zones as part of the company’s joint venture (JV) with L’Office des Mines Nationales et des Industries Strategiques, a State agency. By virtue of the new permit grants, Pama’s overall uranium licences in Madagascar now number 46 research permits. The French Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA) exploited uranium from the regions of Folakara and Tranomaro during the period from the late 1930s through the 1950s, with systematic exploration of Madagascar for radioactive materials being undertaken to 1966 in detailed regional studies that outlined several uraniferous areas. In 1976, the newly created Omnis resumed exploration of the more promising CEA discoveries with technical advice and funding from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated agencies. Pama is carrying forward such prior work as well as implementing innovative programmes conceived by its geological team working with Omnis.
- Cline Mining Corporation has taken over UMC Energy plc, who has an 80% interest in URAMAD S.A., a Madagascar uranium exploration company. URAMAD S.A. is a private Madagascar uranium exploration company in which the Madagascar Government Agency OMNIS also holds a 20% interest. The URAMAD Morondava Uranium Project covers an area of 9,993.75 square kilometers in the Morondava Basin of western Madagascar, which is filled with Karoo Supergroup sediments. The uranium properties were earlier held by Cogema of France which carried out extensive exploration work, with additional work being carried forward by the United Nations Development Programme and OMNIS. URAMAD has obtained the databases from this work which include an extensive earlier airborne survey (some 7,000 radioactive anomalies) and 83,000 metres of drilling in 790 drill holes with indicated uranium values and visible uranium mineralization. URAMAD is presently undertaking an exploration program on the property including diamond drilling and radiometric airborne surveys.
- Pencari Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:PMC) is exploring the Ambatofosy uranium property in central Madagascar. Positive uranium values from samples were obtained along the entire 3000 metre trend of uranium bearing pegmatite. A total of 135 soil samples were collected as part of the regional mapping program, with uranium values ranging from 10 to 780 ppm uranium returned from throughout the 3000 metre trend.
Continuing geological mapping and trenching programmes across the Ambatofotsy prospect will run in conjunction with Pencari's regional trenching, geochemical and geophysics programmes currently underway across the Itea gold project.
Uranium mineralization at Ambatofotsy is associated with an unusually large pegmatite complex. Mineralization of potential economic interest is reported to include betafite (a high uranium, columbium-tantalum mineral) and columbite-tantalite (columbium-tantalum minerals). Both minerals are important sources of tantalum, a high-tech metal used in electronics.
The initial assessment at Ambatofosy was performed by OMNIS (Office Nationale des Mines et des Industries Strategiques), a Madagascar extra-governmental agency that aids the mineral exploration industry by performing geological services that include geological mapping, trenching and soil sampling.
"Uranium to earn Malawi $1,6bn over decade - Finance Minister"
The Kayelekera deposit in Malawi was explored extensively in the early 1980s by the then Central Electricity Generating Board of Great Britain. At that time the investment climate in Malawi discouraged further development. Since 1994, however, Malawi has become a multi-party state and now welcomes private sector development of resources.
- Paladin Resources Ltd (TSX:PDN; ASX:PDN) is exploring the Kayelekera deposit (Karoo sandstone hosted) in northern Malawi with an inferred resource of 10,46 million t at a grade of 0,108 % ( 10,850 t U3O8). A bankable feasibility study showed that the Kayelekera project in Malawi is technically and financially viable and capable of producing 1500 tonnes a year of uranium. Paladin Resources said the study by consultants GRD Minproc concluded that Kayelekera should have an 11-year mine life. The capital cost has been estimated at $US185 million and a mining licence application was submitted to Malawi's mines commissioner in February, 2007. In April, 2007, the government awarded Paladin a 15 year license renewable for further 10 year period. The license covers an area of 55.5 sq. km. The Kayerekera Uranium Project is scheduled to commission in September 2008 and reach full production during the 2nd quarter of 2009. Annual production will be 3.3 million lbs U3O8 over a life-of-mine of seven years.
- Oropa Ltd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oropa Exploration Pty Ltd was granted two Exclusive Prospecting Licences for uranium in June 2007 covering the Mzimba Northwest and Chitunde Projects for a total of 2,365 km2. A further two EPL applications covering the Chizani and Mankhangala project areas to the north of Kasungu have been submitted to the Malawian Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources, which are currently under consideration. Oropa has also secured a 90% interest in two contiguous uranium exploration projects located 20 km north of Paladin Resources' Kayelekera uranium deposit. Oropa has executed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the owners of the two granted exploration prospecting licences, Ngana and Ngana East, which cover a combined area of 285 km2, covering basin structures containing Karroo sediments which were similar to the host rocks at the nearby Kayelekera roll-front uranium deposit.
- Globe Uranium Ltd’s granted Livingstonia EPL0187 is 90 kilometers southeast from the Kayelekera deposit, covering similar Karroo geology and contains known uranium mineralisation to 0.73% U3O8.
The licence at Nthalire, in northern Malawi, covers 130km2 and includes Karroo sandstones of the North Rukuru Basin.
This geological unit is considered highly prospective for uranium, as it hosts the Kayelekera Uranium deposit currently under development by Paladin Resources Ltd some 35 kilometres further north.
Simelemba is located in Central Malawi, about 25 kilometres northeast from the regional town of Kasungu. A significant airborne radiometric anomaly outlined in the mid 1980’s is central to the EPL but only preliminary ground follow-up has been reported.
The tenement covers igneous and meta morphic rocks of the Precambrian to Lower Palaeozoic Basement of the Mozambique Orogenic Belt.
- Delta Exploration Inc (DEV.V) is exploring the Falea area which covers 150 km² of the Falea-North Guinea-Senegal basin, a Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin marked by significant radiometric anomalies. Between 1977 and 1981, Cogema conducted mapping and geochemistry in the Falea area culminating in a program of 81 vertical diamond drill holes totalling approximately 24,000m at 800x800 m and 200x200m spacing, and 5 inclined diamond drill holes totalling 630m. Copper and uranium mineralization was discovered associated with stromatolites in sandstones and shales within the Falea Basin. In 1981, Cogema dropped the Falea ground due to depressed metal prices.
- Oklo Uranium Limited (Australia) is involved in early stage exploration in the northeastern Kidal region.
- Alba Mineral Resources has a 50% holding in a private mineral exploration company, Mauritania Ventures Limited (MVL),which was established to investigate the uranium potential of north-eastern Mauritania. It has been awarded two uranium exploration permits with an additional four uranium exploration permits pending. Work programmes have commenced and field programmes are scheduled for January 2007. The permit areas are contained within a zone considered prospective for unconformity-type uranium mineralization.
- Murchison United NL (Australian) has been granted two uranium exploration licences in the Republic of Mauritania and is waiting for the outcome of a further four licence applications being processed. Murchison United reported in December, 2007, that drilling had started focusing on one of its key exploration licences at Bir En Nar in the Zednes region, in Mauritania.
The drilling programme is the first drilling undertaken by Murchison United within its portfolio of uranium interests in Mauritania.
It follows the successful completion of the company’s maiden drilling programme earlier this year at the Firawa prospect in Guinea, which returned encouraging initial results.
- Shield Mining Ltd was awarded its first licences to explore for uranium in Mauritania, the company said in December, 2007. First work on the acreage was expected to start in 2008. Shield said that it was also looking to rapidly grow its new uranium position by at least a further 60% through four uranium exploration applications currently with government authorities. The maiden approvals cover two licence areas totalling 2 815 km2, although the granting of all four of the current applications would extend those uranium-only exploration rights to nearly 4 400 km2. The uranium licences generally cover Shield's existing gold and base metal licences.
- Toro Energy Limited (Australian) announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Moroccan Government for an exclusive prospect evaluation study over regions containing historic uranium mineralisation in Morocco. Under the terms of the agreement, Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines has granted Toro exclusive evaluation and review rights for a six month period, covering 30 permits in three regional areas: Haute Moulouya-Ment, Wafaga and Sirwa (Zgounder) Morocco has known historical uranium occurrences delineated by Russian and French exploration which ceased in 1982 and production of uranium is believed to have occurred from the Zgounder silver mine. More than 100 uranium occurrences have been previously identified.
- Areva NC (COGEMA) signed an agreement in October, 2007, with the Office Cherifien Des Phosphates (OCP), a Moroccan mining and chemical industries conglomerate, that will see it extracting uranium contained in the country's phosphate rocks. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) figures put Morocco's uranium resources in phosphate deposits at around six million tons, which corresponds to twice the world's resources in uranium deposits. OCP, a state-owned agency formed in 1920, is solely responsible for the Benguérir, Khouribga and Youssoufia mines in central Morocco. The country's enormous measured phosphorite resources of 85,000 Mt are hosted in Upper Cretaceous, Palaeocene and Eocene sediments, and sequences comprising clays, marls, limestones and cherts contain several phosphate-rich beds. Mineable phosphate-rich beds range from one to three metres in thickness and grades from 22% to 28% P2O5. Morocco produces more than 23 million tons of ore per year.
- OmegaCorp Ltd is exploring the Mavuzi Project, located roughly 40 km northwest of the provincial centre of Tete in northwestern Mozambique and comprising four granted licences covering approximately 700 km2. The central licence covers the historical Mavuzi Uranium Mine. It is also exploring the The Zambezi Valley Project, approximately 300 km due west of Tete in northwestern Mozambique. The single licence covers over 600 km2 and lies on the border with Zimbabwe.
Namibia: Government Calls Halt to Uranium Licences
February 14, 2007
As applications pour into Namibia from companies intending to prospect for uranium, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has stopped accepting such requests. It will soon announce a moratorium in the Government Gazette.
The Permanent Secretary of Mines and Energy, Joseph Iita, confirmed that no applications were currently being accepted, adding that more would soon be revealed in the Government Gazette.
"It's a matter of regulating the issue of licences. Everyone is running to Namibia for uranium and we don't want every Jack and Jill mining uranium ...," he said. Iita also said uranium was a special mineral, adding that the Government was reconsidering its policies on the resource.
Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant in Namibia as Moscow seeks to break into the African nuclear market.
February 23, 2007
Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant in Namibia as Moscow seeks to break into the African nuclear market. The announcement was made by Russia’s nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko on Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, Interfax news agency reported.
Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom, told reporters on a visit to Namibia that Russian firms would also form a joint venture to mine uranium in the African state.
“Today Russia is present on all continents in the sphere of atomic energy but we had left out Africa,” Kiriyenko said. “Here there is a big potential market and we must be successful in this market.”
He said Russia was looking at building a floating nuclear power plant for Namibia: “We are ready to build one,” Kiriyenko said, quoted by the agency.
Russia is pioneering efforts to build offshore nuclear power plants, shrugging off criticism by environmentalists who say they are inherently unsafe.
Kiriyenko said Russian firms Renova, Vneshtorgbank (VTB) and Tekhsnabexport have agreed to form a joint venture to mine uranium in Namibia.
“They have agreed to create a joint venture with Tekhsnabexport which will do exploration and mine uranium here,” he said.
Russia’s is reorganizing its civilian nuclear sector as it seeks to widen sales of nuclear technology abroad.
Click HERE for URANIUM IN NAMIBIA (Geological Survey of Namibia)
"Namibian uranium output to jump as exploration surges"
"Namibia's red hot uranium winners"
"Namibia: The Uranium Boom - an Eldorado"
- Rio Tinto plc (NYSE:RTP;TSX:RIO, 69%) operates the Rössing Uranium mine. Proven reserves in 2005 of 3,222 t U at a grade of 0,032% U and probable reserves of 34,700 t U at a grade of 0,028% U. The management of Rössing uranium reportedly expects Namibia to produce 10 percent of the world's primary production of uranium by 2012 (see video). The compnany said in September, 2007, that it hoped to extend the life of the mine to 2021 and aimed to boost output by 12.5 percent to 4,500 tonnes in 2008. [more]
- Paladin Energy Ltd (Australian, TSX:PDN; ASX:PDN) commissioned the Langer Heinrich mine on 28 December 2006. It has measured and indicated reserves of 32, 2 million t at a grade of 0,07 %. ( 22,200 t U3O8). The envisaged production rate is 2,6 million pounds of uranium oxide per year, which could be increased to 3,7-million lbs. Cash costs at Langer Heinrich is expected at between $21/lb and $23/lb over the long run
- UraMin Inc (Canadian, also active in Botswana,CAR, Chad and Mozambique) is developing the Trekkopje Project located in west-central Namibia about 65 km northeast of Swakopmund. Based on prior drilling, plus the company’s confirmation drilling, SRK Consulting has estimated an NI 43-101-qualified Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 18,4 million pounds of U3O8 (61 million tonnes at a grade of 0,014%) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 139,2 million pounds U3O8 (502 million tonnes at a grade of 0.013%), both estimated using an 80-ppm cut-off grade. On 8 May, 2007, the company announced that an increase of 134% (63 million contained lbs U3O8 has been estimated by SRK Consulting (US), Inc. for the Trekkopje Project for the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource, which now totals 335 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.015% U3O8 containing 50,074 tonnes U3O8 (110 Mlbs U3O8 using a cut-off grade of 0.010% U3O8). At the 100ppm cut-off the average grade of the Measured and Indicated resource has increased to 149 ppm which represents a 2% increase. The Trekkopje feasibility study remains on schedule for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2007 and production on stream for the 4th quarter of 2008. Biggest Uranium Mine (Source: Namibia Economist)
- Forsys Metals Corporation, through its wholly owned Namibian subsidiary, Westport Resources Namibia (Pty) Limited, is exploring the Valencia Uranium project. It has an inferred resource of 18 million t at a grade of 0,025% U3O8 ( 0,25 kg/t) or 9,9 million pounds of U3O8 (cut-off 0,20 kg/t U3O8). State-owned Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) signed a US$307-million memorandum of agreement with Forsys Metals to develop the Valencia uranium property in November, 2007.
- Bannerman Resources Ltd (Australian) confirmed an interim inferred resource of 27 million lbs (12,200 t) U3O8 at its 100% owned Goanikontes Uranium Project in Namibia.This resource is contained within 55 million t at a grade of 219 ppm U3O8, however the resource also contains a higher grade core of 21 million t at 308 ppm U3O8.
- Extract Resources' (ASX:EXT) main asset is the Husab Uranium Project, located approximately 45km north-east of Namibia's main port - Walvis Bay. The project is strategically located within a 50km radius of several world class uranium deposits. Bordering Rio Tinto’s Rossing Mine to the north and 25km to the Langer Heinrich project to the east, the Husab Project covers an area of 637 km2 and contains several uranium prospects ranging from grass roots exploration through to advanced resource definition.
Extract announced, in Jauary, 2008, a major new uranium discovery at their Rossing South exploration target which is part of their wholly owned Husab Uranium Project. Drill hole assay results hosted within uraniferous alaskite confirmed a major new uranium discovery beneath desert sands, about 7 kilometres south of the Rossing Uranium Mine.
- Kalahari Minerals plc (AIM:KAH) has a 41% share in four uranium projects: held through Kalahari’s 41% holding in Australian-based Extract Resources (ASX:EXT). Two of these projects lie between Rio Tinto’s (NYSE:RTP; LSE:RIO) Rössing mine, the world’s fifth largest uranium producer which has been in operation for over 30 years, and Paladin’s (ASX:PDN; TSX:PDN} Langer Heinrich mine.
- Deep Yellow Ltd's exploration in Namibia is carried out by Reptile Uranium Namibia (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary. The company has 4 contiguous concessions to the south of the Langer Heinrich and Rössing uranium mines. The Tubas project is the most advanced with an inferred mineral resource of 77.3 million tonnes at 0.023% (238 ppm) U3O8 at a cut-off grade of 100 ppm U3O8 for 17,600 tonnes or 38.8 million pounds of contained U3O8.
- West Australian Metals (WME) is exploring the Marenica project to the north of Rössing mine. According to the the company's Leon Reisgys, Technical Director and Acting CEO, the resource (area), previously drilled by Gold Fields in the 1970's, contains around 18 million pounds of uranium.
- Xemplar Energy Corporation is exploring known and previously explored uranium occurrences at the Engo Valley, Cape Cross, Aus/Garub and Warmbad. See "Rio Tinto said to be eyeing big Namibian uranium find". An airborne radiometric survey south of Warmbad showed the existence of 14 uraniferous granite (alaskitic) bodies. These bodies cover a surface area of approximately 30 square kilometres. Surface sampling has shown (reported May 7, 2007) the bodies to be mineralised. An initial drilling program (reported February 4, 2008) has shown that at least two of these bodies extend to depth, in some cases in excess of 200 metres. The analysis of the drill samples from these holes has shown (reported February 4, 2008) that wide widths are mineralised. This sampling has also shown that portions of the bodies are not mineralised or have low grades, which is not unusual for these alaskitic occurrences.
- Erongo Energy Ltd (Australian) has a 90% interest in and is exploring two exclusive prospecting areas covering a total area of approximately 420 square kms north and south of the Erongo Complex.
- Pitchstone Exploration Ltd (Canadian) will explore at three properties owned by Manica Minerals Ltd. (Manica is a privately owned mineral exploration company operating in southern and east Africa under the control of Dr. John Gurney and Dr. Peter Hildebrand.) Pitchstone’s entrance follows the signing of a Letter Agreement with Manica, which will see it exploring for uranium at Nakop, Sandwich Bay and Kaoko – properties that are located in Namibia’s western deserts. At Nakop, Pitchstone will target its Proterozoic sediments. The Sandwich Bay has a Rössing deposit analogue, but is situated approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium Mine, the country’s oldest producing mine. Pitchstone looks forward to sediment hosted uranium deposits at Kaoko, which lies in an area of known uranium occurrence.
- West Africa Gold Exploration, Westport Resources, Galahad Gold, UraMin, Namura Mineral Resources, Xemplar Energy, Australian United Gold, Cheetah Minerals Exploitation, Corporate Resources Consultant, Etruscants Resources Namibia, the Chinese company Nam-China Minerals & Development, Namibia Mineral Mining Plants & Products, New Mining Company, Philco Twenty, Reptile Investment Four, Jaco Floris Smith, Deep Yellow Ltd and Nova Energy have been awarded prospecting rights for uranium.
Click HERE for URANIUM MINING IN NIGER (World Nuclear Association)
Niger has been mining uranium since 1971 and the past production from 2 operating mines exceeded 100,000 tonnes of uranium (approximately 2,600,000 lbs) of U3O8 to the end of 2006. With an output of over 3,093 t U in 2005, Niger was the world's 6th ranked uranium producer contributing 7,75% of the total world production.
"Uranium exploration firms flock to Niger desert"
"Niger to produce 10,500 tonnes of uranium a year"
"Areva uranium prospection in Niger attacked by armed group"
"Government to spend $60m fighting rebellion it refuses to acknowledge"
Le Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (C.E.A.), through its exploratory arm le Groupement Afrique Madagascar (G.A.M.) has been actively engaged in uranium exploration in Niger since 1956. Their interest became concentrated in and around Arlit in1961. Systematic drilling during a 5-6 year period lead them to the Arlette deposit (Arlette is the mine, Arlit is the town). In 1968 a mining concession was awarded to the C.E.A. for the Arlette deposit and at the same time La Société des Mines de l’Air (Somair) was formed for exploitation of the deposit. A second joint venture effort by the C.E.A. resulted in the Akokan (Akouta) project 10 km south of Arlit. La Compagnie Minière d’Akouta was formed for exploitation of the Akouta deposit. Within the Agadez basin region other joint venture agreements were concluded between:
• C.E.A., Niger, and Continental Oil Company for the Imouraren project. A permit area of 3500 km², south of the Arlit and Akokan area, included the Imouraren deposit. The joint venture agreement was signed in April 1974 and drilling began in Sept 1974.
• Japanese Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation and Niger formed the TECHILI project. A permit area of some 2700 km², north of the Imouraren deposit, included the Madaouela deposit. The joint venture agreement was signed in November 1988. Exploration was carried out between 1990 and 1992.
• C.E.A., Overseas Uranium Development Co. Ltd. and Niger formed the AFASTO W project. A permit area of some 546.5 km², West of the Techili area, included the EBBA deposit. The joint venture agreement was signed in September 1975. Exploration was carried out up to 1980 and a preliminary feasibility study was completed in 1992.
The rocks hosting the uranium mineralization are commonly arenites of the Guezouman and Tarat Formations of Carboniferous age. Some beds within the Tchirozerine Formation of Jurassic age and the Irhazer Formation of Cretaceous age also contain uranium. The depositional environment of these formations was fluvial to deltaic. Apparently the uranium was leached from the basement. Tectonic, lithological and geochemical features are important in trapping the mineralization, which is often of roll front type, either reduced consisting of pitchblende and coffinite (Akouta, Arlit, Afasto, Madaouela) or oxidized minerals (Imouraren).
- Compagnie Minière d'Akouta (COMINAK), owned by the Niger government with French, Japanese and Spanish interests and operated by Areva NC (COGEMA), mined approximately 2 000 t U3O8 in 2006.
- Societe des Mines et de l'Air (SOMAIR), operated by Areva NC (COGEMA), mined approximately 1 000 t U3O8 in 2006.
- Four uranium projects (Imouraren, Afasto W, Techili and Abkorum), which are in the same area as the two operating mines, are in an advanced stage of evaluation. They are potential targets for new exploration, in keeping with COGEMA’s strategy of revisiting old targets. Areva and China National Nuclear could develop uranium deposits in Niger which would double production of the metal from the African continent. Areva is considering producing 4,000 tonnes of uranium a year starting from 2011 from the deposit in Imouraren. The Areva and China National Nuclear projects would help boost uranium production capacity to 10,000 tonnes/year within five years from the present 4,500 tonnes.
- Orezone Resources Inc. (OZN:TSX, AMEX) through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Niger Resources Inc., has been granted two uranium exploration permits by the Government of the Republic of Niger. The two permits totaling 980km² are located adjacent to Areva’s exploration permits (previously Cogema) and within 40km of its SOMAÏR and COMINAK uranium mines which have been in production since the early seventies. Niger is the world’s fourth largest Uranium producer.
The permits, named ZELINE 1 and ZELINE 4 are within the Tim Mersoï sedimentary basin.
- Niger awarded exploration licences to a group of Chinese companies in July 2006.
- Homeland Energy Corporation through its subsidiary, Uranium International Limited, acquired a 100% interest in two exploration licenses in the Republic of Niger. The Agelal license is adjacent to that which hosts the Arlit and Akouta deposits, and represents an area formerly held by Cogema. Over 36 holes were drilled by Cogema within the boundaries of the current Agelal license, several of which intersected uranium mineralization at depths of between 600-1,000 metres below surface. The Aserka license is located to the immediate southwest, somewhat deeper in the basin, due north of the Teguida uranium deposit and roughly 35 km west of the Imouraren deposit. Niger has also granted eight uranium prospecting concessions to Uranium International Ltd in the northeastern area around Agadez.
- The government granted two more uranium research concessions in the Agadez region on the same basis to Trendfield Holdings SA. TRENDFIELD HOLDINGS SA also acquired the permits known as TAGAZA II and TAGAZA IV adjoining the existing permit of Teguidda containing proven reserves; these permits represent an area of 500 square km each and are located in the North of In Gall, in the Department of Tchirozérine, Province of Agadez where twelve other permits were previously awarded to Chinese and Canadian companies. Artemis Resources Ltd finalised a formal joint-venture agreement (JV) with Trendfield Holdings in November, 2007, for the acquisition of an initial 49% stake in the two uranium projects in Niger. The agreement also gives Artemis the ability to acquire up to 51% in the JV project on which exploration work has already begun. The company has started a review of the geological data and approved an exploration programme for TAG 2 and 4 JV. The JV tenements are located in the Tim Mersoi Basin.
- Bayswater Uranium Corporation (Canadian) applied for approximately 2 million acres of concessions in Niger. Bayswater subsequently entered into agreements for uranium concessions totaling over 7800 sq. km. All of the land holdings fall between 60 and 400 km from the Arlit and Akouta uranium mines which together have produced over 100,000 tonnes of U308 to date. The concessions fall into three distinct packages around the Arlit-Akouta area. The Tikikitene and Eghizi concessions are side by side, lying from 60 to 130 km to the northwest, The Anwala concession lies 240 km to the southwest, and the Emi Lulu concession sits approximately 400 km northeast.
- Northwestern Mineral Ventures Inc (Canadian) is exploring their 100%-owned In Gall and Irhazer uranium concessions in Niger. Uranium anomalies have been identified during Northwestern's recently completed airborne survey. Results have revealed four radioactive structural domes that are geologically similar to others that have been proven to host uranium mineralization in Niger.
- North Atlantic Resources Ltd (Canadian) acquired the Abelajouad uranium exploration permit in 2006 and has 4 pending uranium exploration permit applications in Niger. The Company anticipates that it will begin exploration work on its uranium exploration projects in Niger in the first quarter of 2007. Orezone Resources Inc and North Atlantic Resources Ltd announced in February, 2008, the formation of a new uranium exploration company that has a combined land holding of 4,000 km2 in the heart of Niger's uranium production area in West Africa. Orezone and North Atlantic Resources Ltd will each hold a 50% interest in the new entity to be named Brighton Energy Limited.
Under the terms of the amalgamation, Orezone will transfer to Brighton its wholly-owned subsidiary Niger Resources Inc. which holds two permits (Zeline 1 and Zeline 4) located adjacent to Areva's exploration permits and within 40 km of its SOMAIR and COMINAK uranium mines which have been in production since the early seventies. North Atlantic will transfer to Brighton its wholly-owned subsidiary Selier Energy Niger SARL which holds three permits (Abelajouad and Assaouas 1 and Assaouas 2) located adjacent to and south of the Areva mining and exploration permits and proximal to the Arlit fault, which is the dominant control structure for uranium deposition.
- Semafo Inc (Canadian, TSX:SMF.TO; SEMFF.PK, and operating the Kineiro gold mine in Guinea and Samira Hill gold mine in Niger) has been granted five uranium exploration permits by the Ministry of Mines. The permits, covering 2,375 square kilometres, are located in the geological setting known as the Tim Mersoï sedimentary basin, east of the Arlit fault.
- Global Uranium Corporation, a private Ontario corporation, is exploring the Tin-Negoran 1, 2, 3 and 4 concessions, totaling approximately 2000 km2. The concessions are located on the main uranium bearing trend that hosts numerous uranium deposits in central Niger, west of the Air mountains, near the town of Agadez. Previous work on one of the properties by a Japanese company identified a uranium resource. Global Uranium had been granted two new uranium concessions in Niger, bringing the total number of concessions in Niger held by the firm to six, the company said on 3 October, 2007.
- UraMin Inc has been awarded four exploration areas in the Arlit section of the Agadez region, more than 1,200 km (750 miles) north of the capital Niamey. Under Niger's mining code, if uranium deposits are discovered, the state will take a 40 percent stake in the projects, 10 percent for free, while it will pay for the remaining 30 percent.
- Niger Uranium Ltd said in December, 2007, it planned to start an aggressive exploration programme and has identified five priority targets for drilling.
The 50-50 joint venture company between UraMin Inc and Northwestern Mineral Ventures Inc said first drilling is expected to be completed by February. 2008.
- Niger Mining Services SARL (NMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Signet Mining Services Ltd, was established in June 2007. NMS holds five uranium concessions in Niger, covering approximately 2 500 square km. Of the five concessions, two are double concessions. All three blocks are situated within the Tim Mersoï Basin, between the towns of Agadez and Arlit.
- UraMin Inc, through its 100% subsidiary, UraMin Exploration Limited, has entered into a Mining Convention with the Republic of Senegal to prospect for and, if economically viable, mine uranium and related minerals in the Saraya East region of Eastern Senegal. The area covered by the Mining Convention is described as "Saraya East" and is 2,992 km2 in extent. The area was extensively explored by COGEMA-BRGM in a three phase program during the late 1950's, 1970's and early 1980's. Uranium mineralization was identified as being 'episyenite' hosted, resulting from hydrothermal remobilisation and alteration of the surrounding granites. A historical estimate of approximately 750,000 tonnes at an average grade of 0,24% U3O8, which equates to 3,8 million lbs of U3O8, was completed by COGEMA.
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- AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU; JSE:ANG) will spend R250m expanding capacity at its Vaal River South Uranium plant by up to 40% from its current production of 1,5 million pounds a year, the company said in February 2007. The South Vaal uranium plant, South Africa’s only uranium processing operation, was built in 1979 with a 20-25 year life, but the extended life of AngloGold’s uranium resources and positive market conditions encouraged the group to start a complete refurbishment two years ago. AngloGold Ashanti is currently producing uranium at a cost of about $15/lb, and is still selling it into contracts in which it is realizing only about $20/lb. The company's reserves amount to 25,9-million pounds and its resources are 128,6 million pounds. AngloGold also has a 50% stake in uranium trader Nufcor, which has its own uranium inventory.
- SXR Uranium One Inc (TSX:SXR) is developing the Dominion Uranium Project located near the town of Klerksdorp. Dominion is one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits, with a significant secondary gold by-product. Production at Dominion is planned to commence in the first quarter of 2007, with a ramp-up in production to an average of 3,8 million pounds per year by 2011. It has an estmated probable reserve of 18,5 million tonnes at an average grade of 0,77 kg/t containing 31,3 million pounds of U3O8
- First Uranium Corporation (FIU.TO, FURAF.PK) has 280 million pounds in uranium resources and 37 million oz in gold at its Ezulwini underground and Buffelsfontein tailings properties in South Africa. Ezulwini has measured and indicated resources of two million oz of gold and 6,8 million pounds of uranium oxide. Average annual production at Ezulwini for the life of the project, from 2007 to 2024, is expected to be 290,000 oz of gold and 888,000 pounds of uranium.
- DRD Gold (South African, Nasdaq:DROOY; JSE:DRD) announced in April 2007 that it planned to create a joint venture with Mintails, a listed Australian company and Mineral & Mining Reclamation Services (MMRS). The partners have agreed to consolidate their uranium and gold-bearing properties on the West Rand with production possible after about two years of development, DRDGOLD said. These properties included Rand Leases, Durban Roodepoort Deep, East Champ D'Or, Luipaardsvlei and West Rand Consolidated. The assets have produced gold totalling 30 million ounces and uranium oxide of some 17,000 tonnes. In terms of the proposals, DRDGOLD and Mintails SA will hold 45% each in the joint venture with MMRS holding the balance. The company would also take a secondary listing in Johannesburg. The joint venture's lease consolidation provides a package of tenements with a continuous strike of over 20 kilometres, covering significant gold and uranium-producing, historical mines over the western margin of the Witwatersrand.
- Harmony Gold Mining (South Africa, NYSE:HMY; JSE:HAR) is investigating the uranium reserves in its slimes dams. It had a relationship with Russia’s Renova, which could exploit Harmony’s uranium in exchange for helping Harmony find gold prospects in Russia. A presentation on Harmony's website said in October, 2007, that an exclusivity deal expired at the end of September and "interested parties" were approaching Harmony's advisors regarding the firm's uranium potential in dumps and also underground.
The exclusivity deal apparently refered to a memorandum of understanding Harmony previously signed with Russian investment firm Renova, which had expressed interest in the uranium assets.
Eleven out of Harmony's 56 tailing dams of mining waste contain high amounts of uranium. Its uranium assets might be valued at R5bn to R15bn depending on uranium prices. Harmony has put its uranium assets into a new company in which it holds a 40% stake. Pamodzi Resources Fund owns the remaining 60%. The intention is to list the company, which requires investment of R2.4bn to bring it into production of 2.2 million pounds of uranium a year.
- Gold Fields (South Africa, NYSE:GFI; JSE:GFIELDS) has at least 63 million pounds of uranium and two million ounces of gold resources at its Beatrix four shaft. The company also has up to 30 million tonnes of slimes dams that could be processed for uranium and gold.
- UraMin Inc (Canadian) is exploring properties in the Karoo Uranium Province (Ryst Kuil Channel and Sutherland) and the Springbok Flats basin. The total historical mineral resource in the Ryst Kuil Channel, outlined by a prior holder on the licenses for which the company has applied, is 64 million pounds of U3O8 (29 million t at a grade of 0,1%). Drilling is scheduled to commence in January 2007 with completion date of the feasibility study by March 2008. The Company believes that the property is capable of being placed into commercial production by late 2009 at the rate of 2,6 to 3,0 million pounds uranium per year with significant molybdenum as a by-product. The Sutherland area has been explored in the 1970s and 1980s by various companies including Union Carbide, Anglo American, Esso Minerals Africa Inc., Newmont Mining, Phelps Dodge, JCI, Rand Mines, Essex Mineral Company (a subsidiary of US Steel), Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd and Southern Sphere. According to RSG Global, historical summary reports indicate a total mineralization at various cut off grades of approximately 27 million lbs of U3O8 on the properties in Sutherland and proximate areas. The company has summitted 34 applications for prospecting rights by and on the behalf of Mago Resources, the Company's 70% owned subsidiary.The Springbok Flats basin is a fault-bounded graben which trends northeast-southwest for 190 km and is 60 km wide. The uranium is concentrated in coal and carbonaceous shales in the upper part of what is known as the ‘coal zone’ over a vertical metre. A 0,1 m thick enriched zone has also been identified. Uranium has been detected at depths between 20 m and 650 m with the majority of the occurrences at 100 m and 200 m below surface. Previous exploration work focused on the central and north-eastern sectors of the coal field and several deposits containing between 0,016% and 0,1% U over a 1 m width were delineated. The uranium potential of the area was investigated by Anglo American Corporation and Gencor and included feasibility studies on a bulk sample that was mined. Exploration ceased in 1982 and the deposits have not been exploited. According to a publication released by the Council of Geoscience in 1998, resources for the entire Springbok Flats coal field were estimated at 55,000 tonnes of U in 1994. The company has submitted twenty-two applications for prospecting rights by and on the behalf of Mago Resources, the Company's 70% owned subsidiary.
- Brinkley Mining plc ( also active in the DRC) has applied for five areas in the Karoo uranium province, Waterval Damsfontein, Bloemfontein, Rietkuil, and Flagfontein, of which two have been granted. Blue Nightingale 709 (Pty) Ltd is the company's joint economic empowerment partner and also a 25% shareholder in Western Uranium (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of Brinkley Mining.
- Signet Mining Services Ltd has acquired a 4.07% stake in Brinkley Uranium Mining plc and is exploring the Damsfontein-Bloemfontein prospect 'The prospect is underlain by approximately 59.4 km2 of the target sandstone known as the Poortjie Member. The Prospect itself is known to be mineralised to potentially economic grades. This sandstone body is essentially flat-lying and has a maximum thickness of 33 m. The sandstone sheet trends north-northeast for at least 15 km and has an average width of 5 km.''The mineralised zones are lenticular in shape and occur at various horizons in the sandstone unit, from directly above the base to 5 m above the base. They vary in thickness from 16 cm to 1.5 m and generally occur in the lower third of the sandstone body. Mineralisation is hosted by grey, non-calcareous, fine-grained and subordinate mudstone-pebble conglomerate.''The higher uranium grades tend to coincide with the thicker mineralised zone and do not exceed 2,000 ppm U over the thickness of mineralised zones. Individual samples can be as high as 4,000 ppm U. Molybdenum grade is generally higher than uranium, with individual samples as high as 7,000 ppm Mo. Historic estimates of mineralisation showed an in-situ grade of U3O8 from 1,170 to 1,600 ppm U and a Mo grade of 1,000 to 1,060 ppm Mo.' (Source: Signet)
The uranium potential of Tanzania was established by government surveys in the late seventies. Follow-up work on some of the numerous anomalies generated, led to the discovery of two deposits of ‘roll-front’ style mineralisation in Karoo sediments. These deposits are now largely contained within the Selous Game Reserve. There has been little to no exploration for uranium in Tanzania since the early eighties.
- Douglas Lake Minerals Inc. announced it has successfully acquired four Tanzanian uranium properties that cover an area of approximately 500 square kilometres. Two of the properties are located in Northern Tanzania in the Babati region. Initial reports provided by DLKM's geological consultants, Geosource Explorer, have determined that these two deposits are 'surficial'. The other two properties are located in the Njombe District in southern Tanzania. Initial reports by Geosource Explorer indicate the southern deposit geology is similar to that of the Rössing Deposit in Namibia.
- Goldstream Mining NL. Four new tenements covering a total area of 1,885km2 have been offered to Goldstream by the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and Minerals. Historic drill intercept of up to 2,3 kg/t U308 in a ‘calcrete’ environment, occur on the company’s Bahi tenements in Central Tanzania. Drainage geochemical surveys conducted by Goldstream over its tenements in Southern Tanzania have identified anomalous coincident uranium and lead anomalies.
- Uranium Resources plc (AIM:URA) has acquired four uranium prospecting licences, covering an area of approximately 2,500 km2. The area has promising geology with the German company Uranerzbergbau GmbH identifying the area as prospective for uranium during reconnaissance exploration between 1978 and 1982. Three of the licences are located in the Mkuju River area in southern Tanzania, an area recognised by Uranerz as one of the two most important uranium targets in Tanzania. The fourth licence, the Makutapora prospect in Central Tanzania, targets uranium in calcrete. Western Metals Limited has entered into a farm-in agreement with Uranium Resources.
- Uranium Hunter Corporation has an agreement with Trimark Explorations, on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary Gambaro Resources, to earn up to a 100% interest in a gold/uranium property located in Njombe and Songea Districts, Tanzania.
- International Gold Mining Limited (TSX VENTURE:IGL) has joint ventured into two tenements at Bahi Swamp, consisting of one granted prospecting licence, and one application, totalling 1,821 square kilometres of ground. The Bahi Swamp catchment area is a dry lake covering over 1,000 sq km, and incorporates an extensive closed drainage system that has developed over 27,000 sq km of weathered Archaean granites.
Uranium accumulation within the Bahi catchment system has been recognised since the 1950's when uranium mineralisation was first intersected in a drill hole located near the centre of Bahi Swamp. Recent positive exploration results announced by Uranex NL from the Bahi 'C1' prospect have reconfirmed the potential of the Bahi Swamp catchment area to host significant calcrete / playa, as well as roll front style uranium deposits. The two tenements abut the western boundary of Uranex NL (UNX-ASX) project with assays from vertical channel samples reported to include 1.5m @ 2.4kg/t U3O8, 2.75m @ 1.33kg/t U3O8, and 2.0m @ 1.4kg/t U3O8.
The Company has also entered into a joint venture over a granted prospecting licence covering an area of 43 sq km at Singida, considered prospective for gold, uranium and diamonds.
- Western Metals Limited (ASX: WMT) is drilling the Mtonya Project, with high grade uranium over a strike length of 4 km and announced the discovery of two new uranium prospects within its Tanzania exploration area. Surveys from the regional helicopter supported field reconnaissance programme carried out in November 2007, has resulted in the discovery of two new important mineralized systems, Foxy and Eland, in the Ruvuma project area. The prospects are located approximately 60 km south-east and 110 km south-west of Mtonya respectively. Foxy Prospect - mineralisation at Foxy is related to a hematised sandstone bed exposed over an area of approximately 0.5km2. Counts up to 20,000 counts per second (cps) were found in association with the abundant yellow secondary uranium mineral, uranophane. A grab sample taken from the eastern edge of the anomaly returned an assay result of 13,400 parts per million (ppm) U3O8. Eland Prospect - mineralisation is associated with a banded, leuco gneiss. WMT geologists located an anomalous area of approximately 0.6km2 with hotspots up of up to 4,000cps. Grab samples collected from the area returned assay results of 141ppm U3O8, 440ppm U3O8 and 1,080ppm U3O8. The discovery of a new type of uranium mineralisation in basement rock in SW Tanzania is extremely encouraging. The potential presence of this type of mineralisation opens up a number of possibilities and warrants the re-evaluation of a number of highly significant airborne radiometric anomalies that were previously downgraded and dismissed as anomalous basement.
- Atomic Minerals Ltd has signed a letter of intent with Geo Can Resources Company Ltd. to acquire up to a 90% interest in over 2800 sq. kilometers of potential uranium enrichment in southwestern Tanzania. It is located in the same region as properties held by Paladin Resources (Malawi), Denison Mines and Western Metals.
- Lithic Metals' Niamtougou – Kara Project covers an area where historical exploration had identified pitchblende and uranophane uranium mineralization over a number of prospects in drilling and trenching. Uranium grades to 1500ppm (0.15%) U3O8 were recorded in drilling and trenching.
- Uranium Hunter Corporation concluded an agreement with NPK Resources to earn a 75% interest in the Nkoko and Kagadi uranium properties which contain over 800 km2 located in Kibaale district, Uganda, called the Kibaale project.
"Zambia a hotbed for uranium exploration"
The Kariba valley prospects were originally identified in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by AGIP SA following first-pass drill testing of uranium anomalies defined through radiometric surveying.
- OmegaCorp Ltd (Australian) is being taken over by Canadian outfit Denison Mines in a $170 million deal. Uranium projects include the Mavuzi Project in Mozambique, the Kariba Uranium Project in Zambia, the Mkuju Power Project in Tanzania and the Zambezi Valley Project in Zimbabwe with geological extension into Mozambique. The Kariba Uranium Project comprises a single prospecting licence covering 2,521 km2 and is situated in the Southern Province of Zambia about 200 km south of Lusaka and immediately north of Lake Kariba in Zambia . It has an 11 million pound (5000 t) JORC compliant resource estimate which includes only two of the five known prospects in the project (Mutanga and Dibwe).
- Energy Ventures Ltd (Australian) announced that its 79%-owned African Energy Resources had completed a program of airborne radiometric surveys on portions of its uranium projects in Zambia, which identified 15 uranium anomalies requiring further evaluation. The surveying was done around its Njame prospect. The Njame North prospect and the projects at Chirundu, in the Kariba Valley and Luano Valley areas, were subject to the option and farm-in agreement between Energy Ventures and nickel exploration company Albidon, under which African Energy had the right to earn up to a 70% equity interest in these projects.
- Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX and ASX symbol: EQN) commenced a bankable feasibility study in March, 2007, on the uranium resources which occur within, and adjacent to, the Lumwana Copper Project orebodies that are being developed in the North Western province of Zambia. Uranium within the Malundwe and Chimiwungo copper deposits occurs as discrete uranium-enriched zones that will be separately mined during the copper mining operation. Lumwana Uranium Mineral Resources have been estimated at 9.5 million tonnes grading 0.093% U3O8 Indicated, and 2.6 million tonnes of 0.042% U3O8 Inferred, for a combined total of 21.4 million pounds of contained U3O8. The Lumwana uranium resource has been estimated using a 0.01% uranium cut-off grade and is consistent with JORC/NI43-101 requirements.
- Albidon Ltd reported that soil sampling and surveys have confirmed the presence of uranium anomalies at the Gwabe prospect in the Chirundu joint venture adding that drilling at the prospect is scheduled to start in May 2007. The company said the Gwabe uranium anomaly was identified by an airborne radiometric survey completed in December 2006 and Albidon's joint venture partner African Energy Resources has completed a program of hand-held scintillometer and geochemical soil sampling across the anomaly. Albidon completed drilling at the Njame prospect in the Chirundu joint venture (JV), in Zambia, the company said in October, 2007. Albidon, which formed a JV with African Eagle, said that an infill-drilling programme as part of the prefeasiblity study had started. The drilling programme had been designed to increase confidence in the mineral resource to JORC inferred resource status. On completion of the Njame infill programmes, both the RC and the diamond drill rigs would be mobilised to the Gwabe prospect, to undertake infill drilling for resource upgrade and to provide samples for metallurgical test work. Thereafter, the rigs would return to Njame to continue exploration drilling to test for extensions to the prospect. Albidon confirmed in January, 2008, the presence of a new zone of sandstone-hosted uranium mineralisation at its Njame East uranium project in Zambia. Results were said to include the highest-grade drill intersections recorded at the project to date. The company added that additional drilling would also take place at Njame East to define the extent of potentially economic mineralisation.
- African Energy Resources has spent $8 million on its exploration projects with Albidon Mining in southern Zambia over the past three years.
- Zambezi Resources Limited announced in May, 2007, that it had entered into an agreement with Zambezi Nickel Ltd to embark on a joint venture (JV) on its Oryx uranium prospect, in Zambia, in terms of which Zambezi Nickel could acquire the project’s uranium rights. Zambezi Nickel could also earn equity interest in the uranium rights of Zambezi Resources’ Mpande, Rufunasa, Mulungushi, and Chumbwe licences, and had a commitment to spend $3-million on exploration. It could raise its equity to a controlling 51% if it spent $5-million. The JV would allow Zambezi Resources to keep its focus on copper and gold projects. Zambezi Resources announced in September, 2007, that it had signed a letter of intent with Rio Tinto which allows Rio Tinto to earn in to certain uranium mineral rights at Mulofwe Dome. Under the terms agreed, Rio Tinto will commit to spend US$ 1 million minimum to assess the uranium mineralisation over approximately 1,250 square kilometres of the Mulofwe prospect in Zambia. However, the Bermuda-registered company also said Rio Tinto may elect to spend an additional US$ 5 million to earn 51 pct of the project's rights, in which case the parties have agreed to incorporate a joint venture.
'Rio Tinto will be the manager of the exploration program and any joint venture entered into,' a release from Zambezi said.
Once Rio Tinto has earned a 51 pct stake in the project, Zambezi may elect to dilute its stake to 20 pct in which case Rio Tinto may hold up to 80 pct in the project by completing a bank feasibility study.
Zambezi also said it may elect to convert its interest to a 2.5 pct net smelter royalty 'at any time after Rio Tinto has earned its 51 pct share of the project.'
- Lithic Metals and Energy Ltd (AIM: LMY) (previously Zambezi Nickel Ltd) is exploring the Mvula uranium prospect located within the Mpande Project under a Joint Venture arrangement with Zambezi Resources Limited.
- African Eagle Resources plc said in September, 2007, it is in discussions with mid-tier uranium companies to explore and develop its portfolio of uranium properties in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. African Eagle has six projects in Zambia and Tanzania and a further two projects across eight licences under application in Mozambique and Tanzania.The company set out to develop its uranium portfolio in order to make its potential attractive to established uranium explorers.
Most of the company's uranium deposits have had some previous exploration - ranging from airborne to geological surveys and the initial results were positive. Several identified uranium anomalies are ready for further exploration.
- Omegacorp had entered into a joint venture with the Zimbabwean company, Lowenbrau Mining Services to explore the Kanyemba uranium deposits. Terms agreed under the deal were to the effect that Omegacorp would have a majority shareholding in the project. Sources in Zimbabwe have revealed that Lowenbrau Mining Services is owned by Robert Zhuwawo, a nephew of President Mugabe while Omegacorp - which had staved off the competition of eight other companies - is believed to have had the backing of Apollo Group, an Australian resource based investment and corporate advisory firm at the time of bidding. When awarding Omegacorp the deal last year, Zimbabwe's Mining Affairs Board announced that it had carried out an assessment and research into OmegaCorp and that the board had ultimately cleared the Australian company for the joint venture with Lowenbrau. However in an interview with an international news publication, Zimbabwe's Mines And Mining Development Minister said that the Zimbabwean government had decided that the mining of uranium be vested in a state-owned company. "Uranium is a strategic resource and only government can mine it," he said.