NexGen advances Arrow toward feasibility
With the release of the latest batch of assays from its Arrow uranium deposit at the Rook 1 property in Saskatchewan, Canada, NexGen Energy is getting closer to completing a feasibility study slated for the first half of next year.
The latest assays, part of a 131-hole winter drilling program totalling 57,282 metres, confirmed the continuity of mineralization across the A2 and A3 high-grade zones at Arrow, which is in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin.
Highlights from the latest holes released include, from A2: 46 metres of 4.51% U3O8 from 614 metres depth (hole 229c5), and 17 metres of 4.51% U3O8 from 570 metres depth (hole 241c2).
From A3, highlights include: 21 metres of 1.76% U3O8 from 496 metres depth (hole 238c3) and 44 metres of 1.66% U3O8 from 527 metres depth (hole 248c2).
“The predictability of mineralization at Arrow, as demonstrated by the 2019 drilling, further enhances the mineral resource estimate which supports the proposed mine plan and production profile at Arrow,” said Troy Boisjoli, NexGen’s vice-president of operations and project development.
“In my experience, the predictability of mineralization is a key component lending confidence to future production targets and this continuity demonstrated at Arrow with 309 drill holes to date is stronger than anything I’ve seen before.”
Most of the holes drilled in the winter program were infill holes, with the remainder drilled to test geotechnical and hydrogeological characteristics of the rock around proposed mine workings.
Indicated resources at Arrow stand at 2.9 million tonnes grading 4.03% U3O8 for 256.6 million lb. uranium oxide. Inferred resources add 4.8 million tonnes grading 0.86% U3O8 for 91.7 million lb. uranium oxide.
In addition to a feasibility study in the first half of the year, NexGen plans to submit an environmental assessment for Arrow, which formally began this April, in the second half of the year.
The company also recently engaged four local First Nations communities with Study Agreements to identify potential impacts to Aboriginal and treaty rights. The agreements commit the parties to negotiate impact benefits agreements in good faith.
A prefeasibility study completed last year pegged the cost of developing an underground mine at Arrow producing 25.4 million lb. U3O8 annually at $1.25 billion. At $50 per lb. uranium oxide, the study estimated the project has a post-tax net present value of $3.7 billion and an internal rate of return of 56.8%.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)