Orano to start drilling at Close Lake uranium project in Saskatchewan

Close Lake is located between the Cigar Lake and McArthur River uranium mines. Pictured here is McArthur River, the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposit. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Orano Canada received approval from the Close Lake joint venture partners for a helicopter-supported diamond drilling program in the northern part of the project located in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. 

The campaign is set to be of approximately 3,000 metres in up to four holes at an estimated cost of $1.1 million.

Drilling is expected to start on or about the second week of September 2019

Drilling is expected to start on or about the second week of September 2019 on highly-prospective target areas developed from Orano’s previous work at the project.

According to the company, significant gaps in historical drilling remain along many of the defined conductor trends at Close Lake. Thus, the exploration strategy remains to test for unconformity-style uranium mineralization by ground-truthing conductor locations by geophysical means, fence drilling of geological targets, and drilling unexplored and underexplored conductors that demonstrate favourable characteristics for uranium mineralization.

Orano Canada is the operator of Close Lake but it signed a binding option agreement with ALX Uranium (TSXV: AL) whereby ALX can earn up to a 51% participating interest in the project by funding exploration expenditures for $12 million and issuing 10,000,000 common shares of ALX to Orano. 

At present, Orano holds a 74.4004% interest in a joint venture at Close Lake, with Cameco Corporation (TSX: CCO) holding a 14.9849% interest, and JCU Exploration holding the remaining 10.6147% interest.

Close Lake is located in the eastern Athabasca Basin area of northern Saskatchewan and it consists of 21 mineral claims totaling 38,679 hectares. The eastern boundary of the project adjoins the Cigar Lake uranium mine and its southern boundary adjoins the McArthur River uranium mine.