Yeelirrie Uranium Project
Figure 1 - Location of the Yeelirrie Valley project
The Yeelirrie Valley Uranium Project (Figure 1) is located in the north of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, some 650 kilometres to the northeast of Perth, and is located largely within the Shire of Wiluna. The project surrounds BHP-Billiton’s Yeelirrie uranium project, which is currently in the final stages of its Feasibility Study and is proceeding through the approvals process in Western Australia.
Blaze’s preliminary drill programme is providing valuable information and assisting with targeting uranium mineralisation in the area. This data, combined with remote sensing data (some of which is presently being acquired), will enable definition of high-quality targets for systematic drill campaigns in 2011.
Location & access
The Company’s tenement areas lie mainly on the Yeelirrie pastoral lease (which is owned by BHP-Billiton) but also covers sections of the Kaluwiri & Nabbel pastoral leases, both of which are privately owned.
The project can be accessed in a number of ways, however the most direct route is by proceeding north from Kalgoorlie along the Goldfields Hwy and taking the turn off to Yeelirrie Station, near Mt Keith. Access through the project is via various regional access roads and station tracks.
The Yeelirrie Valley project is composed of 9 granted exploration licences and 2 exploration licence applications (Table 1, Figure 2). These leases cover more than 1,600km2 within the catchment of the Yeelirrie palaeochannel and surround BHP’s Yeelirrie uranium project.
Table 1 - Licence schedule for the Yeelirrie Valley uranium project
Figure 2 – The licences of the Yeelirrie Valley Uranium Project, shown over the Yeelirrie valley. The Yeelirrie carnotite deposit is located in the centre of the map at 12 Mile Bore.
Blaze's suite of licences and applications cover much of the area surrounding BHP’s tenure at Yeelirrie. Blaze is undertaking a systematic programme of exploration across the project area, and has identified a series of targets:
• Yeelirrie Channel targets
• Modern tributary targets
• Fossil tributary targets
• Granite-hosted targets
Work continues on defining and refining exploration targets. During the quarter, a detailed prospectivity analysis was undertaken for Yeelirrie-style calcrete-hosted uranium mineralisation throughout the entire Yeelirrie Valley. The analysis covered all of Blaze's granted and pending licences, and includes BHP's Yeelirrie licence areas. It has successfully defined numerous targets (Figure 3) that supplement the other target types described above.
Figure 3 - Results of the prospectivity analysis for Yeelirrie-type calcrete-hosted uranium mineralisation throughout the Yeelirrie Valley. 62 target areas are identified on Blaze's licences and applications.
To summarise the prospectivity analysis over the Yeelirrie Valley:
• It utilises geophysics and geology, but not radiometrics.
• It is not dependent on the mineralisation being exposed (all known deposits in the valley are exposed at surface).
• Target areas are defined on each of Blaze's licences and applications.
• Most targets outside of Blaze's licences coincide with known mineralisation on BHP's licences.
• The analysis successfully delineates known outcropping uranium mineralisation at Yeelirrie (12 Mile) and other satellite prospects solely by using geological constraints not directly related to uranium mineralisation.
• The analysis resulted in the definition of 62 locations on Blaze's licences where geological conditions are favourable for the formation of uraniferous calcrete mineralisation in the subsurface.
The 62 defined target locations are each at least 1km in diameter and occur over an area in excess of 1600km2. In order to define which of these target areas are host to uranium mineralisation, a sampling programme is scheduled for the second quarter of 2011 to define broad uranium anomalies throughout the region.
Biogeochemical sampling will effectively sample vegetation from across the Yeelirrie Valley region. Uranium is known to concentrate in vegetation growing over buried mineralisation, and the root systems of plants can sample a large volume of soil (many cubic metres) to depths in excess of 20m. This proven technique will define broad anomalies in the vicinity of buried mineralisation. These can then be used to focus exploration efforts in follow-up exploration, including radon-cup tests and drilling.
The Yeelirrie Valley project represents a significant opportunity to undertake exploration within a recognised and well mineralised uranium catchment. The Blaze leases cover highly prospective regolith and stratigraphy, which shows indications of significant uranium mineralisation and requires well planned and systematic exploration.
The project is highly prospective for uranium for the following reasons:
1. It is located immediately adjacent to BHPB’s Yeelirrie uranium deposit, one of the largest uranium deposits in the world.
2. It may contain lateral extensions to the calcrete-hosted carnotite mineralisation of the Yeelirrie deposit.
3. It may contain other buried zones of calcrete-hosted carnotite mineralisation in other modern or fossil tributary drainages.
4. Granite- or alaskite-hosted uranium oxide mineralisation may lie within the Yeelirrie Valley project area. Such mineralisation could be the source of the uranium in the Yeelirrie deposit.
5. Outside of the Yeelirrie deposit, the Yeelirrie Valley has undergone only minimal exploration for uranium mineralisation.