Purepoint Uranium to advance exploration at prospective Athabasca Basin projects

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By Imelda Cotton - 

Toronto-based Purepoint Uranium Group (TSX-V: PTU) has outlined ambitious exploration plans for the remainder of the year at its suite of 10 wholly-owned projects and one joint venture asset in Canada’s prolific Athabasca Basin.

The program of work includes follow-up drilling at some of the company’s high-priority targets, inaugural drilling at more advanced prospects and initial geophysical work over earlier stage properties.

Purepoint president and chief executive officer Chris Frostad said the company was keen to return to the Red Willow project where a winter drilling campaign identified a continuous corridor of elevated radioactivity associated with the Osprey Zone electromagnetic conductor.

A total of 12 holes for 2,088 metres encountered anomalous radioactivity at a shallow depth from surface across a distance of 1.2 kilometres.

“Moving the drill with large 300-metre step-outs, we were able to determine that the northern portion of this conductor was subject to an area-wide mineralisation event resulting in the potential for significant uranium deposition,” Mr Frostad explained.

“The discovery of a clearly-defined continuous zone of radioactivity extending across such a long distance with peaks exceeding 33,000 counts per second, provides an exciting preview of what our next program may demonstrate.”

Red Willow drilling

Drilling at Red Willow will resume in September to follow-up on the final hole of the winter program, which encountered numerous structures, with hematite alteration and silicification representing a highly prospective setting for uranium deposition.

Red Willow is situated on the northern edge of the eastern Athabasca Basin mine corridor in northern Saskatchewan.

The property is located close to several uranium deposits including Orano Canada’s McLean Lake operation, approximately 10km to the southwest, and Cameco Corporation’s Eagle Point mine, 10km to the south.

Orano and Cameco are currently two of the world’s largest uranium producers.

Flagship project

In June, Purepoint plans to conduct a deep-sensing ZTEM (Z-Axis tipper electromagnetic) airborne geophysical survey over its flagship Hook Lake project in the Patterson district to further refine drill targets in anticipation of a follow-up drill program.

Considered to be the most prospective exploration project in Athabasca Basin, Hook Lake is a joint venture between Cameco, Orano and Purepoint and has been operated by Purepoint since 2007.

It consists of nine claims over 285.98 square kilometres including the Spitfire high-grade discovery grading 53.3% uranium oxide over 1.3m, including a 10m interval of 10.3% uranium oxide.

Purepoint said it would also run an airborne gravity survey next month over the Carson Lake and Russell South projects, where significant preliminary work has already been completed.

The survey is expected to help identify alteration zones and refine drill targets when viewed in tandem with historic exploration results.

Richest uranium jurisdiction

The Athabasca Basin is the world’s richest uranium jurisdiction which is host to several of the highest-grade uranium deposits on the planet.

Spanning close to 100,000sq km across Saskatchewan and Alberta, the basin is a major contributor to Canada’s status as the world’s second largest uranium producer and the third largest holder of uranium reserves.

The region is home to the world’s largest uranium mine at Cigar Lake (owned by Cameco), which reports average grades of 14.69% uranium oxide and accounts for 13% of global uranium production.

Aggressive approach

Purepoint is focused on advancing properties with well-defined targets of strong, high-grade uranium potential, driven by an aggressive, systematic approach of identifying key projects with solid indicators and historical significance in the basin.

Since 2002, the company has acquired and explored over 5000sq km of property across Athabasca, and quickly released those which have demonstrated the fewest prospects.

The company has been left with a collection of well-understood projects containing dozens of clearly defined, uranium-bearing targets which have been safely maintained to maximise their value during the current uranium price revival.

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