Canadian explorer Searchlight Sources (TSXV: SCLT; US-OTC: CNYCF) is producing renewed curiosity in grassroots uranium exploration exterior the established boundaries of the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan, chairman and VP exploration Alf Stewart tells The Northern Miner.
In October, the corporate introduced high-resolution aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys on the corporate’s Kulyk Lake uncommon earth factor (REE) venture that had returned fascinating values for uranium and thorium. The event about 165 km north of La Ronge, Saskatchewan, and 65 km south of the previous Key Lake uranium mine, prompted a junior staking rush in an space not previously thought-about as potential for high-grade uranium the basin is legendary for.
In September 2021, Particular Tasks Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, accomplished high-resolution aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys masking about 39 sq. km of the Kulyk Lake claims. The outcomes outlined important new thorium and uranium targets and a number of other historic REE, uranium and thorium showings, stated Stewart.
“Searchlight makes use of thorium as a pathfinder for REEs within the mineral monazite, which is the principal mineral within the recognized Kulyk Lake REE exhibiting. The best thorium worth from the radiometric survey (5.3 elements per million) was positioned over the recognized Kulyk Lake REE trenches, which yielded historic assays of 56.18% whole uncommon earth oxides (TREO),” stated Stewart in an interview.
Moreover, the radiometric survey recognized the Kulyk Lake goal as half of a bigger anomalous thorium zone, at the very least 3 km in size.
“These are glorious outcomes from the radiometric survey, highlighting the recognized Kulyk Lake trench space and tying it to a major multi-kilometre thorium anomaly,” stated Stewart. “The uranium outcomes from the radiometric survey had been equally optimistic, figuring out a major new, beforehand unknown uranium goal and pinpointing recognized uranium showings, together with the Eldorado exhibiting with historic assays of 0.785% uranium trioxide (U3O8).”
The newly recognized anomalous uranium zone has a number of excessive values, ranging as much as 5.74 ppm, the best uranium worth of the survey.
Observe-up area work is being deliberate for spring 2022, however the preliminary knowledge offers Stewart the boldness the corporate is on to one thing “extraordinary.” Searchlight accomplished further staking at Kulyk Lake throughout July and October, increasing the declare block from 61.1 sq. km to 317.1 sq. km.
“And based mostly on this radiometric survey, we’ve expanded our property to 300 sq. km and are actually surrounded by uranium explorers. Purepoint Uranium (TSXV: PTU) to the north, Ross McElroy to the east, Skyharbour Sources (TSXV: SYH), and others are all within the space surrounding us. They’re now wanting within the basement as a result of they notice that the basement may host intensive deposits,” stated Stewart.
“The important thing query is, how near the Athabasca basin do it’s a must to be? And my suggestion is perhaps folks have been sticking too near the boundaries of the Athabasca Basin, and probably basement, however deposits might exist anyplace throughout the Willeston belt, not excellent on the fringes and beneath the Athabasca cowl.”
Stewart defined that Searchlight was integrated on January 21, 2000, as a Nevada company and migrated to Canada on Might 31, 2013. The corporate has been concerned primarily within the acquisition of its mineral properties and the exploration and growth of its U.S.-based mineral properties and subsequently of its Canadian properties.
Via the hawk-eyed surveillance of the Saskatchewan evaluation recordsdata, firm president and CEO Stephen Wallace might stake the Kulyk Lake claims realizing that a number of the highest TREO seize pattern grades globally had been traditionally discovered on the property.
“This venture has a number of the highest-grade rare-earth assays globally at over 50% uncommon earths and it’s by no means been drilled,” stated Stewart.
The REEs, the uranium and thorium values report back to a monazite mineral at Kulik Lake.
In accordance with Stewart, the aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys flown by Particular Tasks had been designed to detect high-grade uranium on the floor. This was the identical approach utilized by the contractor that led to the invention of high-grade uranium boulders at Fission Uranium’s (TSX: FCU; LSE: 0UW4) flagship Patterson Lake South (PLS) venture, which additionally prolonged the southwestern margins of the Athabasca Basin.
PLS was found due to a Particular Tasks group boulder survey, which in the end led to discovering the mineralizing construction within the basement. And that led to the invention of NexGen Vitality‘s (TSX: NXE; NYSE: NXE; ASX: NXG) Arrow deposit, which can also be on strike with PLS. “All of it comes again to floor radiation surveys,” stated Stewart.
The information factors to Searchlight having a 2 km-long by 500-meter vast space of high-grade floor uranium spikes simply off to the southwest from Kulyk Lake. “There isn’t any recognized uranium incidence. There’s no drilling, no trenching, nothing. It is a brand-new floor discovery of uranium, and we’re immediately measuring radioactivity from uranium. So, it might be aggressive to name it a discovery once we haven’t even been on the bottom. However that’s what we’ve received,” stated Stewart.
The invention of PLS resulted from a three way partnership between Alpha Minerals and Fission Uranium, which shared the venture administration on a year-by-year foundation. Alpha Minerals is a sister firm to Searchlight, with Ben Ainsworth on the board of administrators. He gained the Prospectors and Builders Affiliation of Canada’s Prospector of the 12 months award collectively with Ross McElroy for the invention of PLS. He was the chairman of Searchlight Sources till he handed away in 2017.
Stewart stated the distinction with Kulyk Lake was that the preliminary discoveries within the Athabasca basin space from the late Sixties and early Seventies, comparable to Rabbit Lake, Midwest Lake, Key Lake, had been unconformity deposits. However PLS and the Arrow deposit are usually not unconformity deposits; their basement constructions are within the older crystalline basement beneath the Athabasca basin.
Maybe the closest comparable for the rising Kulyk Lake discovery is the previous Eagle Level mine, which was mined for about 20 years and a basement-hosted deposit.
“And we’re simply on strike off to the southwest. We’re off the principle searching floor for unconformity deposits. We’re simply far sufficient away that there’s by no means even been any drilling for uranium or uncommon earths on our property that we are able to discover within the recorded work,” stated Stewart.
“I discover that astounding we’re 65 km south of Key Lake uranium mill, conceptually, inside trucking distance of a mill. We’re out on this Willeston area’s extremely metamorphosed metasediments, on the lookout for uncommon earths, and we discovered a serious uranium exhibiting at the very least from our geophysics. And since we’ve discovered this, we weren’t on the lookout for uranium, however uranium took off kind of in parallel with our survey. And now this seems like essentially the most thrilling factor in our portfolio,” he stated.
Searchlight owns Kulyk Lake 100% with no royalties.
“What they discovered with their radiation survey was boulders on the floor, they usually had been pushed by a glacier greater than 2 km from the constructions within the basement. At Kulyk Lake, we see very shallow overburden, extra of a typical Canadian Defend model, three to 4 toes of overburden. The distinction between Kulyk Lake and PLS is the overburden round Patterson Lake is 50 meters thick. And the precise strongest anomaly is alongside a ridge, which is 50 meters excessive and an enormous rocky hill in Saskatchewan. I don’t assume we’re going to be tracing boulders. We expect we’re attempting to in all probability discover some high-grade vein in situ on the floor,” stated Stewart.
Whereas uranium generates extra curiosity, Kulyk Lake’s uncommon earth potential can also be important. “We’ve additionally discovered a possible 3-km-long thorium anomaly that should be prospected. The showings comprise neodymium and praseodymium, and a bit of little bit of dysprosium. These are the weather utilized in regenerative braking techniques in electrical automobiles. So, we have now a double-barrelled alternative at Kulyk Lake for each uncommon earths and uranium,” stated Stewart.
“We’re formulating our plans proper now. We’re going to have boots on the bottom as early within the season as sensible — as quickly as the bottom is sufficiently dry and snow-free — in all probability mid-April to the most recent mid-Might. And we’ll be producing information,” stated Stewart.