Update on Uranium Activities
VANE Minerals Plc (AIM: VML)
VANE Minerals Plc announces an update on its uranium activities in Utah and Northern Arizona conducted by VANE Minerals (US) LLC, its wholly-owned uranium subsidiary.Highlights
- 7,478 acres acquired on the Uravan Mineral Belt trend
- Further progress on breccia pipe drilling program
- Permit approved for further 75 drill holes on North Alice Extension ("NAE")
- First resource calculation (not yet NI 43-101 compliant) on initial drilling at NAE
- Permits approved for all five north rim breccia pipe projects
Abajo Basin, Utah
The Company has successfully acquired a 100% interest in an area previously held and explored with limited drilling by Union Carbide at the end of the last uranium cycle. The property extends to over 7,400 acres of exploration ground on the southwest trend of the Uravan Mineral Belt (uranium-vanadium) that extends from western Colorado into eastern Utah. The belt has historical production of over 63m lbs of uranium and 330m lbs of vanadium from 1948 to 1978.* The property consists of 3,678 acres of Utah Metalliferous Minerals Leases and 3,800 acres in Federal lode claims.
Northern Arizona Breccia Pipe Drilling
Further to its announcements on 19 September 2007 and 15 January 2008, the Company has completed additional drilling on the Miller Southwest Pipe as well as on its Eastern Star and Willaha targets and has received approval for additional drilling permit applications. Approvals have been received on Notices of Intent to drill from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on all five targets held by VANE on the north rim: NCP1, NCP3, NCP5, NCP7, and Cholla.
A second drill hole on Miller Southwest was completed to 1,650 feet that penetrated more of the pipe than the initial hole and intersected several intervals of uranium mineralization in the bottom 400 feet of the hole. The strongest mineralization consisted of intercepts of 7.5 feet at 0.04% eU3O8 from 1,254.0 - 1,261.5 feet and 5.5 feet at 0.04% eU3O8 from 1,277.0 - 1,282.5 feet. VANE geologists are encouraged by these intervals, which are located at the top of the favorable horizon for the development of ore-grade mineralization. The drill hole was outside the pipe below these intervals. Weaker mineralization was encountered deeper in the hole and is believed to be located in fractures.
At Eastern Star, two drill holes were completed 200 feet apart and located based on surface geology. Both holes intersected alteration and strong fracturing downhole consistent with the outlying zone of a mineralized pipe and one hole encountered 4X background gamma radiation at depth.
The Miller Southwest Pipe and Eastern Star targets are being evaluated for further drilling. Drilling is in progress on the Willaha target. The Company has been able to continue drilling operations through the winter and retain the drill rig, although unusually severe weather conditions have caused slight delays.
North Alice Extension drilling campaign in Lisbon Valley, Utah
Upon successful completion of the initial 17 drill holes previously announced (16 November 2007), the Company applied for, and has now received, approval from the BLM to drill an additional 75 holes over a larger permitted area. Drilling is expected to commence as soon as weather permits. A management estimate of an inferred resource has been reached from the initial drilling, where 8 of the 15 holes intersected ore-grade intercepts, of 120,000 lbs eU3O8 in mineralization with an average grade of 0.14% eU3O8 and a thickness of 8.8 feet. Whilst this estimate is not yet compliant with Canadian National Instrument (NI) 43-101, SRK Consulting is in the process of completing an NI 43-101-compliant report on the project with the intent of updating the report as further drilling results are obtained.
North Wash drilling project, Utah
The Company has submitted the Notice of Intent application to the BLM to drill up to 100 new exploration holes. Drilling is expected to commence once approval has been granted.
In line with VANE's business strategy, the Company continues to pursue opportunities aggressively and is in negotiations on a number of new projects.
Matthew Idiens- Director of Corporate Development commented: " We are really pleased with the progress being made on all fronts, the combination of the successful fund raising at the end of 2007, the approval of drilling permits together with the company's aggressive acquisition strategy puts VANE in an excellent position for value creation."
Kristopher K. Hefton, Chief Operating Officer VANE Minerals (US) LLC, BSc Geology, who meets the criteria of a qualified person under the AIM Rules - Guidance for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this announcement.
* Source: State of Colorado report- uranium mining in ColoradoEnquiries:
VANE Minerals Plc
+44 (0) 20 7667 6322
Ambrian Partners Limited
+44 (0) 20 7776 6417
Laura Llewelyn / Beth Harris
+44 (0) 20 7851 7480
Thomas Weisel Partners
+44 (0) 20 7290 9713
Notes To Editors:
VANE Minerals (VANE) is an AIM listed uranium mineral exploration and development company with a strong focus on North America. The Company has a strong portfolio of projects and was initially self-financed by production from the silver/gold Diablito Mine in Western Mexico.
VANE has built a substantial uranium portfolio in the US which, at present, is the main driver for the Company, offering considerable upside in these strong markets. VANE now has projects in Mexico, Paraguay and the US, incorporating exposure to uranium, gold, silver and copper.
The Company was founded by former members of the international exploration team of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., one of the world's largest producers of copper and gold. The team negotiated exclusive access to Freeport- McMoRan's global exploration database, made up of 7,000-plus files generated over nearly 100 years of exploration. For further information, please review: www.vaneminerals.com.