Saturday, November 13, 2010

Arizona uranium exploration - more targets, shift to state lands

The rising price of uranium in response to growing global, especially Chinese, demand is drawing more attention to Arizona resources.

We've been hearing anecdotal reports that new geophysical techniques in northern Arizona are identifying hundreds and possibly thousands of potential breccia pipes. An announcement this week from Energy Fuels and Royal Resources Ltd reports on some of the drilling results into a couple of these anomalies. They used a helicopter-borne Time Domain Electromagnetic Geophysical Survey with a VTEM-M system along with 3-D seismic data. While they did not hit uranium mineralization they did confirm the discovery of breccia pipes using these technologies. [right, USGS SIR 5025 Plate 1, showing breccia pipes and related features in northern Arizona]

In another interesting development, I see that VANE Minerals is focusing their exploration efforts on state lands rather than federal. This seems pretty clearly the result of the withdrawal of nearly a million acres of federal land to mineral exploration last year and fears among companies that investments on any federal lands will be at risk.

VANE's CEO Steve Van Nort is quoted saying, "'Since moving our emphasis to the 'state lands', operations are running more smoothly and the state has proven to be supportive of exploration."

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