UEX Corporation ("UEX") is pleased to announce 2011 approved exploration and development program budgets for its Western Athabasca uranium projects ("Western Athabasca") totaling approximately $9.51 million, of which UEX will be responsible for approximately $4.66 million. These programs will primarily be directed toward the Shea Creek, Douglas River and Mirror River joint venture projects, all of which are 49% owned by UEX and 51% owned by the operator of the projects, AREVA Resources Canada Inc. ("AREVA"). UEX's cash position subsequent to the anticipated closing of its recently announced private placement on or about November 26, 2010 will be approximately $17 million (see UEX news release of October 29, 2010). Thus, UEX will be well financed to fund its 2011 programs.
Shea Creek Project
The majority of the 2011 Western Athabasca exploration program will be devoted to the Shea Creek Project ("Shea Creek"), for which approved 2011 exploration expenditures will be $7.90 million. UEX's 49% share of this exploration budget is $3.87 million.
Shea Creek hosts the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B deposits, and is the most advanced of the ten 49%-owned Western Athabasca uranium projects joint-ventured with AREVA. The Shea Creek deposits form part of a world class uranium system in which mineralization is being defined over a strike length exceeding three kilometres along the Saskatoon Lake graphitic conductor in the northern part of the project. Most areas of mineralization continue to be open and have high potential for both expansion and discovery of new zones (see UEX's news release of September 21, 2010).
UEX recently reported combined National Instrument 43-101 ("N.I. 43-101") compliant mineral resource estimates for the Kianna, Anne and Colette deposits of 63.6 million pounds U3
in the Indicated category and 24.5 million pounds U3
in the Inferred category at a cutoff of 0.3% U3
(see UEX news release dated May 26, 2010). Results from the 2010 drilling, which include the expansion of Kianna and the discovery of the 58B Deposit, are not included in this resource estimate.
2011 Shea Creek Exploration
The 2011 exploration program at Shea Creek will consist of diamond drilling utilizing three drills commencing in mid-February 2011, as well as a ground geophysical program which will be conducted to the south of the Anne Deposit. The drilling program will consist of approximately 30 drill holes focused on the following:
- Expanding the Kianna Deposit and associated areas of basement mineralization;
- Testing open areas of basement mineralization and high-grade unconformity mineralization at the Colette Deposit; and
- Drilling of untested areas between the Kianna and 58B deposits.
The 2011 drilling program in the northern and eastern parts of the Kianna Deposit ("Kianna"), consisting of approximately six directional drill holes, will follow up on successful drilling results from the 2010 program.
Recently reported intercepts from the SHE-136 series drill holes intersected new, open areas of structurally controlled mineralization north of the main Kianna basement zone. These intercepts will form additional mineralized zones which lie outside of the 2010 Kianna resource. Results obtained in this area include 1.84% eU3
over 16.6 metres in drill hole SHE-136-1, 0.98% eU3
over 4.8 metres in SHE-136-2, and 0.86% eU3
over 10.4 metres in SHE-136-3 (true widths of which have not yet been determined). These intersections occur within a large basement-hosted clay alteration zone which could contain multiple new mineralized zones. Four follow-up drill holes are currently planned for this area.
Open basement mineralization in the main Kianna basement zone will also be tested. Intercepts such as those in the recently reported drill hole SHE 135 4, which encountered 1.39% eU3
over 34.3 metres, including 2.06% eU3
over 8.8 metres and 1.70% eU3
over 16.2 metres, lie on the eastern fringes of the Kianna basement mineralization. Open eastern extensions of this mineralization will be tested by two drill holes during this program.
Area between the Kianna and 58B Deposits
The partial definition of the 58B Deposit in 2010 highlighted the significant exploration potential of the Shea Creek mineralization trend along the Saskatoon Lake Conductor. The 700-metre area between the Kianna and 58B deposits remains sparsely tested, particularly along a 400-metre strike extent of this corridor which has only been tested by one drill hole. Two pilot holes and approximately seven directional cuts have been initially planned to test this area.
Previous drilling at the Colette Deposit ("Colette") is widely spaced and, as a result, the extent of high-grade mineralization at the unconformity is poorly defined since drill holes are locally up to 100 metres apart. In addition, a significant zone of basement mineralization which is open down dip to the west was identified in multiple drill holes completed in 2007 and 2008 in the southern part of this deposit. Open basement-style mineralization was intersected over a strike length of 250 metres, containing intercepts such as 3.23% U3
over 8.0 metres, including 12.38% U3
over 0.5 metres and 23.93% U3
over 0.5 metres, in drill hole SHE-111-06.
Three pilot drill holes and approximately nine directional cuts are planned to test the open basement mineralization and adjacent untested areas for unconformity mineralization.
Anne South Geophysics
To date, all mineralization at the Shea Creek deposits has been found to be spatially associated with the Saskatoon Lake graphitic conductor. To better define its southern extent and morphology, a 58 line-kilometre ground Moving Loop SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) TEM (Time-domain Electromagnetic) survey is proposed over an area where the conductor may be intersected and offset by major northeast trending faults, in a setting similar to the Shea Creek deposits. The Saskatoon Lake Conductor here, and in all areas southeast of the Anne Deposit, is virtually untested by drilling. This program should aid in refining target locations.
Shea Creek Development Budgets
A budget of $53,000 has been approved separately from the exploration budget to advance geotechnical, infrastructure and engineering studies on the project, further assessing potential development strategies. This work will continue the baseline from much more extensive geotechnical work which was completed in 2009 and 2010.
Douglas River Project
The Douglas River Project ("Douglas River"), which is owned 49% by UEX and 51% by AREVA, is located immediately north of, and is contiguous with the Shea Creek property. No drilling has been carried out at Douglas River for more than a decade, when in the 1990's only fifteen widely spaced drill holes were completed in the entire project area. A budget of $735,000 has been approved for Douglas River exploration in 2011 (UEX's portion is $360,000).
The northern portions of the Colette Deposit extend to the Douglas River property boundary, so there is high potential for continuation of the Shea Creek mineralization corridor onto that property. Drill hole DGS-10 from a previous program, drilled 300 metres north-northwest of the Colette Deposit, intersected uranium mineralization at the sub-Athabasca unconformity grading 0.53% eU3O8 over 3.7 metres. No drilling has been completed between this intercept and the Colette Deposit.
An extensive zone of chlorite alteration with anomalous uranium geochemistry extends upward several hundred metres into the Athabasca sandstone along the Douglas River---Shea Creek project boundary in a pattern that is comparable to alteration developed above several major uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin. Consequently, this area may represent a central portion of the hydrothermal system associated with the Shea Creek deposits. Two pilot drill holes and two directional cuts are initially planned to test this area.
Mirror River Project
The Mirror River Project is another of UEX's 49%-owned Western Athabasca uranium projects that is joint-ventured with AREVA, the operator. A $713,000 budget for 2011 has been approved to carry out a ground geophysical SQUID TEM survey of up to 118 line-kilometres. UEX's 49% share of this budget is $349,000. This geophysical program is planned to better refine conductive areas outlined by a previous airborne MEGATEM® survey. These conductors have the potential to be associated with unconformity-style uranium mineralization where they are intersected by an interpreted northerly-trending fault zone in the proposed survey area.
Beatty River Project
The Beatty River Project ("Beatty River") is 50.70% owned by AREVA and 49.30% by JCU (Canada) Exploration Company, Limited ("JCU"). UEX is earning a 25% interest in the project from JCU by funding $864,500 of exploration expenditures by December 31, 2011. Expenditures on Beatty River in 2011 will be sufficient to allow UEX to complete its earn-in for a 25% interest, with the UEX share amounting to approximately $30,000.
To view maps and other information regarding UEX's exploration projects, please refer to UEX's website at www.uex-corporation.com
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by R. Sierd Eriks, P.Geo., UEX's Vice-President of Exploration, David Rhys, P.Geo., UEX Advisory Board member, and Erwin Koning, P.Geo., AREVA's District Geologist, West Athabasca Region, who are Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
UEX is a Canadian uranium exploration and development company actively involved in 18 uranium projects, including six that are 100% owned and operated by UEX, one joint venture with AREVA that is operated by UEX, as well as ten joint-ventured with AREVA and one under option from JCU, which are operated by AREVA. The 18 projects, totaling 338,972 hectares (837,618 acres), are located in the eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world's richest uranium belt, which accounts for approximately 22% of the global primary uranium production. UEX is currently developing several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Kianna, Anne, Colette and 58B Deposits at its 49%-owned Shea Creek Uranium Project, a joint venture with AREVA in the western Athabasca Basin, and the Horseshoe, Raven and West Bear Deposits located at its 100%-owned Hidden Bay Project in the eastern Athabasca Basin.
About AREVA Resources Canada Inc.
AREVA, a uranium exploration, mining and milling company, is a subsidiary of AREVA group, the global nuclear industry leader with an expanding presence in the renewable energies field, and 50,000 employees worldwide to help supply safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA group, through its Canadian subsidiary, has significant interests in several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin, including the McClean Lake, Midwest and Shea Creek deposits operated by AREVA, as well as the McArthur River, Cigar Lake and Millennium deposits operated by Cameco Corporation. AREVA also holds a majority interest in the Kiggavik deposits in Nunavut.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Graham C. Thody
President & CEO
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" that are based on UEX's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding UEX's resource estimates, outlook for our future operations, plans and timing for the commencement or advancement of exploration activities on our properties, and other expectations, intention and plans that are not historical fact. The words "estimates", "projects", "expects", "intends", "believes", "plans", or their negatives or other comparable words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from UEX's expectations include uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and geology, additional drilling results, continuity and grade of deposits, public acceptance of uranium as an energy source, fluctuations in uranium prices and currency exchange rates, changes in environmental and other laws affecting uranium exploration and mining, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in UEX's Annual Information Form and other filings with the securities commission on SEDAR. Many of these factors are beyond the control of UEX. Consequently, all forward-looking statements made in this news release are qualified by this cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that actual results or developments anticipated by UEX will be realized. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, UEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.