Elevate Uranium Limited ASX:EL8) has obtained significant results from an extensive airborne electromagnetic (Airborne EM) survey flown over the company’s uranium tenements, in the Namib Area of Namibia.
Managing Director, Murray Hill, said the Airborne EM survey has produced outstanding results, identifying additional expansive palaeochannel systems throughout the Namib Area, that cover an area of approximately 347 square kilometres, with a corresponding length of 280 kilometres.
“This survey provides the company with many additional exploration targets to explore, and the exploration team will now design and undertake drilling programs to confirm the palaeochannel locations and the grade of uranium mineralisation.
“Due to the extensive area of these systems, the company anticipates drilling programs will continue into 2022.”
The company commenced planning this Airborne EM survey in December 2020, with logistics planning, sourcing of the helicopter, government approvals and negotiations, continuing into early April 2021. The survey was subsequently flown in April 2021, with analysed and interpreted results now received.
During the 12 days of flying, a total of 5,217 line kilometres were flown, at a flight height of between 30 and 50 metres with 250 metre line spacing, using a SkyTEM helicopter based system.
Once the raw data was collated and validated by SkyTEM, it was transferred to the Company’s geophysical consultants, Resource Potentials in Perth, who processed the line Airborne EM data and compiled the information into a set of time and decay-based images.
Multiple images of the processed Airborne EM data were produced at different apparent depth slices, in order to define the position of potential palaeochannels within the large survey area, i.e. identify the deeper, more continuous subsurface palaeochannels from the shallow, more laterally extensive, surface drainage patterns. Previous drilling results were used to ‘calibrate’ the depth profiles and images to gauge the position of the palaeochannels more efficiently.
The SkyTEM data has been combined with historical AeroTEM Airborne EM data over the western portions of the tenement package, to gauge the likely extent of the palaeochannel systems to the west. The AeroTEM survey, undertaken by previous tenement holders prior to Elevate acquiring the tenements, was flown using 500 metre spaced flight lines and was not optimised for definition of near surface palaeochannels and therefore, shows a slightly more diffuse and less detailed image than the recent, optimised SkyTEM data.
Resource Potentials also provided several images representing different apparent depths of basement, and these have been used to identify areas which are likely to represent palaeochannel systems.
The areas identified to contain palaeochannels, cover an area of approximately 347 square kilometres, which is about the total size of Namib IV tenement. The corresponding length of the palaeochannels is estimated to be approximately 280 kilometres, which is the distance from Windhoek (capital of Namibia) to the coast at Swakopmund.
The SkyTEM survey has been successful in identifying significant palaeochannel systems and this information will be used as the basis for planning future drill programmes. The company expects that, once the SkyTEM palaeochannel positions are analysed in conjunction with the existing mineralised intersections from previous drilling in the Namib Area, a more targeted approach to identifying mineralisation within the identified palaeochannel systems will be defined.
The company will now design and undertake drilling programs to physically confirm the existence of the palaeochannels and determine the grade of uranium mineralisation. Due to the large and extensive area of these palaeochannel systems, the drilling programmes are expected to continue into 2022.
The Namib Area is characterised by featureless terrain with no obvious surface expression to identify palaeochannels. Prior to undertaking this Airborne EM survey, Elevate’s exploration method to locate these featureless palaeochannels, was to complete ground-based geophysics, using horizontal loop electromagnetic (“HLEM”) surveys, to confirm the location of the palaeochannels, before drilling to physically validate the HLEM survey results and to determine the grade of uranium mineralisation.
This exploration method has proved successful in identifying an extensive palaeochannel system hosting uranium mineralisation at Koppies and Hirabeb, and an extensive palaeochannel system at Namib IV on which drilling is planned to confirm the presence of uranium mineralisation.
The company may continue to use HLEM for smaller specific geophysical surveys, as an adjunct for this Airborne EM survey.
EPL 7435 was not included in this Airborne EM survey, as the environmental clearance certificate to allow access had not been issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. Tenements, in application, were not able to be included in the Airborne EM survey.