New Mexico

Checkerboard Mineral Rights

Project Highlights

Project Details


The land position covers approximately 300,000 acres of deeded ‘checkerboard’ mineral rights, also known as the Frisco and Santa Fe railroad grants. They are located within a large area of about 75 miles long by 25 miles wide along trend of the Grants Uranium District.

The properties are located primarily in McKinley County which lies in northwestern New Mexico. The properties are approximately 125 miles northwest of Albuquerque, and as close as 4 miles from the town of Crownpoint.

Mineral Resources

There are no current uranium resources or reserves on the McKinley Properties.

Geology and Mineralization

The mineral rights lie on the Chaco Slope of the 100-mile-wide San Juan Sedimentary Basin. The basin is filled with up to 15,000 feet of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments consisting of predominantly sandstone, siltstone and shale with minor limestone. The basin is asymmetric with the southern limb dipping gently to the north and the northern limb dipping steeply to the south.

Within the basin, the Jurassic Morrison Formation is the primary host for the uranium mineralization. The Morrison Formation is divided into three members. The lowest is the 255-foot-thick Recapture Shale Member which is overlain by the 350-foot thick Westwater Member, which in turn is overlain by the 115 foot thick Brushy Basin Shale. The Westwater Member is the most important host to uranium mineralization and is composed of fine- to coarse-grained, poorly sorted, feldspathic sandstone with conglomeritic zones and minor discontinuous mudstone and shale units.

The sandstone units of the Westwater Member strike west-northwest and dip gently to the northeast. The units are generally oxidized up dip and to the south of the mineralized zone and reduced downdip and to the north of the mineralized zone. The oxidized units are generally reddish-brown from the iron content, whereas the reduced units are generally green to grey due to the organic compounds, reduced iron compounds, or clay-chlorite assemblages.

Historical Exploration

Significant exploration has occurred throughout this large land holding, which includes parts of the Crownpoint, Hosta Butte, West Largo and Ambrosia Lake-Treeline properties.

Douglas H. Underhill, PhD, CPG, enCore’s Chief Geologist, is the Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and verified the information presented throughout this enCore Energy website.