The Nose Rock property is located in McKinley County, New Mexico, on the northern edge of the Grants Uranium District, approximately 10 miles north-northeast of the Company’s Crownpoint & Hosta Butte project. The property consists of deeded mineral rights with no holding costs covering 6,400 acres and 42 unpatented lode mining claims comprising approximately 800 acres.
The property and surrounding area were extensively explored during the 1970s and 1980s by Phillips Uranium Corp. Approximately 1,199 drill holes were completed within deeded mineral rights while more than 185 holes were drilled within unpatented lode claims that collectively comprise the project.
In 1977, a feasibility study was completed and Phillips began mine planning for the greater Nose Rock area, with production expected to begin using conventional underground mining methods. The study included the development of five underground mines and a 2,500 tons per day mill with potential to expand to 5,000 tons per day. However, the Nose Rock project was suspended because of an abrupt decline in the uranium market price in the early 1980s.
The Nose Rock project has potential for ISR as mineralization is located below the water table.
EnCore’s staff has not done sufficient work to classify the historical mineral resource estimates (reported below under Historical Exploration), as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. Further compilation of the historic geological and drilling data, resource modelling and possible confirmation drilling will be necessary to convert the historic estimates reported in the table below to NI 43-101 compliant resources/reserves.
Geology and Mineralization
Most of the uranium deposits in the Grants Mineral Belt, including in the Nose Rock area, are hosted by the fluvial sand units of the Westwater Canyon Member of the Morrison Formation. The Westwater Canyon ranges from 50 feet to over 300 feet in thickness in the Grants Mineral Belt. The larger uranium deposits tend to occur in the relatively thicker sand units.
Uranium mineralization at the Nose Rock project is hosted in the 18 foot thick middle Westwater Canyon arkosic and medium to fine grained sand of the 305 foot thick Westwater Canyon. Uranium mineralization occurs as both tabular and roll-types within three units of the Westwater Canyon sand. The sand units are separated by semi-continuous mudstone units.
Under “Rules and Policies” of NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure enCore is required to report these estimates as Historical Mineral Resource Estimates.
|Table 1 – Historical Mineral Resource Estimate for the Nose Rock Uranium Property (Mining diluted to at least 8 ft @ 0.075% U3O8, or GxT = 0.6 %ft)(1)(2)
- On February 9, 2009, Strathmore Minerals Corp., a former Nose Rock project owner, filed an NI 43-101 “Technical Report on Section 1, T18N, R12W, Nose Rock Uranium Property, McKinley County, New Mexico” (M. Hassan Alief) on SEDAR, including a mineral resource estimate for the property. The estimate was made using a polygonal estimation methodology of uranium content based on gamma logs from more than 185 holes drilled on the property by Phillips Uranium Company. This report estimated a measured resource of 309,570 tons containing 905,681 pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.146%, an indicated resource of 574,521 tons containing 1,687,805 pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.147% and an inferred resource of 167,012 tons containing 452,129 pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.135%.
- On December 31, 2011, Behre Dolbear & Company completed a report for URI for the property excluding Section 1, T18N, R12W, entitled “Technical Report on the Nose Rock, New Mexico, Uranium Project of Uranium Resources, Inc.”. The report outlines a historic mineral resource estimate for the property. The estimates were prepared using a polygonal methodology based on gamma logs from more than 1,200 drill holes. This report estimates a measured resource of 2.7 Mt containing 7.7 M pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.14%, an indicated resource of 4.8 Mt containing 14.5 M pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.15% and an inferred resource of 3.2 Mt totaling 9.7 M pounds of U3O8 with an average grade of 0.15%.
Under “Rules and Policies” of NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure this mineral resource estimate must be reported as a Historical Resource Estimate. A qualified person has not done sufficient work for enCore to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource estimate. The Company does not treat this historical estimate as a current mineral resource estimate, and the estimate should not be relied upon.
Note: The U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) prepared independent uranium resource estimates for Sections 31 and 36, that are within 10% of those reported here thus providing verification of the measured and indicated estimates for those enCore mineral properties. In addition, the chemical analysis of 46 samples from 24 core holes on Sections 31, 32 and 36, indicate the uranium mineralization is in equilibrium. (Clark, Dean, memos titled “Ore Reserve Calculations”, Phillips Uranium Corp, May 25, 1977, and “Equilibrium Data, Nose Rock Area”, 8/17/1977)
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.