Uranium Resources (URRE) Unit Completes Columbus Basin Project Claims Staking
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Uranium Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: URRE) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lithium Holdings Nevada LLC recently completed the staking of 392 new mining claims at the Company’s Columbus Basin Project, located in the Columbus Salt Marsh area of Esmeralda County, Nevada. The new mining claims, which encompass an area of approximately 7,840 acres (3,172 hectares), have expanded the Company’s property holdings in the project area to a total of about 10,880 acres (4,402 hectares) in a prospective basin for lithium brines.
Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are expanding our existing property holdings by over 2.5 times in the Columbus Basin Project area. This expansion, when combined with our recent acquisition of the Sal Rica Claims in western Utah, creates two distinct opportunities for advancement of our lithium brine exploration and development business. We will continue to leverage our extensive ISR uranium expertise to increase our lithium brine portfolio. We are optimistic about the opportunities ahead for URI.”
When it was first acquired, the Columbus Basin Project was previously referred to as the Nina Project. See the Company’s news release of August 23, 2016. In light of this expansion of the lithium holdings in Nevada, that Company now refers to those collective holdings as the Columbus Basin Project.
About URI’s Columbus Basin Project
The Columbus Basin Project is located in western Nevada, approximately 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of the town of Tonopah, Nevada, 140 miles (227 kilometers) southeast of the city of Reno and 137 miles (221 kilometers) southeast of Tesla Motors’ “Gigafactory”. Access to the project area is excellent, with two paved federal highways, US-6 and US-95 crossing the southern and eastern sides of the project area. Suitable electrical power is present in the northern part of the project area. The Columbus Basin Project is approximately 27 miles (43 kilometers) northwest of the Clayton Valley/Silver Peak lithium brine operation of Albemarle Corporation, the only lithium brine production facility in the United States.
The Columbus Salt Marsh is a closed drainage basin that covers an area of approximately 370 square miles (960 square kilometers) with a geologic setting that is dominated by lake and basin-fill sediments that have been past sources of borate and salt production. The basin is bounded on its south and east sides by Tertiary-age volcanic rocks, including some that are considered to be potential source rocks for lithium.
The new claims staked by URI cover portions of two significant “gravity lows”, one of which was identified during a geophysical survey completed during a geothermal energy exploration program in 2009. “Gravity lows” in sedimentary basins, such as the Columbus Salt Marsh, are often associated with areas of deeper sediment deposition coinciding with geologic structure in the underlying bedrock. Such geophysical anomalies, in addition to their close proximity to potential lithium source rocks, nearby geothermal circulation, and evaporative processes found on the existing playa, fulfill the major characteristics favorable for lithium brine development. See the 2013 report of the US Geological Survey entitled, “A Preliminary Deposit Model for Lithium Brines.”
The Company will commence with a grid geochemical sampling program of surface sediments across the entire Columbus Basin Project in October. The objective of the program is to characterize the near-surface geochemical environment and to follow up on the results of our previous reconnaissance-scale sampling. The results obtained from the program will be utilized to plan detailed near-term geophysical surveys. URI has and will continue to integrate multiple data sources to develop drill targets at the Columbus Basin Project for a 2017 drill program.
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