UrAmerica’s land position covers many highly prospective areas for uranium exploration, including over 145,000 hectares directly surrounding the Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit, which is the largest and highest grade sedimentary hosted uranium deposit in Argentina, and Los Adobes Open Pit (historic), both controlled by Argentina’s National Commission of Atomic Energy (“CNEA”).
The CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit could be one of a series of high grade remnant uranium deposits yet to be discovered within the Los Adobes paleochannel and evidence has been obtained suggesting the presence of a roll front. The geologic environment is excellent for discovering high grade uranium deposits. UrAmerica controls the extensions of the Los Adobes paleochannel that could potentially host a world class uranium district containing well over 100 million lbs of high grade uranium.
UrAmerica is currently implementing a 30,000 meter drilling program, commenced in December 2011, which intends to define the extensions of the CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit’s mineralization onto UrAmerica’s property, while also better evaluating the roll front concept. Uramerica’s goal is to establish a 15 million lbs U3O8 resource by 2013.
LOCATION & SETTING
The Central Plateau Project is located in the Central Plateau of the Province of Chubut, Argentina, within the San Jorge Basin. It is approximately 1,300 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires and 350 kilometers west of Chubut’s capital city of Rawson. The project is easily accessible year round via National Route #25.
The Central Plateau of the Chubut Province is an extensive, flat and arid region. It has a very low population density, limited ranching and almost no tourism. Nonetheless, the Province of Chubut has adequate infrastructure to support exploration and mining, including 4 airports, 2 deep sea ports, power lines and paved roads that run though the Central Plateau, etc.
Temperatures are warm during summer days and cooler nights below 10 °C. However, in fall night frost becomes more regular and winters can sometimes be quite severe. Depending on elevation, daytime highs range from 3 °C to 9 °C, while nighttime lows go from −1 °C to as low as −6 °C. The lowest temperatures go from −25 °C to −30 °C with severe wind chill. Snow is common, but in low quantities due to aridity.
GEOLOGY & MINERALIZATION
The San Jorge Basin, which extends over 180,000 square kilometers and is at an average elevation of 800 meters, contains all of the conditions considered essential for the presence of world class uranium deposits. It is largely composed of Jurassic and Cretaceous continental sediments and volcanic with an abundance of organic matter, hydrocarbons, and inorganic reducing agents throughout.
The host rock (the Los Adobes Formation) is comprised of sandstone and conglomerates, providing high permeability, while the topography of the basin, dipping 5° North to South, provides a hydraulic head and fluid flow. The overlying formations, such as Cerro Barcino, are the source of the uranium present in the Los Adobes Formation. Discontinuous clay lenses and variations in permeability towards the edges of the paleochannel provide physical changes in the Los Adobes Formation for uranium deposition.
Uranium deposition has been observed in areas with organic matter and in faults, amongst others. In addition, drilling data has demonstrated oxidized conditions in the northern part of the Central Plateau and reduced conditions in the southern part (downstream) of the Los Adobes Formation, as well as evidence of the presence of a roll front system.
The CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit was discovered by the CNEA in 1979 and is currently estimated to contain 15.4 million lbs U3O8 at an average grade of approximately 0.30% eU3O8. There are numerous additional zones of mineralization within CNEA’s Cerro Solo property, but the 15.4 million lbs U3O8 are located in just two ore bodies. These ore bodies are directly adjacent to UrAmerica’s property.
The CNEA have announced their intention to begin open pit mining at Cerro Solo. They have been drilling there since 2009, presumably to increase confidence in the existing resource in order to complete a feasibility study prior to commencing mining operations.
Very limited drilling has been conducted on the areas surrounding the CNEA’s Cerro Solo property. In the 1970’s, the CNEA only conducted wide spaced drilling south of the Los Adobes Open Pit, where the mineralized Los Adobes Formation is exposed. This drill program resulted in the blind discovery of the Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit. Once a discovery at Cerro Solo was made, the CNEA limited their exploration drilling to the delineation of the mineralized body, starting at 100 meter offsets to 12.5 meter offsets today.
The CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit is described as a series of tabular shaped ore bodies containing abundant carbonaceous material and surrounded by oxidized sediments. UrAmerica’s exploration model considers the CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit to be a remnant of a major roll front system, very similar in origin to the roll front deposits in Wyoming and the Grants New Mexico Mineral Belt.
The CNEA’s Cerro Solo Uranium Deposit is hosted within sandstones and conglomerates of the Cretaceous Los Adobes Formation, which were laid down within a major northeast–southwest trending paleochannel. The uranium is transported by oxidizing solutions down the hydrologic gradient somewhere to the southwest of CNEA’s Cerro Solo deposit and onto UrAmerica’s property.
During 2008, limited drilling by UrAmerica’s predecessor, Urex, through its wholly owned Argentine subsidiary, UEM S.A., demonstrated that the uranium mineralization on the CNEA’s property clearly continues onto UrAmerica’s property. According to an independent qualified person, the UEM drilling defined a NI 43-101 compliant inferred resource of 1.6 million lbs U3O8 at an average grade of 0.08% eU3O8 in just two drill targets. UrAmerica now operates UEM S.A. and develops its properties through an exploration agreement and a JV with Patagonia Resources Ltd., who acquired UEM S.A. in February, 2010.