Quaterra Acquires U.S. Uranium Prospects
The acquisition program has been directed by exploration geologist, Patrick Hillard, who is considered one of the foremost uranium breccia pipe authorities in the industry. Mr.Hillard is credited with the discovery of six of eight breccia pipe ore bodies in northern Arizona that became profitable mines operated by Energy Fuels Nuclear. Recorded production during mining operations in the 1980’s and early 1990’s was in the range of 19 million pounds of U 3 O 8 . Total amount of mineable uranium discovered to date in breccia pipes in northern Arizona is estimated to be in the range of 35 million pounds. Mr. Hillard has been appointed as the company’s consulting geologist with responsibility for the conduct of exploration and development work on all properties in the three states.
Quaterra president, Dr. Thomas Patton said, “The northern Arizona breccia pipes are vertical columns of broken rock typically 200 feet in diameter and 3000 feet in height. They occur in flat-lying sediments, and originate by collapse of karst solution cavities in the Redwall Limestone. Some of them contain uranium mineralization beginning at depths from 700 to 1000 feet beneath the surface, with the mineralized zone typically being 500 to 800 feet thick”.
Some of the attractive features of breccia pipes as exploration targets are:
- Early stage exploration is quick and economical. It consists of air photo or satellite image interpretation, field examination, and geophysics or drilling a few shallow rotary holes. Relatively few claims are required to completely cover a target.
- Final evaluation requires relatively few drill holes. Three to four rotary holes 1800 feet deep are adequate to determine if the structure is mineralized, and typically 20 – 25 holes are adequate to define reserves.
- Ore grade in breccia pipes is typically relatively high grade, on the order of 0.50% U 3 O 8
- Underground mining is relatively economical due to the ore being distributed vertically rather than laterally.
- The small footprint of the operation facilitates reclamation. A mine/mill complex generally covers less than 5 acres, and all or most of the waste can be put back in the mine.
A program of geological mapping and air photo/satellite imagery interpretation will be carried out during the next three months to evaluate the 36 targets currently held in Arizona as well as to identify and review new prospects in Arizona and other regions. High priority targets will be evaluated by geophysics and drilling later in the year.
A recently executed agreement with a Nevada limited partnership allows Quaterra to purchase a 100% interest in properties located in Arizona, Wyoming and Utah, by making staged payments over a five year period totaling US$500,000 and issuing 600,000 common shares.The partnership will retain a 2% production royalty on any retained properties, 1% of which may be purchased for US$1 milliion.
Dr. Thomas Patton is the qualified person responsible for the preparation of this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Thomas Patton, President
Quaterra Resources Inc.
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