ASX-listed precious and base metals explorer, developer and producer West Wits Mining has started the first phase of drilling to test uranium mineralisation at its uranium exploration target, which forms part of the Bird Reef exploration programme at the Witwatersrand Basin project (WBP).
In October 2021, the company restated its uranium exploration target to the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (Jorc) standard, including uranium as a targeted mineral in the Bird Reef exploration programme.
Historical exploration results from 2008 confirm consistent uranium mineralisation over about 3.3 km with more than 7 km of strike identified along the targeted Bird Reef section within the WBP mining right area.
West Wits’ Phase 1 uranium drilling programme is the first of a three-phased diamond drilling initiative aimed at converting the declared Jorc uranium exploration target into an inferred mineral resource.
The first phase of the drilling programme will entail the drilling of three drill holes, each about 120 m deep, in known areas of mineralisation, with the results thereof expected by the end of September.
A further two phases of drilling are planned once the data from the Phase 1 drilling has been analysed.
Phase 2 will follow the zone of mineralisation on the strike and down dip within the mining right area, while Phase 3 drilling is planned to test the continuous nature of the uranium-bearing reef to depths beyond 400 m.
Once Phase 2 is completed, West Wits anticipates it will be in a position to convert the exploration target to a Jorc-compliant inferred mineral resource.
After Phases 1 and 2 drilling are completed and the exploration target has been successfully updated to a Jorc-compliant inferred mineral resource, West Wits plans to complete a scoping study to confirm the viability of a standalone uranium mining operation on the Bird Reed Central area.
The scoping study is intended to motivate the third phase, which targets mineralisation below 400 m to test possible continuity of the zone.
Should the scoping study confirm viability, the exploration would be extended to drive towards an indicated mineral resource.