Uranium Exploration in the Athabasca Basin
IsoEnergy Ltd. (TSXV:ISO,OTCQX:ISENF) is a mineral exploration company and subsidiary of NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX:NXE). The company has built a portfolio of early-stage mineral exploration properties in the prolific eastern Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, the home of the world’s highest-grade uranium deposits and mines.
IsoEnergy has a total of 27 properties in its growing portfolio. Of these, five were spun out from NexGen, three were acquired by IsoEnergy, and a further nineteen were incorporated into the portfolio through a highly competitive staking process. Twenty-six of IsoEnergy’s properties are located in the Athabasca Basin, where the company is primarily focused on exploring its Larocque East, Geiger, Radio, and Thorburn Lake properties. These properties host over 15 historic drill holes that have intersected uranium mineralization and have never been followed-up on. Drill testing around these holes is a major priority for the company.
In 2018 IsoEnergy discovered the Hurricane high-grade uranium deposit in its Larocque East property. This is the first significant uranium discovery in the Athabasca Basin in recent years since NexGen discovered its giant Arrow uranium deposit. The highly prospective Larocque East uranium exploration property contains a 15-kilometer portion of the Larocque Lake conductor system.
The discovery hole at Hurricane intersected an 8.5-meter-long thick zone that averages 1.26 percent uranium and included a higher-grade sub-interval of 3.58 percent uranium over 2.5 meters. Further exploration at the Hurricane zone has intersected numerous zones of uranium mineralization. The area remains open along strike and is a focus for IsoEnergy’s future exploration work. Highlights from the company’s most recent drill program include 74% uranium over 3.5 metres within 38.8% uranium over 7.5 metres.
The Geiger property covers 12,593 hectares of the Athabasca Basin after IsoEnergy expanded the property in late 2017 and early 2018. During a drilling program conducted in January 2018, a 15-meter interval with an average grade of 0.03 percent uranium, 2,600 ppm copper, 998 ppm nickel, 943 ppm zinc and 2.4 g/t silver was discovered.
The Thorburn Lake project is located seven kilometers east of Cameco Corporation’s (TSX:CCO) Cigar Lake mine and on-trend. The Cigar Lake mine has a reported mineral reserve of 221.6 million pounds grading 16.7 percent uranium. IsoEnergy is continuing its exploration of the property and considers it to be highly prospective for uranium deposits. Finally, IsoEnergy’s wholly-owned Radio property is directly adjacent to and on strike with the Roughrider uranium deposit which was acquired by Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO;ASX:RIO;NYSE:RIO) in February 2012. The property also hosts a large magnetic low corridor that may host extensions of the structures found at the Roughrider deposit.
NexGen is a major shareholder with 53.4 percent of IsoEnergy’s shares and has representatives on IsoEnergy’s board of directors. The team at NexGen was responsible for discovering and developing the Arrow deposit, which has an indicated resource of 179.5 million pounds of uranium contained within 1.18 million tonnes grading 6.88 percent uranium and an inferred resource of 122.1 million pounds of uranium contained within 4.25 million tonnes grading 1.30 percent uranium.
IsoEnergy has the support of an experienced exploration team with a track record of success in targeting basement-hosted mineralization. Additionally, the IsoEnergy team, including NexGen founders and board of directors, have been involved in the discovery of the three most recent high-grade uranium ore bodies in the Athabasca Basin and over 400 million pounds of uranium. Notably, significant shareholders, including NexGen, Cameco, Orano and insiders, hold approximately 75 percent of the company shares.
- Focused on finding and developing high-grade uranium projects in the vicinity of the Athabasca Basin’s major high-grade uranium deposits.
- Portfolio of highly-prospective uranium properties in the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan.
- 15,878-hectare Larocque East project hosts approximately 37 kilometers of graphitic conductors.
- The Hurricane Deposit discovery is the latest significant high-grade uranium discovery in the Athabasca Basin, with intersections of up to 74% uranium over 3.5 metres.
- Significant shareholder NexGen Energy holds 53.4 percent of the company shares.
- Led by a team of highly skilled uranium professionals with experience spanning exploration, development and production.