VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Aug. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Uranium Resources (CSE: URNM, OTCQB: KMMIF) (“First Uranium” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce the commencement of a coring campaign on the property of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Southwind Corporation.
To date, phase 1 coring is complete and consists of approximately 128 meters over 6 holes. All core is now at the lab awaiting assay results. Coring took place in Ligon, Hurley Senior, Hurley Junior and Preller landowner areas of which all are located within the vicinity of Cushman, Arkansas. Once these phase 1 results are received and reviewed, the Company will plan targets for a phase 2 drilling campaign.
Southwind holds agreements over 1,300 acres (5km2) of land in northern Arkansas mostly underlain by a phosphate deposit with strong rare earth element enrichment. This deposit has the potential for being a dual commodity asset, with strong forward demand for both phosphate fertilizers and rare earth metals for high tech industries.
Outcrop sampling to date has yielded phosphate ore with an average of 70% fluorapatite, which equates to 27% P2O5 content with an average total rare earth element content of 3,060 parts per million (ppm) (0.36%). By comparison, average rare earth content in worldwide phosphates is in the order of 300 ppm. Approximately 26% of the rare earth content in the Southwind ore are higher value magnet metals of Neodymium, Praseodymium and Dysprosium. Significantly, the ore is depleted in Thorium and Uranium.
An NI-43-101 Technical Report undertaken earlier this year, based on the current sample assays, local geology and historical research, has indicated potential in the Southwind holdings of up to 28 million tonnes of phosphate ore. A drilling and coring programme to further delineate the subsurface extent and grade of the ore body is now underway, with a programme of up to 25 core holes across the land holdings. This programme is estimated to take 6-8 weeks to complete. Following completion of the programme, the phosphate cores will be assayed and the geological model refined in order to further refine potential resource volumes.
In parallel, Southwind has been working with a specialist chemical company on the extraction of the rare earth elements from the raw ore using proprietary chelating polymers. Initial laboratory results are highly encouraging for the development of a bespoke beneficiation process to extract almost all of the rare earth content early in the phosphate processing.
As well, due to market conditions, the Company recently decided to conserve cash and reduce the total planned Southwind exploration expenditures. These market conditions have brought multiple new attractive opportunities of which the Company is evaluating carefully.
“We are excited to get drilling at Southwind to test zones of interest. In parallel, we are delighted at the opportunities that are being presented to us and we’re examining these opportunities carefully”, commented Robert Debeau, First Uranium Chief Executive Officer.
Results of this programme will be announced in due course.
In addition to the Company has taken a 17% equity stake in the Diamond Creek Phosphate mine located 70km southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. The project is ideally located to take advantage of Salt Lake City’s rich mining history and Utah’s favorable mining environment. This project has received the Organic Certification by the three required agencies. This certification allows the direct shipping of ore removing the requirement of chemical treatment upgrades.
On Behalf of the Company
Chief Executive Officer.
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