Materials

Aurora Energy Metals hits widespread lithium and uranium at US project

Tue 17 Jan 23, 11:09am (AEDT)
A hard-rock nugget of uranium ore is juxtaposed against a black background
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Aurora Energy Metals has confirmed the geological models of its fairly unique lithium-uranium play
  • Lithium in clay sediments found to be widespread at the project
  • Uranium oxide grades shown to be above those contained in current resource last updated in November

Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) reported its first round of assay results from the latest drilling activity at its US-based lithium-uranium Aurora Energy Metals Project on Tuesday, finding higher than expected uranium grades. 

The project is worth a quick overview: Aurora holds acreage in Oregon near the border with Nevada prospective for both lithium and uranium. The company boosted its landholding in September. 

Ancient lakebed sediments boasting lithium mineralisation in clay-type strata are modelled to overlie hard-rock uranium oxide mineralisation at depth “further down,” reflecting a two-tier mineralisation system. 

Those models have been further solidified by assay results from the most recent drilling campaign at the project which kicked off in October last year

Lithium widespread 

As for lithium, initial results show wide zones of mineralisation at concentrations over 0.20%. 

All in all, management sees the results as supportive of the potential economic impact the project implies. 

“The lithium results are proof of concept showing widespread lithium in clays at potentially economic grades, very similar to the giant deposits elsewhere in the McDermitt Caldera,” Aurora MD Greg Cochran said. 

The McDermitt Caldera has been the focus of the US Geological Survey (USGS) more than once, with the USGS highlighting the formation’s potential as a critical mineral reserve for domestic US supply.

For those playing at home: Greg Cochran is the former chief of Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL)

A number of other assay results are pending and Aurora expects to be in receipt of that data before February. 

Uranium in higher grades 

The second highlight in results for Aurora’s exploration team is that uranium oxide mineralisation is coming in at higher grades than published in the current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the project. 

The company only updated its uranium resource at the project in November last year, which currently sits at a whopping 50.6 million pounds of uranium

Grades reported on Tuesday were in concentrations up to 350 parts per million (ppm) higher than the current grades included in the existing MRE. 

Larger program underway 

The big takeaway: Aurora is only just getting started in Oregon. 

The company will launch a larger 2023 drilling campaign consisting of 47 Reverse Circulation (RC) drillholes and 21 Diamond Drill (DD) drillholes before July. 

That’s a considerable ramping up of activity: the maiden campaign was made up of 12 RC targets and only 5 DD holes were drilled. 

Aurora's three month charts
Aurora's three month charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Aurora was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.

Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to lithium grades over 20%. The correct figure should be 0.20%. The author apologises for any inconvenience caused.

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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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