Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) has officially kicked off drilling for both lithium and uranium at its 100% owned Oregon-based project near the Nevada border, named after the company, as the Aurora Energy Metals Project (AEMP).
All in all, Aurora will spend the coming weeks and months completing a 17 hole campaign with an RC drill rig for approximately 3,400m of core equivalent at the project.
The AEMP is defined by a two-tiered geological system, where lithium lakebed sediments are confidently interpreted to occur above a body of uranium mineralisation present deeper underground.
The RC rig will first be mobilised to the northwest end of the tenement containing the project, described as a priority target.
The first eight of 17 drill holes will be sunk here, a decision informed by strong uranium intersections from five diamond drill holes completed back in 2011.
Those 2011 results, Aurora notes, turned over “outstanding uranium intersections…[which] consistently delivered shallow, thick, high-grade results.”
That same 2011 drill run also hit the overlying lakebed lithium sediments.
Aurora today highlights two drillhole results from that 2011 drill run, which run as follows:
19.2m @ 0.11% uranium and 11.0m @ 0.12% lithium
40.2 m @ 0.06% uranium and 27.3m @ 0.11% lithium
Investor information provider Undervalued Equity (UE) classifies high-grade uranium as that in concentrations over 0.40%.
UE does not include information on lithium grades, though, many other project operators with assay results over 1% describe results as high-grade.
Hard rock lithium deposits are often higher grade than those contained in brines, the exact nature of lithium held in lakebed sedimentation at the AEMP will be further ascertained at the conclusion of the maiden drilling campaign, launched today.
Aurora also today notes it has won all approvals from the Bureau of Lands Management (BLM), the US Federal-level regulatory body overseeing drilling approvals within the US.
The company now continues to work with Oregon’s state-level regulator, called the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). Aurora must have its activities greenlit by both BLM, and DOGAMI, before the company is completely in the clear to get on with it.
“It’s great to be up and running again,” Aurora’s MD Greg Cochran said.
For those playing at home, Cochran is the former chief of ASX-listed uranium player Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL).
“We see this as an important first step for testing the possible extension of the uranium resource whilst also hopefully expanding the area that hosts lithium in the shallow lakebed sediments,” Cochran added.
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