Trading Symbol: UEX-TSX
VANCOUVER, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - UEX Corporation ("UEX") announced today that
AREVA Group subsidiary AREVA Resources Canada Inc. ("AREVA") has reported to
UEX plans for 2008 at their Shea Creek Uranium Project ("Shea Creek"), which
is located in the western Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada.
Budgets for 2008 include $10.0 million for development and $10.3 million for
exploration, including contingencies, at Shea Creek.
Shea Creek hosts the Kianna, Anne, and Colette Deposits and is one of the
ten Western Athabasca Projects currently under option from AREVA, the
operator. UEX has earned a 40.0% interest in the ten projects and has spent in
excess of $27.8 million on exploration and development expenditures in just
over three years, as of October 31, 2007. UEX has an option to earn an
additional 9% interest, and anticipates that it will reach the required
expenditures of $30.0 million to earn its full 49% interest by December 31,
2007, at which time, AREVA and UEX will form a Joint Venture where
expenditures will be shared 49% by UEX and 51% by AREVA.
"The increased scope and size of the programs at Shea Creek in 2008
demonstrate the strong commitment by AREVA and UEX to this world-class uranium
project," said Stephen Sorensen President and CEO of UEX.
2008 Development Budget at Shea Creek
In 2007 the Shea Creek Project moved from exclusively exploration to
include initial development work totaling approximately $3.3 million. A budget
of $10.0 million is planned for development work in 2008.
The first phase of development proposed by AREVA is the sinking of one or
two underground exploratory shafts, an exploration drift, with related test
mining facilities. This infrastructure will later be used to better define the
potential ore bodies, their mineral resources and geology, possible mining
methods and mining conditions. As first announced (see UEX News Release,
April 10, 2007) AREVA has started the necessary studies for site
characterization and base line studies for the exploratory shaft(s). The first
proposed shaft has been strategically located between the Kianna and Anne
Deposits to provide underground access to both deposits as well as the
highly-prospective corridor between them (see UEX's website at
www.uex-corporation.com for a map depicting the shaft location). Each of the
proposed shafts will have a vertical depth of approximately 950 metres and an
estimated capital cost of $100 million (CDN).
Any shaft sinking must be preceded by the required regulatory process,
the first step of which is the submission to the regulators of the project
description. AREVA is planning to submit the project description to the
federal and provincial regulatory agencies in spring 2008 for the exploratory
shaft(s), an exploration drift, and related test mining facilities.
Work to support the project description began in 2007. Exploration
drilled five pilot holes - two of these pilot holes SHE-123 at Kianna - depth
847 metres and SHE-125 at Anne - depth 821 metres were also used for
hydrogeological purposes. Packer tests on the two holes were performed by
Golder Associates during the summer of 2007. The importance of these tests is
to estimate groundwater inflows in underground openings. A final report is
expected later this year.
In addition five hydrogeological holes were drilled in 2007 each to a
depth of 800 metres in the vicinity of the first planned shaft location. Three
holes were instrumented with Westbay multilevel piezometers and the remaining
two instrumented with vibrating wire piezometers. The instrumented
hydrogeological holes were used as observation stations for a well pumping
test conducted in September 2007 in which water was extracted from pilot hole
SHE-121 over a period of several days with an air lifting apparatus. Well
development and water sampling of the Westbay installations was undertaken in
the fall of 2007. Hydraulic response testing was also conducted in the Westbay
monitoring stations later in fall 2007.
Environmental baseline studies were initiated pertaining to surface
hydrology with monitoring stations and lake level gauges installed during the
summer of 2007. Aquatic and terrestrial ecology began in July 2007. The
aquatic studies began in September 2007 followed by terrestrial studies
presently under way. These studies will be ongoing into next year.
Environmental Impact Statement and Licensing
Baseline data collection and site characterization will continue in 2008
in support of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Discussions with the
required regulatory authorities will commence in early 2008 in preparation for
filing the project description.
Hydrogeological site characterization will focus on test work in the
vicinity of the proposed exploratory shaft(s) and on collection of far field
(regional) information. It will include drilling boreholes for test work such
as geotechnical/geophysical data collection, packer testing, installation of
instrumentation for collection of hydraulic head and groundwater chemistry
data, and well pumping tests. Regular monitoring of existing and planned
stations will continue to expand the baseline database.
Investigations in Advance of Shaft Sinking
In 2008, AREVA will work towards identifying potential shaft locations
with the drilling and logging of up to three shaft pilot holes (approximately
3,000 metres). The timing of these holes will be coordinated with the
Exploration Department to ensure drill availability and are currently expected
to be drilled from June to August. The geophysics of the structures will be
studied to provide information as to the suitability of sites tested.
AREVA proposes to employ a mining contractor to begin preliminary design
for the shaft and hoisting plant including the identification of long lead
items required to be ordered in 2009 to 2010 timeframes.
Studies, Engineering & Procurement
During 2008, the drilling of a hole is planned to obtain a fresh core
sample for metallurgical testing to determine the amenability of the Shea
Creek ore to the milling process. Analysis of the drill core will also be made
from a mining prospective including the collection of density data. Other
proposed tests on the core will include the performance of fire assays for
gold, and PGM (platinum group metal) analysis. Core samples that are
representative of waste rock will also be collected and laboratory testing
(waste rock characterization) performed to determine suitable management
Also planned for 2008 is the drilling of a geotechnical hole
(approximately 1,000 metres), with detailed geotechnical logging and
collection of samples for rock strength testing. This field program is
expected to take two months at site.
Studies are budgeted to identify potential mining methods including dose
estimates and methods of radiation protection, using current information. Also
included is an estimate of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) fees
that will relate to the review of the project description and time spent to
develop the Environmental Assessment guidelines for the sinking of the
2008 Exploration Budget at Shea Creek
Four exploration drills will be utilized at Shea Creek for the first six
months of the year. The fourth drill will be diverted to the 2008 development
program leaving three exploration drills at Shea Creek for the remainder of
the year. A budget of $10.3 million including contingencies is planned for the
Shea Creek Uranium Project.
About AREVA Resources Canada Inc.
AREVA, a uranium exploration and mining company, is a subsidiary of AREVA
Group, a worldwide expert in the energy field with a strong industrial
presence in over 40 countries. AREVA Group, through its Canadian subsidiary,
has significant interests in several uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin,
including the producing McClean Lake Deposits operated by AREVA, the producing
McArthur River Deposit operated by Cameco Corporation, the Millennium Deposit,
and the Cigar Lake Deposit.
UEX is a Canadian uranium exploration and development company actively
involved in 19 uranium projects, including seven that are 100% owned and
operated by UEX, one joint venture with AREVA Resources Canada Inc. ("AREVA")
that is operated by UEX, ten under option from AREVA and one under option from
Japan-Canada Uranium Company, Limited, which are operated by AREVA. The 19
projects, totaling 386,650 hectares (955,400 acres), are located in the
eastern, western and northern perimeters of the Athabasca Basin, the world's
richest uranium belt, which accounts for approximately 25% of the global
primary uranium production. UEX is currently developing several uranium
deposits in the Athabasca Basin which include the Anne and Kianna Deposits at
its Shea Creek Uranium Project, a joint venture with AREVA in the western
Athabasca Basin, and the West Bear, Raven and Horseshoe deposits located at
its 100% owned Hidden Bay Project in the eastern Athabasca Basin. UEX's
exploration and development budgets for 2007 total $30.0 million, and the
Company has a cash position of approximately $52.5 million.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF UEX CORPORATION
Stephen H. Sorensen,
President & C.E.O.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" that are based on
UEX's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections. These
forward-looking statements include statements regarding UEX's outlook for our
future operations, plans and timing for the commencement or advancement of
exploration activities on our properties, and other expectations, intention
and plans that are not historical fact. The words "estimates", "projects",
"expects", "intends", "believes", "plans", or their negatives or other
comparable words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking
statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks,
uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Many of these factors are beyond the control of UEX. Consequently,
all forward-looking statements made in this news release are qualified by this
cautionary statement and there can be no assurance that actual results or
developments anticipated by UEX will be realized. For the reasons set forth
above, investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking
statements. UEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise
forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.
For further information:
For further information: UEX CORPORATION, Suite 1007 - 808 Nelson
Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6Z 2H2, PH: (604) 669-2349, FAX (604)
669-1240, Website: www.uex-corporation.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org