Deep Yellow has ticked off a succession of drilling milestones ahead of a potential resource estimate boost at the Tumas uranium project in Namibia. Drilling at the Tumas 3 West prospect has now been completed, finalising the company’s larger Tumas 3 reverse circulation infill program. An updated mineral resource estimate for Tumas 3 is due out this month.
Deep Yellow has charged into a definitive feasibility study, or “DFS” after delivering a solid set of pre-feasibility figures earlier this year. Since February, the company has drilled a total 911 holes for 17,679m at its Namibia tenure hosting the Tumas 1, Tumas 2 and Tumas 3 deposits.
A total of 107 holes for 3,058m have now been completed at Tumas 3 West, rounding off the broader-scale Tumas 3 infill resource drilling program.
Deep Yellow said the drilling program was focused on infilling drill hole spacing to support conversion of a JORC inferred resource to the higher indicated status.
The resource inventory at Tumas has more than tripled on the back of the company’s hefty exploration investment over the past three years. Current inferred and indicated resources spread across the Tumas 1, 2 and 3 deposits combine for a total of 190.8 million tonnes at 247ppm triuranium octoxide or “U3O8”, equating to an impressive 103.8 million pounds of yellow cake.
Tumas 3 alone hosts 39.6 million tonnes grading 245 ppm U3O8 inferred and 43.1Mt at 299 ppm U3O8 indicated.
Following on from the stellar results at Tumas 3 Central reported in June, including 10m at 1,945ppm U3O8 from 28m, better intercepts at Tumas 3 West include 9m grading 280ppm U3O8 from 20m, with 3m at 391ppm U3O8 from 9m in another hole.
While statistically U3O8 grades were lower at Tumas 3 West the company reported this was to be expected as the small area occurred at the periphery of the main Tumas 3 deposit, with infill drilling successfully closing off mineralisation.
Importantly, more than one-third of all drill holes at Tumas 3 West have intersected mineralisation greater than 100ppm U3O8 over 1m intervals. The company said this indicated expectations for the conversion rate to indicate resource category were being met.
The three rigs have reportedly been mobilised to Tumas 1 East to undertake the final stage of resource conversion drilling.
Deep Yellow plans to upgrade the mineral resource estimate for inclusion in the Tumas DFS at the completion of the Tumas 1 East drilling program. The company is aiming to grow a projected 11.5-year mine life in its Tumas pre-feasibility study into a 20-year schedule.
Only 60% of the palaeochannel system within Deep Yellow’s 896 sq.km tenure has been tested to date. In a system that also hosts the large Langer Heinrich uranium mine, the company sees plenty of upside to boost the project resource base with a reported 50km of prospective channel area yet to be tested.