The West Arnhem-Nabarlek Project comprises a dominant 5,963km2 tenement package located in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province (ARUP) of the Northern Territory, a Proterozoic mineral province which is known for its world-class uranium deposits. At the heart of the project lies the historical Nabarlek Uranium Mine, considered Australia's highest-grade uranium mine with a previous production of 24 Mlbs @ 1.84% U3O8.
New assessment of historical data by the Company revealed potential for other commodities including high-grade copper-gold, previously overlooked by uranium focused explorers. The former single-commodity focus for uranium within the project area has seen the copper-gold and base metal potential lie dormant for decades.
Figure1: Regional geology of the eastern Alligator River Uranium Province showing pre-mining endowment of uranium and gold deposits, and DevEx’s tenement holdings.
In 2019, the Company completed a 10-hole reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling program totalling 2100m. This new drilling confirmed the presence of uranium mineralisation beneath the historical Nabarlek Mine and on the western side of the U40 Prospect.
Following the completion of the drilling campaign in August 2019, DevEx has progressed its review of exploration data from the Nabarlek area for signs of conductors beneath the dolerite. The aim is to refine targets for potential future drilling.
While the West Arnhem-Nabarlek Project remains a core asset for DevEx, the Company’s current focus remains on its porphyry copper-gold exploration strategy in New South Wales, allowing the Company to advance the Junee and Bogong Projects at pace.
DevEx remains strongly leveraged to benefit in an improving uranium market.
For the latest Company progress, view our Investor Presentation.
More than US$10 billion worth of uranium (in-ground value) has been produced from the ARUP over the past 30 years, resulting in the ground being tightly controlled by major companies with a sole focus on uranium. In addition, historical exploration has been heavily focused on uranium mineralisation, with the potential for multi-metal mineral systems largely overlooked.
DevEx completed a major review of the broader exploration potential of the West Arnhem Project in 2017. This included a re-evaluation of other metal deposits discovered historically (e.g. the 756,000oz Coronation Hill gold and PGE deposit and the 378,000oz Jabiluka II gold deposit) and a reassessment of historical ore grade copper and gold intercepts which were encountered during uranium-focused exploration campaigns.
For example, drilling in 2010 by Cameco Australia Pty Ltd at the U40 prospect encountered significant copper, gold and base metal + PGE mineralisation, including: