BYO rig solves exploration woes

01 December 2007 | 04:51 Code : 16057 Geoscience events
An Adelaide-based uranium explorer is reaping the first benefits of its decision....

  An Adelaide-based uranium explorer is reaping the first benefits of its decision to import a drilling rig from the United States to overcome the severe shortage of rigs which is playing havoc with Australia’s mineral exploration schedules.ASX-listed UraniumSA announced today the imported and fully refurbished Mayhew 1000 rotary mud rig had commenced its first drilling program – on the Mullaquana uranium target, south of Whyalla in South Australia. UraniumSA’s Managing Director, Russel Bluck, said: “This milestone will allow us to continuously explore and drill our properties without dealing with the debilitating constraints and frustrations the shortage of suitable drill rigs is causing industry-wide. “This is an enviable and almost unprecedented position to be in for a junior uranium explorer.“Being in complete control of all our operations will allow UraniumSA to rapidly amend and re-prioritise our drilling programs on the basis of daily results, and thereby enhance the opportunities for discovery of commercial mineralisation. “Significantly, it allows us to control the quality and cost of our drilling and logging operations, and that is a significant cash conserving opportunity that will enable a more extended and intensive drilling program from our exploration budget,” he said.The new rig has completed the first hole of a short program at Mullaquana, which hosts basement uranium-copper prospects and uranium roll-front prospects within the Kanaka Beds of the Pirie Basin.On completion of the Mullaquana campaign, the rig will be relocated further north to Tarcoola, where UraniumSA has established an operating base. The first holes into the Tarcoola portion of the Kingoonya Palaeodrainage System are scheduled to be drilled before Christmas, with drilling set to recommence in January after the holiday break. The rig will then be continuously drilling out the 340km of identified palaeodrainage within the UraniumSA tenements. “We anticipate that the rig will be able to drill and log one or two holes each day, dependant on the depth and ground conditions of each site, and that some 300 holes will be completed each year,” Mr Bluck said.The Mayhew rig is the key component of a complete exploration plant which includes a purpose built logging truck equipped with GeoVista down-hole logging tools. The GeoVista tools have been calibrated at PIRSA test pits, and Mr Bluck said this will enable UraniumSA to report its exploration results in eUppm - equivalent Uranium parts per million.

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