An Under-explored World Class Mineral Province
The ARUP is recognised as one of the world’s premier uranium provinces, with an endowment (current and mined resources) of approximately 750Mlbs of uranium with grades of the order of 3,000 to 5,000ppm U3O8. Deposits include Ranger, Nabarlek and Jabiluka, with a combined total in excess of 300Mlbs of U3O8 being mined and exported from Ranger and Nabarlek.
The deposits are of the Unconformity Style that are unique to the ARUP and the Athabasca Basin in Canada. These deposits are noted for their size and exceptional grades including some of the largest deposits in the world. The Unconformity Style deposits are distinctively characterised by their association with the contact (unconformity) between Archaean/lower Proterozoic metamorphics and younger overlying Proterozoic age sandstones.
Since 1980, approximately 1 Billion lb of U3O8 has been discovered in the Athabasca Basin, under 200-700m of sandstone cover, including Cigar Lake (340Mlb U3O8) and Macarthur River (589Mlb U3O8). During the same period, exploration in the ARUP has been limited due to past Federal Government policies in relation to uranium mining, resulting in a long exploration hiatus throughout a large part of the 1980’s and 1990’s, with large areas of the ARUP having virtually no modern exploration carried out over them.
Since 1980, in excess of one billion pounds of high grade uranium resources have been discovered under the sandstone cover rocks of the Athabasca Basin in Canada. During the same period, exploration in the ARUP has been limited due to a long exploration hiatus throughout a large part of the 1980’s and 1990’s, with little exploration undertaken in the ARUP under the Kombolgie Sandstone covered areas, geologically equivalent to Canada’s Athabasca Basin. Unlocking the substantial potential of these areas is a key aspect of Alligator’s strategy.
Alligator are actively exploring over 650 sq km of granted tenements in the World Class Alligator Rivers Uranium Province and over 1000 sq km of exploration licence applications. The company holds a key strategic position in the region on the margins of the McArthur basin.
The bulk of the historical exploration in the ARUP has been over the outcropping deformed Archaean/Lower Proterozoic where the overlying Kombolgie Sandstone has been removed by erosion. Major discoveries to date (including Ranger) have largely been outcropping near the edge of the sandstone, and hence at or close to the unconformity. There has been minimal drilling underneath areas of Kombolgie Sandstone cover, where Alligator sees substantial potential to repeat the exploration success seen in the Athabasca Basin by exploring under the covering sandstone basins.
A key aspect of Alligator’s approach has therefore been to develop techniques to efficiently target drilling in these covered areas in the ARUP to unlock the enormous potential of this terrain.
Location of the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province