2 Kerr Open House 2014 .pdf

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Saskatchewan Open House
Technical Presentation
• Revisiting the economics of deep high-grade
uranium unconformity deposits of non-giant
size; Are they a worthwhile exploration
target?


WILLIAM KERR and ROGER WALLIS

1

“Real-World” Economics of the Uranium
Deposits of the Athabasca Basin, Northern
William
and Roger:
Saskatchewan:
Why Grade Is Not Always King!
WilliamtoKerr,
Exploits Exploration
Corporation,
Toronto,
Ontario, article
Canada,inand
I wanted
congratulate
you on the
"Real World"
Economics
the SEG
Roger Wallis
(SEG
1984 F), Roger
Wallis
andarticle
Associates,
Newsletter.
This
is perhaps
the best
lead
I haveEtobicoke,
ever readOntario,
in the Canada
Newsletter. I am making it assigned reading for my students. Thanks for
writing this!
This presentation is based on the

lead article published in the quarterly Newsletter of the
Murray Hitzman
Society of Economic Geologists in October, 2014
Colorado School of Mines

Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits

Location of Mills, Mines and Some Deposits

3

Rationale and Summary










> 80 discoveries to date, of which 75% of pounds are/were “reserves”.
However, 69% of “deposits” NOT placed into production.
Currently 3 mines in operation.
No plans before CNSC to place any other deposit—some with over 100 million
lbs and some of tremendous grade—into production.
Based on production history, there are only 3 economic targets:
1. Lower-grade 100% Basement-hosted deposits (open pit, decline, shaft).
2. UC deposits (open pit) <150 m brownfields, <200m if giant.
3. UC deposits (shaft) >200 m must be giant.
What is “giant”? Undefined, but should be between Key Lake and Cigar size.
Smaller high-grade UC deposits are physically and economically stranded.
If “ore” is our target, basin exploration targeting requires a radical re-boot.

4

Mining of Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits :1

100% Basement Hosted Deposit in
Competent Crystalline Rock

5

Mining of Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits :2

Unconformity Hosted Deposit
Near Surface (±200m) Open Pit

6

Mining of Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits :3

Unconformity Hosted Deposit
Deeper than 200m Underground Mine

7

Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits

Totals (Rounded) M lbs U3O8 of Already Mined
1945 to Present plus Remaining
Reserves/“Resources” as of October 2014

Giant

8

Athabasca Basin Uranium Deposits

Contained M lbs U3O8
What is “actually in the ground”
as of October 2014

9


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