TNT Mines’ Bonanza prospect in the United States is turning out to be just that – a bonanza. It has delivered a smorgasbord of high-grade uranium and vanadium results from underground sampling including 1.25 metres at 2,600 ppm uranium oxide and 1.68 per cent vanadium pentoxide with a series of ‘too hot to handle’ samples yet to be reported by the new lab after being rejected by the first one.
A 1 metre intersection graded a whopping 4.50 per cent vanadium pentoxide with 1,400 ppm uranium oxide.
The latest set of results come hot on the heels of high-grade results from the nearby ‘None Such’ mine, with sampling at that locale also looking lucrative.
The sampling program at Bonanza also managed to replicate the exploration at None Such in another way –it produced two smoking hot radioactive samples that needed to be specially packaged and sent to Canada for assay as they were deemed ‘too hot to handle’ by the lab in the US.
There are now five of these uber-radioactive samples in the Canadian lab with results due in the coming weeks – setting up an air of anticipation around the company.
TNT’s Bonanza prospect and historic underground mine forms part of the company’s East Canyon project in south-eastern Utah in the central United States. The project lies between the regional centres of Moab and Monticello, with the company’s tenure covering more than 4,000 hectares of the uraniferous Uravan Mineral Belt.
The famed Uravan Belt hosts a number of significant uranium deposits with historical production across the historic field estimated at an imposing 86 mlbs at 0.24% uranium and 441 mlbs at 1.25% vanadium.
The East Canyon project hosts at least nine sets of historical underground workings with a mining history dating back to the late 19th century. Recent work by TNT has focused on sampling the old high-grade drives at None Such and Bonanza in the northern project area. The company’s assessment of these old mines is aimed at understanding the historical mine grades and the potential tonnage and grade of the remnant uranium ores to be targeted by the ongoing exploration program.
TNT’s exploration of the Bonanza mine has delivered an unexpected bonus to the company. Once access was gained into the old underground mine, the drives and shafts at Bonanza were found to be far more extensive than first thought and have now been mapped and sampled over more than 400 metres of strike – work is continuing to survey the full extent of the mine.
Underground sampling at Bonanza was undertaken to replicate potential drill holes through the sediment-hosted mineralisation, with channel sampling from the roof to the floor of the mine drives testing the true thickness of the visible, flat lying of the uraniferous mineralisation.
With an ongoing stream of strong results filtering in now from Utah, TNT looks to be laying a strong foundation to take advantage of the forecast revival in the uranium market.
The uranium price has shown a strong uptick in recent months, up to $32 per pound of uranium oxide in July from just US$24 per pound back in January. A report tabled by the World Nuclear Association in September 2019 has flagged a looming supply crunch that may sling-shot the price even higher.
Modelling by the global nuclear authority predicts a divergence in the supply and demand curve for uranium, showing demand outstripping supply from 2023 onwards with a gap wide enough to drive a truck through by 2040. TNT looks well placed it help fill the gap as it moves forward with its exploration program at East Canyon.
With the United States’ only permitted, and operating, conventional uranium mill at White Mesa just down the road from the project and a laundry list of high-grade uranium and vanadium hits to follow up, TNT looks to be setting itself up to take pole position as the race to production begins across the re-emerging uranium sector.