Canada and South Australia to co-operate in uranium

The wild terrains of Canada’s remote provinces are to be targeted to help shape the future tenor, pace and direction of South Australia’s uranium exploration and development initiatives. Addressing the second and final day in Adelaide of the Paydirt 2008 Uranium Conference, PIRSA’s Geological Survey Manager, Mark McGeough, announced a proposed major collaborative program between the two key uranium host countries. The objective is to ensure South Australia, as Australia’s most emergent uranium state, evolves a modern day uranium sector on a sooner rather than later basis and in line with the world renowned practices of Canada’s renowned uranium sector.

“There is strong geological commonality between our primary uranium mineralised targets in South Australia and for example, some of the uranium-hosting breccia outcrops and altered formations in some of Canada’s uranium districts,” McGeough said. “It is to our considerable advantage to work with the Canadians in a collaborative way to tap into this commonality and to share the knowledge pool which can be assigned to best exploit SA’s considerable uranium potential.

“The Canadian province of Saskatchewan, home to the uranium rich Athabasca Basin, will be the focus of our initial collaboration. This will include joint geological exchanges, sampling programs, sharing advances in regulation and mine permitting benchmarking, and the experiences of taking uranium projects through feasibility and development to mining.”

Saskatchewan generated total production in 2007 of 9,847 t of uranium concentrate from three mines. It has four mines, Sue B, Mclean Lake North, Cigar Lake and Midwest Lake coming on stream over the next three years. The province also has uranium feasibility studies underway on its Millennium, West Bear and Raven and Horseshoe projects. McGeough said the Athabasca Basin was generally regarded as the world’s premier exploration district for uranium.