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Ashley, Western Uranium sign LOI on ore processing

2024-05-30 14:22 ET - News Release

Also News Release (C-WUC) Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp

Mr. Darcy Christian of Ashley Gold reports


Ashley Gold Corp. has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the processing of Sahara uranium-vanadium ore at the future Green River Utah processing facility being constructed by Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. The LOI highlights the intent for Ashley to produce 100,000 tons of uranium-vanadium ore per year approximating 500,000 pounds (lb) of uranium (U) and 750,000 lb of vanadium (V).

Darcy Christian, chief executive officer of Ashley, comments: "It is my pleasure to announce the beginning of a productive relationship between Western and Ashley. By working with George Glasier and Western, we are being benefited with a significantly reduced capital expenditure and timeline to move to a production company. We will benefit from Western's patented kinetic separation technology for lower-cost processing and Western will have additional local ore for processing to maximize profitability of the mill."


  • Initial tolling or sale of 100,000 tons per year of ore with potential to increase;
  • Represents approximately 500,000 lb of U and approximately 750,000 lb of V per year;
  • Initial processing expected in 2026.

Letter of intent

The LOI is the first step in establishing an offtake agreement between Ashley and Western for processing of the Sahara uranium-vanadium ore, located approximately 16 kilometres (km) (10 miles) from the Green River production facility. An initial production feed of 100,000 tons of ore per year is proposed with potential to increase with availability of increased production capacity.

Both tolling agreements and sale of ore to Western are being considered with terms to be finalized in a future definitive agreement.

About the Green River mill

The site for the Western processing facility is located in the Green River Industrial Park, Emery county, Utah. The proposed capacity of the facility is three million pounds of U3O8 per year and is ideally located near to infrastructure. The facility will use state-of-the-art processing technology to lower operational costs. Currently, Western is permitting with facility design complete with first ore processing is expected 2026.

About the Sahara project

Declines and workings

The original decline running roughly south to north was used to produce ore out of the mine until 1977. Energy Fuels drove an 800-metre (m) (2,600 feet (ft)) low-angle decline into the deposit in 1979 for higher haulage rates (west-east). The older decline was used for a secondary exit and air circulation. The production operation was put on standby due to the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. Focus was put on expansion of the Sahara reserve in anticipation of uranium price rebound, however, this did not occur, with prices falling below $20 (U.S.) per pound for two decades. It is Ashley's intent to reopen the modern decline in the near future to evaluate the decline and workings.

Historical drilling

Energy Fuels conducted multiple drill programs over the greater Sahara property in 1990, with a total of 776 holes comprising of 325,988 ft (approximately 99,000 m). In dollars today, this represents and expenditure of $15-million to $20-million in exploration drilling. Drill density was as tight as 10 m over the reserve area with almost 400 holes exceeding 0.1 per cent eU3O8. Grades as high as 3.92 per cent eU3O8 were documented, as well as several intercepts over 10 ft (three m). Additional programs in 2006 and 2009 were also documented and will be outlined in a future release.

Historical reserve and first-pass modelling

By 1987, Energy Fuels outlined a historical ore reserve of almost 500,000 lb of eU3O8 at the Sahara mine. An ore reserve is defined as economically minable ore and represents a high level of confidence. Subsequent modelling in Vulcan as part of a master's thesis reports a non-compliant resource of over 2.24 million lb of eU3O8 and nearly four million lb of vanadium. As part of Ashley's due diligence, the drill data from the Vulcan model were loaded and modelled in Leapfrog. The modelled bodies look to match the thesis model in size and shape. Infill and stepout opportunities for the upcoming drill program are identified and will be used to confirm. Additional historic resources outside of the Sahara orebody have been documented within the property and data for these are currently being digitized to be summarized in future releases.

Qualified person

The technical and scientific information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Darcy Christian, PGeo, president of Ashley, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About Ashley Gold Corp.

Ashley Gold is focused on creating substantive, long-term value for its shareholders through the discovery and development of world-class gold deposits. Ashley has acquired 100 per cent of the Tabor Lake lease, subject to a 1.5-per-cent royalty, 100 per cent of the Santa Maria project, subject to a 1.75-per-cent royalty, a 100-per-cent interest in the Howie Lake project, subject to a 0.5-per-cent royalty, a 100-per-cent interest in the Alto-Gardnar project, subject to a 0.5-per-cent royalty, a 100-per-cent interest in the Burnthut property, subject to a 1.5-per-cent net smelter return (NSR) royalty, and an option to earn 100 per cent of the Sakoose claims, subject to a 1.5-per-cent NSR royalty. In addition, Ashley has entered into an option agreement to earn 100 per cent of the Sahara uranium-vanadium property in Emery county, Utah, subject to a 2-per-cent NSR royalty.

Ashley is an early-stage natural resource company engaged primarily in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral projects. The corporation's objective is to conduct efficient and economical exploration on its growing portfolio of high-quality gold projects, as well as moving the Sahara uranium-vanadium project toward near-term production.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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