CENTENNIAL, Colo., Nov. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Uranium Resources, Inc. (URI) (Nasdaq:URRE) (ASX:URI), announced today that it recently completed the staking of 168 placer claims, covering an area of approximately 3,360 acres (1,360 hectares) of mineral rights at its Sal Rica lithium brine project in Utah. The addition of these claims increases the Company’s controlled mineral rights holdings in the project area to approximately 13,260 acres (5,366 hectares), further covering a highly prospective target for lithium-enriched brines in the Pilot Valley region of northwestern Utah. The target area is situated within a region of known brine-hosted lithium mineralization and is approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of the town of Wendover in Box Elder County, and is approximately 100 miles (161 kilometers) west-northwest of Salt Lake City.
A photo accompanying this announcement is also available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a065d9bd-5004-40cd-b32b-84f41c3c92e2
The newly acquired claims adjoin the property recently acquired by the Company from Mesa Exploration Corp. (see the Company’s Press Releases of September 21 and October 20, 2016) and bring under the Company’s control projected extensions of known near-surface lithium brine occurrences in the Sal Rica Project area. The newly acquired claims are not burdened with any production royalty obligations.
About the Sal Rica Project:
As previously reported, a shallow drilling program carried out by Quintana Petroleum in 1966 at the Sal Rica Project encountered significant levels of lithium-enriched brines (22 to 81 ppm) associated with near surface aquifers over a wide area of the project area. Confirmation brine samples recently collected by Mesa Exploration personnel returned lithium grades averaging 66 ppm lithium, with values as high as 80 ppm. Initial sampling of sediments in the project area by URI personnel also yielded lithium values ranging from 82 ppm to 213 ppm Li.
The property additions at the Sal Rica Project, along with the recently completed expansion of the Company’s Columbus Basin Project in Nevada (see the Company’s Press Release of October 26, 2016), continue expansion and diversification efforts within the energy metals sector. The Company has rapidly advanced its internal program of lithium brine target identification, exploration and evaluation to build a robust and prospective lithium project portfolio.
Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “Developing a dominant land position in two prospective basins in Nevada and Utah is key to developing our lithium brine exploration business. Expanding our lithium development project pipeline while maintaining our uranium business portfolio in readiness for the predicted price rise allows investors increased investment opportunities in the clean energy industry. We remain optimistic about this new chapter in our development of URI.”
About the Lithium Market
Lithium is a critical component for the manufacture of batteries for electrical storage and used in a wide range of devices ranging from cell phones to automobiles. The battery market is expected to grow 500% over the next 10 years, with lithium batteries accounting for 35% of this growth. At the same time, the transportation sub-market alone is expected to experience a 23% compounded annual growth rate during this same period.
Lithium enriched brines are proven to be less expensive to explore for, develop and operate than other sources of lithium, such as lithium rich pegmatites and hectorite clays. This, coupled with a small environmental footprint and minimal carbon emissions, makes brines an attractive method for producing lithium. With large battery plants such as Tesla’s “Gigafactory” near Reno, Nevada and Faraday Motor Works’ proposed large facility near Las Vegas, Nevada – URI’s Sal Rica and Columbus Basin Projects are at the epicenter of lithium brine development, production and consumption in the United States.
For more on the lithium market please visit URI’s website, located at www.uraniumresources.com.
About Uranium Resources (URI)
URI is focused on developing energy-related metals. The Company has developed a dominant land position in two prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah in preparation for exploration and potential development of any resources that may be discovered there. URI remains focused on advancing the Temrezli in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium project in Central Turkey when uranium prices permit. URI controls extensive exploration properties in Turkey under nine exploration and operating licenses covering approximately 32,000 acres (over 13,000 ha) with numerous exploration targets, including the potential satellite Sefaatli Project, which is 30 miles (48 km) southwest of the Temrezli Project. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (4,400 ha) of prospective ISR uranium projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 190,000 acres (76,900 ha) in the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world. Incorporated in 1977, URI also owns an extensive uranium information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates, maps and technical reports for the Western United States.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as "expects," "estimates," "projects," "anticipates," "believes," "could," and other similar words. All statements addressing events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will occur in the future, including but not limited to statements relating to the future financing of the Company, the Company’s expected burn rate, and developments at the Company’s projects are forward-looking statements. Because they are forward-looking, they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors and uncertainties. These risk factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (a) the Company's ability to raise additional capital in the future; (b) spot price and long-term contract price of lithium and uranium; (c) risks associated with our foreign operations, (d) operating conditions at the Company's projects; (e) government and tribal regulation of the uranium industry, the lithium industry, and the power industry; (f) world-wide uranium and lithium supply and demand, including the supply and demand for lithium based batteries; (g) maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently collateralized surety instruments; (h) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates, including in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Turkey; (i) the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close acquisitions or other material transactions, including closing the proposed transaction with Laramide; (j) the results of the Company’s lithium brine exploration activities at the Columbus Basin and Sal Rica Projects, and (k) other factors which are more fully described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those currently anticipated. In addition, undue reliance should not be placed on the Company's forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or publicly announce any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release.
Competent Person’s Statement
Technical information in this press release is based on data reviewed by Dean T. Wilton, who is Chief Geologist and Vice President of Uranium Resources, Inc. Mr. Wilton is a “Qualified Person” as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, and a “Competent Person” as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” (JORC Code). He is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG-7659), as designated by the American Institute of Professional Geologists, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (MAIG #6384). Mr. Wilton has appropriate experience that is relevant to the evaluation of the style of mineral deposits relating to this document. Mr. Wilton consents to the inclusion in this release of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which they appear.
“The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.
Source: Uranium Resources