Deep Yellow tags more Namibian uranium at Barking Gecko | Ralph-Lauren

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After tabling an impressive pre-feasibility study over its Tumas uranium deposit in Namibia, Deep Yellow may soon be adding another string to its bow. Drilling at its Nova Joint Venture, or “NJV” Barking Gecko bedrock prospect has returned 27 metres of alaskitic uranium mineralisation from only 36m down-hole.

The intriguing early uranium hits at Barking Gecko were the result of follow-up drilling which resumed following a Christmas shut down at its NJV. One of the best intercepts so far at the Barking Gecko alaskite prospect returned 27 metres at 291 parts per million uranium oxide mineralisation from just 36m down-hole. This intercept included 3m at a stunning 955ppm uranium oxide from 52m depth.

A second drill hole hit 6m at 228ppm uranium oxide from 56m and another 11m at 214ppm uranium oxide from 73m, including 6m at 309ppm below 77m. Interestingly, portable x-ray fluorescence assaying has shown the mineralisation to be dominant in uranium with subordinate thorium levels.

The John Borshoff-led Deep Yellow said these early results hinting at the prospectivity of an alaskite-type basement deposit at Barking Gecko, similar in nature to the nearby tier-one Rossing uranium mine and its neighbour, the Husab uranium mine.

The company has around 3,200m of drilling remaining to complete its current 13-hole program which got underway in late November following a pause in activity over the festive season. The drill crew now have their boots back on the ground and are full steam ahead chasing the bedrock-hosted uranium target, with its JV partners also enjoying the ride.

Deep Yellow manages the NJV with a 39.5 per cent interest. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation also holds 39.5 per cent after covering a $4.5m earn in obligation. The remaining equity is split between a Toro Energy subsidiary with 15 per cent and Six Zone Investments and a Namibian entity with a 6 per cent carried interest.

Barking Gecko originally turned up some interesting bedrock uranium hits back in the middle of 2020 which Deep Yellow followed up in December with limited success.

However, subsequent downhole logging conducted over the Christmas break led to a revised structural model for the mineralisation which shifted the strike trend from east-west to northeast-southwest.

The latest two holes stand as testament to the tenaciousness of the company’s technical team and its willingness to re-orient the drill holes. These intriguing, albeit early results, suggest the move may prove to have been a masterstroke.

These first two solid hits of uranium mineralisation will likely give Deep Yellow the confidence to forge ahead with the remaining 2,200m of drilling. The opportunity to vector in on both lateral extensions and deepening the discovery at Barking Gecko would be hard to resist.

The Barking Gecko target sits to the north-west of the company’s developing Tumas uranium project, just east of Walvis Bay on southern Africa’s west coast.

The Namibian coast is famous for extensive, near-surface, uranium-bearing paleochannels, which host both the famed Langer Heinrich and Tumas “paleo-channel” deposits. However, Barking Gecko appears to be an entirely different beast.

The target is a bedrock prospect and shows marked geological similarities to the immense world-class Rossing and Husab uranium mines located less than 50km to the north-east of the project.

At Rossing and Husab, the primary uranium mineralisation is hosted by a rare style of granitic intrusive rock called alaskites. This host rock is poor in mafic, or dark coloured minerals and rich in light coloured feldspars and quartz. The alaskites can be enriched in uranium and are often emplaced into zones of strong structural control, including fault and shear zones.

Rio Tinto’s massive Rossing open pit, roughly 100km northeast of the port of Walvis Bay, has been operating since 1976 and extracts around 20 million tonnes of ore per annum to make more than 2,400 tonnes of uranium oxide.

Rossing’s younger sibling, the Husab mine, was discovered in the late 2000s and proved a ‘company-maker’ for ASX-listed junior, Extract Resources. Husab is located around 15km to the south of Rossing and is now owned by China-backed Taurus Minerals.

The Rossing and Husab deposits underwrite Namibia’s position as the fifth largest producer of uranium in the world and provides an enticing model for the Nova JV’s exploration program at Barking Gecko.

With over 4km of strike length at Barking Gecko, plus some geophysical wizardry to sort out the alignment of the mineralisation, Deep Yellow could soon have another deposit to consider as a younger sibling to its Flagship, DFS-pending, Tumas deposit. That confirmation may not be far away.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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