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Laramide’s flagship project, Westmoreland, ranks as one of the best development stage uranium assets in the world not controlled by a senior producer or utility, and is one of a small percentage of known deposits expected to have compelling economics at today’s uranium prices based on Scoping Study economics1. The Company owns 100 per cent of the Westmoreland Project (subject to a 1% Net Smelter Royalty to International Royalty Corporation), which is a JORC and NI 43-101-compliant sandstone-hosted conventional, open-cut deposit. The Project is at an advanced exploration and development stage, with significant exploration and development work previously undertaken by former owner Rio Tinto. Since its acquisition of the Westmoreland Project in late 2005, Laramide has advanced the Westmoreland Project through a series of drilling campaigns, updated resource estimates, environmental studies and metallurgical studies.

Location: Northwest Queensland, Australia

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Westmoreland

Geology

Claim

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The Westmoreland project is located in a world-class mining province with favorable infrastructure and logistical support. In northwest Queensland near the Northern Territory border, the project is not far from the northern coast. It can be accessed both from the city of Mt Isa (350 km) which has an airport and from Karumba (260 km), which has a port facility. Karumba can be accessed via the town of Burketown (130 km), which is located near the coast on the Burke River. The project is located approximately 200 km northeast of the operating Century Zinc mine.

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Key Attributes:

  • 51.9 million pounds of uranium (U3O8) (JORC and NI 43-101 compliant resource), including 36 million pounds U3O8 Indicated contained in 18.7 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.089% U3O8 and a further Inferred 15.9 million pounds U3O8, contained in 9.0 million tonnes at an average grades of 0.083% U3O8
  • An open cut mine with resource expansion, a low stripping ratio and 80% of the estimated resource is within 50m of the surface2
  • Large land package covers 548.5 km2
  • Three contiguous joint ventures situated along strike from Westmoreland Project, for additional land package of of 1,531 km2
  • Compelling economics even at lower uranium prices
  • Expected to produce more than 3 million pounds per annum
  • Metallurgical test work demonstrates high uranium recovery utilizing conventional technologies

The Westmoreland Project tenements are contiguous and located as a group adjacent to the Northern Territory border. Laramide’s wholly owned subsidiary, Tackle Resources Pty Ltd, owns 100% of Westmoreland (subject to 1% NSR), and continues to advance the Project through ongoing drilling.

Joint Ventures:

Laramide has three farm-in and joint ventures in the Northern Territory directly opposite, and along strike of, the Queensland Westmoreland deposit. These farm-in and joint ventures cover an area of 1,657 km2 and provide exploration opportunities to enhance the Westmoreland Project. The most recent joint venture – the Murphy Tenement Farm-In and Joint Venture with Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd has not seen any meaningful exploration since the 1970s. Please visit the Joint Ventures section for further details.

Project History:

The Westmoreland Project was discovered by Mount Isa Mines in 1956 and has had a long history of exploration. More recently, it was held by Rio Tinto from 1990 until 2000.

Rio Tinto completed a pre-feasibility study that included infill drilling, detailed metallurgical test work and resource calculations. This work was focused on three deposits: Redtree, Huarabagoo and Junnagunna. There are a further 39 uranium occurrences throughout the project area. This work, completed by Rio Tinto, showed that the uranium mineralization was readily amenable to acid leaching and had low acid consumption with high uranium recoveries. (“Geology of Australia and New Guinean Mineral Deposits,” published by the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. “Westmoreland Uranium Deposits,” author G M Rheinberger et al).

Laramide believes that potential exists to enhance the robustness of the project. Since Laramide’s acquisition of the project, a two-phase drill program was completed during the 2007 and 2008 field seasons. These results were included in the updated mineral resource estimate released in April 2009. The next phase of drilling was completed during the latter half of 2009 and 2010. Environmental baseline studies were completed in 2011 along with development activities that included advanced stage metallurgy work. In Q3 2012, Laramide commenced a new drilling program.

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Geology:

Redtree

The Redtree deposit is where the bulk of the Westmoreland resource base is located (~50%). The deposit flanks the Redtree dyke located north of the NW-trending Namalangi fault and is characterised by a mix of horizontal and vertical lenses of continuous mineralisation in distinctly coarse pebble conglomerates with grades ranging from 0.15% to >2% U3O8. Mineralisation is generally shallow, within 10m of surface and is associated with chlorite/hematite alteration. We note that the Redtree dyke (20m-30m wide) broadly extends for 7km from Redtree to Junnagunna and has utilised the same structures as the uranium mineralisation, but does not appear to be related, although spatially associated.

This area between Redtree and Junnagunna is where LAM has focused its ongoing drilling program. The geometry of the higher grade mineralisation is not well understood and closer spaced drilling is required. We expect there is excellent potential to expand the existing resource with further drilling. Access for drill rigs could be an issue in some parts because of the challenging escarpments in this terrain (quartzite boulders would require blasting for road access) and further helicopter drilling may be required.

Huarabagoo

The Huarabagoo deposit is ~3km NE of Redtree along the Redtree dyke and straddles the contact of the Seigal Volcanics with the Westmoreland Conglomerate. Mineralisation has been identified in outcrop towards the southern end and is concealed towards the north under shallow colluvium. Mineralisation occurs in 20m thick lenses, which extend to 100- 200m length and to a depth of 80m. The strongest mineralisation was found to be associated with chlorite/hematite altered coarse pebbly sandstones similar to Redtree. Further drilling is required to improve the understanding of the complex geometry.

Junnagunna

The Junnagunna deposit occurs at a fault intersection west of the Redtree dyke zone and south of the northwest trending Cliffdale fault. Mineralisation is generally flat lying on either side of the Redtree dyke and ranges in thickness from 0.5m to 20m in thickness beneath the Seigal-Westmoreland contact. The deposit is covered by alluvium/colluvium clays and sand and weathered Seigal Volcanics. The Longpocket deposits 8km from Junnagunna may offer additional exploration upside and we note potential for Laramide to add meaningful, high grade pounds of U3O8 to its resource base with further drilling.

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Laramide 

Joint Venture

Redtree

Mineralisation

Uranium

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Uranium

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Westmoreland

Uranium Project

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Important Political Developments in Queensland:

Australia, as the third-largest producer of uranium globally, has created successful uranium industries in other states such as Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Laramide Resources Ltd.’s Westmoreland Project is one of the largest and highest-quality uranium development projects in Australia, and has the support of the people of northwest Queensland who rightly see uranium mining as a valuable sector to create new jobs and economic progress in the state with real potential to promote a viable, long-term industry in Queensland.

In 2012-2014, the Liberal National Party (LNP) invested considerable time and government process to recommence uranium mining in Queensland since overturning a Labor government policy ban on it. The government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines developed a world-leading regulatory framework for assessing and overseeing uranium mining projects and included significant industry consultation.

At the centre of the committee’s recommendations are new institutional arrangements to improve coordination of assessment and approvals for uranium mines, including improved engagement with stakeholders and an Indigenous Training and Development trust be established with the royalties of uranium mining. The report does recommend specific mine safety and health guidance documentation be developed to ensure best standards are maintained at all stages from exploration to mining and processing.

In Feburary 2015, results of a State election in Queensland saw the minority Labor form a new government with support of a lone independent MP, following a hung parliament. In March 2015, Australian media reported that Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham said his newly elected Labor government will revive the Australian Labor Party’s long-term position in the state of Queensland on uranium mining in Queensland. The change to mining policy would not impact exploration activities but it will impede the ability to permit uranium mines in the State of Queensland.

12345The preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

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