Botswana Stock Exchange Listed A-Cap Resources has announced the initial Inferred Mineral Resource at its Mokobaesi and Kraken prospects containing 20 million pounds of uranium, giving further impetus to the opening of the first-ever uranium mine in Botswana.
The prospects, which form part of the larger Letlhakane Projcet in the North East, come from a resource covering an area of approximately six kilometres (east to west) by three kilometres (north to south) and extends from the surface to a depth of 45 metres.
According to a statement from A-Cap, which is also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, drilling on targets outside the inferred area will begin this month.
"The presence of uranium mineralisation up to 10 kilometres from the boundary of the current Inferred Resource was confirmed, highlighting potential growth of the project," the statement said.
Last year, the A-Cap board of directors announced its intention to fast-track the exploration programme in Botswana on the back of positive drilling results.
"The board continues to be encouraged by the results from Mokobaesi and is formulating plans to fast-track the further development of this exciting prospect along with its other prospective uranium exploration ground in Botswana," the company announced.
A-Cap, which has another prospecting licence covering 4,500 square kilometres of territory in the Central District, announced last year that it had discovered new uranium deposits in Serule.
Uranium, which is used in nuclear weapons manufacturing and as an alternative source of energy, is currently in huge demand the world over.
Due to its increased demand which outstrips supply by a wide margin, prices of the mineral has rose sharply from about $10 per lb in 2002 to over $100 per lb at present.
With world net electricity consumption expected to nearly double over the next two decades, some 30 new nuclear reactors are being built with expansion fastest in developing Asia, including China and India.
A-Cap has operations in Botswana, Australia and China. It encountered high-grade uranium mineralisation of up to 10,000 parts per million in a new zone on the eastern edge of the Mokobaesi prospect.
The company says the mineralisation consists of abundant visible, bright yellow uranium oxide mineral and its presence lends further evidence to the prospectivity of the Serule area.
Commenting on the Mokobaesi deposits, A-Cap chairman Pat Volpe said: "These resources are by far the highest so far encountered during drilling. Mineralisation was also intersected over (a) considerable thickness.
"Also, this mineralisation is hosted in fine grained sandstones of the Karoo super group, further adding to the potential of it hosting a major uranium discovery."
The company's uranium exploration portfolio includes five other tenements with uranium anomalies discovered in the 1970s.
It initially came to Botswana for copper-nickel exploration, but went into uranium when prices for the metal improved. Its current project was owned by Falconbird of Japan in the 1970s and 1980s.
Part of the rise in interest in nuclear is that in an environmentally conscious age, nuclear plants are once again seen as clean energy as they emit a tiny fraction of the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal or gas.
It has been used to produce nuclear weapons for more than 50 years and electricity for more than 40 years.