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4th December 2006 -The Australian - Mining News




Black Range to scope Koonenberry

Friday, 28 July 2006

A SCOPING study will kick off at the Koonenberry base metals project in western New South Wales , following an upgrade in the project's resources announced today by Black Range Minerals.


Black Range unveiled an indicated and inferred resource for the project open in both directions along strike and at depth of 5.75 million tonnes grading 1.03% copper, 0.35% zinc, 2.3 grams per tonne silver and 0.05gpt gold. The resource, which falls within the neighbouring Grasmere and Peveril deposits, contains around 60,000t of copper.

Black Range managing director Michael Haynes said the company would complete infill and extensional drilling at the deposit, as part of a scoping study to be carried out in the second half of 2006.

Haynes said that to date, the company had only explored 4km of the stratigraphic horizon hosting the project's mineralisation, leaving a further 50km of horizon untested.

Shares in Black Range were down 0.6c at 8c this morning, capitalising the company at $37.7 million.





The uranium game – Dryblower

Monday, 26 June 2006

BEING naturally gifted is a big advantage in a competition, but not always enough to win, as we are seeing in football's World Cup. In fact, the difference between natural advantage and sheer determination goes a lot further than sport, as Dryblower is starting to notice in the worldwide race to become one of the next uranium miners.


In Australia, there is a belief that oodles of uranium is ready to mine, and that the world will beat a path to our door. If there is competition, it's dismissed as weak.

That attitude is a mistake as big as the one made by Croatia when it was forced to a draw in the first round of the World Cup by a bunch of try-hard Aussies – let's skip lightly over the fact that half of them were of Croatian heritage in the first place.

The uranium game is shaping as a re-run of the gifted versus the try hards – only this time it's a bunch of Aussies who are swapping shirts to play for the opposition.

Consider some of the evidence assembled by Mr Blower over the past few days and ask yourself a question about who is likely to win.

On the Australian team, we have a vast array of already proven uranium deposits scattered across the outback. Most of it was drilled up to 30, and more, years ago.

The assumption, held largely by politicians from the left, is that Team Australia has it, and the rest of the world has to form a queue to get it. To put it mildly, this is a massive mistake – as Team Foreign Australia is setting out to prove.

This second team is disillusioned with the arrogance of the one coached by left-wing politicians such as Bomber Beazley and Grumpy Carpenter in WA, a pair of throwbacks being held captive by No Nukes campaigners leftover from Ban the Bomb marches of the 1960s – who refuse to admit that they played a starring role in over-heating the world by forcing it to burn excessive amounts of coal.

So, as with soccer players, the chaps in Team Foreign Australia have packed their trainers, and headed off to places where they can get a game – determined to prove that they can start a uranium mine before the guys staying at home, who believe a natural advantage lasts forever.

Last Friday, for example, there was a very pleasant little upward spike in the share price of Berkeley Resources as it jumped from 64c to 77c. Why? Apart from the day traders having fun, it was because Berkeley has given up on Australia and is exploring for uranium in Spain.

Black Range has also performed moderately well recently, not because it's still fiddling around with a laterite nickel project in NSW, but because it's picked up a handful of uranium claims in the US.

Same with Great Western Exploration, which is in the process of changing its name to Uran and switching its focus from Australia to the steppes of eastern Europe and Russia in the hunt for uranium over there.

And then, of course, we have the market leader itself, Paladin Resources, which tired after 30 years of trying to develop a uranium project in Australia, but is doing precisely that in Namibia, and following up with second and third projects elsewhere in Africa.

As far as Dryblower can see, Australia's so-called natural advantage in the world of uranium is about as valid as the arrogant soccer teams of the world who believe that they cannot possibly be beaten by teams that simply try harder.

And, if Australia should lose in the uranium game, it will only have itself to blame.




New US uranium projects for junior

Monday, 19 June 2006
Michael Vaughan

AS PART of its evolving uranium strategy, Black Range Minerals has farmed-in to two projects held by strategic alliance partner Uranerz Energy that have a combined exploration target potential of 5 million pounds of uranium oxide and the possibility of being brought into production rapidly.


The two projects – Cyclone Rim and Eagle – lie in the US state of Wyoming and Black Range said neither had been subjected to any meaningful exploration since the 1970s.

Black Range says it will begin drilling as soon as regulatory approval is obtained.

The Cyclone Rim project has had only limited drilling, though roll front uranium mineralisation has been encountered at a number of mineralised sand horizons, according to Black Range.

The project has an exploration target of 3Mlb of uranium oxide based on three of six "major mineralised sand horizons". Mineralisation is said to generally run from depths of 22-120m at an average grade of 0.04-0.05% uranium oxide based on previous exploration.

The project area spans more than 1000 acres (404.7 hectares).

The Eagle project has an exploration target of 2Mlb based on three of the four known mineralised sand horizons at the project. Mineralisation runs 20-70m from surface at an average grade of 0.025%-0.035% uranium oxide based on previous exploration, according to Black Range.

The Eagle project lies 8km southeast of Cyclone Rim and covers an area of 560 acres.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Black Range will be responsible for managing and conducting exploration of the projects. Should a development take place, Uranerz will be responsible for bringing the project/s into production and managing its/their ongoing operation.

Black Range must spend $US750,000 ($A1.02 million) in the first three years of the agreement on the first phase of exploration to earn an initial 50% interest in the projects.

Should either company elect to not contribute to the second phase of exploration on a pro-rata basis, the other company can increase its interest in the joint venture by 1% for every $25,000 spent to a maximum of 70%.

At this point, if either party elects not to contribute to further exploration, the other party has the right to increase its interest in the joint venture by 1% for every $25,000 spent. Should one company increase its interest up to 100%, the other company will revert to a 6% royalty.

Shares in Black Range were up 0.6c (10%) at 6.6c during morning trade.




US yellowcake for Black Range

Wednesday, 7 June 2006
Michael Vaughan

BLACK Range Minerals expects to pick up an interest in a number of uranium projects in North America after the company signed a strategic alliance with US-based uranium producer Uranerz Energy.


Black Range director Michael Haynes told the company was in advanced discussions with Uranerz regarding farm-in arrangements on a number of advanced uranium projects in North America and it expected to be able to make announcements soon.

In addition, the company was looking at other projects, both within North American and outside, in jurisdictions with "stable" political circumstances, Haynes said.

"We don't like Australia for uranium," he said.

"I guess with all the speculation about whether mining law is going to change, we'd much prefer to be in places where mining law says you can extract (uranium) if that's what you want to do."

The strategic alliance with Uranerz will couple Black Range's exploration expertise with Uranerz's experience in bringing uranium projects into production and ongoing operation, according to Haynes.

In keeping with the two companies' expertise, the alliance dictates Black Range is responsible for managing and conducting exploration of the projects while Uranerz will be responsible for bringing the projects into production.

Haynes said the alliance would not take Black Range's focus away from development of the Koonenberry base metals project, east of Broken Hill in New South Wales.

The company has about four weeks worth of drilling remaining at Koonenberry before the project's resource is recalculated. The current resource is 584,000 tonnes at 2.48% copper, 0.94% zinc, 5.24 grams per tonne silver and 0.08gpt gold from the Grasmere copper deposit.

Shares in Black Range rose 0.6c (8.7%) to close at 7.5c on the news Tuesday and were flat in early trade.