Okapi Kicks Off Utah Uranium Exploration Play

ASX-listed Okapi Resources has boots on the ground at its high-grade Rattler uranium project in Utah, USA with the Perth-based company’s first-pass exploration checklist at Rattler to include a detailed review of historical workings, geological mapping and rock chip sampling. Okapi anticipates wrapping up field work by the end of the year ahead of a drill campaign that is earmarked for early in the new year.
The Rattler uranium project encompasses the prized historical Rattlesnake uranium mine that churned out some 285,000 tonnes of ore at 2,800 parts per million triuranium octoxide, or “U3O8” and 10,000ppm vanadium pentoxide for 1.6 million pounds of U3O8 and 4.5 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide between 1948 and 1954.
The Rattlesnake deposit is a prime exploration target for Okapi given it presents the only outcropping deposit in the immediate area. The company says simple surface exploration may be all it takes to revive the mineral prospects of the historic site.
Okapi’s Utah landholdings appear to occupy prime real estate, with the Rattler project hosting similar geology and sitting along strike to Energy Fuels’ La Sal uranium and vanadium project that operated from 2006 to 2012. La Sal reportedly has a total resource of 1.3 million tonnes at 1700ppm U3O8 and 8,800ppm vanadium pentoxide for 4.5 million pounds of U3O8 and 23.4 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide remaining inground.
Interestingly, historical figures from Okapi’s Rattlesnake mine edged Energy Fuels’ La Sal project, producing higher grade U3O8 and vanadium pentoxide.
Uranium is generally found in combination with oxygen as triuranium octoxide, or U308 and is commonly used in the nuclear power sector to generate electricity. Vanadium is often produced as a by-product of uranium mining and is generally used to produce speciality steel alloys and as a catalyst to produce sulfuric acid. In recent years, vanadium has been given somewhat of a new lease of life through its use in vanadium redox flow batteries that are used in green energy applications.
Okapi Resources has been busily amassing an armoury of high-grade uranium plays in North America. The company occupies sought-after ground across a suite of revered uranium hot spots including its Tallahassee project in Colorado and its newly acquired Newnham Lake and Cluff Lake projects in Canada’s fertile Athabasca Basin.
The company recently outlined an exploration strategy for the Tallahassee project that will see it sink around 10,000 metres of drill holes to increase the project’s existing resource base.
With uranium prices soaring almost 50 per cent in recent months to a high of about US$50 a pound, Okapi’s decision to commence exploration in an area that has historically produced some solid numbers is one to keep an eye on.