Projects Overview

Click to Enlarge Images
Location of the Salamanca Project
assets/Projects/_resampled/ResizeByRatio180210-1-1-SP-Spain-Location-141128.png 
Main Resources of the Salamanca Project - Retortillo Region
assets/Projects/_resampled/ResizeByRatio180210-1-2-SP-Main-Resources-Retortillo-141128.jpg 
Main Resources of the Salamanca Project - Alameda Region
assets/Projects/_resampled/ResizeByRatio180210-1-3-SP-Main-Resouces-Alameda-141128.jpg 

Berkeley Resources Limited (‘Berkeley’or ‘the Company’) has a significant tenement holding in Spain with a broad range of uranium exploration and development projects in the Salamanca, Cáceres, Badajoz and Ciudad Real Provinces. The Company has a 100% interest in a total Mineral Resource estimated at 88.2 million pounds of contained U3O8 with an average grade of 472 ppm (at a cut-off grade of 200 ppm U3O8).

Berkeley's current focus is on the advancement of its wholly owned flagship Salamanca Project ('the Project'), which comprises the Retortillo, Alameda, Zona 7 and Gambuta deposits plus a number of other Satellite Deposits, through the development phase.

In September 2013, the Company completed a Pre-Feasibility Study ('PFS') focussed on the integrated development of Retortillo and Alameda. This study confirmed the technical and economic viability of the Project and its potential to support a significant scale, long life, low cost uranium operation.

The Project has now been advanced to the Definitive Feasibility Study ('DFS') stage.

Berkeley Resources Limited
Mineral Resources as at November 2014 (using 200ppm U3O8 Cutoff)
SUMMARY RESOURCES

Resource Category

Tonnes
(Mt)

U3O8Grade
(ppm)

U3O8
(Mlbs)

 Retortillo

Indicated

14.4

378

12.0

 

Inferred

1.8

359

1.4

 

TOTAL

16.2

376

13.4

 Alameda

Indicated

20.0

455

20.1

 

Inferred

0.7

657

1.0

 

TOTAL

20.7

462

21.1

Zona 7 Inferred 23.2 589 30.1
Gambuta Inferred 12.7 394 11.1
Other Satellite Deposits

Inferred

11.9

476

12.5

 TOTAL RESOURCES

Indicated

34.4

423

32.0

 

Inferred

50.3

506

56.1

 

TOTAL

84.7

472

88.2

All figures are rounded to reflect appropriate levels of confidence. Apparent differences occur due to rounding.

Zona 7 MRE reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012)

All remaining MRE's reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2004). The information was prepared and first disclosed under the JORC Code 2004. It has not been updated since to comply with the JORC Code 2012 on the basis that the information has not materially changed since it was last reported.

Salamanca Project

 The Salamanca Project includes the following resources:

Berkeley has completed a PFS which demonstrated that using only the Mineral Resource Estimates for Retortillo and Alameda, which total 34.5 million pounds U3O8, the Project can support an average annual production of 3.3 million pounds of U3O8 during the seven years of steady state operation and 2.7 million pounds of U3O8 over a minimum eleven year mine life. The PFS is based on open pit mining and heap leaching at Retortillo and Alameda, a centralised process plant at Retortillo, and a remote ion exchange operation at Alameda, with loaded resin trucked to the centralised plant for final extraction and purification.

The PFS is considered a base case scenario, with additional existing resources (totalling 53.7 million pounds of U3O8) and exploration potential in proximity to the planned operations having the potential to increase the mine life and/or forecast production levels. Zona 7 (30.1 million pounds of U3O8) and Gambuta (11.1 million pounds of U3O8) are the most advanced of the remaining deposits. 
More details of the PFS Results are given in the ASX Release of 26 September 2013 titled Positive Pre-Feasibility Study Confirms Potential of Salamanca Uranium Project.

The positive results of the PFS clearly demonstrate the potential of the Salamanca Project to support a significant scale, long life, low cost uranium operation. 

In addition, a number of opportunities to further enhance the Project economics through capital and operating cost reductions were identified in the PFS. The Company has undertaken a comprehensive review of the PFS with a view to assessing these opportunities and defining key work programs to be incorporated into the final scope of the DFS. 

Following completion of this review, the Scope of Work for the DFS was finalised and the Company has commenced key work programs including detailed geological and structural mapping, hydrogeological studies, metallurgical testwork and resource drilling at Retortillo.

Zona 7 is located within 10 kilometres of the proposed centralised processing plant at Retortillo, and is the first of the Satellite Deposits that Berkeley has targeted for exploration drilling. Following successful drilling campaigns in 2013 and 2014, an updated Mineral Resource Estimate of 30.1 million pounds U3O8 (previously 3.6 Mlbs) was reported in November 2014. Given the significant scale, high grade and shallow depth of the Zona 7 deposit, the Company has advanced its evaluation to the Scoping Study stage, with a view to integrating it with the planned development of Retortillo and Alameda.

A successful Scoping Study on the Gambuta deposit was completed in early 2014. The study was based on open pit mining, heap leaching, and a remote IX operation, with the loaded resin being trucked to the proposed centralised plant at Retortillo for final extraction and purification. Following this successful study, the Company will advance Gambuta to the next stage of the evaluation.

The permitting process is ongoing for both Retortillo and Alameda. The Company has achieved a number of major milestones with the Declaration of Environmental Impact (‘Environmental Licence') and the Exploitation Concession (‘Mining Licence') for Retortillo (the first resource from which production is scheduled to commence) being granted by the Regional Government of Castilla and León in October 2013 and April 2014 respectively.

Berkeley will continue to focus on pursuing the ongoing exploration, appraisal and development of this outstanding Project in order to fulfil its vision of becoming a uranium producer in the near to medium term. 

Exploration Overview

Uranium exploration in Spain has a long history with Junta de Energía Nuclear ('JEN') and Enusa Industrias Avanzadas S.A. ('ENUSA') undertaking exploration between the early 1950's to the 1990's. Berkeley, through a deal with ENUSA, purchased a large volume of this exploration data.

Since acquiring these projects in 2005, Berkeley has continued exploration, with highly encouraging progress, including:

  • Compilation and interpretation of a very substantial database of historical exploration results throughout Spain;
  • Undertaken numerous diamond drilling and reverse circulation drilling campaigns (>98,000m) across all its major projects;
  • Over 5,000 line km of airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys have been flown over most project areas highlighting the exploration potential of the tenements and generating a significant number of anomalies;
  • Completion of the PFS assessment of  the integrated development of Retortillo and Alameda which confirmed the technical and economic viability of the Project; and
  • Generating a total Mineral Resource base, reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2004 and 2012 editions), of 88.2 Mlbs U3O8 (200ppm cut-off).

A comprehensive review of all available data for the tenements surrounding the Company's existing resources, undertaken in early 2013, identified a number of priority drill targets, including the extension of Zona 7 to the southwest.

Drilling of this target resulted in the delineation of a zone of shallow, high grade mineralisation extending approximately 1,200 metres to the southwest of the previous resource boundary at Zona 7. A follow-up drill program in 2014, was aimed at infilling the Zona 7 extension on a notional 100m by 100m pattern. Following completion of the infill drilling program, an updated Mineral Resource Estimate of 30.1 million pounds U3O8 (previously 3.6 Mlbs) was reported in November 2014. The extension to the Zona 7 mineralisation and the substantial upgrade to the mineral resource is a clear demonstration of the exploration and resource growth potential of the Salamanca Project.

Regional Geology
The region being explored by Berkeley is underlain by the ‘Schist Greywacke Complex' of late Precambrian to early Cambrian age. The stratigraphy is a sequence consisting of predominantly fine-grained detrital sediment that is frequently carbonaceous and pyritic, with occasional quartzite, limestone, sandstone and conglomerate markers. The total thickness of the sequence appears to be well in excess of a thousand metres.

The sedimentary sequence has experienced intense deformation, principally during the Hercynian Orogeny. There are at least two phases of penetrative schistosity, followed by a further two phases of folding. The regional metamorphism corresponds to the greenschist facies, with both chlorite and biotite sub-zones being observed.

Granites of Hercynian age intrude through this sedimentary sequence and are typically coarse-grained, porphyritic biotite adamellite. A thermal aureole of contact metamorphism is produced in the country rocks.

Following the main phases of deformation and igneous intrusion, there have been several episodes of fracturing extending from the late Hercynian to the end of the Alpine Orogeny.

Since the Hercynian Orogeny, the area has experienced an extensive period of erosion and peneplanation. During the Oligocene and Miocene, thin sheets of fluvial sands were deposited across much of the region.

Numerous occurrences of uranium mineralisation are known throughout the region. The primary mineralisation consists of uraninite/pitchblende and coffinite that fill fractures and breccias in finely-laminated sediments. Several phases of mineralisation can be recognised.

Previous Mining

Initial uranium mining in Spain was small scale underground shafts and galleries or small scale open pits. Such mines included those at Caridad, Cristina and Esperanza (part of Villar). Mina Fe, near Ciudad Rodrigo, was the first deposit to be exploited using large scale open cut methods.

At Mina Fe, the Elefante Plant was a bacterial heap leach facility which was replaced by the Quercus plant in 1993. The Quercus plant used a combination of heap leach and dynamic leach.

The Mina Fe mine opened in 1974 and closed in 2000 during which time it had mined 81Mt of rock that contained 12Mt of ore and produced 5,760t U3O8. Since closure ENUSA has focused on restoring the site.

The information in this section of the website that relates to Exploration Results and Mineral Resources (other than the 2014 Mineral Resource for Zona 7) is based on information compiled by Craig Gwatkin, who is a Member of The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and was an employee of Berkeley Resources Limited. Mr. Gwatkin has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr. Gwatkin consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears. This information was prepared and first disclosed under the JORC Code 2004. It has not been updated since to comply with the JORC Code 2012 on the basis that the information has not materially changed since it was last reported.

The information in this report that relates to 2014 Mineral Resources for Zona 7 is extracted from the report entitled 'Salamanca Project Total Resource Increased By 43% To 88.2 Mlbs U3O8 following Substantial Increase In Zona 7 Resource' dated 26 November 2014 and is available to view on Berkeley's website at www.berkeleyresources.com.au. The information in the original ASX Announcement that relates to the 2014 Mineral Resources for Zona 7 was based on information compiled by Malcolm Titley, a Competent Person who is a Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Titley is employed by Maja Mining Limited, an independent consulting company. Mr Titley has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person's findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

The information in this section of the website that relates to the Pre-Feasibility Study is based on information compiled by Neil Senior of SENET (Pty) Ltd. Mr. Senior is a Fellow of The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr. Senior consents to the inclusion in this Report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears. This information was prepared and first disclosed under the JORC Code 2004. It has not been updated since to comply with the JORC Code 2012 on the basis that the information has not materially changed since it was last reported.