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Askari targets Tanzanian uranium

Askari Metals announced recently that it has acquired the Matemanga Uranium Project in Tanzania  

Askari acquired Matemanga through its local subsidiary Infinum Uranium. Matemanga is located in the southern part of Tanzania covering an area of about 264km2.

Last week WhyAfrica spoke to Askari Managing Director Gino D”Anna to find out more about Matemanga and exploration in Tanzania.

“Matemanga represents a significant exploration opportunity for Askari as we expand our exploration strategy to include high-value and in-demand uranium in-line with our clean energy mission,” said D’Anna.

“An extensive review of available data by Askari’s African exploration team identified a major radiometric anomaly, spanning 10km by 6km, which has not been further investigated before, D’Anna adds.

Matemanga is strategically located about 70km south-east of the Nyota Uranium Project in Tanzania and less than 220km from the Kayelekera Uranium Project in Malawi.

An emerging uranium district

This region of southern Tanzania represents an emerging uranium exploration district with strong potential for Tier One uranium deposit discoveries. According to D’Anna the deposit model target type are classic roll-front and tabular hosted type uranium deposits which are hosted within Karoo Supergroup sandstone units within the Selous Basin.

Several other exploration companies are actively advancing exploration projects in the area including Gladiator Resources, Auking Mining and Sienna Mining.

D’Anna says that Tanzania’s political stability and pro-mining environment creates a conducive atmosphere for exploration and development.

Matemanga has been the subject of previous exploration and study activities prior to the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March 2011 and the subsequent collapse of the uranium price.

Historical exploration

The Matemanga project historically formed part of a larger block of licenses that were owned and explored by a company called Uranex.

Uranex undertook an airborne radiometric survey in 2006 over this block of licenses, consisting of 12,165 lines at either a 200m or 400m line spacing with data being independently processed.

The survey identified a number of clearly delineated radiometric anomalies namely Likuyu and South, Mteramwahi and South and Matemanga to the east.

The Matemanga anomaly is located in an area of Karoo sandstone that is known as a potential host for roll-front uranium.

Limited ground follow-up was done by Uranex on these anomalies, with much of the focus being directed towards the Likuyu North and South anomalies.

In 2012 Uranex planned 256 channel spectral radiometric surveys over the remaining areas, including the Matemanga anomaly. SRK Consulting Australia completed a detailed review of the airborne radiometric anomalies at Likuyu North, Likuyu South, Grand Central, Mteramwahi and Matemange target areas for uranium deposits.

SRK determined preferential channel sand flow directions in the uranium bearing Karoo Sandstones. The SRK work also included spectrographic field determinations differentiating uranium, thorium and potassium from airborne gamma surveys.

Ongoing exploration

Matemanga is located north of the Foxy project, owned by Gladiator Resources. Mineralisation at the Foxy Project is associated with a hematized sandstone bed, with secondary uranophane mineralisation. A total of 19 boreholes were drilled at the Foxy project by ASX Western Minerals with holes intersecting shallow, moderate grade uranium mineralisation.

Matemanga is also located north of the Eland project, owned by Gladiator Resources. Detailed mapping, ground geophysical and geochemical sampling surveys were undertaken by Western Metals in 2008 which further delineated the nature and extent of mineralisation at the Eland project. Rock chip sampling of the hard rock prospect returned significant uranium, tantalum and niobium values.

Askari is targeting tabular sandstone hosted deposits similar to Nyota in Tanzania and Kayelekera in Malawi at near surface, and sandstone hosted roll-front deposits at depth, similar to Beverley Four Mile.

The Matemanga Project is regionally located within the Selous Basin which covers much of southern Tanzania. The Selous Basin is part of the East African Rift System and was formed during the breakup of Godwana during the late Paleozoic to early Mesozoic eras.

“We are well positioned to execute high-impact, low-cost exploration campaign in Tanzania, which is globally renowned as a low-risk, pro-mining jurisdiction which has been significantly under-explored.

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