SRC Secures Monazite Concentrate from Brazil
In July 2021, SRC procured up to 800 tonnes of monazite concentrate from Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), S.A., in Brazil from their mine and processing facility. The monazite concentrate will arrive at SRC in the spring of 2022 and will be used as a feedstock for the MPU, once operational.
SRC continues to source additional preconcentrated monazite globally prior to the MPU commissioning. SRC’s Facility will require 3,000 tonnes per year of monazite concentrate on a 90 per cent basis (equivalent to 60 percent Total Rare Earth Oxide). However, SRC would like to secure a stockpile of feed in advance of commissioning.
SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCH COUNCIL (SRC)
Traction has partnered with SRC to leverage an innovative method to recover minerals with minimal disturbance. Conventional mining involves removing mineralized rock from the ground, grinding, sorting and separating out what we want from what we don’t. Solution mining otherwise known as ISL (in-situ leaching) or ISR (in-situ recovery) leaves the ore where it is in the ground, recovery is done by dissolving the minerals we want from the ore and pumping up the pregnant solution to the surface where we can recover it resulting in little disturbance and no tailings or waste rock generated.
The uranium in-situ recovery process is proposed to mine deposits that are difficult to justify mine development due to either not enough uranium or too high of radiation. The technology can potentially utilize drilling and cracking to create passage for the lixiviant through the ore body to extract the uranium in-situ potentially utilizing the current freezing technology used at Cameco’s Cigar Lake to encapsulate the orebody for the in-situ recovery. This provides low capital costs relative to conventional mining providing Traction a key technological partner post discovery and supports our plans for adding more properties in North America.
SRC has been synonymous with mining in Saskatchewan and around the world for a very long time. Their knowledge and proficiency around mining and uranium is unrivaled and supports our pillars of exploration and expansion being supported by experience and expertise. The apparatus at SRC is called the Core Flooding Machine. It can stimulate the overburden pressure and pumping pressure during recovery. It uses drill cores and the evolution of permeability and uranium extraction as a function of time and amount of injection lixiviant are recorded and monitored.
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN
The University of Saskatchewan has partnered with Traction Uranium to provide a novel technique pioneered by Dr. Yuanming Pan that will assist the Company in determining whether a target area had uranium-bearing fluids or not and help Traction define and trace the conduit(s) of uranium-bearing fluids. The data derived from the work will assist in returning a more cost effective and higher accuracy drilling program over our peers by examining quartz degradation caused by radiation emitted from decaying uranium as another vector. Traction will focus its efforts in the right areas and combining this new technology with the data gathered from drilling programs, the Company is able to maximize the dollars in the ground.
The intended research collaboration between the University of Saskatchewan and Traction Uranium Corp will make use of radiation-induced defects in quartz as a new vector for uranium exploration at the Hearty Bay and Lazy Edward Bay property in northern Saskatchewan. This research is based on the discovery of some radiation-induced defects in quartz formed from the bombardment of alpha particles emitted from the decay of uranium (and thorium) isotopes. Therefore, the amounts of these radiation-induced defects in quartz often record the quantity/duration of uranium-bearing fluids that existed in that area in the past.
This method started from research on the Key Lake and McArthur River mines and has been applied to the Maw Zone, the Phoenix Deposit, and the Arrow Deposit.
The main analytical techniques used for this research are cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The former technique visually detects radiation-induced defects in minerals but is less sensitive, while the latter is more sensitive and allows quantitative estimations of radiation-induced defects.
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