Pancontinental Uranium Corporation

Pancontinental Uranium Corporation

April 19, 2011 06:31 ET

Pancon Updates Charley Creek REE Project, NT. Australia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2011) - Pancontinental Uranium Corporation (TSX VENTURE:PUC) ("Pancon") and joint venture partner Crossland Uranium Mines Ltd. (ASX:CUX) ("Crossland") are pleased to update shareholders on the rare earth element exploration program from the Charley Creek Project, Northern Territory, Australia.


  • Mineralogy study confirms Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) occur as Xenotime – indicating improved recoveries
  • 75 aircore drill holes have been completed at the Cattle Creek bedrock Rare Earths Element (REE) prospect and initial results are due by early May
  • 50 sq km of the Cockroach Dam alluvial REE area has been sampled – results from the initial samples are in line with expectations
  • An initial resource estimate of the Cockroach Dam REE alluvials is expected to be available by June
  • The regional stream sediment sampling program is near completion – results from over 200 samples have been received; another 400 are awaited.

REE Mineralogy study confirms presence of desirable Xenotime

An initial report on the investigation of mineralisation from the alluvial Cockroach Dam Prospect has been received from ALS Mineralogy Pty Ltd, a joint venture between ALS Laboratory Group and JK Tech Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of University of Queensland. This work has used a Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA) to examine the composition and texture of an initial batch of important samples from Cockroach Dam.

One sample was from the initial pan concentrate that contained 39.1% Total Rare Earth Oxides plus Yttrium, as reported on November 1, 2010. Of the Total Rare Earth(TRE) plus yttrium oxides, 6.9% represented the Heavy Rare Earth plus yttrium oxides ((HRE+Y)O), that is, the oxides of, Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Holmium (Ho), Erbium (Er), Thulium (Tm), Ytterbium (Yb), and Lutetium (Lu). Yttrium (Y) is often grouped with the heavy REE (HREE).

This proportion is substantially higher in HREE than is present in most REE projects currently under development, and suggests that the Cockroach Dam Alluvial deposits may be a valuable source of these HREE, as well as Light REE. Three of these HREE, Tb, Dy, and Y, are classed by The US Department of Energy (USDoE) as both: in critically low supply and of critical importance to renewable energy development.

The ALS Mineralogy study at Cockroach Dam has found that these critical HREE are present exclusively (except Y- see below) in the mineral xenotime, the preferred raw material for extraction of these elements. Xenotime is mixed with dominantly monazite in the heavy mineral concentrate, and monazite contains the bulk of other REE present in the mix. Some Y is present in one of three monazite variations detected in the mix.

This new information suggests that a REE mix containing significant amounts of HREE could be extracted from Cockroach Dam heavy mineral concentrates. As the HREE occur in a separate mineral phase with optimal properties (Xenotime), the metallurgical behaviour of the concentrate should be enhanced. It may also be possible to isolate stream drainages where the proportion of Xenotime is higher. Regional stream survey data is now being reviewed given this new understanding regarding Xenotime.

Samples collected from the bedrock discovery intersection in hole CCA121, reported on March 9, 2011, contained a (HREE+Y)O percentage of 13.8% of (TRE+Y)O: double the proportion found in the Cockroach Dam Alluvial heavy mineral concentrate. There is also an increased proportion of the Medium Rare Earths as defined by USDoE: Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), and Gadolinium (Gd) of 5.9% of (TRE+Y)O. Samples from this material are currently awaiting mineralogical study at ALS Mineralogy.

Pancon/Crossland will be able to generate sufficient heavy mineral samples for initial test work to develop a process route for the concentrate, so an early start to metallurgical process investigation can be made.

Drilling proceeding smoothly at Cattle Creek

  • Since commencement of drilling at the Cattle Creek bedrock REE prospect on 31 March, a total of 75 aircore holes, averaging 45m deep, have been completed.
  • 821 samples generated by this drilling have been deposited at the laboratory. Initial results from these samples are expected by early May.

Cockroach Dam Alluvial REE

  • Over 1300 shallow auger/soil samples of alluvium have now been collected in the Cockroach Dam alluvial REE resource evaluation project, at sample sites on 400m by 100m centres. A total area in excess of 50 square km has now been covered, and a further area of 17 square km is currently being sampled. This work will complete the field sampling component of the exploration program.
  • 520 samples have been processed on site and are now at the laboratory. At present 23 analyses of heavy mineral fractions have been received. This number will increase substantially over coming weeks. Results received to date are in line with expectations.
  • Aircore drilling to the alluvial basement, to follow up the shallow auger drilling in the Cockroach Dam alluvial REE resource evaluation project, will commence immediately after the Easter break.
  • A larger Wilfley shaking table has been purchased and is being modified for the Joint Venture's purposes. When delivered, it will increase throughput and allow generation of sufficient quantities of heavy mineral samples for metallurgical test work.
  • An initial Resource estimate from the Cockroach Dam alluvial resource evaluation program should be available in June.

Regional Stream Sediment Heavy Mineral Program

  • Over 600 samples have now been collected from 4,000 square km of exploration licenses held by the Pancon/Crossland JV
  • Over 500 samples have been processed on site and submitted to the laboratory
  • So far, 203 assay results have been received. These are still being interpreted and followed up. Some recent samples have been taken to follow up favourable results from the first pass survey.
  • One initial result has been the confirmation of a strong stream anomaly coincident with the Cattle Creek Bedrock REE prospect, which may represent an important additional alluvial heavy mineral source.
  • The discovery of Xenotime at Cockroach Dam puts new emphasis on the search for the Heavy REE that are significantly occurring at Cattle Creek, and in other results from the stream sediment survey.
  • The field aspects of this part of the exploration program are drawing to a close.

Background on Importance of HREE

As detailed in the Crossland PowerPoint presentation released to the market on 28 March 2011 and appended to this release, the 17 rare earth elements (REE) can be divided for convenience into light (LREE), medium (MREE), and heavy (HREE) groupings. The presentation utilises a recent US Department of Energy Report titled "Critical Minerals Strategy" published in December 2010. This report provides a good insight into a complex subject. A link to the report is available from the Pancon Website on the Investor page.

The report highlights the fact that some REE, particularly the HREE, are critically important to the Renewable Energy Sector in both the short and longer term, and that these are subject to critical supply shortages. This is one of the factors driving the significant price increases that these commodities have seen in recent times.

It is important to ascertain in what mineral species the HREE occur, as in some cases the HREE may not be recoverable. The optimal mineral for HREE extraction is Xenotime (yttrium phosphate), which often contains the other HREE in significant amounts.

All technical information in this release has been reviewed by Geoff Eupene, Qualified Person for Crossland and Pancon.

About Pancontinental Uranium Corporation

Pancontinental Uranium Corporation ("Pancon") is a Canadian-based company focused on uranium and REE discovery and development, Through a 50:50 joint venture with Crossland Uranium Mines Limited ("Crossland") of Australia,, Pancon has established one of the strongest management teams in the uranium industry. This management and operating team has unparalleled experience from exploration, through development to operations, and includes people who were instrumental in the discovery of two of the largest uranium deposits in the world. Pancon and Crossland hold an impressive uranium exploration portfolio with projects in prolific, mining friendly districts.

Active exploration is ongoing at three Australian projects which include Chilling, Charley Creek, and Kalabity. The Chilling project has the potential to host a mirror image of a portion of the renowned Alligator Rivers Uranium Field containing the large Jabiluka, Ranger and Koongarra deposits. Charley Creek has the potential for large, lower-grade, Rossing-type, granite-hosted uranium deposits and REE. The Kalabity project lies in a district of historic uranium/radium mining that contains a variety of known uranium deposit styles.

Pancon has earned a 50% interest in this significant uranium and REE project portfolio through the joint venture with Crossland through the expenditure of A$8 million. Pancon and Crossland are also pursuing exploration beyond Australia through an international subsidiary company, Crosscontinental Uranium Limited, and immediate plans include formulating an exploration program in Burkina Faso.


Rick Mark, President & CEO

For additional information, please visit our website at

Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the Canadian securities authorities.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Pancontinental Uranium Corporation
    Richard Mark
    President and CEO
    604-986-2020 or 1-866-816-0118

    Pancontinental Uranium Corporation
    Keith Patey
    Director of Communications
    604-986-2020 or 1-866-816-0118