Pancontinental Uranium Corporation
TSX VENTURE : PUC

Pancontinental Uranium Corporation

December 21, 2010 06:31 ET

Pancontinental Uranium Corporation: Rare Earth Alluvial Sampling Program at Charley Creek, NT, Progressing Well; Over 200 Samples Collected

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2010) - 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 alluvial sampling program from the Charley Creek Project, Northern Territory, Australia.

Highlights

  • The accelerated two-part, Phase One Rare Earth Elements (REE) alluvial sampling program is progressing on schedule; over 200 samples collected to date.
  • Results of the Phase One program on the REE program are expected early in 2011.
  • Assuming these results prove positive, an evaluation leading to Resource definition is planned to commence immediately, with the aim of being completed by late in 2011 on an initial alluvial volume.

Background

On November 1, 2010, Pancon and Crossland announced that extensive alluvial deposits have been identified in their Charley Creek Project, and that these deposits contained heavy minerals with rare earth elements (REE).

These REE are present in phosphate minerals that should be readily processible using available REE extraction technology.

The heavy mineral concentrate produced from the initial Charley Creek tests weighed approximately 2kg and contained grades and proportions of individual REE as indicated in the following table. The concentrate was produced from panning approximately 400kg of alluvium, followed by removal of the magnetic minerals from the sample and a TBE heavy liquid separation.

Element Oxide wt.% of total sample weight % of Total REO
CeO2 18.423 47.08%
Dy2O3 0.357 0.91%
Er2O3 0.124 0.32%
Eu2O3 0.029 0.07%
Gd2O3 0.622 1.59%
HfO2 0.069 0.18%
Ho2O3 0.054 0.14%
La2O3 8.761 22.39%
Lu2O3 0.013 0.03%
Nd2O3 5.879 15.02%
Pr6O11 1.758 4.49%
Sm2O3 0.901 2.30%
Tb4O7 0.082 0.21%
Tm2O3 0.017 0.04%
Y2O3 1.943 4.97%
Yb2O3 0.099 0.25%
TOTALS 39.131 100.00%

This simple process route concentrated heavy minerals in the alluvial material to grades that compare favourably with the average grades of other rare earth developments currently being contemplated. The concentrate also contains relatively high proportions of all of those REE above europium on the Periodic Table (Heavy REE), as the comparison with the published average grades of REE in the Mountain Pass Deposit in California illustrates:

To view the graph associated with this press release please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/graph1221.pdf

NT production opportunities

Pancon and Crossland believe these results present opportunities for production of a heavy mineral concentrate with high REE values from the large volumes of alluvial sediment deposits that have formed from erosion of the extensive source rocks of the Teapot Granite within the Joint Venture's 4,000 square kilometre Charley Creek Project in the NT.

These sediments are largely unconsolidated granite-derived sands, and an alluvial heavy mineral deposit within these would offer low mining costs, and simple, low cost upgrading using gravity concentration processes to produce REE concentrates with grades equivalent to, or in excess of, those that will be produced as concentrates from the hard rock mining operation phase of most other REE projects. All such concentrates need to be chemically processed to separate the various rare earth elements.

Crossland believes that markets will be found for several thousand tonnes per year of contained REE in a heavy mineral concentrate product of this type.

On November 22, 2010, Pancon and Crossland announced that work had commenced on a staged evaluation program with the aim of rapidly characterising the distribution of the REE minerals, and establishing the scope for heavy mineral accumulations in the various alluvial settings identified in the Charley Creek Project.

The current aggressive Phase One program involves:

  • Determining the heavy mineral types and REE content of streams draining various parts of the Charley Creek Project.
  • Evaluating the tonnage and grade potential of one substantial area of alluvium close to the site of the original sampling.

This first phase of work should be completed early in the first quarter of 2011. The results will define the direction of further work, which should lead to initial resource estimates by late in 2011.

Update on REE Samppling Program

Just over 200 stream sediment samples (206 samples) from the approximate four (4) square kilometres of drainage areas have now been collected. The full program will cover around 400 samples. Processing of these has commenced at the Company's local preparation facility. These samples represent the drainage from about half of the 180km of mountain ranges within the joint venture tenements at Charley Creek. Importantly, they cover many of the stream outlets from these mountains which drain onto the extensive alluvial flats to the north of the mountains.

These samples should determine what types of heavy minerals are being fed from the Teapot Granite and surrounding metasediments in the mountains onto these flats.

To date, 100 alluvial samples (of the 206 collected) have been processed using a Wilfley Table, as indicated in the accompanying Heavy Mineral Sample Flow-sheet. These will be passed through a magnetic separator prior to heavy media separation and submission for assay. A split of the heavy mineral concentrate, which will contain the REE bearing minerals of interest, will be retained until assays are received. If these are promising, the split will be submitted for mineral characterisation and process development.

Processing will continue on site throughout the Christmas break, and will be placed on double shift if required to achieve required throughput.

In addition to the stream sediment sampling, a program of hand auger sampling of the alluvial flats around the Cockroach East Uranium Prospect has commenced, to test the potential in one of the many potentially REE-bearing alluvial flats throughout the project area. Samples are being collected on 400m by 100m centres across areas of alluvium to delineate zones where deeper alluvium exists. Already, over 400 samples have been collected and these will be processed once the alluvial samples are washed.

Areas with deeper alluvium will be tested with truck mounted auger or vacuum drilling in Phase Two of the program. This is expected to commence in February 2011 if results from Stage One warrant this, and weather conditions permit access.

To view the flow-sheet associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/flowsheet1221.pdf

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 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.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rick Mark, President & CEO

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
    or
    Pancontinental Uranium Corporation
    Keith Patey
    Director of Communications
    604-986-2020 or 1-866-816-0118
    604-986-2021 (FAX)
    www.PanconU.com