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Skip Navigation LinksManagement Discussion and Analysis > Review of Operations > Northern Territory

Northern Territory


Energy Metals Limited 53.29% and Manager
Northern Territory Uranium Pty Ltd 41.71%
Southern Cross Exploration NL 5%

The Bigrlyi Joint Venture (BJV) covers ten granted Exploration Retention Licences located approximately 320km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Participants in the Joint Venture are Energy Metals Limited (53.29% and Manager), Northern Territory Uranium Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Paladin) (41.71%) and Southern Cross Exploration NL (5%).

Bigrlyi is located on the northern margin of the Neoproterozoic to Paleozoic Ngalia Basin in central Australia. Uranium mineralisation at Bigrlyi is confined to a specific narrow horizon within the lower Mount Eclipse Sandstone for which a local stratigraphic succession has been defined. The principal 16 uranium occurrences at Bigrlyi were discovered in 1973 in the course of regional exploration managed by Central Pacific Minerals NL on behalf of various joint venture partners including Magellan Petroleum Australia Ltd, Agip Nucleare Pty Ltd, Urangesellschaft GmbH & Co. and the Atomic Energy Commission.

Energy Metals Ltd, as manager of the BJV, announced in July the results of a recently completed resource estimate for the Bigrlyi uranium project in the Northern Territory. This resource estimate incorporates the results from an infill drilling programme (67 holes), with an additional 9 large diameter core holes for metallurgical test work, which was completed in December 2009. Results at a 500ppm U3O8 cut-off are as follows:

Resource CategoryMtGrade
Indicated Resources4.71,3166,10013.5
Inferred Resources3.41,2024,0008.9

(Figures may not add due to rounding)

The resources were estimated using multi indicator kriging (MIK) by Hellman & Schofield Pty Ltd. At a cut-off grade of 500ppm U3O8, the Bigrlyi resource totals 22.4Mlb of U3O8. 60% of the contained uranium metal (or 6.1Kt U3O8) now reports to the Indicated Resource category, compared with 45% in the previous (May 2009) resource estimate.

Various metallurgical, environmental and mining studies have been undertaken during the year. The studies indicate that additional open pit resources will be required to maintain a viable project. Drilling for additional resources will continue.


Cameco Australia Pty Ltd 50% and Manager
Paladin NT Pty Ltd 50%

In early 2008, the Northern Territory Government advised a 50:50 Joint Venture between Paladin and Cameco Australia Pty Ltd (manager) that it had been chosen as the successful applicant for an exploration licence covering the Angela and Pamela uranium deposits, located 25km south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Paladin’s interest is held through its wholly owned subsidiary, Paladin NT Pty Ltd. Historical work indicates a potential resource of between 26 to 28Mlb of U3O8.

In October 2008, an Exploration Licence (EL 25758) was granted by the Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources the government department responsible for approving the Mining Management Plan in April 2009. All compliances necessary to begin exploration were obtained before drilling commenced on site early in May 2009. Furthermore, an exploration agreement covering arrangements with Native Title holders was executed with the Central Land Council in August 2009.

An additional 5,700m of RC and diamond drilling was completed during the first half of 2010. This data, along with drilling completed in 2009, is in the process of being validated and will be incorporated into a consolidated resource dataset.

Extensive evaluation work was undertaken previously on the Angela and Pamela uranium deposits by Uranerz Australia Pty Ltd between 1972 and 1983. Based on the examination of all digitised and validated historical information the Company has formulated an exploration target of approximately 12,000t to 13,000t of U3O8 in the general range of 0.10% to 0.13% U3O8 and this mineralisation appears to remain open at depth and laterally. Amalgamation of all this historical data, with drilling finished in 2009 and early 2010, should be completed late in 2010 when an initial Mineral Resource is expected to be estimated. Preliminary metallurgical test work and geotechnical investigations have commenced.

As part of the licence conditions, baseline groundwater and dust monitoring was completed prior to the commencement of drilling activities. This programme is ongoing as part of a series of environmental studies, including water, fauna and flora, dust, radiation, meteorology and soils.

Cameco, the Project Manager, is managing a project office in Alice Springs and is active in promoting project awareness programmes within the community and engaging interested and affected parties.

Previous tonnages, grades, assays and other technical data are taken from historical records prior to the implementation of JORC or Canadian National Instrument (NI 43-101). While the data are believed to have been acquired, processed and disclosed by persons believed to be technically competent, it is unverifiable at present. A Competent Person as defined under the JORC Code or Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101 has not done sufficient work to classify any historical estimates as current Mineral Resources. Paladin is not treating the historical estimates as current Mineral Resources as defined in either the JORC Code or NI 43-101 and the historical estimates should not be relied upon.