Chubut province offers huge potential for uranium exploration. The region contains deposits with superficial uranium characteristics accounting for 4% of global uranium resources (World Nuclear Association, 2009).
These types of deposits are mineralized tabular bodies very close to the surface. Predominantly, they are found in tertiary to recent age sequences in fluvial, alluvial and aeolian clastic sediments, as well as in lacustrine facies.
These uranium accumulations encompass a diverse mix from mineralisation associated with marginally cemented carbonate sediments to that associated with harder formations such as caliche.
It is believed that the uranium in the superficial deposits has been leached from rocks of origin and transported in younger sediments by groundwater flow to the deposition site. The precipitation of uranium-vanadium minerals in these sites can be attributed to a number of possible factors detailed below (Otto, 1984, Kyser & Cuney, 2009):
• Dissociation of soluble complexes that contain uranium as uranyl carbonates through the loss of CO² to the atmosphere or by precipitation of carbonate materials like calcite;
• A significant concentration of dissolved species through the loss of water caused by evaporation;
• A change in the valency of uranium and vanadium (or both) ions that can lead to the precipitation of a uranium-vanadium mineral. E.g. the oxidation of the cation V⁴ᐩ + V⁵ᐩ in the presence of an abundance of U⁶ᐩ can lead to carnotite precipitation;
• Mixing of waters with different compositions; and
• ● Absorption by silica, iron hydroxides, oxyhydroxides and clay. Clay absorption is directly related to Buried Lake mineralization style on Salada Lake, where the uranium-vanadium minerals are concentrated in the contact between gravels and mudstone and also where the fractures are aligned immediately below the unconformity.
Fission or atomic decomposition as an energy source has been widely developed globally for more than half a century. Virtually all countries that have achieved an industrial economic development which consequently results in significant energy demands possess a certain percentage of nuclear energy within their power matrixes. This is due to the fact that a nuclear power plant can satisfy the energy needs in places where other types of energy are impossible to generate (hydroelectric - wind - solar - geothermal) because they depend on natural conditions or it is economically and environmentally unfeasible (Fossil fuel power stations, coal, etc. ...).
The growing demand for energy worldwide and the current high costs or technical non-feasibility of alternative energies lead us to again consider nuclear energy as a strategic factor in the development of countries.
Uranium exploration in the basin of San Jorge Gulf, Chubut Province, began in the 1950s with the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) (National Atomic Energy Commission). Subsequently, in the 2000s, other companies with foreign capital joined the CNEA in the exploration of this element, extending research at regional level in search of new prospects. Hanaq possesses a considerable number of claims that have been divided into 3 blocks, which are in distinct stages of research and exploration. During previous campaigns carried out by other companies in the same areas, uranium anomalies were detected in different zones and at different relevance grades.
This entire region has been recognised for its huge uranium potential since the 1950s. Two small-scale producers, the Los Adobes and Cerro Condor mines, were operating over the course of the 1970s.
An airborne radiometric and magnetic study was conducted on the San Jorge Basin in the late 1970s. A total of 2,372 uranium anomalies were detected within the study area of 170,000 km² (CNEA, 1997).
During 2019 Hanaq will execute identification and evaluation of 3 property blocks, reviewing the potential of each one, updating geology data and marking new areas of interest. All these tasks in order to carry out an effective long term exploration program.
Hanaq focuses all its efforts and resources on developing projects of the highest potential, therefore, the objective of the evaluation of the blocks in Chubut is to end up with an economically feasible site in the region.