CENTENNIAL, Colo., December 18, 2017 – Westwater Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWR) (“WWR” or “Westwater”) is pleased to announce that it has completed an evaluation and analysis of previously acquired geophysical data covering the Sal Rica lithium brine exploration project in the Pilot Valley of western Utah, and we have now commenced exploration drill program planning and permitting.
Highlights of the completed geophysical program at Sal Rica include:
• The analyzed geophysical data was assembled from over 1,016 gravity stations across the entirety of the Pilot Valley, including a private dataset containing 841 gravity stations acquired by WWR in June 2017. The data was compiled, modeled, and analyzed by a consulting geophysicist under contract with WWR;
• Geophysical modeling and interpretation of this data indicating that Westwater’s mineral rights cover both the deepest portion of the structural basin, as well as the younger, shallow and currently active evaporative basin. Both of these geological features are identified as attractive exploration targets; and
• Gravity data modeling indicating that the structural basin has a depth of approximately 8,000 feet, and the sequence of active, shallow basin evaporites extend to a depth of approximately 1,300 feet, with both areas having potential to host lithium-enriched brines.
The completed geophysical data interpretations have also been reviewed to determine geospatial relationships with WWR’s previously completed shallow brine sampling program across the Sal Rica project that highlighted the wide-spread distribution of anomalous lithium (values up to 100 ppm) in near-surface brines within the active evaporative basin area (see September 18, 2017 news release). This integrated geological, geochemical and geophysical data set will be used to develop and permit an exploration drill program, targeted to commence in the first half of 2018.
“This detailed geophysical analysis confirms the excellent exploration potential of our property in the Pilot Valley,” said Chris Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Combined with our strongly anomalous brine sampling results, we have another compelling reason to advance our lithium brine exploration activities at the Sal Rica Project.”
WWR or the “Company” (formerly Uranium Resources, Inc.) is focused on developing energy-related minerals. The Company has developed a dominant land position in three prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah in preparation for exploration and potential development of any lithium resources that may be discovered there. In addition, WWR remains focused on advancing the Temrezli in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium project in Central Turkey when uranium prices permit economic development of this project. WWR controls extensive exploration properties in Turkey under eight exploration and operating licenses covering approximately 39,000 acres (over 16,000 ha) with numerous exploration targets, including the potential satellite Sefaatli Project, which is 30 miles (48 km) southwest of the Temrezli Project. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (4,400 ha) of prospective ISR uranium projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 186,000 acres (75,300 ha) in the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world. Incorporated in 1977, WWR also owns an extensive information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates, maps and technical reports for uranium properties located in the Western United States.
Furthermore, on December 13, 2017, WWR announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alabama Graphite Corp. (AGC) (TSX-V: CSPG) (OTCQB: CSPGF) pursuant to an arrangement agreement and plan of arrangement. The primary asset of AGC is the Coosa graphite project, located across 41,900 acres in east-central Alabama. Finalization of the acquisition is subject to shareholder votes, as well as customary regulatory agency and court approvals. Closing of the acquisition is targeted for early in the second quarter of 2018.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “targeted,” and other similar words. All statements addressing events or developments that WWR expects or anticipates will occur in the future, including but not limited to statements relating to developments at the Company’s projects, including the development and permitting of an exploration drill program and related timing, future exploration costs and the anticipated benefits of geophysical data on the Sal Rica Project, are forward-looking statements. Because they are forward-looking, they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors and uncertainties. These risk factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (a) the Company’s ability to utilize the data set to develop and permit an exploration drill program; (b) the Company’s ability to raise additional capital in the future; (c) spot price and long-term contract price of graphite, uranium and lithium; (d) risks associated with our foreign and domestic operations; (e) operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (f) government and tribal regulation of the graphite industry, uranium industry, the lithium industry, and the power industry; (g) world-wide graphite, uranium and lithium supply and demand, including the supply and demand for lithium-based batteries; (h) maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently collateralized surety instruments; (i) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates or intends to operate, including in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Republic of Turkey; (j) the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close acquisitions or other material transactions, (k) the results of the Company’s lithium brine exploration activities at the Columbus Basin, Railroad Valley, and Sal Rica projects, and the possibility that future exploration results may be materially less promising than initial exploration result; (I) any graphite, lithium or uranium discoveries not being in high enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; and (J) other factors which are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those currently anticipated. In addition, undue reliance should not be placed on the Company’s forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or publicly announce any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release.
Qualified Person’s Statement
Technical information in this news release is based on data reviewed by Matthew Hartmann, the Director – Technical Services of Westwater Resources, Inc. Mr. Hartmann is a “Qualified Person” as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, and a “Competent Person” as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” (JORC Code). He is a Licensed Professional Geologist, and a Registered Member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (No. 4170350RM). Mr. Hartmann has appropriate experience that is relevant to the evaluation of the style and nature of mineral deposits relating to this document. Mr. Hartmann consents to the inclusion in this release of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which they appear.
Westwater Resources Contact:
Christopher M. Jones, President & CEO Jeffrey L. Vigil, VP Finance & CFO