Athabasca provides exploration activities
by Jo Black
Athabasca Minerals Inc. has completed a number of exploration programs in the Fort McMurray area and the acquisition of additional lands in the Fort McMurray region. The Company continues to make progress in the defining of potential industrial mineral deposits in the Fort McMurray Oil Sands region.
The Company has acquired an additional 109,213 hectares (ha) of lands located north of the city of Fort McMurray. These lands include the McIvor Property consisting of 73,728 ha and the Red Clay Property consisting of 35,485 ha. The total land area under Company option in the Fort McMurray region is 819,236 ha.
A salt evaluation well located approximately 45 km northwest of Fort McMurray was completed in December 2007.
The Company’s Dover 6-8-92-12 site, near the McKay River, was drilled to a depth of 490 metres to evaluate the thickness and quality of the salt present within the Devonian aged Prairie Evaporite Formation. A total of 320 metres of core was recovered from the well.
The entire Prairie Evaporite Formation was cored in addition to significant limestone units above and a dolomite interval below. The well penetrated a cumulative thickness of 120 metres of salt. The core has been slabbed (cut into two halves) and has been photographed to begin a visual evaluation. An independent Calgary laboratory is now conducting chemical analysis of selected salt samples.
Additionally, the Company is currently conducting market research with a number of oil sands companies operating in the Fort McMurray area to determine demand for chemicals derived using salt. The well site is situated in the heart of the oil sands development. Salt is required in the production of chemicals used by oil sands companies. The Company’s research is focused on determining the feasibility of a chemical production facility that can supply the oil sands industry with a local supply of chemicals used in the bitumen extraction process in both the mines and the subsurface thermal recovery schemes.
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