Botswana-focused uranium hopeful, Impact Minerals, has discovered large quantities of uranium deposits in the Central District, adding impetus to the Australia Stock Exchange-listed miner's quest to open a mine in Botswana soon.
In a statement circulated to shareholders this week, Impact says it has unearthed significant resources in the Shoshong and Ikongwe areas, some of them very close to the surface.
"Soil geochemistry results from Impact's Shoshong and Ikongwe Prospects within its 100 percent owned Botswana Uranium Project have defined numerous significant uranium in soil anomalies up to 8km long and 2km wide," says a statement from the company.
"At Shoshong, at least five targets for follow-up work within near surface calcretes have been identified while at Ikongwe, at least two areas for follow-up work have been identified."
The company says although these targets have not been drilled, follow-up field checking and selection of specific areas that may warrant drilling has commenced, with the aim of maiden drilling at both prospects as soon as possible.
Impact's 100 percent owned Shoshong and Ikongwe prospects are located 150 kilometres north of Gaborone and 150 kilometres south of a large Letlhakane uranium project owned by another Australian company, A-Cap Resources.
Expressing confidence in the project, Impact boasts that the uranium-in-soil results at Shoshong and Ikongwe are similar to those over Impact's 40 percent owned Nowthanna uranium deposit in Western Australia.
"They are significant and support the high prospectivity for calcrete-hosted uranium mineralisation within Impact's extensive ground holdings in Botswana," added the statement.
Impact's targets in Botswana have the potential
Botswana's first-ever uranium mine is likely to start full production in two years' time as tenders will soon be called for a feasibility study into a proposed P1.3 billion project in Letlhakane.
The uranium mine, which is being developed by ASX-listed uranium exploration company, A-Cap Resources, is projected to have an exploration target in excess of 200 million pounds of uranium.
According to analysts, Botswana has the potential to become a major uranium producer and even rival neighbour Namibia in the coming years.
With world net electricity consumption expected to nearly double over the next two decades, some 30 new nuclear reactors are being built, the fastest expansion being in Asia, especially China and India.
Impact, along with A-Cap, expect the number of nuclear reactors under construction to increase significantly in the next three to five years as more economies shift to nuclear energy.
Interest in uranium as a source of energy has risen partly because nuclear plants are environmentally friendly as they emit a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide that causes global warming.
It has been used to produce nuclear weapons for more than 50 years and electricity for more than 40 years.