Investment Executive Luke Smith joined Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. in 2003. Part of his interest is predicting new developing trends in the junior resource sector. He described to me a change he sees in uranium mining. According to Luke, it could be as important as fracking has become to oil and gas.
This technique, “Surface Access Borehole Resource Extraction,” or SABRE, is a type of uranium mining that causes little disruption to the surface or area surrounding the uranium mine, because most of the process takes place underground and with minimal human involvement.
This technique utilizes a process that was developed for underground uranium deposits that were too deep for open-pit mining and too small to justify an underground mining operation. The technique aims to extract uranium from soft sedimentary rock. A high-pressure water jet is drilled into the ore body from the surface. The rotating, extremely high-pressure water jet hydraulically mines out the soft ore, allowing it to flow out as slurry. Pumps return the slurry to surface where processing of the ore takes place. They then repeat the process further along the ore body.
According to Luke,
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