Australia-based exploration company Uranex has commenced a new phase of exploration works on its wholly-owned Nachu graphite project in Tanzania with initial geological observations being offered from the first trench.

The latest phase of the exploration program, which includes trenching and pitting with the help of a backhoe loader and local labor, has been designed to test the width of mineralization across the interpreted strike.

Uranex said wide intersections of up to 136m of graphitic schists have been observed in the first trench that started in the southern part of the tenement.

This trench is planned to be 1,200m in length so that the geology can be assessed across an area where there are known graphite outcrops. The trenching is progressing at about 100m per day.

The company said that the trenches will be deepened at selected positions where mineralization needs to be probed at greater depth. The frequency of these in-trench pits will be decided by the lithology that is mapped along the trench trajectory.

Uranex will conduct an extensive sampling programme during the trenching. Due to the quantity of samples it may take several weeks from completion of the final trench to announce all the results.

The sampling programme will ensure that sufficient material is available to do complete metallurgical tests to decide on the optimum final products to be produced from this deposit.