Toronto-based minerals company Mega Uranium said drill testing by its joint venture partner Aura Energy has intersected a uranium-bearing palaeochannel at tenements in Western Australia’s Gunbarrel Basin.

The programme comprised 30 aircore holes drilled at 300m to 400m intervals and at the northern end of the site Mega intersected 14m of elevated uranium values in reduced carbonaceous sands, gravels and clays.

The best intersection was 2m at 147 parts per million eU3O81 and samples from the hole have been sent for geochemical assay, Mega said.

The company plans to conduct a follow-up drilling programme to investigate the palaeochannel in the vicinity of the most promising intersections.

The Gunbarrel Basin is known to contain large sediment-hosted uranium mineralisation and is less explored than other major uranium provinces in Australia, the company said.

Aura’s properties comprise 11 granted exploration licences covering a total area of 2,476km2 and cover extensive portions of three of the four main palaeochannels in the region.

Under an agreement signed in 2006, Mega will acquire a 50% stake in Aura’s properties by funding the drilling programme by a minimum of A$3m within three years. Mega then has the option to increase its stake to 70% through an additional spend of $A3m over a further 18-month period.