Photos still being reviewed in search of lost survey aircraft

Some six months after the Beech King Air N87V aircraft went missing in the Cuyuni area with three passengers there has been no sighting of it but digital photographs taken of the area where the  plane was suspected to have gone down are still been reviewed.

Nancy Chan-Palmateer, Vice President, Investor Relations of U308 Corp, one of the companies the plane was associated with, told Stabroek News via email that since the beginning of the year a number of matters arising from the image review were investigated by ground teams without any sign of the men or plane.

“At the end of February, a methodical ground search of the original area of interest was initiated covering about 16 square kilometres, which was completed mid-April with no results,” she said.

The vice-president said that the image review by the volunteer group, InternetSAR meanwhile continues. “If any further notable nominations are reported, ground follow-up will be undertaken as appropriate.”

The plane went missing in October last year and while there were extensive searches of the area by local and foreign teams, after 15 days without any success the Government of Guyana called off the search. However, the three companies the plane was associated with have continued to  search the area.

Americans James Wesley Barker, 28, and Chris Paris, 23, the Captain and First Officer, respectively, were on board the plane along with Canadian Patrick Murphy, a geophysics technician, when it disappeared. The aircraft was chartered from Dynamic Aviation Inc by Terraquest Ltd to conduct geophysical surveys on behalf of Prometheus Resources (Guyana) Inc, a subsidiary of the Toronto-based U3O8 Corporation.

U3O8 is a Canadian mineral exploration company based in Toronto, Canada and is currently focused on uranium exploration in the Roraima Basin in Guyana. It says its primary business objective is to explore, develop and acquire uranium projects in the Americas.  It added that it is well funded with over $12 million held solely in cash and Canadian chartered bank-backed Guaranteed Investment Certificates.  At current rates of exploration expenditure, the company expects to be funded up until 2010.

According to the company it has the exclusive uranium exploration rights in an area covering approximately 1.3 million hectares that straddles the edge of the Roraima Basin in Guyana.  The company is advancing a two-pronged exploration strategy that focuses on exploration for multiple uranium-bearing structures within structural systems in the basement adjacent to the Roraima Basin, with the concept that the individual veins could potentially aggregate to a significant total resource; and exploration for unconformity-style uranium deposits at the base of the Roraima Basin, which are similar to those of the prolific Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan.

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