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TitleUranium potential of northern Canada's Proterozoic basins
AuthorJefferson, C W; Chorlton, L B; Pehrsson, S; Peterson, T; Potter, E; Davis, W; Gandhi, S S; Bleeker, W; Keating, P; Quirt, D; Wollenberg, P; Tschirhart, V; Ramaekers, P; LeCheminant, A N; Robinson, S; White, J; Bethune, K
SourceProspectors and Developers Association of Canada Annual Meeting, abstracts; 2012 p. 1
Year2012
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130055
PublisherProspectors and Developers Association of Canada
MeetingProspectors and Developers Association of Canada Annual Meeting; Toronto; CA; March 3, 2012
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediaon-line; digital
ProvinceNunavut; Northwest Territories
NTS66A; 85J; 86L
AreaLac Cinquante; Port Radium; Baker Lake; Dessert Lake; Hornby Bay
Lat/Long WENS-98.0000 -96.0000 65.0000 64.0000
Lat/Long WENS-116.0000 -114.0000 63.0000 62.0000
Lat/Long WENS-120.0000 -118.0000 67.0000 66.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; uranium; uranium deposits; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; mineral potential; basement geology; alteration; Great Bear Magmatic Zone; Wernecke breccias; Thelon Basin; Kiggavik camp; Precambrian; Proterozoic
ProgramUranium, GEM: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals
AbstractPaleoproterozoic basins and adjacent basement supracrustal belts contain most of the uranium (U) potential in northern Canada. U-rich phases are also prospective in IOCG and affiliated hydrothermal albitic systems of the Great Bear magmatic zone and Wernecke breccias. Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin inspires and trains us to understand territorial resource potential. Many consider the Thelon Basin as the premier northern host for unconformity associated U deposits. Integrated geological, geophysical and geochemical research by a GEM-Industry-Academic±NSERC consortium has obtained comprehensive new knowledge. Although increased resources in known U deposits of the Kiggavik camp are basement hosted and separated from the sandstone by a fault, three recent discoveries to the west are stepping closer to the mapped unconformity. Structurally intercalated Neoarchean and early Paleoproterozoic strata are cut by reactivated dip- and strike-slip faults that focused hydrothermal fluid flow during development of the Thelon Basin. Whereas graphitic metapelite hosts ore beneath the Athabasca Basin, the Thelon counterpart is pyritic schistose arkosic metagreywacke intruded by 1.83 Ga mid-crustal granite with high-level potassic dykes, in turn cut by 1.75 Ga diabase dykes and high level porphyritic granite. New igneous and apatite cement ages reaffirm similarity in scope and style of Athabasca vs. Thelon metallogeny between about 1.75 and 1.54 Ga, whereas ~0.1 Ga differences in age of apatite cement show independent fluid flow. Thelon basement alteration is fundamentally similar to that of the Athabasca, albeit with larger hematite and disseminated pyrite zones. Remote predictive satellite and geophysical mapping has extended this knowledge to sandstone- and till-covered terranes. A drift prospecting test showed that geochemistry works and discovered a U-Pb-rich apatite indicator mineral. Breccias cutting silicified Thelon sandstone 'aquitards' are cemented by U-Pb-rich apatite, record fluid flow across strata and encourage future testing of reactivated faults in altered supracrustal belts predicted geophysically beneath the sandstone. Similar knowledge gains apply to the 1.845-1.785 Ga Baker Lake and 1.75-1.3 Ga Dessert Lake-Hornby Bay basins where 'classic' U vein systems of Lac Cinquante and Port Radium respectively are proposed as unconformity related. Local alteration and structural vectors are being developed to identify additional prospective basement targets. Similarities among these basins are reasons for interest while differences encourage development of local knowledge to adapt Athabasca technology. These basins now demonstrate spatial and temporal association of U deposits with unconformably overlying siliciclastic rocks, and the importance of multidisciplinary, multi-agency collaboration in learning local parameters.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Sedimentary basins that are older than 1.5 billion years and near by rocks of the Canadian Shield have the most uranium (U) potential in the north. Saskatchewan¿s well explored Athabasca Basin helps explain the U potential of other basins such as the Thelon Basin in Nunavut. A research group involving GEM-Industry-Universities-NSERC has obtained new geoscience knowledge in the north. Drilled resources have increased for basement-hosted deposits of Nunavut¿s Kiggavik area. This exploration is on complex geological structures that were mapped by GEM scientists. Detailed studies have identified general similarities between the Athabasca and Thelon basins, but there are important differences that will guide new exploration in the Thelon. Similar knowledge applies to the Baker Lake, Dessert Lake and Hornby Bay basins, all of which may have untapped potential for unconformity associated U deposits. Parts of high temperature iron oxide copper gold deposits east of Great Bear Lake were also enriched in U by low temperature fluids.
GEOSCAN ID292586