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TitlePolymetallic U-Ag veins at Port Radium, Great Bear magmatic zone, Canada: main botryoidal pitchblende stage cuts 1.74 Ga diabase dykes and has REE signatures diagnostic of unconformity-type deposits
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorGandhi, S; Potter, EORCID logo; Fayek, M
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7493, 2013, 1 sheet, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS86K/01; 86K/02; 86K/03; 86K/04; 86K/05; 86K/06; 86K/07; 86K/08; 86L/01
AreaPort Radium; Cross Fault Lake; McDonough Lake; Great Bear Lake; Squash Lake
Lat/Long WENS-118.5000 -116.0000 66.5000 66.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; structural geology; igneous and metamorphic petrology; geochronology; geophysics; magmatism; igneous rocks; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; uranium; silver; radium; cobalt; nickel; copper; bismuth; unconformities; structural features; structural interpretations; structural analyses; mineral exploration; uranium deposits; mineralization; uranium lead ratios; uranium lead dating; radiometric dating; Eldorado mine; Slave Craton; Echo Bay mine; Port Radium Formation; Echo Bay Formation; Proterozoic; Precambrian
Illustrationsphotographs; location maps; plots; photomicrographs; Concordia diagrams; stratigraphic columns
ProgramGEM: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Uranium
Released2013 11 20
AbstractThe Eldorado mine at Port Radium produced 6,223 tonnes of U and 8 million ounces of Ag from 1942 - 1982, with smaller amounts of Ra, Co, Ni, Cu, Ag and Bi. Mining reached a depth of 511 m. The adjacent Echo Bay mine produced 25.5 million ounces of Ag. The metals were deposited along steep, NEtrending, late tectonic brittle faults in andesitic volcanics of the Great Bear magmatic zone (GBmz), a 1.87-1.84 Ga continental arc along the west margin of Wopmay Orogen. The brittle faults were healed by quartz veins with sparse chalcopyrite and pitchblende, then cut by 1.74 Ga Cleaver diabase dykes. Fault reactivation offset the dykes and led to 5 stages of polymetallic veins.
The veins are cut by a gently dipping sheet of 1.59 Ga Western Channel diabase. The Lower Hornby Bay Group was deposited between the two diabase events, and was later eroded at Port Radium.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Despite being one of Canada¿s first uranium mines, the origin and classification of the uranium-bearing veins at Port Radium remains contentious. This study, completed under the GEM uranium project, used unpublished historical maps and recently published age determinations combined with application of modern analytical tools on archival materials to refine the origin of the veins. These field relationships, age determinations and geochemical signatures all highlight that the veins are best classified as basement-hosted expressions of unconformity-type uranium mineralization related to the Hornby Bay Basin, akin to the Athabasca Basin uranium deposits. These findings significantly increase the potential for high-grade uranium mineralization in the region.

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