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TitleTill geochemical signatures of the Kiggavik uranium deposit, Nunavut
AuthorRobinson, S V J; Paulen, R C; Jefferson, C W; McClenaghan, M B; Layton-Matthews, D; Quirt, D; Wollenberg, P
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7550, 2014, 168 pages, (Open Access)
LinksCanadian Database of Geochemical Surveys, downloadable files
LinksBanque de données de levés géochimiques du Canada, fichiers téléchargeables
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatreadme
File formatrtf; pdf; xls
Lat/Long WENS-97.7500 -97.5000 64.5000 64.3333
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; economic geology; geochemistry; glacial deposits; tills; till geochemistry; till deposits; indicator elements; drift prospecting; dispersal patterns; sediment dispersal; mineralization; exploration methods; ice flow; uranium; Kiggavik uranium deposit; Baker Lake Group; Wharton Group; Dubawnt Supergroup; indicator minerals; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; flow charts; plots; photographs; tables; ternary diagrams; histograms
ProgramGEM: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals, GEM Tri-Territorial information management & databases (Tri-Territorial Indicator Minerals Framework)
Released2014 05 16
AbstractIn 2010, a drift prospecting study was initiated over the Kiggavik uranium deposit under the Geomapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) Program. The objective of this study was to document the till geochemical signatures of the Kiggavik uranium deposit and to apply these geochemical characteristics for future exploration for buried, drift-covered uranium deposits. The study area is within the zone affected by the migration of the Keewatin Ice Divide of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Mineralized bedrock and surface till samples (n=71) were collected directly overlying, up-ice, and at various distances (50 m, 100 m, 200 m, 500 m, 1 km, 2 km, 3 km, 5 km, and 10 km) in a fan-shaped pattern down-ice from the deposit with respect to the dominant north-northwest, northwest, and west ice-flow directions. Samples containing the highest metal contents were located directly to the west of the deposit in locally derived, basement-dominated grey till, which markedly contrasts with the regional red till dominated by material eroded from the Baker Lake and Wharton Groups of the Dubawnt Supergroup. Till geochemistry exhibits a polymetallic dispersal signature down-ice of the Kiggavik Main Zone outcrop. Uranium, Bi, Mo, Au, Ag, Co, Cs, Pb, and W range from elevated to anomalously high concentrations up to 1 km down-ice of the Main Zone and thus can be utilized as pathfinder elements. These pathfinder elements are also present down-ice from other U deposits within the Kiggavik camp, demonstrating their broad applicability to U exploration in basement rocks near the Thelon Basin. Analysis of the <0.063 mm and <0.002 mm fraction of the till matrix shows that elemental abundances are significantly greater in the finer fraction, indicating a strong geochemical partitioning based on grain size. Laboratory gamma-ray spectrometry, Pb isotopic analysis, and X-ray diffraction were conducted on the till samples. Results show that eU and Pb isotope ratios (206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/206Pb) in the till matrix share a strong correlation with U content in till and can be used as a geochemical tool for U exploration. The clay mineralogy of samples with elevated to anomalously high U is enriched in illite and kaolinite relative to quartz. Pebble lithological and Pb isotope ratio analyses have trends that can be applied to deciphering till matrix provenance.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Open file is data release and interpretation of the GEM -1 Indicator Mineral Project case study conducted at the Kiggivik Uranium Camp, Nunavut. Till geochemistry is discussed using the clay and silt+clay fractions, which were analyzed by multiple methods. This data provides baseline information as to the nature of the surface sediments in the region as well as what pathfinder elements are best suited for exploration of these types of deposits.