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TitleGeomathematical study of sandstones overlying the Phoenix Uranium Deposits and the REE-rich Maw Zone, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan
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LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorChen, S; Hattori, K; Grunsky, E C; Liu, Y
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative 4: unconformity-related uranium systems; by Potter, E GORCID logo (ed.); Wright, D M (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7791, 2015 p. 21-31, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4: unconformity-related uranium systems
File formatpdf
AreaKey Lake; McArthur River
Lat/Long WENS-106.0000 -104.0000 58.0000 57.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; radioactive minerals; unconformity-type deposit; unconformities; uranium deposits; uranium; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; mineralization; Athabasca Basin; Phoenix Deposit; Maw Zone; Precambrian
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; plots; 3-D diagrams; photomicrographs
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) Uranium Ore Systems
Released2015 03 02 (08:30)
AbstractTo evaluate the relationship between the enrichment of REEs and U mineralization, we carried out Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of sandstones above the Phoenix U deposits and in the REE-rich Maw Zone in the eastern Athabasca Basin. The Phoenix deposits, with indicated resources of 70.2 M lbs U3O8, occur along the unconformity and a steeply dipping fault in the basement at ca. 400 m depth. The Maw Zone, a breccia pipe with surface exposure of 300 by 200 m, consists of highly silicified, hematitized, dravitic tourmaline-rich rocks with high REE (<8.1 wt. % as total REE oxides). The Maw Zone is ca. 4 km southwest from the south end of Phoenix deposits and does not contain high U (< 7.8 ppm U) contents. PCA of sandstones above the Phoenix deposits shows that U is associated with Heavy REEs (HREE)+Y, Light REEs (LREE) and Pb, and inversely correlated with Ti, Zr, Al, and Th. The Maw Zone displays different element groupings as revealed by PCA: U is strongly correlated with V, Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Cd, Na, Li and Ba, but very weakly correlated with HREEs+Y, and inversely with LREEs and P. Relative enrichment of HREEs, Y, and P suggests xenotime is the predominant host of the HREEs. The grouping of LREEs+Sr+Th+P suggests the occurrence of monazite and/or aluminum phosphate-sulphate (APS) minerals. A mineralogical study confirmed xenotime and APS minerals as the major host of HREEs and LREEs, respectively. These REE-bearing minerals precipitated from hydrothermal fluids during the brecciation of hematitized sandstones. The positive association between U and Fe in the PCA plot from the Maw Zone suggests that U was transported by oxidized fluids. The absence of U mineralization in the Maw Zone is explained by low U in the oxidizing fluids, or a lack reducing fluids to precipitate U.

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