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TitleStream sediment geochemical/indicator mineral orientation survey, Lonnie Nb prospect, British Columbia, Canada
AuthorLuck, P; Simandl, G J
SourceBritish Columbia Geological Survey, Geofile 2014-04, 2014, 1 sheet Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120504
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93J; 93K; 93N; 93O; 94B
AreaGranite Creek
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -120.0000 57.0000 54.0000
Subjectsstructural geology; radioactive minerals; geochemistry; carbonatites; mineral deposits; structural interpretations; stream sediment geochemistry; niobium; niobium geochemistry; strontium; thorium; uranium; Loonie Carbonatite; Aley deposit; Wicheeda deposit; Wolverine fault zone; Wolverine metamorphic complex
Illustrationsphotographs; analyses; tables; location maps
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) Rare-Metal Ore Systems
Released2014 01 01
AbstractCarbonatites, associated fenitization zones, and their weathered equivalents are the most important sources of Nb and some contain significant concentrations of Ta and rare earth elements (Simandl et al., 2012). They contain important deposits of vermiculite, apatite (phosphate), badelleyite (zirconia), fluorite, U, and magnetite (Mariano 1989a, 1989b, Birket and Simandl, 1999 ).
One of the objectives of the Specialty Metals component of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4 (TGI-4) is to determine if indicator minerals can guide explorationists toward carbonatite-related mineralization. Heavy mineral processing and analysis of indicator minerals are expensive and time consuming. We measured the concentrations of Nb, Ta, REE, P, Sr, Ba, U, and Th in different grain size fractions of sediments sampled from streams draining three deposits (Fig. 1). Using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) minimizes the cost, improves output, and optimizes the sampling procedure. Concentrations of these pathfinder elements are expected to correlate with the presence of indicator minerals such as pyrochlore, columbite-tantalite, fersmite, apatite, REE-bearing fluorocarbonates, monazite, allanite, zircon, xenotime, and minerals of celestite- barite solid solution.
Three carbonatites, Lonnie (Nb prospect), Aley (large Nb deposit), and Wicheeda (high grade REE deposit), are the subject of an indicator mineral orientation surveys to improve the efficacy of Nb, Ta, and REE exploration techniques (Fig. 1). This study summarizes the methodology used in the above orientation surveys; however, it focusses on the Lonnie Nb prospect.
The results for key pathfinder elements were precise (most having a mean %RSD less than 6%). In order to acheive the best possible accuracy pXRF results were correlated with results from laboratory techniques for recalibration. Results for eight size fractions separated by laboratory sieves indicate a systematic distribution of key elements, with the highest abundances found in the finer size fractions. Of these, the +125?m fraction was chosen for further consideration due to its suitability for continued indicator mineral studies. With the exception of Ba, Sr, and possibly Nb samples upstream from the Lonnie deposit display higher concentrations of carbonatite pathfinder elements than samples downstream of the deposit. This indicates source(s) farther upstream, probably the Vergil carbonatite and Nb and TREE + Y soil geochemical anomalies. Indicator mineral studies are ongoing.

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