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Geological Evolution and Exploration Geochemistry of the Boomerang Lake Unconformity-type Uranium Prospect, Northwest Territories, Canada

By
Steve R. Beyer
Steve R. Beyer
1
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 Canada e-mail, beyer@students.geol.queensu.ca
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Kurt Kyser
Kurt Kyser
1
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 Canada e-mail, beyer@students.geol.queensu.ca
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Eric E. Hiatt
Eric E. Hiatt
2
Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 USA.
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Ian Fraser
Ian Fraser
3
Uravan Minerals, Inc., 204 2526 Battleford Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta T3E 7J4 Canada
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The Boomerang Lake unconformity-type uranium prospect is located in the Proterozoic western Thelon basin, Canada. Based on geological similarities to other uranium-producing Proterozoic basins, it represents a prospective target for uranium exploration. The potential of the western Thelon basin at Boomerang Lake to host high-grade, unconformity-type uranium deposits has been evaluated using alteration mineral paragenesis and chemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, and a 2 percent HNO3 leach method.

Pre-Thelon basin basement rocks were subaerially weathered by low δ18O value meteoric waters at 1758 ± 7 Ma. Early diagenesis in the basin occurred at ca. 1667 Ma and is marked by a phosphate-dominated alteration mineral assemblage that formed from relatively reducing basinal fluids. Later peak diagenetic basinal fluids produced a widespread phyllosilicate-dominated mineral assemblage at temperatures of as much as 250°C, and had δ18O and δ2H values and chemical compositions consistent with those of oxidizing, saline basinal brines in other uranium-producing Proterozoic basins. Uranium mineralization is associated with hydrothermal alteration by 18O- and 2H-rich evolved basinal fluids at 200°C, but consists of minor amounts of the U+4 phosphate mineral tristramite. The distribution and stable isotope compositions of peak diagenetic and hydrothermal phyllosilicates indicate sandstones overlying the Boomerang Lake prospect were isolated from peak diagenetic basinal fluids that were capable of transporting uranium, resulting in the diminutive uranium phosphate mineralization.

Radiogenic mobile Pb is present in sandstones and basement rocks at Boomerang Lake, but was predominantly produced in situ from U-bearing accessory and detrital minerals and probably not from an undiscovered uranium deposit at depth. The use of 238U/206Pb and (Zr+Th)/U ratios proved to be helpful in evaluating the prospectivity of anomalously radiogenic zones in the Thelon basin.

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Contents

Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists

The Challenge of Finding New Mineral Resources: Global Metallogeny, Innovative Exploration, and New Discoveries

Richard J. Goldfarb
Richard J. Goldfarb
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Erin E. Marsh
Erin E. Marsh
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Thomas Monecke
Thomas Monecke
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
15
ISBN electronic:
9781629490403
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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