In unconformity-related uranium deposits, mineralization is associated with hydrothermal clay-rich alteration haloes that decrease the density of the host rock. In the Kiggavik uranium project, located in the eastern Thelon Basin, Nunavut (Canada), basement-hosted shallow deposits were discovered by drilling geophysical anomalies in the 1970s. In 2014, gravity data were inverted for the first time using the Geosoft VOXI Earth ModellingTM system to generate three-dimensional (3D) models to assist exploration in the Contact prospect, the most recent discovery at Kiggavik. A 3D unconstrained inversion model was calculated before drilling, and a model constrained by petrophysical data was computed after drilling. The unconstrained inversion provided a first approximation of the geometry and depth of a low-density body and helped to collar the discovery holes of the Contact mineralization. The constrained inversion was computed using density values measured on 315 core samples collected from 21 drill holes completed between 2014 and 2015. The constrained modelling highlights three shallower and smaller low-density bodies that match the geological interpretation and refines the footprint of the gravity anomalies in relation to the current understanding of the deposit. The 3D inversion of gravity data is a valuable tool to guide geologists in exploration of shallow basement-hosted uranium deposits associated with alteration haloes and to assess the deposit gravity geometry.
Three-dimensional gravity modelling applied to the exploration of uranium unconformity-related basement-hosted deposits: the Contact prospect case study, Kiggavik, northeast Thelon region (Nunavut, Canada)
Régis Roy, Antonio Benedicto, Alexis Grare, Mickaël Béhaegel, Yoann Richard, Grant Harrison; Three-dimensional gravity modelling applied to the exploration of uranium unconformity-related basement-hosted deposits: the Contact prospect case study, Kiggavik, northeast Thelon region (Nunavut, Canada). Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences ; 54 (8): 869–882. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2016-0225
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