Abstract

The Paleoproterozoic Otish Basin, Quebec, hosts several uranium prospects that until recently remained underexplored and poorly understood. In this study, the Camie River U prospect, which shows similar characteristics to high-grade unconformity-related U deposits, is the focus of an integrated basin analysis in the western Otish Basin.

Conglomerate and sandstone of the Indicator Formation, which were deposited in at least six depositional sequences, were affected by insignificant early diagenetic compaction and cementation. This allowed the formation of regional peak diagenetic aquifers, which became muscovite altered due to interaction with fluids having δ18O and δ2H values similar to those of seawater-influenced basinal brines at 250°C.

U mineralization at Camie River occurred at 1721 ±20 Ma based on a 207Pb/206Pb date obtained by laser ablation of uraninite, which coincides with a phase of the Otish Gabbro intrusion that has been dated at ca. 1730 Ma. The intrusive event promoted circulation of U-bearing basinal brines, triggering U mineralization at several locations in the western Otish Basin. Interaction of basinal brines with the Otish Gabbro produced coarse-grained chlorite, tourmaline, and phengitic muscovite, which decreased the fluid-conducting capabilities of diagenetic aquifers and resulted in fault zone- and fracture-dominated fluid flow.

Subsequent fluid alteration events produced limited U remobilization, sulfides, sudoite, and siderite between ca. 1670 and 1410 Ma based on mineral paragenesis and 40Ar/39Ar dates of muscovite. Metamorphic fluids having high δ18O values and temperatures around 300°C accompanied 1.2 to 1.0 Ga Grenville orogenesis and subgreenschist-grade metamorphism in the Otish Basin but were present at low water/rock ratios at Camie River and therefore produced little alteration. Post-Grenville uplift of the Otish Basin likely produced late, low-temperature alteration minerals that have been influenced by recent meteoric water, suggesting that the fault zones and fractures the minerals occupy remain as preferential fluid-flow pathways to the present day.

Radiogenic Pb and the characteristic trace elements Mo + W + Nb have also preferentially dispersed from the mineralization along fault zones, fractures, and depositional sequence boundaries, and can be used to explore for Camie River-style U mineralization.

You do not currently have access to this article.