Geology of the Beaverlodge operation Eldorado Nuclear Limited

Smith, E.E.N.
Organization: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Pages: 15
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
"Uranium exploration by Eldorado prospectors north of Lake Athabasca began in late 1944 and resulted in initial discoveries in 1946 in the Beaverlodge region with mill production starting in early 1953. The operation was closed in mid-1982 having produced 21,457,947 kilograms U30 8 from the Eldorado FayVerna mine, Eldorado satellite operations and from other district producers on a custom basis.The Fay- Verna mine consists of pitchblende-brannerite orebodies spatially associated with both sides of a regional eastwest structure, the St. Louis Fault. The orebodies in the footwall (Fay) are elongate deposits of two types raking steeply to the southwest along the 50 degree south dip of the fault.One type consists of networks of fractures and veins filled with pitchblende, calcite and quartz in chlorite, epidote-altered mylonitized mica schists and amphibolites of the Middle Aphebian Tazin Group. The other type is comprised of fragments of mylonitized metasomatic quartz-feldspar granite of Late Middle Aphebian age cemented with a matrix of pitchblende, brannerite, calcite and some quartz. The vein networks lie en echelon in the footwall of the breccia ore bodies which, in part, are capped by the mud gouge of the St. Louis Fault; in other places, the breccia orebodies are overlain by basal conglomerates, grits and arkoses of the late Aphebian Martin Formation which itself immediately underlies the plane of the fault.Orebodies in the hanging wall (Verna) are a series of irregular, tabular deposits lying within a tightly overturned syncline of Tazin mica schists, amphibolites and siliceous mylonites. They consist of pitchblende, calcite-filled fractures grouped into zones and deposits displaying stratabound habits within individual rock types.Also described are several Eldorado satellite properties which were significant producers of uranium and which display complementary geology to that in the Fay- Verna mine.In general, uranium deposits in the Eldorado Beaverlodge region are closely related to minor structures associated with major faults. Uranium appears to be best concentrated where the rocks are well mylonitized and brecciated. Pitchblende fills networks of veins and fractures in metasediments and metavolcanics as well as matrix material cementing brecciated, mylonitized granite. All deposits in the Beaverlodge region lie in close proximity to the unconformity between the Martin Formation and the underlying Tazin Group."
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