The geology of the McClean uranium deposits, northern Saskatchewan

Wallis, R.H. ; Saracoglu, N. ; Brummer, J.J. ; Golightly, J.P.
Organization: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Pages: 25
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
"The McClean uranium deposits are located 11 km west northwest of the Rabbit Lake Mine. Their average grade is 1.8 % U3O8 , and they contain 6. 350 tonnes of uranium oxide in seven pods of variable grade and mineral assemblage. They are hosted by both basal Athabasca Group and the regolith developed on the underlying crystalline basement. The major mineral facies are: sulphide, arsenide, 'bleached', and hematite, with the important uranium minerals being coffinite, uraninite and pitchblende. Abundances of carbon and sulphur isotopes are consistent with their derivation from pyritic graphite in basement gneisses. Isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen suggest equilibration at temperatures of about 200°C. Ar39/ Ar40 age determination of illite associated with ore suggest mineralization began about 1300 m.y. ago and that significant alteration had ceased by about 1170 m.y. ago though Pb/ U data suggest the deposits continued to evolve into the Mesozoic.IntroductionThe McClean deposits lie on the eastern side of the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan where they are part of a cluster of uranium deposits lying west of Wollaston Lake (Fig. 1). The general stratigraphy is schematically portrayed in Figure 2 which emphasizes that mineralization is hosted by both the Athabasca Group and the underlying regolith and also that the deposits are preserved at depth and have not suffered from preand post-Pleistocene weathering and erosion. This circumstance, combined with their simple shape and the presence of seven separate zones of mineralization (pods) allows a description, based on over 450 fully cored drill holes, to be made of the wide variation in chemistry, grade, alteration patterns and position relative to the sub-Athabasca Group unconformity. Ar39 / Ar40 age determinations have been made of illites associated with regolith, Athabasca Group and mineralization and studies are in progress on C, S, 0 and H isotopes of mineralized material and host rocks. Only some of these data have been published; Brummer et al., (1981); Golightly et al., (1982); Bray et al., (1982); and Saracoglu et al., (1983). The only other published data on McClean geology are by Tremblay (1982, 1983)."
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