Basal type uranium deposits in south-central British Columbia

Boyle, D.R.
Organization: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
"The basal type uranium deposits in south central British Columbia occur within unconsolidated, late Miocene fluvial paleochannel sediments that overlie major fault zones within the Okanagan Highlands Intrusive Complex. Prior to the formation of mineralization, paleovalleys containing host sediments were flooded by Pliocene valley basalts of the Plateau Basalt Formation. Five uranium deposits have been outlined to date, of which the Blizzard (4020 tonnes U) and TYee (650 tonnes U) are the largest. The basement intrusive complex underlying the deposits varies in age from early Cretaceous to Eocene and is comprised of quartz monzonite, granodiorite, Coryell monzonite, porphyritic granite and pegmatite.The mineralized host sediments comprise a complex sequence of interfingering conglomerates, arkosic sandstones and mudstones. Organic material is abundant in many, but not all, mineralized beds. Uranium mineralization is present in the form of uranous (ningyoite) or uranyl (saleeite, autunite) phosphates coating clastic grains and filling voids. Because of very strong reducing conditions related to large concentrations of marcasite and organic material, ningyoite is the only uranium mineral in the Tyee deposit, whereas the Blizzard deposit contains a more complex assemblage of minerals (saleeite, autunite, ningyoite). The observed paragenetic sequence of mineral precipitation in the Blizzard deposit (autunite-saleeite-ningyoite) indicates that the uranyl minerals, saleeite and autunite, are primary. Small amounts of Zn, Ni, Co and Mo have been introduced into the Blizzard deposit whereas Mo is the only non ore-forming element enriched in the Tyee deposit. Mn is the only depleted element in both deposits."
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