Uranium-Enriched Bedrock in the central Wopmay Orogen: Implications for Uranium Mineralization
Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013
LUKE OOTES, JEFF HARRIS, VALERIE A. JACKSON, BRONWYN AZAR, AND LOUISE CORRIVEAU
We use the results of new bedrock mapping, combined with geochemical point data and airborne radiometric data (in particular equivalent uranium concentrations) to help determine which geological units in the Paleoproterozoic Great Bear magmatic zone (GBmz) contain elevated uranium. The data collectively indicate that the highest primary uranium concentrations are in equigranular granites and subvolcanic/volcanic porphyries. Notably, these rocks host the majority of known uranium-bearing deposits and/or prospects in the GBmz. We speculate that the uranium in these deposits/prospects was derived from nearby, uranium-enriched rocks and was mobilized by much younger, circulating hydrothermal fluids. Sedimentary rocks of the Thelon and Dismal Lakes groups unconformably overlie the GBmz and are known to host unconformity-type and sandstone-hosted uranium prospects. Most likely, the uraniumenriched rocks of the GBmz acted as a uranium donor to these overlying sedimentary basins. The method of investigation employed in this study may be applicable to other ‘granitic’ terrains in order to identify regions with favourable rocks for uranium exploration.
Wopmay orogen, Great Bear magmatic zone, bedrock geochemistry, IOCG, unconformityrelated uranium