Shear-hosted uranium deposits: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

A group of uranium deposits is described that is hosted within polyphase shear zones. The group is economically significant, collectively containing over 500,000 tonnes of uranium and several examples have been or are being mined. Over a hundred individual deposits are known widely spread over many countries. It is proposed that this group be assigned to a new shear-hosted uranium deposit category. Uranium deposition was superimposed upon intense and extensive feldspathic alteration formed during ductile deformation. This intense alteration has led to the alternative albitite-type or metasomatite-type nomenclature. The evidence is clear that in most cases uranium mineralization postdates regionally extensive feldspar alteration and is associated with a range of alteration assemblages which overprint early albite or K-feldspar dominant alteration. Abundance of hydrothermal zirconium and phosphate minerals is a common characteristic of this group which implies high activity of F and P during mineralisation, but the source of hydrothermal fluids remains uncertain. Also uncertain is the geodynamic setting of uranium mineralisation which is a consequence of absolute mineralisation age being poorly defined. Data from three of the four major districts are suggestive that mineralisation was a consequence of fluid migration along shears during regional compression. This paper reviews key aspects of the group in a mineral systems context, focussing on the four major districts of Kropyvnytskyi (Ukraine), Lagoa Real (Brazil), Mount Isa (Australia) and the Central Mineral Belt (Canada).

Original languageEnglish
Article number954
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMinerals
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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