Sample records for pascoite

  1. Redistributed orebodies of Poison Canyon, Sec. 18 and 19, T. 13 N. , R. 9 W. , McKinley County

    SciTech Connect

    Tessendorf, T.N.


    Since the early 1950's, the Poison Canyon mine has been considered a classic example of uranium geology. Owing to present economic condtions, a close examination of the redistributed mineralization is taking place. Because of the evolution of the structure and geomorphology of Poison Canyon, the primary mineralization went through further oxidation and reduction. Enriched solutions of uranium migrated downdip through permeable sands. These solutions were controlled by north-trending fracture patterns, with some vertical movement along major faults. The uranium collected in structural and lithological traps, forming amoeba-like orebodies with the higher grade mineralization located in the fractures. First-generation redistributed ore is primarily coffinite. Forming later is second-generation redistributed ore, which is mainly tyuyamunite. The latter formed from further oxidation and redistribution of the primary and first-generation mineralization, combined with an increasing nearness to surface. The authigenic minerals in the redistributed mineralization are found in carbon-deficient sands. The redistributed minerals are locally associated with pascoite, although this mineral is rare. The radiometric equilibrium of the primary minerals differs from that of the redistributed minerals. The uranium has been leached from the primary minerals making chemical values less than radiometric values. The redistributed minerals are chemically greater than radiometric, producing a favorable equilibrium. The percent extraction in the mill process is greater for the redistributed ore than for the primary ore. The paragenetic position of the different minerals has a direct bearing on these observations.