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Uranium Exploration Potential, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada

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Review of the geological setting, genesis, exploration criteria, and uranium supply/demand. Concludes with a review of paradigm shifts in uranium exploration process over time.

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Uranium Exploration Potential, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada

  1. 1. Uranium Exploration Potential Athabasca Basin Saskatchewan, Canada
  2. 2. Presentation Outline • Geological Setting • Distribution of Unconformity-Type Deposits • Genetic Model and Variants • Uranium Exploration Criteria – Regional and District Scale – Local Scale • Uranium Exploration Methods – Summary • Uranium Deposit Resources and Grade • Uranium Supply/Demand • Uranium Exploration Cycles
  3. 3. Modified after Jefferson et al., 2007
  4. 4. After Jefferson et al., 2007
  5. 5. Athabasca Basin, Major Uranium Deposits 50 Km
  6. 6. Genetic Model for Athabasca Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Genetic Model: Diagenetic-Hydrothermal Oxidized, mineralized basinal fluids interact with graphitic metapelites resulting in reduction of uranium After Alexandre et al., 2005
  7. 7. Athabasca Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposit Model Variants Athabasca/Unconformity Hosted Basement/Unconformity Hosted Athabasca/Unconformity Basement Hosted Athabasca End Member Basement End-Member Athabasca/Basement Combined After Jefferson et al., 2007
  8. 8. Athabasca Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposit Model Variants Athabasca End Member Basement End-Member After Jefferson et al., 2007
  9. 9. Example of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposit Geometry McClean Lake North Pod 1 (Plan and 3D Views) (After Wallis, 1985)
  10. 10. Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Regional and District Scale Attributes • Athabasca Sandstone: Fluviatile Red Beds; Uranium Depleted • Unconformity: Athabasca Sandstone/Basement • Paleo-Regolith: Archean and Proterozoic Basement • Uranium-Rich Basement Complex: U-enriched Granite and Pegmatite • Ductile Deformation: Basement Zones of Weakness • Reactivated Regional Faults: Virgin River, Cable Bay, Black Bay • Graphitic Metapelite Gneiss: Zones of Weakness; Provides Reductant • Archean Granitoids: Spatial Association with some Uranium Deposits • Domain Boundary Transition: Wollaston-Mudjatic; Mudjatic-Virgin River • Regional Alteration Corridors: Illite-Chlorite-Dravite Corridor East Athabasca
  11. 11. Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits After Jefferson et al., 2007
  12. 12. Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits After Jefferson et al., 2007
  13. 13. Mudjatic Domain Wollaston-Mudjatic Transition Zone Wollaston Domain 50 Km Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Regional and District Scale
  14. 14. Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Regional and District Scale After Jefferson et al., 2007
  15. 15. Correlation between Uranium Deposits, EM Conductors, Magnetic Intensity, and DDH Locations CAMECO AREVA UEX DENISON FORUM 50 Km
  16. 16. Significant Exploration Characteristics of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Local Scale Attributes • Athabasca/Unconformity Ore: Polymetallic (Complex Mineralogy) • Unconformity Basement Ore: Monometallic (Simple Mineralogy) • Brittle Structures: Faults, Fractures, Breccia • Deposit Morphology: Athabasca – Flattened, elongate, linear pods/bodies • Deposit Morphology: Basement – Shear-bounded ore lenses • Alteration: Athabasca – Illite-Kaolinite-Chlorite envelope/chimney • Alteration: Athabasca – High K2O / Al2O3 • Alteration: Basement – Illite-Sudoite-Fe Mg Chlorite envelope • Alteration: Paleoregolith – Bleaching (Illite) overprint of Hematite-Chlorite • Quartz Dissolution: Volume reduction, collapse of Athabasca Group strata • Late Silicification: Formation of drusy quartz along fractures • Perched Uranium Zones: Fracture/Fault controlled; above deposit
  17. 17. K2O / Al2O3 Ratios for Midwest Lake (After Sopuck, 1980; Abrahim, 1985) Example of Alteration ‘Chimney’ above ‘egress’ style deposits (Cigar Lake, Midwest Lake, McClean Lake) (Modified after Jefferson et al. 2007)
  18. 18. Example of Unconformity Uranium Deposit: Sue C From: Purepoint Uranium 2013 Corporate Presentation
  19. 19. Athabasca Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits Geophysical and Geochemical Methods Modified after Jefferson, 2007; Fogwill, 1985
  20. 20. Trace and REE Elements in Athabasca Sandstone, Phoenix Deposit, Zone A and B
  21. 21. Uranium Deposit Depths 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 CluffLake1969 Horseshoe/Raven 1974 KeyLake1975 WestBear1977 McCleanLake1978 MidwestLake1978 DawnLake1978 EaglePoint1980 CigarLake1981 McArthurRiver1988 SheaCreek1992 Tamarack1999 Millenium2002 Centennial2004 Roughrider2008 Phoenix2010 J-Zone2012 PattersonLake2013 Depth(m)
  22. 22. Uranium Deposit Mineral Resource 133 123 106 105 88 70 61 60 58 56 41 41 30 29 18 17 16 14 14 13 12 12 11 6 6 5 4 2 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 McArthurRiver CigarLake EaglePoint Deilman-KeyLake PattersonLake* Millenium SheaCreek Phoenix Centennial* Gaertner-KeyLake RoughriderW/E Midwest CollinsBayB RabbitLake DawnLake SueC Tamarack CollinsBayA Horseshoe Dominique-Peter D-JSouthandWest JZone CluffLakeD McClean Raven CollinsBayD Claude JEB CluffLakeN SueA SueB MauriceBay Dominique-Janine WestBear Fond-du-Lac CluffLakeOP MMLbsU3O8 342 589 Athabasca Unconformity Uranium Deposit Mineral Resources
  23. 23. Source: Cameco/UxC/Historical Uranium Spot and Long-Term Price Trend $0.00 $20.00 $40.00 $60.00 $80.00 $100.00 $120.00 $140.00 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 Year $US/lbU3O8 Spot Long-Term GlobalRecession FukushimaDisaster
  24. 24. U3O8 Resource 58.30 530.00 983.00 105.98 293.97 118.39 5 16 7 2 4 2 0.00 200.00 400.00 600.00 800.00 1000.00 1200.00 1960-1970 1970-1980 1980-1990 1990-2000 2000-2010 2010-2014 Date Range MMlbsU3O8 MM Lbs U3O8 # Deposits RabbitLake,CluffLake KeyLake,McCleanLake MidwestLake,EaglePoint CigarLake,McArthurRiver SheaCreek,Tamarack Phoenix,Roughrider,Millennium PattersonLake,J-Zone Date Range MM Lbs U3O8 # Deposits Major Uranium Discoveries 1960-1970 58.30 5 Rabbit Lake, Cluff Lake 1970-1980 530.00 16 Key Lake, McClean Lake, Midwest Lake, Eagle Point 1980-1990 983.00 7 Cigar Lake, McArthur River, Sue, JEB 1990-2000 105.98 2 Shea Creek, Tamarack 2000-2010 293.97 4 Phoenix, Roughrider, Millenium, Centennial 2010-2014 118.39 2 Patterson Lake, J-Zone
  25. 25. Economic Uranium Deposit Discoveries in the Athabasca Basin referenced to the Spot Uranium Price and Exploration Expenditures
  26. 26. Beaverlodge Deposit Model (Classical Vein-Type Uranium) Elliot Lake Deposit Model (Placer Uranium) Unconformity Deposit Model (Diagenetic-Hydrothermal Uranium) New Deposit Model (Unconformity Variants?) 1950 1960 1970 2010 Selective History of Paradigm Shifts in Uranium Exploration Process (Modified after Marlatt and Kyser, 2011) Prospector Driven Exploration Research/Model/Technology Driven Exploration 1980 1990 2000
  27. 27. Athabasca Basin Uranium Exploration ‘Learning Curve’ (after Marlatt and Kyser, 2011) 300 m 600 m >900 m
  28. 28. From: Fission Uranium Presentation 2014
  29. 29. Contact Information Delio Tortosa, P.Eng., M.Sc. Geological Consultant Tel: 705 946-1040 Cell: 705 971-4768 Email: dtortosa@vianet.ca

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