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Kent Town, Australia

Penney R.,UXA Resources Ltd
Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science | Year: 2012

Australia's sandstone-hosted uranium deposits occur in sedimentary basins of Carboniferous, Cretaceous and Tertiary age; these include some of Australia's largest and highest grade uranium deposits. The conventional model for sandstone-hosted uranium deposits has proved robust and a predictive model leading to the discovery of many deposits in Australia. The location of deposits is strongly influenced by the presence of Mesoproterozoic and Archaean age leachable uraniumrich source rocks in the headwaters of channels draining into basins developed in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Australia's production of uranium from sandstone-hosted deposits is limited to two in-situ leach operations and is relatively minor when compared to production from Kazakhstan and the USA. Nevertheless, Australia has a large inventory of uranium resources in 19 undeveloped sandstone-hosted deposits, amounting to 123 kt U3O8. The average grade of all 21 Australian deposits that have resources is 0.15% U3O8. Tertiary palaeochannels host the greatest number of deposits and include the largest and highest grade deposits. The Callabonna Sub-basin in South Australia is the most richly endowed basin, accounting for 62.4 kt U3O8, being 38% of Australia's sandstone-hosted resource inventory. Australia remains highly prospective for the discovery of new palaeochannel hosted uranium deposits, with regional airborne geophysical surveys likely to be of great assistance in continuing to define palaeochannel systems that may host uranium in basins draining uranium rich source rocks. © 2012 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The AusIMM. Source


Penney R.,UXA Resources Ltd | Ames C.,UXA Resources Ltd | Quinn D.,UXA Resources Ltd | Ross A.,UXA Resources Ltd
Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science | Year: 2012

The continuous movement of ground water in sandstone hosted uranium deposits renders them subject to disequilibrium between uranium and its daughter products. This is important when wireline gamma logging alone is used to quantify the presence of uranium which can be over- or under-estimated by a significant percentage. The problem can be overcome by logging using the prompt fission neutron (PFN) tool which directly measures the presence of uranium through neutron activation. PFN technology is also superior to core drilling and assay as it provides a larger sample, is less expensive and is instantaneous, allowing drilling programs to proceed uninterrupted. Examples are presented from uranium deposits in Australia and the USA demonstrating disequilibrium, and the use of PFN to map uranium throughout a deposit and to set the screens in in situ leach mining. © 2012 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The AusIMM. Source

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