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Effects of Chlorite Alteration on Uranium Redistribution in Koongarra, Australia

  • Takashi Murakami (a1), Hiroshi Isobe (a1) and Robert Edis (a2)

Abstract

The relevance of alteration of chlorite, one of the major constituent minerals of the host rock to uranium ore at Koongarra, to the redistribution of uranium in the vicinity of the ore deposit has been examined. The chlorite alteration is produced by weathering; chlorite is transformed to vermiculite, through regularly interstratified chlorite/vermiculite. The Fe released from chlorite reprecipitates to form iron minerals, possibly ferrihydrite. Vermiculite is then replaced by kaolinite (and possibly smectite), further releasing Fe. On the millimeter scale, an alpha autoradiography study has shown that uranium concentrations are qualitatively proportional to the extent of the alteration; altered chlorite grains having higher uranium concentration. On the meter scale, the X-ray diffraction study has revealed that the abundances of chlorite, vermiculite, and kaolinite correspond well to the low, intermediate, and high uranium concentration zones, respectively. These suggest that the interaction of the uraniferous solution with chlorite causes the alteration of chlorite and the precipitation and sorption of uranium in the alteration products from the solution, and thus, the uranium migration is retarded at Koongarra.

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[10] Ohnuki, T., Murakami, T., Sekine, K., Yanase, N., Isobe, H., and Kobayashi, Y., Migration behavior of uranium and thorium series nuclides in altered quartz-chlorite schist, in Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XIII, edited by Oversby, V. M. and Brown, P. W. (Mater. Res. Soc, Pittsburgh, PA, 1990) pp. 607614.

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Effects of Chlorite Alteration on Uranium Redistribution in Koongarra, Australia

  • Takashi Murakami (a1), Hiroshi Isobe (a1) and Robert Edis (a2)

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