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Formation of Secondary Uranium Minerals in the Koongarra Deposit, Australia

  • Hiroshi Isobe (a1), Rodney C. Ewing (a2) and Takashi Murakami (a3)

Abstract

Secondary uranium minerals from the Koongarra deposit, Northern Territory of Australia, were examined in order to understand the formation and alteration processes of the uranium minerals and their relevance to the migration behavior of uranium, lead, calcium and rare earth elements in the weathered zone. In most of the secondary ore zone, the only stable uranium mineral was saléeite (Mg(UO2)2(PO4)2·10H20), occurring as euhedral platy crystals up to 1 mm in length in veins and at surfaces. Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3F), an accessory mineral of the host rock, has saléeite reaction rims, suggesting formation at the expense of apatite. Ca-uranyl phosphates, such as autunite (Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2·10H2O), were not identified, and Ca-rich uranyl silicates are also absent in the primary ore zone. Pb-bearing uranyl phosphates were found only in the graphite layer cross-cutting the secondary ore zone. In the graphite layer, the local low oxidation condition and high hydrocarbonate content of ground water have affected the formation of uranium minerals and the migration behavior of uranium.

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Formation of Secondary Uranium Minerals in the Koongarra Deposit, Australia

  • Hiroshi Isobe (a1), Rodney C. Ewing (a2) and Takashi Murakami (a3)

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