Geochemical Exploration for Uranium In the Grenville Province of Ontario

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 781, 1977

W. B. Coker and I. R. Jonasson, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa

A helicopter-mounted lake-sediment and lake-water survey was carried out over Grenville rocks in the Renfrew area (parts of Renfrew and Lanark counties) during four days of October, 1975. In the course of this survey. 1150 square kilometers were covered, with 24.6 lake-sediment and 276 lake-water samples collected from every body of water on which the helicopter could land. Sample sites, which averaged one per 4.6 square kilometers, included lakes, ponds, beaver ponds, swamps and marshes. Lake-sediment samples were taken using a G.S.C. sampler. Waters were collected directly into polyethylene bottles. At each sample site, surface and bottom-water pH, dissolved oxygen content, conductivity and temperature were measured using a Martek Water Quality Analyzer. The lake sediments were air dried and then ball milled to pass a minus SO-mesh sieve. Lake sediments were analyzed for U by delayed neutron activation and for Mo, Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe, Mn, Ni and Co by atomic absorption techniques. The organic content of the sediments was determined by loss on ignition at 450°'C. Lake waters were acidified with nitric acid on the day of collection. The U content of the waters was determined by fluorometry; the Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe, Mn, Ni and Co contents of the waters were determined by solvent extraction - atomic absorption techniques. A close relationship was found between bodies of granitic, syenitic and pegmatitic bedrock and elevated U levels in the lake sediments. The Hurd Lake and White Lake granitic intrusives were encompassed by an annulus of higher U activity. Field inspection revealed that the U concentrations occur within a zone which may represent a contact metamorphic aureole. Within these complexes, anomalous concentrations of U appear to be associated with Mo. Information derived from the lake-water data reinforces the geochemical distributions outlined by the lake-sediment survey. This survey was carried out in order to develop optimum sampling and analytical procedures for geochemical reconnaissance of the Grenville Province that may be carried out under the auspices of the Uranium Reconnaissance Program.
Keywords: Mineral exploration, Exploration techniques, Geochemical exploration, Uranium, Grenville Province, Lake sediments, Lake waters, Renfrew area, Molybdenum, Copper.