Geochemical studies of uranium dispersion in south-central British Columbia

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 820, 1980

D.R. BOYLE and S.B. BALLANTYNE, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa

Detailed studies have been conducted on the dispersion of uranium in stream waters and sediments around various types of mineralization and hitherto unexplained anomalous areas in the Okanagan Valley and Highland region of south-central British Columbia. These studies were part of the jointly funded and planned Federal-Provincial Uranium Reconnaissance Program of the Geological Survey of Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. Statistical analysis of regional data indicates that if in stream waters and sediments varies considerably for different rock types, thus affecting data interpretation. In addition, the data demonstrate a poor correlation between U in stream waters and their associated sediments which can be largely accounted for by variations in climate and water and sediment composition. Regional trends in the distribution ofU can be explained in terms of the above secondary factors as well as primary metallization phenomena.Significant correlations between U and F, and U and Mo can be explained by certain magmatic and mineral-forming processes. U shows little correlation with other base metals.The dispersion characteristics of U in the vicinity of Miocene "basal type" mineralization, uraniferous pegmatite terranes, anomalous lineaments in granitic terranes and high-background volcano-sedimentary areas are discussed. Highly anomalous U concentrations in waters and sediments may not always be indicative of mineralization, and guidelines for interpretation require a sound knowledge of the geological and secondary processes operative in the area.
Keywords: Geochemistry, Uranium dispersion, British Columbia, Stream waters, Sediments, Draining systems, Lassie Lake area, Grand Forks area, Beaverdell area, Midway area, Blue Springs area, Okanagan region.