Sediment-Hosted Uranium Field Seminar

Course Details

The Colorado Plateau is one the most prolific Uranium producing areas in the world. Many of the mining industry’s models of sediment-hosted uranium occurrence are based on field observations from famous mining districts there such as the Uravan, Grants, Henry Mountains, Ambrosia Lake and more.

On this field trip we will take you on a tour of mines that have historically produced from fluvial sandstones, shallow-marine sandstones and lacustrine carbonates. The mines have been hand-selected based on safety and their utility as a teaching tool.

By the end of this field trip participants will have a thorough understanding of uranium source rocks, migration pathways of oxidizing fluids, traps related to the presence of reductant and lateral facies changes, and the association of uranium in different sedimentary lithofacies.

To make this a truly enriching experience for our participants we will be inviting some of the top Uranium geoscientists in the US as guest lecturers to enlighten us all.

Next time someone in your company mentions how these are “Colorado Plateau Type” deposits you will be able to analyze and critique their work with confidence.

Who Should Attend

• Geologists • Engineers • Managers • Environmental Scientists • Miners 

This course is meant for all who are interested in developing a thorough understanding of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

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    Course Outline

    Day 1

    You will be arriving the day before the course starts at Albuquerque Airport, New Mexico, USA and we will check you in to your hotel in Grants which used to be the Uranium capital of the world. The next morning we will begin with a safety briefing, orientation to the field area, and an introduction to the stratigraphy and uranium history of the Colorado Plateau.

    In the field we will visit the Poison Canyon area which was at the center of the Uranium boom and will learn how different parts of the same fluvial systems are often mistakenly assigned different formation names and how it is best to build a stratigraphic framework based on genetic units. Participants will get to observe the spectacular patterns of leaching in the Jurassic Morrison Formation and will compare and contrast external versus internal humate models that are believed to be unique to this mining district.

    Day 2

    Morning lectures will focus on lacustrine carbonates and their facies belts. We will then discuss what makes the Jurassic Todilto Limestone in the Ambrosia Lake Mining district such a desirable place to mine high-grade Uranium.

    In the field we will be visiting the Zia and La Jara mines to begin with and compare the lithofacies association and Uranium mineralization with Haystack Mountain. Participants will observe how quickly facies belts change from proximal to distal along the margins of a lake and the effects on the volume of reductant produced needed to deposit Uranium.

    Day 3

    We will check out of our hotel in Grants and bid New Mexico goodbye as we enter Colorado and a new mining district. Because of the long-drive involved we will not have lectures.

    After checking into the hotel in Moab, Utah, we will look at the Uranium-Vanadium-Copper deposits that often typify the mines in the Salt Wash Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation of the Yellowcat Mining district. Our last stop will be an overview of Colorado Plateau stratigraphy and discussion of possible sources of Uranium in these world-class deposits.

    Day 4

    Morning lectures will cover distributary fluvial systems and the relationship between plant and vertebrate taphonomy and the availability of reductant for Uranium entrapment.

    In the field we will drive into the Henry Mountain Mining District and look at Uranium mines in the Triassic Chinle Formation. Participants will observe a classic “log-jam” in a fluvial point-bar deposit. You will also get to observe how disseminated organics derived from the erosion of woody plant matter can provide reductant for Uranium entrapment.

    Day 5

    Morning lectures will focus on differentiating Roll-Fronts from Rolls and Tabular deposits and the utility of this terminology.

    In the field we will visit the Slick Rock Mining District where participants will get to see textbook examples of Uranium rolls and their association with organic material, vanadium and copper in the Salt Wash Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation.

    After an early dinner in Moab we will drop you off at Canyonlands Field Airport for an evening departure.

    This field trip is available upon request. The field trip is $3500/person and this cost includes all hotels, meals, transportation, national park passes, permits to work on Native American land, field guide, exercise materials, and tuition. Group discounts are available if your company decides to send 3 or more participants.

    Visas for the US typically take 1-2 months to process therefore we recommend contacting us as soon as possible so we can send you a letter of invitation that you can take to your local US consulate.

    Our location

    Our headquarters are twenty minutes away from downtown Denver and half an hour from the largest core facility in the United States. Or field office in Ouray allows us quick access to world-class outcrops in Utah and New Mexico.