3D Modeling of the Maverick (Moore Lakes) Uranium Deposit, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada: Application to Uranium Exploration

Ranee E. Joshi and Irvine R Annesley and Gautier Laurent. ( 2018 )
in: 2018 Ring Meeting, ASGA

Abstract

3D modeling is a powerful tool for visualizing, understanding, and characterizing geologic deposits. In structurally-complex areas, such as the Athabasca Basin, it facilitates detailed studies on the geometry of the sedimentary basin and its contact with the underlying Archean/Paleoproterozoic rocks. This furthers our understanding of the geological events that affected the whole Athabasca Basin, including mineralization controls, so to develop new strategies for ore deposit exploration. In this contribution, particular interest is given to the Maverick (Moore Lakes) uranium deposit as it is located within the transition zone between the Western Wollaston Domain (WMD) and the Eastern Wollaston Domain (EWD). This structural and geologic complexity is greatly affected by late brittle deformation, including strong faulting and associated breaching/offset of the Maverick unconformity. This study characterizes and models the geological environment of the Maverick uranium deposit, both at district and deposit scale. The district-scale model provides a context for the deposit-scale study. A 3D geologic model of well-understood fault-bound compartments of the southeast Athabasca Basin was built in the GOCAD environment using available geologic maps, stratigraphic picks, and geophysical information including aeromagnetic, gravity, and seismic data. Use of SKUA-GOCAD and RING research plugins (FaultMod and GeolToolbox) resulted in the construction of a comprehensive model of the unconformity, stratigraphy, and structural architecture of this southeastern part of the basin. The deposit-scale study used additional seismic, drillhole, and geochemical data from the Moore Lakes uranium project (1976-2011). With the available data sets, in-depth structural delineation and geological characterization are possible. The reactivated large-scale fault zones serve as conduits for mineralizing fluids and thus, a basis for the further understanding of the origin and fluid flow pathways of the uranium-bearing fluids. The study also takes a deeper look at the structural geometry and stress orientation of these structures, and its link with reactivation and mineralization. The results of this study establish and test some new structural-geochemical vectoring tools for uranium exploration by documenting the mobility of elements across and within the mineralized fault zones.

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BibTeX Reference

@INPROCEEDINGS{,
    author = { Joshi, Ranee E. and Annesley, Irvine R and Laurent, Gautier },
     title = { 3D Modeling of the Maverick (Moore Lakes) Uranium Deposit, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada: Application to Uranium Exploration },
 booktitle = { 2018 Ring Meeting },
      year = { 2018 },
 publisher = { ASGA },
  abstract = { 3D modeling is a powerful tool for visualizing, understanding, and characterizing geologic deposits. In structurally-complex areas, such as the Athabasca Basin, it facilitates detailed studies on the geometry of the sedimentary basin and its contact with the underlying Archean/Paleoproterozoic rocks. This furthers our understanding of the geological events that affected the whole Athabasca Basin, including mineralization controls, so to develop new strategies for ore deposit exploration. In this contribution, particular interest is given to the Maverick (Moore Lakes) uranium deposit as it is located within the transition zone between the Western Wollaston Domain (WMD) and the Eastern Wollaston Domain (EWD). This structural and geologic complexity is greatly affected by late brittle deformation, including strong faulting and associated breaching/offset of the Maverick unconformity.
This study characterizes and models the geological environment of the Maverick uranium deposit, both at district and deposit scale. The district-scale model provides a context for the deposit-scale study. A 3D geologic model of well-understood fault-bound compartments of the southeast Athabasca Basin was built in the GOCAD environment using available geologic maps, stratigraphic picks, and geophysical information including aeromagnetic, gravity, and seismic data. Use of SKUA-GOCAD and RING research plugins (FaultMod and GeolToolbox) resulted in the construction of a comprehensive model of the unconformity, stratigraphy, and structural architecture of this southeastern part of the basin.
The deposit-scale study used additional seismic, drillhole, and geochemical data from the Moore Lakes uranium project (1976-2011). With the available data sets, in-depth structural delineation and geological characterization are possible. The reactivated large-scale fault zones serve as conduits for mineralizing fluids and thus, a basis for the further understanding of the origin and fluid flow pathways of the uranium-bearing fluids. The study also takes a deeper look at the structural geometry and stress orientation of these structures, and its link with reactivation and mineralization. The results of this study establish and test some new structural-geochemical vectoring tools for uranium exploration by documenting the mobility of elements across and within the mineralized fault zones. }
}