Abstract

Sandstone deposits are important sources of uranium, accounting for approximately 20 percent of global production, largely through in situ leach (ISL) mining. Most of this production has come from deposits in the western US, Niger and Kazakhstan. In Australia, sandstone-hosted uranium is being produced from the Beverley deposit in the Frome Embayment of South Australia, and a second ISL mine is under development at Honeymoon in the same region. Such deposits form where uranium-bearing oxidised ground waters moving through sandstone aquifers react with reducing materials. The locations of ore zones and the sizes of mineral deposits depend, amongst other factors, on the abundance and the reactive nature of the reductant. Hence the nature and abundance of organic material in the ore-bearing sedimentary sequence may be of critical importance in the formation of sandstone uranium deposits. In sandstones rich in organic material (containing debris of fossil plants or layers of authigenic organic material) the organic materials either reduce uranium directly with bacteria as a catalyst, or result in production of biogenic H2S. In sandstones relatively poor in organic material, that the reduction can be caused either by the introduction of hydrocarbons and/or H2S from oil/gas fields within underlying sediments; or by H2S produced from the interaction of oxidised ground water with pyrite in the sandstone aquifer. This paper outlines the geology of the world-class sandstone uranium deposits in the Chu-Sarysu and Syr-Darya Basins in the south-central portion of Kazakhstan, which are hosted by sandstones relatively poor in organic matter. It highlights the crucial role of that hydrocarbons appear to have played in the formation of these and other large sandstone type uranium deposits. Based on the model developed, it is concluded that there is considerable potential in Australia for discovery of large sandstone hosted uranium mineralisation, including in little explored regions underlain by basins with known or potential hydrocarbons.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -9.0 East bound 156.0 West bound 110.0 South bound -44.0

Product Type/Sub Type

nonGeographicDataset

Constraints

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2008-01-01T00:00:00

Product Type

nonGeographicDataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

GA Catalogue Number

65652 Product http://www.ga.gov.au/metadata-gateway/metadata/record/65652/

Keywords

External Publication
Conference Paper
economic geology
hydrocarbons
mineral exploration
AU
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-9.0
East bound
156.0
West bound
110.0
South bound
-44.0

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-d1a2-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address