Age and origin of uranium mineralization in the Camie River deposit (Otish Basin, Québec, Canada)

Authors: Lesbros-Piat-Desvial, Marion; Beaudoin, Georges; Mercadier, Julien; Creaser, Robert
Abstract: The Camie River uranium deposit is located in the southeastern part of the Paleoproterozoic Otish Basin (Québec). The uranium mineralization consists of disseminated and vein uraninite and brannerite precipitated close to the unconformity between Paleoproterozoic fluviatile, pervasively altered, sandstones and conglomerates of the Matoush Formation and the underlying sulfide-bearing graphitic schists of the Archean Hippocampe greenstone belt. Diagenetic orange/pink feldspathic alteration of the Matoush Formation consists of authigenic albite cement partly replaced by later orthoclase cement, with the Na2O content of clastic rocks increasing with depth. Basin-wide green muscovite alteration affected both the Matoush Formation and the top of the basement Tichegami Group. Uraninite with minor brannerite is mainly hosted by subvertical reverse faults in basement graphitic metapelites ± sulfides and overlying sandstones and conglomerates. Uranium mineralization is associated with chlorite veins and alteration with temperatures near 320 ºC, that are paragenetically late relative to the diagenetic feldspathic and muscovite alterations. Re-Os geochronology of molybdenite intergrown with uraninite yields an age of 1724.0 ± 4.9 Ma, whereas uraninite yields an identical, although slightly discordant, 1724 ± 29 Ma SIMS U-Pb age. Uraninite has high concentrations in REE with flat REE spectra resembling those of uraninite formed from metamorphic fluids, rather than the bell-shaped patterns typical of unconformity-related uraninite. Paragenesis and geochronology therefore show that the uranium mineralization formed approximately 440 million years after intrusion of the Otish Gabbro dykes and sills at ~2176 Ma, which constrains the minimum age for the sedimentary host rocks. The post-diagenetic stage of uraninite after feldspathic and muscovite alterations, the paragenetic sequence and the brannerite-uraninite assemblage, the relatively high temperature for the mineralizing event (~320 °C) following the diagenetic Na- and K-dominated alteration, lack of evidence for brines typical of unconformity-related U deposits, the older age of the Otish Basin compared to worldwide basins hosting unconformity-related uranium deposits, the large age difference between basin fill and mineralization, the older age of the uranium oxide compared to ages for worldwide unconformity-related U deposits, and the flat REE spectra of uraninite do not support the previous interpretation that the Camie River deposit is an unconformity-associated uranium deposit. Rather, the evidence is more consistent with a PaleoProterozoic, higher-temperature hydrothermal event at 1724 Ma, whose origin remains speculative.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 11 October 2017
Open Access Date: 9 April 2020
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Ore geology reviews
Alternative version: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2017.10.006
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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