Radium Geochemistry in Sediments Responds to Uranium Mineralization at Bancroft

radium in sediments finds Bancroft uranium deposits Geochemical contour map from 1968 samples
  • 95 sediment samples from streams and lakes.
  • Clastic and organic sediment. 38 locations have both types, clearly separate and distinct.
  • When both types present radium is higher in organic type.
  • Radium values in the two types rationalized on a curve and plotted and contoured on the same map (shown).
  • Uranium mineralization is concentrated along the belt of syenitic rocks and nepheline gneiss which occupies the contact between plutonic rocks to the northwest and metasedimentary to the southeast.
  • Note the high values associated with the mineralization and contact
  • Samples downstream from Faraday Mine also high but left off the map because possibly contaminated.
  • Published in Canadian Mining Journal, May 1969, p. 75-76
Drainage point map from 1968 and 1969 samples
  • 258 sediment samples.
  • See notes above.
  • From Ph.D. thesis, Queen's University, 1970
radium and radon in exploration for Bancroft uranium deposits

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Analytical Technique for Radium in Sediment
  • Ideally use 20 grams of sample but we have worked with less than a gram of fines.
  • Cover the sample with water, let the radon grow it to equilibrium, and measure radon in the water in the normal way.
  • Half-life to reach equilibrium is 3.8 days.
  • Fine sediments collected wet and kept under water remain pretty well in equilibrium.
  • In the same way you can also measure radium in plant parts, soil, crushed rock etc.
  • No need for crushing or chemical attack.
  • We measure: radon - radium - thoron - radon daughters - alpha radiation.
  • The Lucas cell is recognized as the most sensitive and reliable method for these elements.
  • Our instruments are used around the world in exploration for uranium, oil & gas, groundwater and hydrothermal, and in environmental protection, health physics, earthquake prediction, and evaluation of hydrocarbon and NAPL contamination.
  • In the radon business since 1968, our latest major instrument update was 2015.
  • Modern, low-power, field-rugged electronics. Some earlier versions still working after 35 years.
  • Continuous real-time monitoring and data recording.
  • Winter and summer, from the Sahara Desert to the Canadian Shield, our instruments have faced up to severe field conditions.
  • Intrinsically safe functions.
  • Sensitive to geochemical trace levels necessary for radon in lake water and for radon-thoron isotope ratios.
  • Can work in a tent without electricity or be carried from point to point in the field.
  • 50 readings per day. Results available immediately.
  • Rechargeable battery pack good for a long day in the field and recharges in a few hours.
  • Can be operated by junior personnel if carefully supervised.
  • Same instruments used for radon and radium in soil, sediment, plant parts, rocks, water, soil gas, air, and snow, and for radon daughters in air.
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Robert H. Morse, Ph.D., P.Eng. June 29, 2007

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