Discovery of Kiggavik Uranium Deposit

  • We discovered the Kiggavik uranium deposit in the Thelon near Baker Lake in 1974 by flying a gamma-ray scintillation spectrometer set on broad band (total count).
  • Due to counting statistics, the uranium channel wouldn't have detected the anomaly, and we could only observe one channel.
  • Eric Onasick (geophysics) and Ko Griep (geology) made the discovery in the evening of August 7. I was the party chief.
  • Our exploration focus was along the unconformity at the base of the Thelon, analogous to the Athabasca.
  • Total area for the two-month summer was 11 permits or 7500 square kilometers.
  • At the same time we collected 1300 water samples and 1200 sediment samples from lakes.
  • In a field lab we analysed waters for radon and sediments for radium. Dieter Stein and Basil Aptanik ran the field lab.
  • We sent water samples out for uranium and copper analyses, and sediments for uranium, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, nickel and silver.
  • The attached map shows the 1974 results for radon and uranium in water and radium and uranium in sediment. The deposit location is from 1978 drilling as reported in assessment file 80976, drawing 1-01.tif
  • All four of these radon-radium-uranium indicators show a medium to strong anomaly associated with the Kiggavik deposit.
  • There is also a weak association of copper, lead, zinc, cobalt and nickel with the deposit. Details are available in the assessment files for 1974 (submitted 1975).
  • Radon has the advantage that it available immediately in the field for follow up, radium after a few days.

If the gamma radiation had been masked by a foot or two of overburden and/or missed by flight line spacing, the orebody could have been found anyway by follow up of the radon-radium-uranium anomaly.


  • We measure: radon - radium - thoron - radon daughters - alpha radiation.
  • The Lucas cell is recognized as the most sensitive and reliable method for these elements.
  • Intrinsically safe functions.
  • Sensitive to geochemical trace levels necessary for radon in lake water and for radon-thoron isotope ratios.
  • immune to beta and gamma radiation.
  • one monitor works with a number of (less expensive) detectors.
  • 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 etc.
  • Same instruments used for radon and radium in soil, sediment, plant parts, rocks, water, soil gas, air, snow, food, and for radon and thoron daughters in air.
  • Winter and summer, from the Sahara Desert to the Canadian Shield, our instruments have faced up to severe field conditions.
  • In the radon business since 1968, our instruments are updated regularly with the most recent major re-design in 2015. Modern, low-power, field-rugged electronics. Some earlier versions still working after 40 years.
  • Continuous real-time monitoring and data recording.
  • RS232 port/pc software.
  • User programmable measurement intervals, sample and count periods and alarm level settings.
  • Can work in a tent without electricity or be carried from point to point in the field.
  • 50 readings per day. Results available immediately.
  • Portable. 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.
  • EPA and CE Mark compliant.
  • Click here ( for more details of our radon instruments, and for other instruments, components and accessories we provide.
  • Technical specification sheets and pictures of our instruments provided on request.
  • Multilingual consulting and training (if required).
For instruments contact

Robert H. Morse, Ph.D., P.Eng.
July 7, 2007
Click here for technical details and other applications of our radon instruments.

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