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Greenland: Kvanefjeld deposit - uranium and elements of rare soils (Grónsko: Ložisko Kvanefjeld - uran a prvky vzácných zemin)

Greenland: Kvanefjeld deposit - uranium and elements of rare soils (Grónsko: Ložisko Kvanefjeld - uran a prvky vzácných zemin)
Článek je anglicky

The Kvanefjeld Project comprises two exploration licenses, totalling 82km2 that cover mineralised and prospective parts of the intrusive Ilimaussaq Complex, South West Greenland.  The complex consists of three separate intrusions namely augite syenite that forms a shell along the sides and roof, an alkali granite and alkali syenite forming two thin sheets near the top of the body and finally the largest part and centre of the intrusion consisting of a layered series of under-saturated syenite.
The complex is exceptionally rich in a variety of elements namely, uranium, lithium, beryllium, zirconium and rare earth elements (REE).  The mineral potential of the Ilimaussaq Complex was first recognized in 1806 and since that time detailed exploration by others, especially Danish Government agencies completed diamond drilling (11,852m) that identified an estimated 43,000 tonnes (t) of contained uranium metal from the uranium host rocks that averaged 340g/tU (250g/tU cut-off).  These resources are described as 27,000t U of reasonably assured resources and 16,000t U of estimated additional resources.  Further exploration between 1979 and 1986 resulted in the identification of a further 60,000t of “speculative resources”.  In 2003, the Nuclear Energy Agency reported that untested mineralised host rocks could add significantly to the above estimates.

Based on the well documented results of past exploration by others, together with diamond drilling results from 11852m (76 holes) at Kvanefjeld, it is believed that Inferred Resource status can be assigned to the uranium mineralisation identified to date. 

Between 1979 and 1980, two adits were constructed from which a total of 20,000 tonnes of material was mined at an average grade of 365g/tU in a pilot scale mining operation.  From this mining 4,500 tonnes was taken for metallurgical testing.

The calculated resource at that time derived from the exploratory adits was estimated to be in the vicinity of 56Mt.

In the early 1980’s changes in government policy halted the mining activity.

In addition to uranium other identified mineralisation included beryllium, 180,000 tonnes at 0.1% Be and lithium 235,000 t at 600-1900 ppm in water soluble form.

Estimates of the uranium potential by others (Bondam and Sorensen 1959) refer to uranium mineralisation grading between 100-200ppm over an area of 12km2 and some 600m thick that would equate to some 3Mt of uranium.  No exploration data has been sighted to support this estimate.

The area is also prospective for sodalite, sodium aluminium silicate, potential market 50,000t pa, tugtupite, (beryllosodalite), currently selling for US$50 per gram, fenite, a quartzofeldspathic rock and a source tantalum niobium and uranium, copper and zinc, commonly occurring as stratabound lenses, and eudialyte, a complex mineral, containing sodium, zirconium, niobium, tantalum and rare earths, that is believed to underlie much of the licence area at depth.


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