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Major surficial uranium find in Penticton B.C. while on holidays.

Seoul_lasers

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I just got back from a fairly long trip into B.C. 's desert, the Okanagan valley. Lots of wine tours, walking and sightseeing. One evening last week I left my Wife and Sister-in-law to have some beach time. I grabbed my survey meter and headed up to an area I monitored last year for anomalous radioactivity but failed to find anything. ( I left disappointed and empty handed)
Using a map from courtesy of Minfile ( BC Govt online mining resource) hand drawn in 1977 I followed the banding in the rocks and got to an area that was now open due to a new roadway connecting to a yet constructed housing development. I had my survey meter on 1x setting and the survey meter was connected to my digital meter on my dashboard of Jeep grand Cherokee. As I drove up the hill my background remained ~70CPM, with minor fluctuations driving near open rubble piles. As my car rolled past a pile of pinkish rock, I noticed the counts start to climb rapidly (4x - 7x background) - up to 360-500CPM. This have me a an idea as to where this sporadic radioactivity was coming from. I pulled open my phone and read the notes filed - and the literature made a specific mention of pink grit being a host of some "Thorium" mineralization, although there was no specific identified mineral in the location, ie random radioactivity from host rock... Not really useful info..

The rubble pile turned out to be only very slightly elevated....Then I made a decision to walk towards the area where the rock pile had come from which was blocked to road traffic. Immediately my counter started picking sporadic radiation again. I walked a little bit further and I then came to the side of a rock face that had been exposed by drilling with large orangey brown spots, some being oddly rectangular ringed with purple ( looking not too unlike radiation damage or a burn spot). Several of these spots being at least 10cm across sent my GM detector far off scale on 1000x. My GM counters exposure alarm instantly sounded. - smaller spots gave count readings 7-10KCPM range and only moderately larger spots were in the 60-100KCPM range.

I raced back to the car and grabbed a geologists pick and hammer and was able to knock off a sizable slab of this new undocumented Radioactive mineral.


Pictures posted below.

I have sent off pictures to Mindat and will be sending pics to UBC for analysis this week. They will also likely want a sample from me as well.

As of this morning I was able to get a decent Gamma spectral analysis done confirming U mineralization. Most likely it is a form of Gummite ( one of a few secondary U minerals mashed together)

If confirmed by UBC, it will be the first identified uranium mineral in the area ever recorded.



13B76F64-1752-409A-9ABD-6E78498D2342_1_105_c.jpeg

Meter pegged on this spot -- patch was 10cm across


3F7A48D8-4E38-4D05-90FB-2F056648079C_1_105_c.jpeg

All those purple marks are mats of conc. uranium mineralization note the orange brown staining and pink host rock.

8DE1FEF1-44C8-4811-9AA7-41F9EFE23116_1_105_c.jpeg

No berrier will stand in my way... our source of sporadic radioactivity lay just beyond this berrier.
A pink git granite/feldspar rock face



94C4F3FF-EC80-4DDA-AB53-4F603D0DDD5F_1_105_c.jpeg

My best sample -- 12,000CPM on a pancake probe and 50,000CPM on a NaI/Tl Scintillator.
 



Alaskan

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Portable free energy egg fryer! My wife would never allow me to keep that in the house, I had a radioactive plate and when I showed her how it made my meter pop, she made me take out of the house.
 

Jim H

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I have a nice collection of hot rocks, although now being married, they have to be outside as well. I had a really nice thorite that I unfortunately had to sell, but I got $500 for it. From Colorado
 

gazer101

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Is there any practical use for hobby-grade radioactive materials? Like could one achieve DIY radioluminescence by coating the things in some kind of phosphor? It'd be nice to have radioactively lit up driveway markings no? :LOL:
 

Jim H

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Is there any practical use for hobby-grade radioactive materials? Like could one achieve DIY radioluminescence by coating the things in some kind of phosphor? It'd be nice to have radioactively lit up driveway markings no? :LOL:
Not really. Anything active enough to light up a driveway would give off a lot of radiation. Navy ships used to have deck markers, maybe they still do, but they are small and use radium, and are rather hot. Unless you could find tritium vials...
 

Seoul_lasers

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Yes, indeed. Anything active enough to cause fluorescence ( usually by Alpha excitation) wouldn't be something I'd want around either.




Practically speaking : The Uranium based minerals are all highly collectable and rather expensive. Some very unusual secondary uranium minerals also form with rare earths making them indispensable to industry. U positive Monazite is exceedingly rare ( Found in Ontario btw) often containing Sm,Gd and Ce. Also tagging along can be some Bannerite as well Chemical formula: (U, Ca, Fe, Y, Th)(Ti, Fe)2O6

If you have an interest in radioactive minerals, they are a lot of fun to go find and rather beautiful. Some are strongly fluorescent under Long and short UV. Great conversation starters for the classroom. Definitely enjoyed going to find this deposit!
 

Jim H

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A friend and I discovered some monazite (Sm) in Colorado, first find of it in the US. He had it analyzed. There was only a very small amount of it. Lots of rare earths around where I live.. I used to treat well water, and a lot of wells had U, Th, Ra and or Rn in themDSCF7091ms.jpg
 

Seoul_lasers

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Ok, so I have just had an hour long conversation with the head geochemist with the BC Govt. regarding my find. Basically, my find is to be expected as relatively young Uranium and Thorium deposits are quite common in the entire interior (Okanagan) region, I kind of knew that already (obvious)... however what is unusual is the mineral being formed. It appears unlike any other mineralization previously found or recorded apparently. If the find can be verified via XRC along with XRF then Minfile can be updated with the find.

Second point - The BC Government cannot get involved in Uranium mineralization localities unless the local municipalities request them to do so. In this case the pink grit with the Uranium mineral has more than likely been used as backfill for houses so a discussion needs to start at the municipal govt level. The BC Govt does its best to ignore (bury its head in the sand) regarding any Uranium minerals due to the moratorium from the 1980s, however if the deposit forms in quarry or mine then the govt can get involved from an occupational health and safety standpoint.

Back to identifying this mineral - I am looking for someone to do XRC ( X-ray crystallography ) along with XRF. Does anyone here do XRC?
 

Jim H

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I wouldn't waste your time with XRF. XRD or EDS is what you want if trying to identify exactly what it is. XRF is not quantitative, so you will only know what but you won't know the percentages of each. Also it doesn't detect lighter elements. There was someone who was very food with XRD, but unfortunately he died last year. Kaygeedee in Canada can do analysis. Website is Kaygeedeeminerals.com I have not used them, but know of others who have.
 

Seoul_lasers

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I wouldn't waste your time with XRF. XRD or EDS is what you want if trying to identify exactly what it is. XRF is not quantitative, so you will only know what but you won't know the percentages of each. Also it doesn't detect lighter elements. There was someone who was very food with XRD, but unfortunately he died last year. Kaygeedee in Canada can do analysis. Website is Kaygeedeeminerals.com I have not used them, but know of others who have.
Actually, the head geochemist for BC recommended both XRF and XRD ( Xray crystallography) as Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) has limitations. First, the electron microprobe (both EDS and wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS)) is designed for the analysis of materials with a smooth, polished surface only; particles rarely have flat, smooth surfaces. The edge effects resulting from a rough surface will influence the signal and consequently the (semi) quantitative data.
Since this mineral is a surface deposit getting a perfectly smooth sample isn't going to work. This leaves both XRF and XRD the only viable options.
 




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