Title: The Provenance of Australian Uranium Ore Concentrates by Elemental and Isotopic Analysis
Citation: APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY vol. 23 p. 765-777
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC38134
ISSN: 0883-2927
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC38134
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2007.12.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Elemental and isotopic ratio analyses of uranium ore concentrate samples, from the three operating uranium mining facilities in Australia, were carried out to determine if significant variations exist between their products, thereby allowing the uranium ore concentrate's origin to be identified. Elemental analyses were conducted using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). Lead isotope ratios were measured using ICP-MS and uranium isotope analyses were conducted using thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS). Minute quantities of sample, such as that obtained from a swipe, were also examined for elemental concentrations using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The results of multivariate statistical analysis show clear patterns in the trace elemental composition of the processed uranium ores, indicating that it is possible to use this feature as a unique identifier of an Australian uranium ore concentrate's source. Secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses also allow individual particles to be differentiated using this 'fingerprinting' technique. Isotope ratios determined using TIMS reveal that there is a significant difference in the n(234U)/n(238U) isotope ratio between the uranium ore concentrate from each mine.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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