Title: Attribution of uranium ore concentrates using elemental and anionic data
Citation: APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY vol. 27 no. 8 p. 1600-1609
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC71714
ISSN: 0883-2927
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883292712001321
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The capability to correctly identify the geological or geographical source of unknown U ore concentrates (UOC) has obvious nuclear security benefits. This paper reports on a scoping study where the trace elemental and anionic compositions of 24 UOC samples, sourced mainly from mines in Australia and Canada, were examined for their ability to allow attribution of the sample to a particular geological U deposit type or to a particular geographical source. Results of statistical analysis using canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) showed that samples originating from certain U ore deposit types, especially phosphorite and quartz-pebble conglomerate, contained a distinct impurity composition. Samples grouped according to their geographical region of origin appeared to contain distinctive impurities in certain cases (Elliot Lake and Bancroft, Ontario). The key impurities responsible for differentiating groups of samples from a particular geological deposit type were identified and the use of certain impurities as signatures of processing history is discussed. The methodology described in this scoping study provides a promising approach for more comprehensive databases.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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