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A uranium deposit discovered in 1977 in western Alaska, by means of airborne radiometric data, is the largest known in Alaska on the basis of industry reserve estimates. The deposit is apparently of epigenetic and supergene origin. The uranium was derived from the Cretaceous granite of the Darby pluton that forms part of the western side of Death Valley. Uranium from primary mineralization is in the subsurface in a marginal facies of the Tertiary sedimentary basin where nearshore coarse clastic rocks are interbedded with coal and lacustrine clay. The supergene enrichment is related to a soil horizon at the present ground surface. Extensive exploratory drilling took place from 1979 to 1981. The average grade of the potential ore is 0. 27 percent U//3O//8 and the average thickness is 3 m. The calculated reserves are 1,000,000 lbs U//3O//8; additional drilling would probably add to this figure. Additional study results are discussed.
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GEOLOGY AND ORIGIN OF THE DEATH VALLEY URANIUM DEPOSIT, SEWARD PENINSULA, ALASKA.