Investigations in 1947 in the Lower Yukon-Kuskokwim region, Alaska found that previously reported radioactivity in the vicinity of Flat is due to uraniferous zircon, an accessory mineral in monzonite. The monzonite intrudes mafic igneous and Upper Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. The maximum equivalent-uranium content of the zircon is 0.14 percent, and the average content is probably near 0. 13 percent. Chemical analysis of one sample of the most radioactive zircon indicates approximately 0.12 percent uranium and 0.03 percent thoria. The radioactive elements apparently are most commonly associated with reddish-brown inclusions within the zircon crystals.
Tests of sulfide-bearing veins, black shales, and other rock types in the area around Flat showed no significant amount of radioactive material.
Although there is little likelihood of finding high-grade uranium deposits in the area covered by the 1947 investigation, the fact that the predominant radioactive element in the monzonite is uranium may indicate that other intrusives of the same age in the Lower Yukon-Kuskokwim region might also contain uraniferous material. Possibilities of concentrations in attendant contact-metamorphic or vein deposits are suggested by a previously reported occurrence of zeunerite in a copper lode in this same general belt of intrusives.
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USGS Numbered Series
Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in the lower Yukon-Kuskokwim Highlands region, Alaska