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The Robinson and Weatherly uraniferous pyrobitumen deposits near Placerville, San Miguel County, Colorado

Open-File Report 53-273

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Abstract

Uranium deposits that contain uraniferous pyrobitumen of possible hydrothermal origin occur at the Weatherly and Robinson properties near Placerville, San Miguel County, Colo. These deposits were mined for copper, silver, and gold more than 50 years ago and were developed for uranium in 1950. The Robinson property, half a mile east of Placerville, consists of the White Spar, New Discovery Lode, and Barbara Jo claims. The rocks in this area are nearly horizontal sandstones, shales, limestones, and conglomerates of the Cutler formation of Permian age and the Dolores formation of Triassic and Jurassic (?) age. These rocks have been faulted extensively and intruded by a Tertiary (?) andesite porphyry dike. Uranium-bearing pyrobitumen associated with tennantite, tetrahedrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, bornite, azurite, malachite, calcite, barite, and quartz occurs in a lenticular body as much as 40 feet long and 6 feet wide along a northwest-trending, steeply dipping normal fault. The uranium content of eleven samples from the uranium deposit ranges from 0.001 to 0.045 percent uranium and averages about 0.02 percent uranium. The Weatherly property, about a mile northwest of Placerville, consists of the Black King claims nos. 1, 4, and 5. The rocks in this area include the complexly faulted Cutler formation of Permian age and the Dolores formation of Triassic and Jurassic (?) age. Uranium-bearing pyrobitumen arid uranophane occur, along a northwest-trending, steeply dipping normal fault and in the sedimentary rocks on the hanging wall of the fault. Lens-shaped deposits in the fault zone are as much as 6 feet long and 2 feet wide and contain as much as 9 percent uranium; whereas channel samples across the fault zone contain from 0.001 to 0.014 percent uranium. Tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, fuchsite, malachite, azurite, erythrite, bornite, and molybdite in a gangue of pyrite, calcite, barite, and quartz are associated with the uraniferous material. In the sedimentary rocks on the hanging wall, uranium-bearing pyrobitumen occurs in replacement lenses as much as,8 inches wide and 6 feet long, and in nodules as much as 6 inches in diameter for approximately 100 feet away from the fault. Pyrite and calcite are closely associated with the uraniferous material in the sedimentary rocks. Samples from the replacement bodies contain from 0. 007 to 1.4 percent uranium.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The Robinson and Weatherly uraniferous pyrobitumen deposits near Placerville, San Miguel County, Colorado
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
53-273
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1953
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey],
Description:
43 p