Between 1948 and 1953, the U. S. Geological Survey conducted diamond-drill exploration in the Club Mesa. area in the western part of the Uravan district, Montrose County, Colo. This drilling, consisting of 662 holes totaling 170,095 feet, was done to find minable uranium-vanadium deposits and to appraise uranium-vanadium reserves of the Club Mesa area.
Rocks exposed in the area are gently dipping sedimentary formations of Mesozoic age. Sandstone units in the upper part of the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation of Jurassic age contain most of the known uranium-vanadium deposits in the area; all of the large deposits are in the uppermost sandstone unit of that member.
Of the 195 holes that penetrated mineralized rock, 74 holes penetrated ore layers, and 37 penetrated mineralized layers of ore grade but less than 1 foot thick. All of the ore layers and ore-grade layers are in sandstone units in the upper part of the Salt Wash member. The ore layers are in the bottom half of the host sandstone unit in about 90 percent of the holes in ore and in the bottom quarter of the unit in over 60 percent of these holes.
Indicated and inferred reserves of ore discovered by the drilling total about 200,000 short tons averaging about 0.35 percent U308 and 1.80 percent V205. About 80 percent of the estimated reserves were included in six mining leases granted by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission on deposits discovered by the drilling.
Nearly all of the ore layers and most of the mineralized layers penetrated, are in sandstone units 30 feet or more thick that are in contact with at least 6 inches of green or gray mudstone. If these minimum thicknesses are used as cutoffs to determine ground favorable for ore, about 10 percent of the Club Mesa area explored by the U.S. Geological Survey can be classified as favorable and contains nearly all of the ore reserves discovered.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Results of U.S. Geological Survey exploration for uranium-vanadium deposits in the Club Mesa area, Uravan district, Montrose County, Colorado