Jabiluka is the largest of four known uncomformity-type uranium deposits that are hosted by brecciated and altered metasedimentary rocks in the Pine Creek geosyncline, Northern Territory, Australia. The alteration zone at Jabiluka is dominated by chlorite, but also contains white mica, tourmaline and apatite; hematite is present, but only in minor amounts. Added quartz is mainly restricted to fractures and breccias. Chlorite, which formed during episodic fluid movement, partly to totally replaced all pre-existing minerals. Chloritized rocks are enriched in Mg, and depleted in K, Ca, Na and Si. Five types of chlorite are optically and chemically distinguishable in the rocks at Jabiluka. Chloritization is proposed as a mechanism that lowered the pH of the circulating fluid, and also caused significant loss of silica from the altered rocks. The proposed constraints on alteration, and presumably on at least part of the uranium mineralization, neither require nor preclude the existence of the unconformity as necessary for the formation of ore.
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Chloritization and associated alteration at the Jabiluka unconformity-type uranium deposit, Northern Territory, Australia