Pitchblende, associated with base-metal sulfides, has been found at nine localities in the northern part of Jefferson County, Colo., in shear zones that cut pre-Cambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks, chiefly hornblende gneiss, biotite schist, and granite pegmatite. The known deposits are in the vicinity of Halston Creek and Golden Gate Canyon, in the foothills of the Colorado Front Range and about 15 miles east of the pitchblende-producing area of the Central City district. Two of the pitchblende occurrences were found by a local prospector in 1949; the seven other deposits were found by Geological Survey. personnel in 1951-52.
The pitchblende deposits, with one exception, are in major shear zones that contain veinlike bodies of carbonate-rich breccia that ranges from 1 to 5 feet in
thickness. The breccias probably are related to the Laramide faults, or 'breccia reefs' of similar trend, mapped by Loverinq and Goddard (1950). The breccias are composed of fragments of bleached and iron-stained wall rock, usually hornblende gneiss, that have been cut by veins and cemented by carbonate minerals, quartz, and orthoclase(?). Pitchblende and associated ore minerals, chiefly copper sulfides, occur in and along the margins of the breccias and apparently were introduced at a late stage of the carbonate deposition. At one deposit, the Buckman, the pitchblende is in narrow shear zones not closely related to any large breccia bodies.
Secondary uranium minerals are subordinate except at the Schwartzwalder mine, where torbernite and metatorbernite are common. Some alteration of pitchblende to non-opaque materials, believed to be hydrated oxides, has been noted in ore from two of the deposits.