Investigations in 1965 located veins containing radioactive material in the Halaban Group on the east side of a granite pluton at Jabal Aja near Ha'il. Later study extended the known area of radioactivity to a total length of about 30 km. Mineralogic studies indicated that the samples were low in uranium and that the radioactivity was due principally to thorium in niobium-bearing minerals. Two samples were reexamined to identify the sources of radioactivity, but X-ray and alpha plate studies did not reveal the radioactive minerals, even though uranium mineralization was indicated by the alpha plates. Further sampling is suggested to isolate the sources of radioactivity. This study indicates that niobium occurrences are related to alkaline intrusives in many areas of western Saudi Arabia. These areas should be investigated for their possible niobium and rare earth contents; their uranium content is apparently too low to be of economic interest.
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A summary of niobium and rare earth localities from Ha'il and other areas in western Saudi Arabia: a preliminary study