Uranium deposits in the Eureka Gulch area, Central City district, Gilpin County, Colorado
The Eureka Gulch area of the Central City district, Gilpin County, Colo., was mined for ores of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc; but there has been little mining activity in the area since World War I. Between 1951 and 1953 nine radioactive mine dumps were discovered in the area by the U.S. Geological Survey and by prospectors. the importance of the discoveries has not been determined as all but one of the mines are inaccessible, but the distribution, quantity, and grade of the radioactive materials found on the mine dumps indicate that the area is worth of additional exploration as a possible source of uranium ore.
The uranium ans other metals are in and near steeply dipping mesothermal veins of Laramide age intrusive rocks. Pitchblende is present in at least four veins, and metatorbernite, associated at places with kosolite, is found along two veins for a linear distance of about 700 feet. The pitchblends and metatorbernite appear to be mutually exclusive and seem to occur in different veins. Colloform grains of pitchblende were deposited in the vein essentially contemporaneously with pyrite. The pitchblende is earlier in the sequence of deposition than galena and sphalerite. The metatorbernite replaces altered biotite-quartz-plagioclase gneiss and altered amphibolite, and to a lesser extent forms coatings on fractures in these rocks adjacent to the veins; the kasolite fills vugs in highly altered material and in altered wall rocks. Much of the pitchblende found on the dumps has been partly leached subsequent to mining and is out of equilibrium. Selected samples of metatorbernite-bearing rock from one mine dump contain as much as 6.11 percent uranium.
The pitchblende is a primary vein mineral deposited from uranium-bearing hydrothermal solutions. The metatorbernite probably formed by oxidation, solution, and transportation of uranium from primary pitchblende, but it may be a primary mineral deposited directly from fluids of different composition from these that deposited pitchblende.
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Uranium deposits in the Eureka Gulch area, Central City district, Gilpin County, Colorado|
|Series title||Trace Elements Investigations|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Description||Report: 52 p.; 2 Plates: 21.75 x 11.51 inches and 20.29 x 12.76 inches|
|Other Geospatial||Eureka Gulch Area|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|