Reconnaissance for uranium and thorium in Alaska, 1954

Trace Elements Investigations 611
This report concerns work done on behalf of the Division of Raw Materials of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
By:  and 



During 1954 reconnaissance investigations to locate minable deposits of uranium and thorium in Alaska were unsuccessful. Areas examined, from which prospectors had submitted radioactive samples, include Cap Yakataga, Kodiak Island, and Shirley Lake. Unconcentrated gravels from the beach at Cape Yakataga average about 0.001 percent equivalent uranium. Uranothorianite has been identified by X-ray diffraction data and is the principal source of radioactivity in the Cape Yakataga beach sands studied; but the zircon, monazite, and uranothorite are also radioactive. The black, opaque uranothorianite generally occurs as minute euhedral cubs, the majority of which will pass through a 100-mesh screen.

The bedrock source of the radioactive samples from Kodiak Island was not found; the maximum radioactivity of samples from the Shirley Lake area was equivalent to about 0.02 percent uranium. Radiometric traverses of the 460-foot level of the Garnet shaft of the Nixon Fork mine in the Nixon Fork mining district indicated a maximum of 0.15 mr/hr. In the Hot Springs district, drill hole concentrates of gravels examined contained a maximum of 0.03 percent equivalent uranium. A radioactivity anomaly noted during the Survey's airborne reconnaissance of portions of the Territory during 1954 is located in the Fairhaven district. A ground check disclosed that the radioactivity was due to accessory minerals in the granitic rock.

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Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Reconnaissance for uranium and thorium in Alaska, 1954
Series title Trace Elements Investigations
Series number 611
DOI 10.3133/tei611
Year Published 1957
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description 56 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
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