Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

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Conor Whyte
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Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Conor Whyte » 16 Aug 2020, 17:16

Just got back from a week long vacation into wine country here in BC.
Day we arrived was during an end of a 4 week long heat wave that saw temps in the 38-46c range.
On the second to last day I decided to use my Minfile map and try and located the mysterious Thorium deposit recorded back in 1977.
It was supposed to be located within the pink grit around the North end of the lake... ie next to our hotel...
I took our 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee for an evening spin chasing anomalous background reading from inside the car. As I climbed to the top of the new housing development there was a sudden spike in the background counts towards the last segment of unfinished housing lots. I got out and noticed rubble piles of pink grit which read 4x background as down below on the lake front.. I continued to walk towards large rock face it too was comprised of pink grit... the reading were sporadic ~350-600CPM... The reading didn't seem like they were emiating from the rock... I walked 15-20m beyond the barrier and suddenly my survey meter went completely off scale and alarmed while walking around the rock face. I quickly noticed the orange -red patches on the rock face. A few of these were as small as 2x2cm and read 700-1,000CPM each. A few larger of these spots were over 10cm across and quickly maxed out my meter. The higher the orange-red (rust colour) content on the spot the higher the reading - the deeper the purpling.

I ran back to the car and got my Geo-picks/hammer to knock of a few sizable samples.


If anyone would like a Uraniferous mystery mineral I'd be happy to part with a few of my 40Kg worth of samples from this locality.
I would like to identify this mineral first as it is very unusual.


Thanks to the Gamma spectacular kit with a 1.5" Scionix-Holland NaI/Tl detector I was able to identify that the mineral in question is in fact Uraniferous, and to date there have been no uranium minerals identified in the specific locality. Literature from 1977 mentions sporadic Thorium dissemination within pink grit and Wacke shale lenses.
Anyways, I am very happy with my find.
I have done my part and have contacted the BC Govt. over my find. -- Will make a call on Monday.


IMG_5962.jpeg
Just beyond the barrier - pink grit rockface is loaded with odd shaped orange-red outcroppings tinged with purple.
IMG_5961.jpeg
Odd shaped U deposit - note the purple ringing
IMG_5963.jpeg
U Deposit above lake Skaha near a new residential area
IMG_5960.jpeg
Pegged my meter here at 50K on a large 10cm wide orange spot. -- @ 1000x scale did ~350KCPM with alpha shield removed. ~260K with shield on. Very hot
IMG_5959.jpeg
deposit with orange-red mineralization.
20200810_155340.jpeg
Sample taken - 10-12K on an LND7312. +40K on my plastic Scint.
Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 12.56.24 AM.png
Uranium progeny identified..

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iRad
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by iRad » 16 Aug 2020, 22:50

Amazing find, and so close to a development. Thanks for sharing...
Cheers, Tom Hall / IRAD INC / Stuart, FL USA
Please check out my eBay Store: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Rad-Lab

Conor Whyte
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Conor Whyte » 17 Aug 2020, 02:02

The Scionix Holland NaI/Tl probe is the one I purchased from you last March/April. It has been indispensable when trying to identify Th or U minerals and has quite high resolving power.
I also took one of your plastic scint. probes with me on my hunt, again it allowed me to quickly zero in on the deposit. Big thanks Thom!



As far the BC Govt is concerned this is the first Uranium mineral to be found in the area as records have only showed Th mineralization during a visit by ministry of energy mines back in 1977. but No specific mineralization was identified.
I will be updating this story as I get a response from the head geochemist from the BC Govt. This should be very interesting.

I will be parting with a few of my samples once this mineral has been properly identified. I'll also be needing a good home for them. :)

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Peter-1
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Peter-1 » 17 Aug 2020, 02:31

Hello,
by the color and the high count rate, it could be Curite. At least very interesting.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/curite

Peter

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Geoff
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Geoff » 17 Aug 2020, 02:42

That’s an awesome adventure! I second the vote for curite based on uranium progeny.
Geoff Van Horn

Former Alaskan living in rural Wisconsin

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iRad
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by iRad » 17 Aug 2020, 03:19

Conor
It's nice to hear that you used the probes I sent you to make the discovery. I enjoy reading your many posts and contributions, and I'm sure they are much help and interest to the group as well. Finds like this are becoming increasingly rare...
Cheers, Tom Hall / IRAD INC / Stuart, FL USA
Please check out my eBay Store: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Rad-Lab

Conor Whyte
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Conor Whyte » 17 Aug 2020, 16:00

Well I have a number of other places to go find Uranium minerals in BC. I hope I am able to make another trip before the start of School...
There is a major Uraninite, Zeunerite/meta zeunerite and Thorianite deposit in Lytton that I have been meaning to find. I tried last year and was close enough to detect it but couldn't see the green/blue staining typical with this particular secondary U mineral. Most of the deposit was obscured by a rock slide.

Conor Whyte
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Conor Whyte » 23 Aug 2020, 05:20

Ok, so I have just had an hour long conversation with the head geochemist with the BC Govt. regarding my find. Basically, my find is to be expected as relatively young Uranium and Thorium deposits are quite common in the entire interior (Okanagan) region, I kind of knew that already (obvious)... however what is unusual is the mineral being formed. It appears unlike any other mineralization previously found or recorded apparently. If the find can be verified via XRC along with XRF then Minfile can be updated with the find.

Second point - The BC Government cannot get involved in Uranium mineralization localities unless the local municipalities request them to do so. In this case the pink grit with the Uranium mineral has more than likely been used as backfill for houses so a discussion needs to start at the municipal govt level. The BC Govt does its best to ignore (bury its head in the sand) regarding any Uranium minerals due to the moratorium from the 1980s, however if the deposit forms in quarry or mine then the govt can get involved from an occupational health and safety standpoint.

Back to identifying this mineral - I am looking for someone to do XRC ( X-ray crystallography ) along with XRF. Does anyone here do XRC?

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Go-Figure
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Go-Figure » 30 Aug 2020, 07:46

Really a nice find Conor,
Picking a sample in the field it's always more interesting than buying it online!

Massimo

Conor Whyte
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Re: Unknown uranium mineral found in Penticton B.C. while on holidays

Post by Conor Whyte » 02 Sep 2020, 11:14

There was someone else here that was looking for a piece of my mineral. ... hmm

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