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Memoir 15—Geology and Technology of the Grants Uranium Region

Prepared by the Society of Economic Geologists, compiled by V. C. Kelley, general chairman Uranium Field Conference, 1963, reprinted in 1975, 1978, 277 pp., 18 tables, 134 figs., 2 plates, 6 sheets, 1 index.

Contains 38 articles by various authors covering all aspects of the uranium deposits in the Grants region of New Mexico. The field conference for which this memoir is compiled was sponsored by the Society of Economic Geologists. At a meeting of the Council of the Society in the fall of 1961, it was decided to hold a Uranium Field Conference in the Grants region of New Mexico. In the beginning, a guidebook of road logs and short papers was considered for the occasion. However, because there already exist several guidebooks for the area, it was decided to assemble only papers.

In the compilation of this memoir, an effort was made to get as many papers as possible from people who have worked recently in the area. An effort was also made to include most phases of the economic geology and related subjects. Thus, papers on mining and safety bring out special problems related to lithology, ground water, ore body forms, and depth of mining. A paper on milling not only outlines the special uranium processes but also points up to relationships to ore and rock compositions. Papers on ground water are included, but a significant paper on waste disposal problems was lost by a late personnel shift in the district. Several papers describe the unusual growth of and exploration in the district.

The Grants Uranium Region, as used for this memoir, includes the entire area of deposits from Gallup on the west to the western edge of the Rio Grande trough on the east, a distance of about 110 mi. The region is also referred to as the Grants mineral belt. Neither favorable host rocks nor deposits are continuous throughout this distance, but there are several places where special stratigraphy or structure has resulted in large accumulations of uranium in areas of favorable exposures. The principal areas, from west to east, are Gallup, Churchrock, Smith Lake, Ambrosia Lake, Grants, and Paguate or Jackpile. These areas are grouped into three mining districts: Gallup, Grants, and Laguna. Numerous minerals are mentioned or described, and not including the common rock minerals, they number some 76 in this memoir.

Articles included in this memoir are: Preface by V. C. Kelley, History of exploration by P. E. Melancon, Regional and local stratigraphy of uranium-bearing rocks by L. S. Hilpert, Tectonic setting by V. C. Kelley, Map showing the general structural features of the Grants area and the areal distribution of the known uranium ore bodies in the Morrison Formation by R. E. Thaden and E. S. Santos, Mineralogy by H. C. Granger, Alteration of Morrison Sandstone by S. R. Austin, Geology of the Black Jack No.1 mine, Smith Lake area by M. E. MacRae, Geology of the Black Jack No.2 mine, Smith Lake area by W. G. Hoskins, Relation of ore deposits to the stratigraphy of the Ambrosia Lake area by E. S. Santos, Geology of the Dysart No. 1 mine, Ambrosia Lake area by R. J. Cronk, Geology of the Homestake-Sapin uranium deposits, Ambrosia Lake area by W. Gould, et. al., Geological setting of an anomalous ore deposit in the Section 30 mine, Ambrosia Lake area by T. A. Clary, et. al., Uranium and vanadium minerals occurring in Section 22 mine, Ambrosia Lake area by R. G. Corbett, Geology and ore deposits of the southeastern part of the Ambrosia Lake area by G. W. Hazlett and J. Kreek, Geology and ore deposits of the Ann Lee mine, Ambrosia Lake area by J. B. Squyres, Geology and ore deposits of the Sandstone mine, southeastern Ambrosia Lake area by G. F. Harmon and P. S. Taylor, Geology and ore deposits of the Cliffside mine, Ambrosia Lake area by D. S. Clark and S. R. Havenstrite, Geology of the Marquez mine, Ambrosia Lake area by R. J. Weege, Uranium deposits of the Poison Canyon ore trend, Grants district by I. Rapaport, Uranium deposits in the Todilto Limestone of the Grants district by E. D. McLaughlin, Jr., Limestone reefs as an ore control in the Jurassic Todilto Limestone of the Grants district by B. L. Perry, Geologic limitations on the age of uranium deposits in the Laguna district by R. H. Moench, Geology of the Jackpile mine area by D. F. Kittel, Geology of the Woodrow Breccia pipe by E. T. Wylie, Sulfur isotopes and biogenic origin of uraniferous deposits of the Grants and Laguna districts by M. L. Jensen, Ore processes by R. A. Laverty, et. al., Structure and volcanism, Grants Ridge area by P. F. Kerr and J. T. Wilcox, Potassium-argon ages of volcanic rocks north of Grants by W. A. Bassett, et. al., Ground water in the vicinity of the Jackpile and Paguate mines by G. A. Dinwiddie, Ground water in the Grants district by E. C. John and S. W. West, Uranium logging techniques by W. A. Linton, Estimation of uranium ore reserves by statistical methods and a digital computer by W. D. Grundy and R. J. Meehan, Uranium mining in the Grants district by I. M. Gay, Production geology methods at the Kermac mines by F. C. Hohne, Subsidence and pillar recovery in the west area of the Marquez mine by G. C. Johnston, Mine safety problems by H. J. Abbiss, Rudiments of uranium ore metallurgy by D. C. Matthews, and Growth and production by W. E. Ballmer.

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