Distribution of uranium in the Bisbee district, Cochise County, Arizona
The Bisbee district has been an important source of copper for many years, and substantial amounts of lead and zinc ore and minor amounts of manganese ore have been mined during certain periods. The copper deposits occur both as low-grade disseminated ore in the Sacramento Hill stock and as massive sulfide (and secondary oxide and carbonate) replacement bodies in Paleozoic limestones that are intruded by the stock and related igneous bodies. The lead-zinc production has come almost entirely from limestone replacement bodies.
The disseminated ore exhibits no anomalous radioactivity, and samples from the Lavender pit contain from 0.002 to less than 0.001 percent equivalent uranium. The limestone replacement ores are distinctly radioactive and stoping areas can be readily distinguished from from unmineralized ground on the basis of radioactivity alone. The equivalent uranium content of the copper replacement ores ranges from 0.002 to 0.014 percent and averages about 0.005 percent; the lead-zinc replacement ores average more than 0.007 percent equivalent uranium.
Most of the uranium in the copper ores of the district is retained in the smelter slag of a residual concentrate; the slag contains about 0.009 percent equivalent uranium. Uranium carried off each day by acid mine drainage is roughly equal to 1 percent of that being added to the slag dump. Although the total amount of uranium in the district is large, no minable concentrations of ore-grade material are known; samples of relatively high-grade material represent only small fractions of tons at any one locality.
|USGS Numbered Series
|Distribution of uranium in the Bisbee district, Cochise County, Arizona
|Trace Elements Investigations
|U.S. Geological Survey
|Report: 33 p.; 2 Plates: 11.92 x 11.52 inches and 15.90 x 14.18 inches
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|Google Analytic Metrics