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Investigation of Rare-earth and Associated Elements, Zane Hills Pluton, Northwestern Alaska.

Barker JC
NTIS: PB 92-109347 :36 pages
Unverified reports of rare earth element (ree) concentrations in gold placers and radioactive mineral prospects in the Zane Hills were investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as part of the Alaska critical minerals program. Ree is reported to occur in dredge concentrates at the Hogatza mine, and up to 1.2 pct ree was previously analyzed in alkalic syenite (bostonite) dikes marginal to the pluton. In addition, numerous thorium-rich veins, explored for their uranium content but unevaluated for ree, occur on the western margin of the Zane Hills. The Bureau mapped and sampled all of the reported or suspected ree occurrences. Dredge concentrates contain abundant uranothorianite, a mineral species which incorporates cerium subgroup ree. Bostonite dikes occur in conjunction with a multiphased zoned alkalic intrusion; however, no significant ree concentrations were found. Thorium-rich veins contain nil to 0.5 pct y, but resource potential is limited by this relatively low grade, the ultimate low tonnage potential, and the lack of uranium as a major economic element. The Zane Hills exhibit attractive exploration targets for uranium deposits, primarily in a sedimentary form. Gold may be found peripheral to the pluton in both placer and lode deposits. Resource potential of ree, however, appears limited to a placer byproduct of ree-zr-ti that is recoverable only during large-scale gold placer mining. Placer exploration of the lower Wheeler and Dakli Creeks is suggested.
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NTIS: PB 92-109347
Page last reviewed: December 30, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division