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Recognition criteria and sedimentology of the dolostone-hosted stratabound uranium mineralisation in Vempalle Formation, Cuddapah Basin, Andhra Pradesh, India



Recognition criteria and sedimentology of the dolostone-hosted stratabound uranium mineralisation in Vempalle Formation, Cuddapah Basin, Andhra Pradesh, India



Pages 172-179 1998



A number of field criteria were recognised and successfully applied in locating many uranium anomalies in the dolostone of Vempalle Formation leading to the establishment of a large-tonnage, low-grade uranium deposit hosted by uraniferous phosphatic siliceous dolostone (UPSD) in south/southwestern part of the Cuddapah Basin. These recognition criteria of UPSD are: (a) Physiographic position in the valley in between the highlands of resistant older Gulcheru quartzite and younger cherty dolostone; (b) Stratigraphically overlying the conglomerate/massive dolostone and underlying the red shale; (c) Dark grey coloured, compared to the non-mineralised dolostone, lying above and below; (d) Alternating thin layers rich in fine grained dolomite and ultrafine collophane; (e) Primary sedimentary structures like ripple marks and mud cracks:, (f) Presence of notable content of impurities of detritus silicates and phosphate, as well as dark grey coloured brecciated cherts; and (g) Stromatolites of isolated oncolite type in contrast to the colonies of stratiform and branched type in the younger cherty dolostone. These field characters of UPSD have genetic bearing on the uranium mineralisation, with its sedimentary structures, stromatolites and intercalation indicating an intertidal environment of deposition under desiccating conditions as evidenced by mud-cracks. The homogeneous nature of UPSD and its strike continuity over 140 km indicate that the uranium mineralisation is stratabound and mainly syngenetic-remobilised. As the carbonate-hosted uranium mineralisation is indeed rare, these recognition criteria of the dolostone-hosted uranium deposit may serve as exploration guides for discovering similar deposits elsewhere.

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