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File Created: 20-Mar-1987 by Larry Jones (LDJ)
Last Edit:  25-Jan-1996 by Jay W. Page (JWP)

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BCGS Map 082E052
Status Developed Prospect NTS Map 082E12E
Latitude 049º 35' 37'' UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 119º 41' 21'' Northing 5496922
Easting 305667
Commodities Uranium, Molybdenum Deposit Types B08 : Surficial U
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Overlap Assemblage, Plutonic Rocks
Capsule Geology

The PRAIRIE FLATS deposit occupies the lower reaches of the Prairie Creek valley. It is located within the Summerland municipal boundaries, immediately southwest of the town site. The area was once a marsh but has since been drained for agriculture use and residential development. The PRAIRIE SOUTH EDGE area is included with the PRAIRIE FLATS occurrence, but the uranium contained in the PRAIRIE SOUTH EDGE is not included in the PRAIRIE FLATS deposit because of its low grade.

The PRAIRE FLATS deposit was discovered in 1979 by D.G. Leighton & Associates Ltd. during a regional uranium reconnaissance program. Work prior to the uranium moratorium in 1980 consisted of systematic soil augering and bench extraction tests.

This is a postglacial fluviatile type of deposit where uranium occurs in a collector basin composed of organic-rich valley fill deposited by Prairie Creek. Upwelling of groundwater into organic-rich soils, topographic control, and concentration of uranium by evaporitic discharge and ion adsorption-reduction are the principal depositional controls.

The area is underlain by granodiorite of the Jurassic Okanagan Intrusions, which is unconformably overlain by a succession of Eocene epiclastic sediments, pyroclastic rocks, and alkaline lavas of the Penticton Group White Lake and Marron Formations.

The deposit occupies an area of approximately 37.0 hectares with an average thickness of 1.7 metres grading 0.0334 per cent uranium (Culbert, 1979). The estimated average density of the deposit is 1000 kilograms per cubic metre (Culbert, 1979), yielding a calculated quantity of 629,000 tonnes. The uraniferous layer begins at the surface. Ore reserves to a depth of approximately 2 metres are about 195 tonnes of uranium (230 tonnes of U3O8); it is estimated that uranium has accumulated at a rate of about 23 kilograms a year since glacial retreat (Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences Volume 21, 1984, page 561).

A contour map of the deposit showing variations in uranium grade identifies several areas with greater than 2.0 pounds (0.9 kilograms) U3O8 per square metre (Culbert, 1979). Cross-sections of the deposit, based on 28 auger holes, show high grade layers with greater than 0.1 per cent uranium (Culbert and Leighton, 1988, Figure 7). Molybdenum enrichment (up to 0.09 per cent) is also present (Culbert, 1988).

An adjacent area, known as the PRAIRIE SOUTH EDGE, occupies an area of approximately 10.8 hectares with an average thickness of 2.1 metres grading 0.0184 per cent uranium (Culbert, 1979). The estimated average density of the uraniferous layer in the PRAIRIE SOUTH EDGE is 1300 kilograms per cubic metre (Culbert, 1979). The uraniferous layer lies 1.2 metres below the surface (Culbert, 1979).

EMPR FIELDWORK 1979, pp. 11-15; *1990, pp. 163-170
EMPR OF 1990-32; 1994-8
GSC MAP 538A; 15-1961; 1701A; 1712A; 1713A; 1714A; 1736A; 7686G; 8521G
GSC OF 409; 551, 736; 1969
CIM BULL 1978, Vol. 71, #783, pp. 103-110
CJES *Vol. 21, 1984 pp. 559-566
*IAEA TECDOC 322 (Surficial Uranium Deposits, Technical Document, Vienna, 1984), pp. 179-191
Bates, D.V.; Murray, J.W.; Raudsepp, V. (1980): Royal Commission of Inquiry, Health and Environmental Protection, Uranium Mining; Commissioners' Report, October 30, 1980, Vol. 1, pp. 35-36, 183-184.
*Culbert, R.R. (1979): Post-Glacial Uranium Concentration in South Central British Columbia, Royal Commission on Uranium Mining, Accession List #2109S01, 20 pages.
Culbert, R.R. (1979): Uranium Equilibrium - Disequilibrium as Observed in the Natural Environment in British Columbia, Royal Commission on Uranium Mining, Accession List #2017S, 15 pages with Appendices.
*Culbert, R.R. and Leighton, D.G. (1988): Young Uranium; in Unconventional Uranium Deposits, Ore Geology Reviews, Vol. 3, pp. 313-330.